A Quick Way to Refresh Your Motivation

Working solo has many advantages but it also comes with many disadvantages. A big disadvantage is you have to always keep yourself motivated, especially on long projects.

I set goals. I track my progress. I work as hard as I can to reach those goals. Many times I still fall short. It’s difficult to find the motivation to stand back up after a failure.

But one thing that I’ve found that’s really helped me is

Just do it

(sorry Nike)

Launch something. Release anything. Put yourself out there in the big scary world.

Every time I put myself out there and launch something, my motivation soars. It could be a complete finished product, a small bit of code I’m working on, or some simple idea I had.

  • Thinking about starting my own business? Launched Little Stream Software and have been having the time of my life.
  • Want to build a software application as a service? Launched SeeProjectRun and learned how much non-technical effort you need to run a service.
  • Want to write and sell a book? Launched Refactoring Redmine and have been blown away by how successful it’s been in the few weeks it’s been public.

Whenever I kept something private, it sat in my head and rotted until it was worthless.

  • Building a software service for small business accounting? Held onto that idea for five years and now there are thousands of accounting apps.
  • Try to build a real estate flipping business? Dabbled with that in 2001, now it’s a fad with massive competition.
  • Create an awesome social network with messages limited to the size of a single SMS? Actually, no… I didn’t have the idea for Twitter.

Every time I feel my motivation reservoir running low, I try to find something public I can quickly create and release.

Speaking of which, I have a few dozen Redmine plugins I need to release and a book I need to start promoting.


  1. Patrick says:

    Hi Eric!
    I do not comment much, but I wanted to cheer you on and add one thing.
    A few days ago I met an old friend of mine who is now a rather famous
    music producer.
    His career took a long time to take off, during the slow years he always
    kept creating, working hard, networking, and experimenting.
    One thing he told me, that really hit home, was that if you manage to stay
    in the industry long enough, one day you’ll find yourself being one of the
    most experienced people in it.
    A lot of work will come you way simply because most of the earlier
    competitors who started at the same time as yourself, simply gave
    up and quit.
    So, here’s to persistence and staying in the game for the long haul.

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