How do you stay motivated while building?

I came across this question on Reddit today:

This is a really common problem with entrepreneurs and creatives of all types.

While you’re in “building” mode, it can be really easy to get sorta lost. It can feel like:

These negative ideas seem pretty tame when you randomly read a list like this — but pretend you’re 10 months into a project you’re staking a business on, you’re not happy with the product, and you’re running out of money….

Then yeah, these thoughts are pretty serious.

The good news is, you can get past most of the bad stuff here with one simple action:

→ Go speak to some real humans who might want to use your product.

Speaking to real people does a few things:

All of that is motivation juice! The more of it you do, the more motivated you’ll feel and the better work you’ll produce.

How you can start speaking to people about your work.

This is a weird step for many people — impostor syndrome can make you second-guess yourself so much that even though you know you should speak with users….you don’t actually do it.

But — speaking from experience — getting a basic version of your product out there is vital.

So, here’s a little system you can use to get past the weirdness and start talking to your users/readers/customers.

Simple: Reach out to family/friends.

Make a list of 10–20 friends and family members. Send them a friendly email/message (or call) and say something like:

Hey ____!

I’m working on this new project, where I’m _______.

Here’s a link to the free/public version: _______.

Could you take a quick look and let me know what you think? It shouldn’t take any longer than about 15 minutes to click through everything.

I’d really appreciate it — feedback like this is incredibly valuable to me at this stage. Positive, negative, whatever. The more detailed the better 🙂

Some points I’d like to know:
* What do you think of the content?
* What do you think of the length/format?
* How valuable do you think this is?
* What’s one thing you like about it?
* What’s one thing you don’t like?
* How much would you (theoretically) pay for this? Be honest!

[Your Name]

Medium: #buildinpublic on social media.

You can do a lot by just posting your work on social media. There’s a “build in public” movement online where participants simply publish their work on a social media platform and engage in conversations there.

You can set up a landing page or an email opt-in with something like Substack, and then focus on consistently sharing your project on a social platform.

Here’s where you can get started:

Advanced: Create a beta testing group.

Want to get a little more advanced?

You can easily create a little group of focused testers who are dedicated to your project. I’ve seen them run via email, Slack, and groups on various platforms. They can be free or paid.

This is what we’ve done with the Business Breakdown Newsletter.

We actually baked all 3 levels into our own marketing.

Here’s what it looks like.

First, we published the first edition of the BBN for free. ( Here’s what it looks like)

This was our MVP.

Then, we started reaching out using the 3 levels above, like this:

If you pick any one of these actions, you’ll start the process of communicating about your product with other people.

You’ll get out of your head and into real conversations.

All the feedback you’ll get will lead to practical actions and a TON of motivation!

Originally published at on February 8, 2021.