Motivating Yourself Through Hard Times – Part One

Life Issues, Opportunities, Personal March 12th, 2008

motivating yourself with affirmations

We all go through periods of discouragement and depression. At times like that it’s hard to motivate yourself to keep moving forward as a domainer or entrepreneur. The good news is that there are tools you can use to get through those rough patches.

I’m no exception. Sometimes the ills of the world, and my own personal problems, weigh on me like a sandbag on my shoulders. I feel lethargic and tired of my work. It’s easier at such times to pick up a good novel, especially a science fiction or fantasy novel, and lose myself temporarily in another world. Or I might begin several new online chess games and immerse myself in chess strategy. I have always been like this.

Now, however, this is a problem. I’m not a student or a 9 to 5 employee anymore. I’m a self-employed entrepreneur with a family, a business to run, and bills to pay. Furthermore, we are entering a challenging time, with PPC income down and domain buyers adopting a conservative stance as the U.S. heads into a recession.

So, what to do? It happens that I’ve survived stormy seas in the past and I’ve gotten to know myself well. Over the years I’ve developed a suite of motivational and organizational tools that helps me get through these rocky periods.

1. Affirmations

I’m a big believer in the power of affirmations. J. Donald Waters, a well known author and lecturer, says,

“An affirmation is a statement of truth which one aspires to absorb into his life. It has been said that we are what we eat. It could be truer to say, ‘We are what we think.'”

I began using this tool in my mid twenties, when I went through a dark and difficult period, and it made a huge difference.

Affirmations helped me overcome:

  • negative self-images of myself
  • negative self-assessments of my competency
  • negative memories of my past behavior that replayed constantly in my mind
  • feelings of jealousy toward others who are more “successful”
  • self-pity and cynicism

At the same time my understanding of my own strengths and worth, and my right to realize my dreams, came into fruition. Along with this came a new faith in the future.

In subsequent years I wrote extensively, held a steady job for years (a first for me), started a business, got married and bought a house. All of this was possible because prayer, meditation, and daily affirmations enabled me to change my self-conception. I went from confused to intrepid, self-reliant and determined.

I didn’t intend for this to be a how-to on affirmations, but I do think this is an important subject, as I believe that many people are crippled by negative self-beliefs that have been put upon them by others.

My personal affirmations consist of three short lists, each containing different types of “I” statements: “I am,” “I will,” and “I love.”

“I Am” Statements

“I Am” statements are affirming declarations of some good qualities that I possess, or want to possess. For example:

  1. I am a loving, attentive husband and father. I cherish my family and they are the most important part of my life.
  2. I am a hard working, confident and highly successful domain name investor.
  3. I am a natural moneymaker. I am good at making money, investing money, and increasing my wealth.
  4. I am open to opportunities that others may miss.
  5. I am a talented writer, with an original voice and important ideas to share.
  6. I am an athletic man. I love working out, practicing martial arts, lifting weights, hiking, and strengthening my body in every way.
  7. I am a spiritual person. Prayer and meditation are an important part of my daily routine.

To those of you who are already self-confident and self-aware, such affirmations may seem like a waste of time. But most people are full of self-doubt in some or all areas of their lives, and their doubt acts as a brake, shutting them down when they try to move forward.

Keep in mind that the affirmations do not have to be 100% true. For example, looking at the second one above, I am indeed a hard working and relatively confident individual. But there are times when my confidence flags. And I would not call myself highly successful yet. That’s where I want to be, but not where I am. The affirmations steadily mold my self-perception until they become reality. In addition, they act as motivational kindling, stoking my internal fires to move me forward.

There are three critical points to keep in mind concerning affirmations:

  1. Make them ambitious but believable.
  2. Repeat them frequently, at least two or three times a day.
  3. Follow them up with specific action plans.

You may have noticed also that my affirmations are balanced across the various spheres of life, including business, family, physical and spiritual. That meets my needs, but yours can be more focused on one area if you wish.

“I Will” Statements

These are statements of specific, concrete goals that you intend to achieve. Again, make these challenging. They should stretch your capabilities, but be believable. “I will sell a million dollar domain name within five years” is great, but “I will become the richest domainer on earth” is not believable.

“I Will” statements can also cover all spheres of life.

I suggest that you write these statements down and keep the list somewhere handy so that you can review it, at a minimum, three times a day: first thing in the morning when you wake up, once in the middle of the day, and last thing at night before you go to bed.

In the beginning you will be skeptical of your own affirmations and you may find yourself thinking that it’s silly or embarrassing. You have been conditioned for years to believe that your dreams are unrealistic and silly, and some of that will come out as you read your affirmations.

Never mind that. Just keep at it, three times a day minimum, and you will find that in time your skepticism will disappear. As your faith in yourself grows, you will see opportunities that you did not see before. You will conceive of concrete ways to realize your goals.

“I Love” Statements

This may not be for everyone, and in fact I only occasionally use this portion of my list. These statements are appropriate for individuals who are deeply depressed, discouraged or negative.

Make a list of the things in life that you love, no matter how small or remote that may seem. For example:

  • I love my parents, my wife, my children, and my close friends (it’s a good idea to name each person individually).
  • I love the color of the sky in the evening just after sunset.
  • I love a good banana split.
  • I love the soreness in my muscles after a workout.
  • I love the satisfaction of making a good profit on a domain name sale.

Etcetera. Reading this list over each day will serve to remind you of all that is good in life, so that you’re not constantly thinking of life in negative terms.

Disclaimer: For individuals who are clinically depressed or suffering some emotional trauma, I am not suggesting that affirmations should take the place of therapy or medical care. But they can augment your recovery.

What these are really useful for is long-term reshaping of your self-conceptions, which then changes your approach to everything in life.

To learn more about the power of affirmations and how to craft them, I’d suggest reading the following books:

Affirmations of Wealth: 101 Secrets of Daily Success

Affirmations for Self-Healing

Part two of this article will discuss simple organizational techniques that can keep you moving forward when you’re not in the mood.

The Early Years: What Were You Doing?

Life Issues, Opportunities December 15th, 2007

early domainers, were they lucky or smart

Was Rick Schwartz lucky, or was he a visionary? Was Yun Ye lucky, or was he smart? Some struggling domainers complain that the most successful icons in this industry are guys who got lucky because they were in the right place at the right time.

Read the rest of this entry »

Five Keys to Domaining Success

Advice for Beginners, Buying Domains, Life Issues, Quote of the Day, Selling Domains November 19th, 2007

Five key to succeeding in the domain name business

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

– Thomas Edison

Having a hard time with this domain name business? Or for that matter, with any other challenge you’re facing in life? Have you been working at it for a long time and starting to feel like you’re not going to get there?

Don’t give up, evolve. Learn from your mistakes.

Read the rest of this entry »

Are There Still Opportunities in Domain Names?

Advice for Beginners, Life Issues, Opportunities, Priorities October 31st, 2007

opportunities in domain names?

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
Thomas A. Edison (1847 – 1931)

Many new domainers feel that the domain name train has left the station. They look at the pioneers like Rick Schwartz, Frank Schilling and Kevin Ham and think, “Those guys took all the good names. There’s nothing left. It was a one-time deal.” Is that true? Can you still get rich with domain names, or is it too late?

Read the rest of this entry »

Learning from Sahar Sarid

Domaining Mistakes, Life Issues, Monetizing Domains, Personal September 24th, 2007

monetizing domain names of former websites

I love DNJournal’s detailed profiles of major players in the domain name business, telling how they got started and how they made it big. Today I re-read Sahar Sarid’s story for the third time. I’m also big fan of his blog, I learn something from it every day. So I went back and read his story again, because I am in need of some encouragement…

Read the rest of this entry »

It’s a World of Opportunity

Life Issues, Opportunities August 28th, 2007

A nice tropical beach

I became interested in domain names as early as 1997 or 1998, though it was just a curiosity back then. I held on to several good domains because I thought I might develop websites around them, not because I had any inkling of the way generic domain valuations would skyrocket. I also let a lot of good ones go.

Read the rest of this entry »

What Makes Your Children Happy?

Life Issues, Priorities August 20th, 2007

Every domain name professional fantasizes about living and working on a tropical beach, right?

Hint: It’s Not the Number of Domain Names in Your Portfolio

An article on MSNBC describes the surprising findings of a study conducted by The Associated Press and MTV on the nature of happiness among America’s young people. This extensive survey presented more than 100 questions to 1,280 people ages 13-24.

What single thing do you think makes these young people the most happy? Cool clothes? A new bike or car? Music? An iPod? Being popular?

Read the rest of this entry »