How Do You Handle Discouragement?

I’m always impressed with people who are able to maintain an optimistic attitude all the time. No matter what is going on in the world around them, they have a positive outlook and are bullish on the future. For me, I find that I’m generally an optimistic person, but I do find discouragement a challenge to the success of my work and projects. For you, this may be the same.

Discouragement Can Keep You From Trying

I’ll share the update of my latest project, the Real Time Calculator, a free app for Android mobile devices. For the first week or so, I had a pretty steady increase in the amount of people who found the app and installed it to their phone. But over the last few days, that number has become very small. This means not as many people are installing the app and more are uninstalling it after they try it out.

My natural instinct is to get discouraged at this. “Gosh, people must not like my app, so why bother adding anything more to it,” I might think to myself. This type of thinking could make me stop working on the project or adding cool new features to it. If I think in present terms with what my current reaction is, then that will be the likely choice – to stop trying.

Discouragement Can Make You Quit

Even worse, using my Android app as an example, I could just quit altogether trying Android development. I could use the current statistics and trends and say, “Well, the app is dead, nobody wants it. I’m a failure.” I could do that. The results right now certainly might make that a reasonable decision if all I used is statistics and numbers.

Whenever I’ve started a new project, I’ve found that people don’t just show up drooling over themselves because they want what I’ve created so much. That outcome seems unlikely. So I have to think a bit harder to myself and say, “There’s more to this than simply building something and having people show up.” After all, I’m still a noob at Android development and promotion. This leads me to my next point.

Understand Your Discouragement To Keep It At Bay

Sure, the numbers of people installing my app have slowed down the last few days. But I also haven’t released an update for almost a week now as I’ve been fighting another technical issue with the app. If anyone could create an app that was an instant success, wouldn’t more people be doing it? So I have to be reasonable with myself and say there are just more things I need to learn and more refinements and enhancements to make.

I certainly can’t use a few days worth of statistics as the deciding factor for how I feel about my app. For you, this could be applied to your project. You’ve finished your website or book, but nobody is visiting or buying it. The initial creation is just a first and very small step. The real work is in figuring out the process of making the project desired by other people.

For me, I’m keeping discouragement at bay in this case. I know I need to figure out a few more technical issues before I release an update to my app. I also know that I don’t know much about the statistics I’m seeing for my app and what they mean. I also know that I’m a new Android developer and becoming a master at something takes a long time (I say 10 years at least). Finally, I realize that if it were so easy, everyone would do it.

With all this in mind, I’m not going to stop trying or just quit doing my Android app. I’m at the level now of many apps for Android – a few people have downloaded it, but it hasn’t gained a wide appeal/traction. That part is going to just take work and learning on my part until I get there. So my verdict is to keep at it and keep discouragement at bay.

What gets you discouraged? Is your first thought to quit, or just keep going?

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5 thoughts on “How Do You Handle Discouragement?

  1. Jeremy,

    If you’re looking for a bit of encouragement, just check out the top app in your category, and then check out how many downloads they have for the paid. ;) It also took me about 1 to 2 months to start getting a bit more exposure; things are slow in the beginning.

    Most markets have room for more than one entrant, simply because there usually isn’t one size fits all. I once tried to enter the calculator niche myself, but I found it taking up some time and the recorder was taking off, so I didn’t have the time to really invest into it. I think if you do some analysis, check out the top 5-10 apps in the category, see what the downloads are like, and see where you can place yourself.

    Just think of all the students out there that could possibly be benefiting from what you have to bring to them. Everything starts and ends with the customer! :) Don’t hesitate to send off an email if you want to discuss anything in more detail.

    1. Thanks for sharing all that Kevin. I do see the potential with the top calculator apps and where I think I can make an impact. The biggest challenge for me is making the code work to do all that and have it perform fast and be accurate.

      I’m getting there though. I just solved how to make my app scroll back and forth and am working on some performance improvements where the app is slow. I’m enjoying this challenge :)

      1. Hi Jeremy…

        Thank you very much for the post…:)

        As a start up internet marketer I was able to “feel” every single word on your post about “Discouragement”… :)

        I believe… In this particular phase for any newbies the biggest enemy is “themselves”… I If we can win the fight against our own “negative” side, we will enjoy the long term goodies… :)

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