Why Failure Begets Growth.
In many ways, our arrested growth was more beneficial to our futures than modest expansion ever could have been. Modest growth might have left us with the false impression that we were on the right track.
Spoiler alert, we weren’t.
We gave our best to every post, but even posts with long strings of comments rarely led to new subscribers or did anything to invite fresh links. For Sean, desperation and debt were in a fight for his piece of mind. His mortgage had hit the credit card for the fourth straight month and he had started to feel as though his overzealous ambition was rolling his family along the razor’s edge of disaster.
David was in a similar boat, though it wasn’t sinking as quickly, as his wife was still working. David was still actively seeking other employment, because he had to do something. Times were growing tougher as there is only so long you can wait for something to work.
We were failing to make our families the money needed to survive. From a battery of fuses, everything had failed to detonate. The only thing that felt close to explosion were us. David had worked since he was 15 and was not used to not working, or in this case, working for no money. Sean had been in business since he was 12, trafficking candy bars and coverless comic books. He was used to selling his wares, and to find nobody lining up to buy them was too much.
If we didn’t do something to build a bridge between our abilities, we were going to find ourselves on the wrong side of an inferior forever.
That month was the hardest we had. Rather than receding, we stretched our muscles and ran ever faster. Rather than losing hope, we magnified our faith. The theory that it takes 10,000 hours to become a master at anything played on an endless loop echoing through our core beliefs. We had made it this far, the best thing to do was to just keep right on going.
But the truth of the matter was that clients were few, prospects were inconsistent and the future had never looked more uncertain. Our families were waiting, the country was in crisis and we were looking disaster dead in the eye.
We found relief right at the lip of despair.
After several months invisible to the eyes of Google something happened. It was one unforgettable morning when Ghostwriter Dad finally showed up in the search results – on page 32 for the general search term, “ghostwriter.” The SEO was made of steel and 32 was just a slow start. The rise through the results was rapid. We gained about a page a day and soon enough the phone was ringing.
We breathed a giant sigh.
Even through our most terrifying moments, we always believed we’d find the other side of the sea, we just had no idea how many waves would have to crash against the welfare of our families before we were finally able to find safe harbor.
With Sean carrying a ton of debt, we were hardly out of the woods, but clients were coming in a steady stream and the outlook had never been better. We realized then that we knew so much more than perhaps we had given ourselves credit for. We had read miles of copy and purchased many info products, each one giving us a slightly different angle for understanding what it takes to earn true online success.
It was that compound knowledge met by our willingness to work hard and dogged determination that had allowed us to push through the worst of it. We had never felt more grateful for our teachers.
The best teachers don’t tell you what to do, they allow you to excavate the answers that are already inside of you. That’s exactly what we did.
Stay tuned. Wednesday we’ll be publishing the next part in our series looking back at our first year online.