The Dip – and How to Deal With It

Transcript of my newsletter from 22nd February

Hey there,

Whether you’re starting your first side-hustle, or leaping straight into your first full-on business, you are going to experience ‘The Dip’.

This is what happens a month or two in, when the initial enthusiasm wears off and you’re faced with the fact that things aren’t going as well as you thought they would.

So what do you do – quit? Or push through?

It’s a tough decision and an easy one to get wrong.

Seth Godin, one of my marketing heroes, makes this statement in his book ‘The Dip’:

Winners quit all the time. They just quit the right stuff at the right time.

It doesn’t matter whether your business idea is fantastic or a complete dud. You will experience the dip and you will need to decide what to do.

You’ll often hear stories of people who quit at the wrong time – when they were just short of a breakthrough.

So how do you make the right decision when you’re staring at the dip?

Be brutally honest with yourself about whether your product or service idea has real legs.

Assuming you did your research before setting off on your journey, now’s the time to re-visit and re-evaluate it.

Has it held up in the real world?

If it has, then it’s time for some problem analysis:

  1. Is my pricing right?
  2. Am I reaching my target market?
  3. Should I adjust my product positioning?
  4. Are unusual circumstances restricting me?

I’m facing the dip with a new website project I started at the beginning of the year.

In my research before starting out, my idea was greeted with enthusiasm by everyone I discussed it with. The question is: will they pay for it?

Signing up the ‘Early birds’ for free is easy. The rubber hits the road when I start charging for it!

I’m giving away 3 more places for free to get things going – then we’ll see! (And I’ll report back in a few weeks)

This week I’ve linked to two articles on starting and growing your business, one on ‘The Passion economy’ and an explanation of Shopify – the drag and drop eCommerce website builder.

How to grow your online business

This article covers 7 great and clearly described tips for starting and growing your online business.

One that jumped out for me was #2: making checkout easy for your customers.

So many people spend way too many hours fussing over the appearance of their websites. Appearances are important, of course, but they count for nothing if your website is unusable!

I come across so many websites where the user experience is terrible. There’s no excuse for that these days, and it costs a fortune in lost sales.

7 tips for growing your online business

20 Side hustles you can start alongside your day job

Yes, another article listing side-hustle ideas. But what I like about this one is that it includes links to useful (and very reasonably priced) courses related to each side hustle it lists.

If you have an interest in one of the ideas you can sign up for the related course – a great way to see whether you really like your idea as well as upgrading your expertise.

20 side hustles you can start alongside your day job

The rise of the passion economy

I’ve mentioned Fiverr and Upwork as good places to pick up gigs that you can do on the side to get your feet wet as a solo business owner.

The downside of those exchanges is that competition is fierce and you will probably need to under-price yourself to get projects you like the look of.

However, there is a growing number of alternatives.

Sites like Patreon provide a platform for creative people (photographers, writers, artists) to publish their content and, in return for a monthly contribution, provide exclusive benefits to their fans.

These platforms also offer an alternative to social media sites, which often involve a lot of ‘noise’ and distractions.

This article touches on Patreon and lists 12 more platforms, along with the Pros, Cons and Costs of each. They each offer ways for solopreneurs, and anyone creating content, to develop a regular income from their work.

Alternatives to Fiverr and Upwork

What is Shopify?

If you’re making stuff, and thinking of selling it online, Shopify is a user-friendly and cost-friendly option.

It is a hosted service, so you will be subject to the Shopify terms and conditions (I covered the pros and cons of hosted services back here), but as long as you’re OK with those it is a good and easy way to get yourself into business.

This article goes through how it works, what it costs and what you get for your money in the different plans.

What is Shopify

Fun flashback

We’re back with the Eagles this week – another song that reminds me of the fun times I had in Dallas back in 1995!

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Martin Malden

Martin Malden
Owner – WealthyDragon

Website owner: Martin has been working online since 2006 and focuses on two areas: 1) affiliate marketing and 2) designing and building websites based on WordPress. He has his own WordPress agency, and serves clients in Hong Kong, Australia and the UK.