AMY PORTERFIELD: “Instead of moving on to the next best thing, or even worse, calling it quits because you're beginning to believe you weren't cut out for this—which, let me tell you, is dead wrong. You are cut out for this—I want you to take a moment and remind yourself of the reason behind your goals, and then just keep on keeping on. You literally must learn to say, ‘Okay. If I'm in this for the long haul, I'm playing the long game. This launch didn't work out as planned, or this promo didn't go as planned. Let me figure out how to fix it because I'm not going anywhere.’”
INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-seven-figure business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, the budget, and the time to focus on growing my small-but-mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and a life you love, you're in the right place, friend. Let's get started.
AMY: So, I have a little homework for you. I want you to head to your favorite podcast-listening platform; search for the podcast Success Story, hosted by Scott D. Clary; and start listening. Success Story is a new podcast obsession for me; and it features Q&A sessions with successful business leaders; keynote presentations; and conversations on sales, marketing, business, and entrepreneurship. Scott recently spoke with a guest about the importance of socially conscious entrepreneurship, and I love that conversation. This is such an important topic right now, so be sure to check out that specific episode, for sure. You can listen to Success Story wherever you get your podcasts.
Well, hey, there, friend. Welcome back to Online Marketing Made Easy.
So first of all, I wanted to check in. How are you feeling? Are you feeling excited? Are you feeling hopeful? Maybe stressed? Overwhelmed? Confused? Frustrated? Inspired? What is it? How are you feeling? And I also wanted to add to that, regardless of how you're feeling about your business today, you're still in the game. Like, you are listening to a marketing podcast. Whether you're multitasking right now, driving into your nine-to-five job, working out, whatever you're doing right now, you are also listening to a marketing podcast, which means you want to grow. You're here for the long haul. You're not going anywhere. You're going to make this work no matter what, and you're showing up for yourself and your business. And I think that deserves a little celebration. If you've been having a hard time or feeling frustrated, showing up today, the fact that you're still in the game, is something to be grateful for. And I just wanted to remind you of that.
Okay. So today's episode. Let's talk about it.
I don't know about you, but sometimes I've got this huge need—okay. Not sometimes. All the time—I have this huge need to get ahead of the curve in my business. And while I know this drive has contributed to my success as an entrepreneur, some of the feelings that come along with it can be really tough. I'm sure you can relate to this as a business owner, especially in the world of online marketing, where things are constantly changing. It's like we're always focused on doing the next thing and then the next thing, without even taking a moment to breathe. And when those things don't work, it's not necessarily a good feeling, right? Like, especially over the last two years, I've never made so many pivots in my business, changed things up, gone a different direction, than I have in the last two years. And, then, on top of that, I've seen online marketing change dramatically over the last few years, and consumer habit is definitely different as well. So staying ahead of the curve is way more difficult than it used to be. And sometimes that can feel discouraging and overwhelming, and sometimes it can make you want to throw in the towel completely.
So that's why I'm doing this Shorty episode. We're going to talk about playing the long game in business, the mindset you need to have, why it's important, and how to do it. What I mean by playing the long game is sticking with something, committing to it wholeheartedly, and not jumping ship because things get tough. Because if I've learned anything over the last thirteen-plus years, it's that it is 1,000,000 percent worth it to weather all the storms that may come your way as a business owner, especially when things are really, really difficult, because the rewards far outpace those challenges. It's just hard to see that in the moment. So I want to talk to you about that today.
The first thing you need to remember about playing the long game is that it is all about your mindset, especially when things don't work out as you wanted them to. Maybe your launch ends up being a total flop. I've been there. Maybe your podcast isn't gaining subscribers. Yep, I've been there, too. Or maybe your lead magnet isn't converting. Oh, I've done that one a lot of times.
In all of this, it's so easy to not only feel super discouraged or disappointed, but to also want to scrap all your hard work and change course completely. Please pay attention if you've been guilty of this. Something's not working out, maybe three or four things aren't working out, and boom, you're changing the whole business. You're creating a whole new product. You're going in a whole new direction. And what I want to say is that instead of moving on to the next best thing, or even worse, calling it quits because you're beginning to believe you weren't cut out for this—which, let me tell you, is dead wrong. You are cut out for this—I want you to take a moment and remind yourself of the reason behind your goals, and then just keep on keeping on. You literally must learn to say, “Okay. If I'm in this for the long haul, I'm playing the long game. This launch didn't work out as planned, or this promo didn't go as planned. Let me figure out how to fix it because I'm not going anywhere. I'm going to have so many more opportunities to do this,” meaning when you do that, when you say, “Okay. I'm in it for the long haul. I'm not going anywhere. What do I need to fix?” that right there changes everything, because what you've done is you've taken the “I'm going to quit” out of the equation. It's not even part of the conversation.
This is embarrassing to me, but I got to tell you a quick story. When Hobie and I first got married, so we got married in 2000—oh, gosh. I don't remember. This is ridiculous. I should know this. 2009, I think. I don't know. But that's not the point. And don't tell Hobie I cannot remember—in 2011, we were still fairly new in our marriage, like, first few years. And when we would get in a fight—because 2011 was a really rough year. I started my business in 2010; 2011, I went backwards, meaning I made less in 2011 than I did at my corporate job for Tony Robbins, and we got into debt. Hobie was trying to become a firefighter. He wasn't bringing any money in. My business was barely surviving. We got, like, forty thousand dollars in debt in 2011. I remember sitting at the kitchen table just crying over this. It was a very dark time. But our marriage struggled because of that as well. When you have money issues, it's very easy for your marriage to feel rocky as well—and when we would fight, I would bring up divorce. I know. I'm, like, mortified by this. I never do this anymore. But we were so new in our marriage, I was like, “Maybe this wasn't meant to be.” I'd be such a little brat with him, and I'd say, like, “Listen, if we can't figure this out,” because we were fighting a lot over what we were going to do about money. We were both just really stressed out and scared. And so I'd say, like, “Maybe we weren't supposed to be married,” or “Do you even want to be married anymore?”
And in that, Hobie stopped me, and he said, “Amy, divorce is not an option for us. We made a vow to each other. We said we were going to work this out no matter what—sickness and in health, rich, poor, all of it—and right now we’re poor. We are going to work this out.” He said, “You cannot bring up separating or divorce when we are arguing. It has to be off the table.” He said, “That literally freaks me out, and it makes it a million times worse. And it literally stops us in our tracks. We cannot accomplish anything, come to a resolution, when you're throwing the D-word around like that.”
And so I totally respected him. He was right. And I said, “Okay. I'll stop doing that,” which I have. It’s been many, many years since I've done that big mistake.
But it made me think about your business, and do you ever say, like, “Maybe I'm going to have to go ask for my nine-to-five job back,” or “Maybe I'm never going to be able to quit this job,” or “Maybe I'm going to have to embarrass myself and just say this didn't work and go start applying for new jobs”? Don't do that. Take that off the table. If you've already quit your nine-to-five job, you tell yourself, “I am never going back. I will figure this out.” And if you're still in your nine-to-five job, you have an exit date, hopefully, even if it's a year from now, and you're working toward that, and that's going to happen no matter what. We have to take the big factor of “this not working out” off the table. It's no longer a discussion. It's no longer a thought. You allow, when it comes up, you let it sail right by, and it's not even an issue. We are not doing that. It changes everything.
Okay. I'm going to step off my soapbox and continue. So I want you to think about, how can I fix this when something goes wrong? I want you to use every experience in your business as an indicator, something of value that you can work through, and shift your mindset, so now you think, “Okay. Did that work or not? If yes, great, let's do more of it. If not, what can I tweak? because I'm not going anywhere. I'm just going to continue to do this again and again. So what do I need to learn here? Where's my lesson?”
I've been doing that a lot lately. When things haven't been working out for me, what's the lesson here? What's the lesson I'm meant to learn here?
Now, if you're multitasking, come back to me, because this is really important. If you're playing the long game, then a failure should just be your opportunity to fix something, make it better, learn from it, and show up differently, versus an indication that you're not meant to be here or you don't have what it takes. If you're playing the long game, “you're not meant to be here” or “you don't have what it takes” is not even part of the conversation. Because if you've already made up your mind that you're playing the long game, what you do instead is you dust yourself off, get back up, and keep going. You're going to win. You're eventually going to win. And what's the alternative? Oh, there isn't one, because the only option on the table is you winning. Now, how quickly you get to that, it's going to depend on a lot of factors, might take you longer than you want, usually does. But you're going to get there one way or another.
Okay. So switching gears a bit. The next way to play the long game is by not being afraid to set audacious long-term goals. I recently set a three-year goal for the first time. I was always afraid to do that because I never knew what things were going to look like in three years, and I didn't know where we were going or how we're going to get there. And so I would just be focused on short-term goals. And then I realized that if I dream big enough and I start to have some really big, audacious goals way out in the future, like three years from now, well, I start showing up differently.
Once I put together my three-year plan for this business, I started to see the world and see my business in a very different light. I no longer saw it as what was just directly in front of me, the next launch, the next lead magnet, the next video. But instead, I started seeing it more holistically and what's possible and what can I bring in and what’s something new I can experience. And I was more excited. Now that I have a three-year plan, I've started to ask myself questions like, how can this decision today affect what I want to do in three years? Will what I'm doing now get me to where I want to go? Is what we're doing right now something that's going to support that three-year vision I have?
When you set long-term goals, you start to be more strategic, and you start to think in bigger ways, and you start to dream bigger, which is exciting. So are you still with me here? I hope so, because I think this is so important that you allow yourself to plan. And that three-year plan might change dramatically when I get closer to it, but I've shown up differently, in a bigger way, and there's only good that can come of that.
Okay. So switching gears a bit. This third piece is a really important mindset shift, and it's knowing that sometimes it simply takes a while to achieve the benchmarks and goals that we set for our business. And by “a while,” I mean longer than you want it to, maybe much longer than you want it to take.
So, take this podcast, for instance. For two years, in my mind, I've been trying to hit that million-download month. I wanted to hit a million downloads in one month. Now, my team and I tried so many different things to hit that goal, for a very long time, but nothing was really turning the dial. And in fact, over the last five years, I've had multiple owners of this podcast on my team. We kept switching owners, trying to find the right person to be in the role to really help us hit this one-million-download month. And nothing was working. And so I just started to think, like, is this in the cards for us? And is this really important? And then I had to ask myself, why do I want a million downloads? Like, that could just be seen as a big vanity number, right? But for me, it wasn't. I know that everything starts with my podcast. It's where most people find me. It's how most people get into my world. It's how I grow a new audience and nurture the beautiful audience I already have. The podcast is very important to the health of my business, so the more people listening, the more people we get into this world, the new opportunities they see at their fingertips, what's possible for them, allows me to then show them there's a whole other world out there that you could build an online business, and let me show you how. So it's very dear to my heart why I want to get a million downloads in a month.
Okay. So we tried, we tried, we tried. Nothing was working. And then we finally said, “Okay. Let's shake things up a bit.” So we put some new players in different roles. We started treating the podcast like a product just as important as my digital courses. Even though it's not necessarily front-end generating revenue, it's very much tied to revenue. I started to release two episodes a week and a few other things. And as a result of our new efforts, we finally got the traction. More than two years in, we finally got the traction.
We went from four hundred thousand downloads to then five hundred thousand downloads a month to a huge jump to a million. So we went from five hundred thousand around December to a million-plus in January. It was such a big jump. And we've hit a million downloads month after month since then. So we are in it for the long game, meaning we know that we don't just want to hit it once and then we move on. We want to continue to see this traction. So that's very exciting.
So, another example is one I've experienced and that I see time and time again with my students, and that's around launching a digital course. Often, if you have a failed launch, it's so easy to just think that you need to scrap your digital course, start over, or worse, go back to working a soul-sucking nine-to-five job that you don't even want to be at. Like, I've seen that happen with some of my students who launched once. It didn't launch the way they wanted it to, so they gave up.
But most people don't fully give up. They just move on to something new. Don't do that. The real magic happens when you commit to tweaking and improving and learning from this one experience, meaning get back in the game. Don't abandon ship and go try something new. I feel like that’s the death of an entrepreneur. It has to be, you launch, you learn, you tweak, and you repeat. Let me say that again. You launch, you learn—you learn what worked and what didn't work—and then you tweak it to make it better, and you repeat it. I promise you, that is such a formula for success. But most people want variety, so they just want to jump to the next thing. And that is what will slow you down or stop you in your tracks. So, when I see my students have massive success, it's when they're on their second and third launches because they keep at it.
All of that to say, don't get discouraged. If you're in the long game and you stay with it and it's not an option to jump ship, then you just keep getting better. You just keep doing bigger things. You find that initial benchmark for you, and then you take it to the next level, and you keep going and going.
So for my podcast, going back to that example, we hit four hundred thousand, four hundred thousand. We just couldn't seem to move past that. We tweaked a few things, hit five hundred thousand, and then we said, “Okay. If that worked, let's tweak a few more things.” We just tweaked. We didn't massively change the show. I added a new show. I put a new person in the role, that kind of stuff, and boom, finally hit it. And that was something that I could have easily given up on a year ago, saying, “My podcast is not going to be a million-download-a-month podcast.” Well, my friends, it is, because I said I'm not getting out of the game; I'm just going to try to get better.
Okay. So, there you have it. I want you to stay in the game. The biggest thing I want you to take away from this episode is that having the conversation in your head that you're going to give up, that you're going to jump ship, that you're not made for this, that maybe you have to go back to your job, all of that conversation is no longer allowed. It does not get a place in your head. And when it shows up, because it will, you just watch it sail by without any drama, without any thoughts or feelings about it. Like, “Oh, that pesky thought, we let that one sail by.” You're in it for the long haul. Remember that, my friends.
Okay. So some of your entrepreneurial friends need a little pep talk. They need to be reminded that they're in it for the long haul, and they need to get that one foot that's out, they need to get both feet into the game. And so I would love for you to grab the link to this episode and just text it to them or send it to them or DM it to them, and share the episode. My goal is to help as many entrepreneurs as possible, and staying in the game long term is a struggle for most. So, hopefully, this episode will reach those that need to hear it most.
All right, my friends. Thank you so very much for tuning in. I'll see you on Thursday for more entrepreneurial goodness, same time, same place. Talk soon.
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