What kicks you in the butt?

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We all need some motivation from time to time. It can come in many different forms, it can come at any time, and it will look different for everyone. What motivates one person might not do a thing for someone else.

Swift Kick In The Pants

I should have paid the dollar years ago.

Usually around this time in January I have a ton of motivation after returning from Affiliate Summit┬ábut I wasn’t able to make it to this one. Conference like that are always great motivators for me and I usually come back with a ton of ideas. Some of them I will run with, some fall by the wayside but overall it is always great being around so many like minded people.

Since I wasn’t able to make it to ASW12 this time I had to see my motivation from elsewhere. OK, I didn’t really seek it as much as it jumped out at me from a dark alley and beat the crap out of me. But there have been a couple recent events that have me as motivated as ever. One event is a positive motivation and one is more of a kick in the pants, get your butt in gear type of motivation.

The first motivation (And this one is awesome)– On December 22nd I became a dad. My wife and I had a beautiful 8 pound 13 oz baby to take care of now. If that doesn’t motivate you I don’t know what will. When I was single just a couple years ago as long as I had a roof over my head and some food

Clyde William Sousa

How could you look at this every day and not be motivated?

on my plate I was happy and didn’t need much else. Now I have a wife and a baby I need to take care of. Along with buying diapers and all that stuff I need to think more about stuff like life insurance, college funds, Happy Meals, retirement funding, buying toys and clothes for a kid, paying for three Seahawks tickets instead of two, and all the other stuff that goes along with having a kid.

The second motivation (This one kind of sucks) – Within the last couple months my two biggest sources of income have pretty much dried up. First I had a site that was responsible for a big portion of my affiliate income that got hit hard by a Google update right before Q4 which sucked. I still think I can revive the site but for now it is buried in the SERPS. Second, a company that owes us quite a bit of money can no longer pay us. They were paying us monthly and now those payments are gone. I won’t get too much into the details of that one but it did come out of left field and it couldn’t have come at a worse time.

With those two events my expenses have gone up and my income has gone down. Not a good formula.

Let me back up a bit. Why do I need motivation like this? Well, to put it simply I have been very complacent (lazy might be a better word) over the last few years. I had some decent income coming in so why worry? I let my old sites stay old and failed to get any new sites really cranking. I didn’t adapt and grow. That is it in a nutshell anyway.

Take this as a cautionary tale, take this as something you can learn from or just take this and mock me for being an idiot. Do with it whatever you would like.

But in many ways this couldn’t have come at a better time. I needed something to kick me in the butt and get me going and while I probably wouldn’t have chosen this particular timing I refuse to be bitter, resentful, or defeatist.

Tomorrow (or maybe next week) I will lay out my plan to fix this situation.

But for now here are a couple things I hope you can learn from my stupidity:

1. Find your motivation sooner rather than later. Maybe you want to pay off your mortgage in five years. Maybe you need more money to pay for a sick parent’s health care. Maybe you want to retire when you are 50 and devote your life to charity work. Maybe you want to have more money to give to your church. Maybe you just need to pay your bills and put food on the table. Find whatever it is that motivates you before you need the motivation and you will be in much better shape. I wish I would have been thinking about this for the past decade.

2. Never stop growing and adapting. Don’t just let your affiliate sites or projects sit there. GET WORKING ON THEM!!! Even if it is writing a couple new pieces of content a day or updating a few datafeeds or testing out some new merchants or whatever. And learn how to improve your sites. If you don’t have a mailing list for a site start one. Add a Facebook page for one of your sites. Test something new on a site every day. I don’t know what this will look like for you and your projects but don’t become stagnant.

What is it that motivates you? I would love to hear about the things in your life that make you keep pressing on and striving for greatness. Leave a comment below and let me know.


  1. It's interesting to read this just as I am sitting down looking at an old site of mine that is great but doesn't make any money. Why doesn't it make any money? Because I didn't need it to. That's a stupid reason. I should be maximizing its potential or getting rid of it! Your post really solidifies that for me. While the sources of motivation can be varied, it always seems to come when we need it most.

  2. I just got my kick in the butt: 2 months of insurance due, plus quarterly estimated taxes, plus payroll taxes, plus just returned from Vegas… payments not coming in 'til the 20th.

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