Why You Are Discouraged (FS024)

So many of us get discouraged. We lose motivation, lose heart, lose direction, fizzle out, feel like impostors, scream inside our heads “what the hell do you think you’re doing!?”

Why does this happen to so many entrepreneurs? Why will you get discouraged?

It won’t happen because you don’t have the right tools or the right idea or the right network or the right skill or the right domain name or the right email subject line…

Discouragement happens when you don’t have the right expectations; what you THOUGHT was GOING TO happen was different from what DID happen.

In this episode we’ll walk you through some volatile expectations you may not know you have and share the only two expectations you should absolutely count on.

… with, of course, plenty of personal stories and colorful commentary. “Woj Bomb” makes its debut appearance. Priceless.

Subscribe: (how to) iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, RSS

Quotables From This Show

If you had a decade before you were successful would you still want to do it? Would it be worth it?
  or copy + Facebook

Expectations can be internal or external, true or false, realistic or unattainable, those of others vs owned by you. They can also live under the surface, below your consciousness. You don’t find out about those until something goes wrong and you realize what you’ve been secretly expecting. Do the work to discover your expectations.

It’s common to start a blog and in 90 days realize: no one’s coming, no one cares, what the hell am I doing this for!?
  or copy + Facebook

You had a good idea BUT didn’t have the right expectations—guessed a little off on what it would take—so you QUIT.
  or copy + Facebook

What are the expectations an entrepreneur SHOULD have before starting out?
  or copy + Facebook

Show Notes

Epic Sophomore Welcome Speech:

Seth’s Blog: Good news and bad news (about the MBA)“If this is an extension of a liberal arts education, with learning for learning’s sake, I’m all for it. If, on the other hand, it’s a cost-effective vocational program, I don’t get it.”

Zach Klein — I’m a big fan of this guy. Keep running into him near Corbett’s house in SF.

Can You Entrepreneur? What it Takes. (FZS007) — Think Traffic“Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? Is it something anyone can do? Or is there some special gene or jeans or personality trait you need?”

Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” (May be misquoted. still a good quote).

Mark Andreesen – Why not to do a startup“First, and most importantly, realize that a startup puts you on an emotional rollercoaster unlike anything you have ever experienced.”

Star Trek ReactionsCaleb’s favorite. This reaction to Miley Cyrus’ MTV Awards Performance is classic (kinda NSFW).

Breaking The Mold On Millennial Misperceptions — this is a lil’ video my friend Josh roped me in on.

Jerry Colonna – Independent Life/Business Coach & Former VC – YouTube — a really great interview for anyone struggling with entrepreneurship.

McDonald’s Customer Breaks Window & Attacks Staff Because There Are No Chicken McNuggets (VIDEO) — the title says it all.

Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability | Video on TED.com“Brené Brown studies human connection – our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity.”

Surprising Lessons From 100 Days of Rejection: Jia Jiang at TEDxAustin – YouTube“Chasing your dream requires you put everything out there and deal with the consequences. When aspiring entrepreneur Jia Jiang left corporate life to build his dream company, he had no idea it also meant facing crushing rejection.”

Michael Jordan on Success and Failure: “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

First, care. | 43 Folders — PHENOMENAL article. “Before you sweat the logistics of focus: first, care. Care intensely…. consider the possibility that you’ve been unknowingly trying to “focus” on two, twenty, or twenty thousand disparate things that you don’t really care that much about. Just consider it.”

Get the free guide to defining your audience
  • http://www.evolveyourweddingbusiness.com Heidi Thompson

    I was thinking while listening to this episode that being bipolar has actually prepared me for being an entrepreneur better than anything else could have. Highs and lows are nothing new to me and while it’s not a cake walk I feel like I can deal with it better because I have been dealing with it for such a long time and have come to expect it.

    • Chase Reeves

      Wow. Thank you, Heidi.

    • http://www.evolveyourweddingbusiness.com Heidi Thompson

      I’m not secretive about it. My whole family is cuckoo-bananas so that’s just the norm. Crazy/awesome genes can be a good thing though :)

    • http://www.evolveyourweddingbusiness.com Heidi Thompson

      Oh and speaking of crazy I was in the grocery store listening to this episode and I almost burst out laughing more than once so I’m sure I looked pretty nuts.

  • http://webdesignerarsenal.wordpress.com Jotpreet Singh

    Hmm. Looks decent. This is a lesson, not being distracted. I myself have found that I get distracted.
    The main distractions are:-
    Social Media
    Video games
    And the list goes on……

    So, yes, not being discouraged is another thing we can do to become better.

    Thanks for the Fizzle show.

  • http://commandyourbusiness.com/ Scott Fussell

    Love the Woj bombs…Chase you did manage to slip in a Steve K. mention…Great episode for anyone starting out..

    • Chase Reeves

      Shit! I’ll get better… Thanks Scott :)

  • http://simpleprogrammer.com John Sonmez

    I often have to remind myself that my brain will do its thing, I just have to give it the proper stimulus.
    It is impossible to not learn.
    If you try something 100 times, you will get better at it whether you like it or not.
    I often tell myself not to worry about results, just worry about putting in the time and let my brain do the job it knows how to do.

  • http://www.dadverb.com Roger

    Another great episode, fellas! Chase- you are delivering less “ya know what I mean?”‘s than you were a month ago. Why can’t you just be happy with that? Isn’t that a success? ;)

  • http://wictekbroadband.com/ Aria Donovan

    Hi guys,

    “If you had a decade before you were successful would you still want to do it? Would it be worth it?”

    Great question to ask. It also reminds me of a great quote by Tony Robbins: “Most people overestimate what they can achieve in one year, and underestimate what they can do in ten.”

    Thanks for an inspirational session, once again! Just subscribed! :)

  • http://www.growthguided.com Kael

    Expectations are premeditated resentments my friends !!

  • Bob Malloy

    First Time Comment WoooHooo! Another Awesome Show Guys. You’ve made my Fridays just that more enjoyable since you all started. I can’t thank you enough. The Fizzle Show is a must listen for all any entrepreneur. Oh about laptop feet, if that happens again, go to Home Depot. They sell essentially the same rubber foot in multiple sizes and materials. I learned this trick when I used to repair and resell older laptops. Thanks again guys and I can’t wait for next Friday.

    • http://thinktraffic.net Corbett Barr

      Nice work on the first comment Bob :) Thanks for the tip on laptop feet, I have two that need replacing right now.

    • http://www.herviewphotography.com Darlene

      OR get a new retinal display Mac – my new one does NOT have those little rubber feet!

  • http://www.entreprelution.com ryan

    I think this episode tries to expand on the idea of how easily people are giving up on their dreams. The point of following the life of an entrepreneur is not one of ease, it’s one of unknown unknowns, and that’s the point. I ran an interview today shortly before listening to this podcast, and somehow they actually have some duality in their underlining.

    I think the question is more about whether a person is willing to give it all they have and know that they left everything on the table, than to be aftraid to have never taken action at all!

    Great episode guys!

  • http://www.businessrepublic.net Omar Zenhom

    One of my favorite episodes. Personally, as someone at this business thing for over 10 years I’ve learned that the journey is a reward in itself. Like a great road trip. Yeah, I forgot the gas cap at the gas station and had to drive 60 miles the other direction to get it back a few times, but heck- it makes a great story and it shaped who I am today. I loved and love every minute.

    There is no ‘real’ disappointment if you realize you are already living the dream. I always just wanted to be a one of those guys. One of those people that actually went for things instead of just talking about it.

    If you are going for it, you are already there.

  • http://AfricaInside.org AfricaInside

    I must be honest with you…I went to listen and could not wait out the beginning jokes and goofing around to get to anything of substance. Call me odd, but I don’t like listening to DJ’s talk on the radio about their life etc. I listen to the radio to hear music. Same with your Fizzle show. I was hoping to hear the music, not listen to the chatter.
    You are all very handsome though. :)

    • http://thinktraffic.net Corbett Barr

      We do get a little carried away sometimes :) Thanks for the feedback Lori, we appreciate it even if you don’t think we’re as hilarious as we think we are. We’ll take the handsome compliment as an even trade.

  • http://hotwiredesign.com Russ

    Great Episode! Personally I think it’s the jokes, sidebars, and life stories and chatter that keep the show interesting and fun to listen to as well as informative… Keep it up. Keep Woj-bombing, so-blocking, and ya-know-what-I-mean-ing… It’s hilarious.

    BTW this episode on discouragement was especially encouraging! We’ve all been there, some of us two or three times a week. It’s nice to know that others are too, and we can work through it together.

    • http://thinktraffic.net Corbett Barr


      Thanks Russ!

    • http://hotwiredesign.com Russ

      sweet! I’ve been so blocked – taking a screenshot

  • http://riomobooks.com Tate Johnston

    This was on time! And on point!

    Like the time I was skiing and realized that I was more focused on arriving at the chair lift than enjoying the beauty and sweet ride down the mountain.

    Also, made me think of this scene: http://youtu.be/w1h_hmdVJAc Oh, what a ride!

    Thanks for what you’re doing!

  • http://www.giaduke.com gia Duke

    OMG I loved this chat today! It totally appreciate the REALNESS that each one of you shared. This was the first episode I listened to and it was EXACTLY what I needed to hear today. Thank you so much for the reminder that I’m not alone in the up + down entrepreneurial roller coaster ride! I wouldn’t have it any other way but there’s something refreshing about knowing others out there that feel the same way… can’t wait for more!

  • http://www.intentionalwealthinstitute.org Kevin

    Personally, I notice that I get discouraged anytime my focus goes to the results I’m trying to create, rather than the creative process itself. Anytime I have an agenda for ‘getting somewhere’ from the content or marketing I implement, it seems to put a clamp on my motivation.

    • http://wordsofwilliams.com Eric Williams

      That’s great insight Kevin. I think I struggle with the same thing. On one hand I need to keep seeing progress in that area, but it really sucks the life out of the creative process.

  • Pingback: Pit Stop: Refueling | Prelude to Audacity

  • Pingback: Dont Allow Your Dreams To Be Stolen -- I Have Always Been An Entrepreneur Yet I Was Crazy Close To Giving It Up Forever - Your Creative Biz

  • Lauren H

    I always feel like you are speaking to me with the timing of the topics you choose!

    I thought of this quote while listening:
    “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” — Steven Furtick

    Somehow I missed the Merlin Mann quote during the show- that is definitely a roadblock to getting things done: adding a whole lot of commitments that we just don’t care about.

    {apparently, I have a thing for quotes this month!}

  • http://www.sparta-pt.com Jen Brown

    This is probably one of the best, and most relevant, podcast episodes I’ve ever hear. Eva!

    I’d describe my 1st 3 years of entrepreneurship as the most difficult years of my life – financially, mentally, emotionally, spiritually (and any other -lly you can think of!). I had no freaking idea of the emotional roller coaster that it would be. And I had no idea that (a) it was normal and (b) that *everyone* else is going through the same experience.

    I only wish this episode had existed when I started out. I’ll be giving it to any and everyone I hear starting a new business! Thanks guys. Love your work :)

  • Pingback: 14 Hot Resources for Increasing Your Visibility Online | The Suitcase Entrepreneur

  • http://shereemartin.com Sheree

    Chase’s comments about how the expectations of others was a major source of stress before he became an entrepreneur triggered a lightbulb moment for me.

    I’ve already been working on managing my expectations (and figuring out my path to entrepreneurship) but I hadn’t realized the source of a big chunk of my work stress comes from not having any clear definition of what it takes to succeed in my job. Multiple sources prescribe various expectations, some are competing, some evolve every few months, some are opaque. As a result, I spent several years over-analyzing everything I did trying to see if it would fit into this jigsaw puzzle that’s constantly evolving. Finally gave up on worry about the puzzle and just started to focus on myself and what I can do to prepare myself for the future.

Up Next:

Insights About Customer Service That Will Change The Products You Make (FS067)

Customer service isn’t an afterthought for you. If it is, you’re already well on your way to being an uninteresting, middling, forgotten business. If, on the other hand, you have a deep understanding of the people you serve, that reality will be visible in so many delightful and visible moments in your customers’ interactions with you.

The Sparkline — a blog for independent creatives and entrepreneurs building matterful things.

% Stay inspired, productive + on track—get a weekly email from us. Short n’ meaty, built for speed. Get it Weekly