Over the last few years I realized something really important, that applies not only to business ventures, but to anything we’re doing in life.
Meaning that most of the things we’ve done, currently do, and plan to do, are just unnecessary.
But with so many distractions, options, information and more, it’s really hard to know what to focus on, find ways to eliminate everything else, and be consistent with this one or few things until they are completed.
That’s why being selective is yet another powerful skill we should learn these days, similar to time management and being adaptive.
And something many people find hard is leaving projects behind.
Because starting something is such a big deal, that leaving it behind means forgetting about all the work that’s been done on this and admitting you will not succeed. But it’s not defeat. It’s a super smart approach to work, business, and life in general.
With this post, I’ll give an example why and when some ideas need to be let go of peacefully, how that helps clear your mind and even leads to better things and progress.
What was My Last Business Idea?
This is the first time I’ll be talking about it publicly.
Thing is, I had a plan, have been thinking about it and brainstorming ideas for a long time now and it is still a good fit, and might get back to it in the future.
But the timing wasn’t right.
And as you might know, one of the most important things in life is timing.
So, my idea was to turn Let’s Reach Success into a membership site, or a subscription site, or something inbetween.
Here are the main reasons why it would work for this exact site:
- there are close to 800 articles in the archives already, so it can be considered a powerful resource on the topics of personal, spiritual and business growth;
- I receive and publish enough guest and sponsored posts so that I can dedicate time to creating content for subscribers only, and still have free stuff to publish on a daily basis;
- marketing isn’t my thing, writing is. The main reason most site owners don’t run a membership site is the amount of work it takes and the time that must be invested in this daily/weekly/monthly (although, of course, there are other ways to make it work, such as drip content, giving access to already published products, or else);
- I now have much more practical info to share than I could a year or 2 ago. I’m now being a real location independent online business owner, doing what I love, living the laptop lifestyle, traveling while working, giving new things a try and learning from the mistakes, and just moved to my dream location too – Amsterdam, Netherlands. So I can now publish super specific and practical posts, from how exactly I’m making money from the blog and what it takes to move to one of the best cities in the world and still not live expensively, to how to make going to Thailand for a few weeks possible, a step-by-step guide to creating a podcast episode, etc. I believe that information is worth being charged for (a small amount of money, of course), as it means I’m giving people the exact steps to take and things not to do in order to get exactly where I am in life;
- I want to invest more time in that type of content, meaning long-form posts and hours of energy, and make sure only those who care get to read it. Such content is premium and those who become members of the site can enjoy it;
- I’ll be creating a community by doing this, giving direct access to myself, opening a forum in the future;
- I was going to write about the original and top topics the blog is made for, without the newly added ones (as it has grown since then and covers health, finance, travel, startups, and more side subjects for the general audience);
- I was gonna restrict access to some of the old but gold articles in the archives and thus offer them to members only;
- I had the welcome page prepared, together with a completely new menu, site structure, and other details, ready for those who subscribe for the premium version of the site;
- I was gonna welcome them with a whole library of free stuff (after which they would get to read new, fresh, informative articles weekly) – there was a big bonus eBook (which I’m gonna publish soon), a page with Guides, where I was going to add a new one monthly (you can now see a new menu tab and when you click on it you’ll find out some free action guides. I’ll still be adding a new one monthly, and the ones that take more work and time will be paid);
- I was going to create audio content and other types of products specially for subscribers in the future;
- I had also prepared 5 of my best books from the book store free for members.
I did invest hours in the research part, and tens of hours more into creating the content for members, preparing things for the first few people that join, choosing a membership software, etc.
Why It Didn’t Work Out?
I believe every project should begin like that – by putting enough thought, creative energy and time in it way before you actually launch.
But it wasn’t until I finally paid for the membership platform, installed it and started playing with it, that I realized I wasn’t ready for this business project.
That day was more than 2 weeks ago, I was just saying bye to my parents who came to visit me in Amsterdam for NYE, and sat at Starbucks at Schiphol Airport to do this. I love the atmosphere there and felt inspired.
So I paid around $100 for the membership plugin, activated it, and started preparing the payment system, checking out the settings, creating the new pages for subscribers, restricting access to them, and so on.
Then, around 5 days later I still hadn’t launched it. I realized that a membership site is a harder thing than what it looks like. I wanted to start creating the content for members already, but there’s so much more to be done, and so many new things come up all the time.
I started having doubts about this.
Then, my site went down, many times and for longer periods. That was quite depressing as it means some clients my not reach out for sponsored posts opportunities, Google will immediately notice this and it will be bad for the site’s reputation, and readers will be seeing a homepage that isn’t loading, which is awful.
So I contacted my hosting provider, Bluehost, and discussed this. I wasn’t sure what the problem was, but turns out (and I knew that already) that I’ve got too many applications added to the site (plugins, some of which are quite big like WooCommerce, a podcast plugin, and tons of content) and it just couldn’t handle something new that’s as big as membership software.
Which led me to do further research on the next step I needed to take to grow LRS and take it to the next level.
But just like I needed to get the pro version of shared hosting a year ago because of the growth in the traffic, so do I now need to try VPS (virtual private server) hosting to have greater optimization and more storage.
Basically, I’ll now have a dedicated server to manage my files and data which will provide greater user experience and make the site load faster and perform better. Also, I’ll get more than enough RAM, bandwidth and security.
In addition, I’ll be able to install any application I want to the site, no matter how big it is, and be sure there will be no down time. And if a post goes viral or I have thousands of people landing on the site at the same time due to another good reason, it won’t go down and will load immediately.
That’s exactly what Let’s Reach Success needs.
Then, of course, I’ll be able to successfully run a powerful membership site. But I still don’t think the timing is right and that I’m ready to do it. So that’s something I’m leaving behind for now.
What’s Next for LRS?
All the content I publish, the premium theme I got, the design I tackle all the time, and more – all that is for the reader.
My main goal is the ultimate reader experience, cause this is a blog before anything else (like a book store, or business, or brand).
That’s why there’s no side bar, no ads, a progress bar to let you see how much is left from the article you’re reading, etc.
My focus will now be more on optimization, but the type of optimization visitors don’t need to know about.
That means better hosting, higher performance, speed, domain authority, and of course – good content as content is king.
So, that’s what’s down the road and it’s hard work for someone like me who’s not tech-savvy.
I’ll be investing more money in all this, obviously. But I’m at the point where I need to spend more money in order to earn more too, if you know what I mean.
With this post, I wanted to show you that it’s okay to leave some projects behind. Don’t feel bad about it. You still learn a ton of stuff while working on it, and there’s a certain amount of wisdom in knowing how to let go of something and focus on what matters more right now.
PS, the membership platform I used was MemberPress. It’s a super quality product, and I got the license and it worked well. It’s just that my site was overwhelmed with too many other big plugins already and had a ton of content. Otherwise, it would have worked perfectly.
I highly recommend this plugin though. And believe me, I read so much and checked the features of all possible membership plugins. That’s the one considered #1 by many experts, like in this review by Chris Lema.
And imagine my surprise when I contacted the team to ask for return and explained my situation saying that I just won’t be using the product right now. Spencer, the actual creator, cancelled my subscription in a few hours and I received my money back in PayPal. He also wrote a super positive email saying he’s sorry for the issue I encountered and that he hopes to hear from me again in the future when I’m ready to have a membership site.
That’s what I call customer service, and I believe the software companies that succeed in the long-run are the ones run by people like him.
So, if you’re looking for something like that, make sure you check out MemberPress.
Let me know what you think about the whole membership thing I tried, the hosting idea, and the vision for LRS in the future in the comments below. I truly wanna hear your thoughts.