Entrepreneurship, Self-Doubt, And Celebrating Small Wins

Shane Dutka

In this post, I want to talk about being an entrepreneur, dealing with self-doubt, and the importance of celebrating small wins.

I’ll be honest… even still with the success I’ve been fortunate to have had, I still have many days where self-doubt creeps in and kicks me down.

I just hit the 250 subscriber mark on YouTube, and it feels good.

It feels like progress.

But at the same time, there were many days where I just wanted to delete the channel and give up on it.

It felt like a waste of time wondering to myself, “who the heck would even want to watch this stuff?”

This got me thinking a lot about the emotional fortitude you need to succeed as an entrepreneur.

Being an entrepreneur is just plain hard.

I would argue it’s unnatural to want to put yourself through such a prolonged state of stress and uncertainty.

The thing is…

Aspiring entrepreneurs get bombarded with success story after success story and get demotivated when they don’t see results right away, but important work takes time.

You need to play the long time.

Rome wasn’t built in a day… and as the old saying goes, it takes years to become an overnight success.

There really isn’t anything to prepare you for the journey.

The best thing I can think of and what has helped me many times over the years is celebrating small wins when they come.

Small wins are the bricks that lay the foundation for big success.

I still remember my first true customer from the bow tie shop I started back in 2016.

I figured bow tie wearers love bow ties so much they might be into a bow tie subscription. So I shot a few photos of my bow ties and slapped up a product page on my website.

A few weeks went by with no sales.

Maybe six weeks went by after I put up the sales page, I woke up to an email notification, “Subscription Product Purchased $13/month”

My wife and I literally wrote the customer (his name was Mike) a handwritten card thanking him for taking a chance on our small online shop.

Every single month I expected him to cancel his subscription and ask for a refund, but he never did.

Now $13 isn’t game-changing money, but it felt good to have had an idea, implemented it, and achieved a result from it, no matter how small.

And with that, I laid a brick building the foundation for what was to come.

A few weeks later, one bow tie became five bow ties, and I celebrated that new milestone.

Soon after, I hit ten simultaneous bow tie subscriptions.

Brick by brick, small wins adding up over time.

For my pest site… I remember when I made my first $100 bucks in a month. I told my wife, my dad, my best friend. It felt good. It was motivating.

Even though I built a fully “white hat” blog creating quality content and building relevant links, the self-doubt crept in, and I fully expected Google to penalize my site for some reason, and I would fail.

But $100 turned into $1,000, and then $10,000.

You have to revel in those moments.

Celebrate them.

Let those small victories energize you as you reflect back on how you went from idea to implementation to result.

Brick by brick.

I look back now, and if it weren’t for my bow tie site, I wouldn’t have had the experience to have built my pest control site the way I did.

I needed to have built a small niche bow tie site for the pest site to have happened.

It’s a long road, but by just playing the game, whether it’s SEO/blogging, e-commerce, YouTube, physical retail, whatever.

By just being in it, you give yourself a chance for good things to happen.

So stay in it, celebrate the small wins, and build the future you want to have.

You’ll get there.