Mindset · · 2 min read

When to quit

One of our YouTube viewers recently asked,

"At what point is it time to stop creating content due to lack of audience-niche fit? I have several niches in mind, so I was curious to know how long it will take to validate the idea or what metrics to look out for."

This question ties into another question I am frequently asked when people see my historical P&Ls:

"How did you keep going in 2019 after your revenue decreased?"

My answer is always the same: I didn't view failure as an option.

I had no idea how long it would take to make things work, and I didn't really care – I was going to do what it took, no matter how long it took.

Granted, this perspective was easy to have in my 20s, when I had almost no obligations and could live very cheaply. But I do believe that if you think giving up is an option, you won't work as hard to crack the code.

I know it's hard to have faith when you're spending a lot of time creating things and aren't seeing any return on that effort. But audience-content fit can be validated by looking outside of your own content, too – are other creators finding an audience with similar subject matter? If so, that's validation of interest.

If your work isn't getting attention, it probably means you need to spend less time making and more time marketing. Find where your ideal audience is already hanging out and make yourself a useful, appreciated part of that community (in a broad sense).

When I spoke to Nathan Barry about the early days of ConvertKit, he had a moment where he almost gave up. His mentor asked him two questions:

  1. Do you still want this?
  2. If so, have you done everything in your power to make this successful?

That second question haunts me. How often do we truly do everything in our power to make something successful? How often are we reaching out to friends 1:1 and asking them to share something we made? Or even just for feedback?

We want to hit publish and have people flock to us, but that's not how it works. Finding traction is hard, and it's on YOU to get in front of the audience you're trying to attract. Discovery platforms help, but you can do more.

Recommended: How to keep going ↗

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