BRENT STOLLER

Writer. Advice giver. Peanut butter and chocolate enthusiast.

The Staircase of Success

For some people, success comes in bursts.

They get a sudden promotion, or they have an article go viral, or they have a business opportunity explode. And just like that, their results are turbocharged.

For others, success comes more incrementally.

They take one step, then another , and then another, like they’re climbing a staircase. And if they’re smart, they don’t take too long a break on the next landing.

It’s important to note that success doesn’t come easier to one group over the other, and it doesn’t come for free; it just happens at different rates — as long as each person is willing to put in the work.

At least, that’s what I’ve been trying to convince myself of today, as I fall in the latter category.

My path toward success has been a staircase littered with far too many landings.

As a writer, my goal is not only to improve my writing skills — which I’ve been focusing on by publishing every day — but to build an audience.

And as I’ve learned from the experts, the best way to do that is to build a subscriber email list.

That’s a more challenging task, because at some point, it’s out of my control.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it sign up for your website.

To keep me on task, I added an extension to Google Chrome that allows me to set a targeted goal of subscribers. Every time I open a new browser tab, the extension displays that goal, set against the number of current subscribers I have.

There’s no ambiguity about where I am and where I need/want to go.

Over the last little bit, it’s been fun to see that “Current Subscribers” number steadily tick up. Actually, it’s been more than fun; it’s been validating.

But this morning, after a couple days away, I optimistically opened my browser — only to see that that number had gone down.

Two steps up; one step down.

Thankfully, it wasn’t by much. But I still felt its impact. I’ve had enough of an issue with standing still; I don’t need to ratchet up the degree of difficulty by moving backward.

But after absorbing the punch and trying to laugh it off, it hit me that there was only one thing I could do to make the situation (and myself feel) better:

Open a new tab and write this article.

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This originally appeared on 100 Naked Words.

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