December 1


Staying Motivated for the Daily Grind & Why You Need ‘Self-Marketing’

As an entrepreneur, you have one job: conjure a working, profitable business out of thin air.

It's not an easy thing to do and that's why you have to embrace The Grind and you have to hustle...

But while most of us can work hard in short bursts, how can you stick with it for the long run? When the excitement of starting a new business has worn off, how do you keep motivated for the day-to-day work?

That's what we're answering in today's video...​


Motivation, Discipline & Self-Marketing

Here's a link to more details about what I mean when I mention The Grind. The post also provides some real-life proof that this concept works.

Even if you haven't thought of it like that before, "self marketing" is something you already do.

Think about the different ways you frame and "sell" things to yourself.​ Which ones are effective, leading you to take action right away? Which ones are ineffective, making you want to crawl up and hide instead of taking action?

Let me know about some examples of self-marketing in your life by leaving a comment below!​

Shane's Signature

About  Shane Melaugh

I'm the founder of ActiveGrowth and Thrive Themes and over the last years, I've created and marketed a dozen different software, information and SaaS products. Apart from running my business, I spend most of my time reading, learning, developing skills and helping other people develop theirs. On ActiveGrowth, I want to help you become a better entrepreneur and product creator. Read more about my story here.

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  • Copywriting in any kind including: writing recording seminar webinar….are the most valuable goods I can buy from myself! Everything else is flirting!


    • Yes, I agree that copywriting is an extremely valuable skill. In part because it’s so damn hard to master. It’s one of those things that 99% of people give up on before they reach a level of competence.


  • Andy Iskandar says:

    Hey Shane,

    Yup, the hardest sale to make sometimes is to myself. High amount of resistance and inertia to overcome.

    By the way, I thought you wanted to practice writing more?? ;)


    • Hi Andy,

      I hope the latest podcast episode contains some useful pointers for that.

      I’m still writing, but that doesn’t mean every other medium is off limits. :)


  • I keep a To Do list in a Notepad file on my desktop. But I also write out a daily list every single night for my plan for the next morning. I do the items on my To Do list long term, but I make sure I have a plan for my day every single day when I wake up. Without this kind of discipline it’s too easy to drift and goals are missed.

    Shane, thanks. I enjoy all of your stuff.



    • That’s an awesome method, Brad. I’ve also found that to-do items go “stale” quite quickly. An old to-do list is pretty much pointless, but a fresh one can be very useful.


  • Absolutely Shane. I couldn’t agree more. Must be the ‘Irish’ in us!


  • Great timing! Did a quick inventory on this life and it was clear that while incredibly disciplined in some areas (spirituality, iceman training – … Business wise I need improvement! Where’s the action on the daily publishing of value? Sigh. Anyway and however, making my list of the first 50 subjects to publish… And I see you posted this. I’ll try headlines on my whiteboard daily till I find the key selling value for this action figure. Nice reframe!


    • Thanks, Mark! It’s always an ongoing thing. Even if what you try next doesn’t quite hit the mark, you can always adjust and try again.


  • Shane,

    Great post.

    I agree with you that a key skill is reframing.

    However, IMHO, there may be a bit more to it for some people (i.e., reframing, or self-marketing, is necessary but not sufficient).

    With your permission, I may post a blog article on this in the next few days (referencing your original posts of course).

    (I am in the process of rekindling my moribund blogging, and your observations are timely and useful contributions I would love to build upon.)

    Thanks in advance,

    Trevor Mc.


    • Hi Trevor,

      Yeah, I’d be interested in seeing your thoughts on this in more detail.


  • Vic Yamauchi says:

    Great video Shane! But now I have a ‘bone’ to pick with you…..

    You posted the video on YouTube and not Wistia. On one of your blog posts that I read last night, you said to take care NOT to use YT for reasons including being banned overnight without notice, even after being sure not to violate their terms.

    Have you changed your view on using YT? If so, can you talk about your thought process on this please.


    • To be honest I love YouTube and I really dislike Wistia… For ONE simple reason: Wistia videos don’t allow you to change the playback speed. Meaning I have to use extensions to download the video file locally and then playback with VLC media player with increased speed. With YouTube videos, you can click the gear icon right in the embedded video and double the playback speed, which makes me much more likely to actually listen to the whole thing.


    • Hello Vic,

      My stance on YouTube vs. Wistia has not changed. YouTube videos do not belong to you, will have ads overlayed on them, try to get people away from your site and can disappear from one moment to the next, without warning or reason.

      YouTube is also a potential traffic source, so you can post unimportant videos (i.e. videos that aren’t critical to your business) there in an attempt to generate traffic.


  • One of the reasons people are unwilling to be in the grind, because they want quick closure now.

    The culture is result oriented, and the grind isn’t. You can’t be successful in the grind, whether it is self-imposed skill training, or the daily actions you need to take to create long term success, you can’t be successful at the actions if your eyes are on the prize… and not on what you are doing.

    So, for me, the biggest challenge, and the most frequent theme of self-marketing is to take my eyes off the result I hope for, and keep focusing on excellence in the moment: putting all power in all my actions.

    Of course, the actions are predetermined with the big picture view, so I don’t repeat useless actions that don’t do anything… ever.

    And in addition to this, some 20 years ago I made a declaration: “there is no way I am going to be anything less than magnificent” which is a way to say: not ordinary, not common, not like everyone else.

    It’s been working, although I have to have a weekly call with someone who listens well, to straighten myself, true myself, and have a week’s worth of energy to continue with the grind.

    In my business, results for the customer are rare… and not quite up to me… so even staying in the game, without bitterness is a self-marketing job.


    • Very well said, Sophie. I love the systems and self marketing you have, with a weekly call etc. Really good stuff!


  • I have zero self-discipline skill and my retention levels are about as low as anyone I have ever met. I have a huge thirst for knowledge and when you combine all of that I know a little about many topics. Many would refer it to a Jack of all Trades and yes that does mean of course Master of none.

    Still looking for the answer to that and I have tried many things like to do lists, timers, written notes etc…I just get bored with those as well. May be someday I will find that moment of truth when I actually get on with something.


    • Hi Enda,

      I can offer you two reframes that might help. The first is to simply redirect your thirst for knowledge: just as you can skip along the surface-level of many different topics, you can skip along as you go deep in one specific area.

      I think it’s the greatest misconception that learning a little of many different things is “interesting” (because different things = variety) and specializing on one thing is “boring” (no variety). In reality, the most fascinating and mind-boggling things are almost always layers deep. When you go deep on one thing, you upgrade your mind and perception. You start seeing things at a higher resolution, in that area.

      Think of a musician, who hears nuances and details in music that are completely lost to most listeners. With this richer perception, you start encountering and appreciating things on a completely different level than what you could ever get from surface-level skipping.

      Going deep also doesn’t have to be slower or harder than skipping along the surface. It’s really just a change of direction.

      Secondly, a really powerful reframe for me is to look at things through the perspective of “what kind of a person do I want to be?”

      A typical example is exercise: I don’t always feel like exercising, but I want to be the kind of person who exercises and stays in good shape. And I damn sure don’t want to be the kind of person who constantly makes excuses and is in bad health as a result. That’s a very strong motivator for me.


  • Well well, look who’s back …in an unusual pink striped setting?

    One of the most effective frames I tried recently is the trained assassin frame.
    Works great for me (well, I made it up), but it requires a great deal of imagination and the ability to “stay” in the frame.

    Basically, you have to imagine you are an undercover military operative. The mission is [insert whatever goal you want to prioritize]. If you fail, ANOTHER assassin will kill you first.

    That’s it.

    If you do everything in that mindset, you sense of priorities and your discipline take a major shift. It’s a lot more exciting too, even repetitive daily tasks are part of the mission, every little step is part of putting a bullet in the other guy’s brain, and making sure he doesn’t put one in yours.

    This probably won’t work for most women. For guys though, it can be effective and exciting. It turns on the survival instinct, the predator, it and recruits more mental resources, but in an invigorating rather then stressful way.


    • Hi Lorenzo,

      Haha, that’s an awesome method! Very creative. :)

      I think this can be cool as well in a kind of “what would James Bond do?” way. You can model your actions based on an imaginary badass.


  • Staying motivated when there is no immediate challenge is definitely difficult. I think one of the reasons many of us go out on our own is so that we can pick and choose our challenges. Unfortunately, we don’t always realise that there can be some time between these challenges.

    By the way, I just watched the video case study which you have as your opt in offer.I can’t believe I’d never seen it. It is outstanding and I have gained tremendous value from it as I move into a year where I will be lauching a few training products. Thanks for sharing.

    Paul has a great interview technique too.


    • Thank you for your comment! Very happy to hear that you are getting value out of my content. :)


  • Thanks for the beautifully presented video. No doubt an alchemy of self discipline and self belief go hand in glove in reaching the level of success marketers like you now enjoy.

    I’m convinced that discipline in and of itself is not enough though, especially on today’s web where it is easier to set up websites with attractive themes and widgets but just as hard (if not harder to build an audience and gain traction.

    These days successful marketers usually have a full knowledge bucket of artistic soft skills e.g. copywriting, graphics, wordpress and data science skills like A/B testing, performance metrics, to complement inner resolve.

    Sure most of these skills can be outsourced for a fee but these fees can easily become monthly cuts that can sting.

    No one, to my knowledge has actually created a viable mind map strategic marketing plan that incorporates line items for getting an online business up and running at USD 1,000, USD 2,500 and USD 5,000 for blogging, niche marketing, ecommerce, Product Creation and PPC (the five pillar business models).

    Seems to me self discipline, self belief, clear strategic planning, constrained monthly budgeting are virtuous reinforcing actions like a pistons firing correctly in a gasoline
    powered car.

    Or am I missing something?


    • Hi Harold,

      I agree that what you describe applies to many bootstrappers (specifically those who build the entire business by themselves). And I’d say I’m quite biased towards this “do everything yourself” approach as well. But there are really countless ways to go about it and it is possible, for example, to use good management, recruiting and outsourcing skills as the basis of almost everything in growing a business. I think that’s even possible on quite a small budget.


  • Setting a work schedule & not letting any distractions interfere is the biggest issue for many of us I am sure. Procrastination is not my friend as it is so easy to keep putting that new blog post up or interact on a forum in my niche.


    • Hi Danielle,

      Yes, that’s a big struggle for anyone self-employed, I believe. It’s one of those challenges that can easily lead to failure, but if you manage to overcome it, you’re all the stronger for it.


  • Using the idea of compassion is a great motivator for many people, me included. That is; the action I’m taking, the product I’m making, the business I’m building, I’m doing it more for the benefit of others than I am for my own benefit.

    To put a little interpretation on that; if I quit, I’m letting down many people, not just me. For many people, the idea of helping others and not letting them down is a greater driver than doing something for one’s self.

    There are many examples in life of the motivational effects of compassion.


    • Yes, I really like that perspective, Randal. I have the same thing and I almost always attach my goals to something that benefits other people as well.


  • Very thoughtful stuff Shane. I like the way you frame things, that you’re introspective enough to know you fear being average. Me too, but I’ve never actually put it into words. Interesting. I’m going to keep that active in my thoughts today.


    • Thanks for your comment, Gin! I’m happy to know that this post stimulated some new ideas for you. :)


  • The wisdom that flows out of you Shane is quite amazing! You truly are different in so many wonderful ways. You make me think and re-think and again test myself to be better. Your earned wisdom is truly valuable and worthy of continual sharing ( or preaching, as I am one of those!) God bless you Shane! -JC


  • “No” is an option in business. I will “pounce” and work it until I get the results I am wanting. It takes patience and is nerve-testing. I have my ups and down, but the next thing I know, I’m back working my business again. I think it’s persistence, willpower, and tenacity. I was a competitive bodybuilder for a few years, we learn persistence very quickly.


    • Thanks for your comment, Louise! Yes, persistence is definitely key and I agree that bodybuilding, weight lifting or really any kind of athletic pursuit is a great way to practice and strengthen this kind of willpower and discipline.


      • Hi Shane – we connect mind to mind and eye to eye on this approach.

        This is what people need to hear and quite frankly, you do remind them about this often… which at the end of the day, we both know, it’s a way of life we chose.

        Let’s take for instance, actors in a movie, like Dustin Hoffman. Do you remember “Rain Man?” He convinced us he was someone affected with autistism. Was he convincing enough for you? He jumped into this character and became that. Dustin had a script and stepped into this character until he became that….even he was convinced of it (which, as you know, is key.) He was so good in convincing us… he won an Oscar.

        That is how it works doesn’t it? Separating the man or woman warrior from the boys and girleezzz. As you know, these principle of life is something we choose to live by. It is a way of live…. and you, you my dear soul friend, you offer us the perfect tools and education to reach our goal. Isn’t that the truth?

        With your teaching I have reached the level of satisfaction for my website…although my perfectionism tendency is not satisfied, I have to let it go now, and offer my first product. Finally! hahaha

        We gotta laugh at ourselves… we take everything we do so seriously… well I chilled on that one because of your teaching and sharing.

        Thank you for your teaching, your input, sharing your experience and “shame”, Whoopsies you do and we do. So much power and compassion in there.

        Thank you for being real and being you. I am so happy to have my website from you. What a blessing.

        Question: I am parked with GoDaddy. Would you have any input to share about GoDaddy as a parking place for optimum website performance.

        Thank you Shane, seriously, thank you for being you.

  • Hey Shane,
    you got me smiling with your video, THank you for talking straight and doing great work at least IMHO


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