How do you deal with low self-esteem days?

Piotr Gaczkowski
9 replies
I've touched this topic on Twitter and Makerlog before, but I'm curious to learn how other makers approach it. From time to time, I get feelings of low self-esteem and doubts. My products might be progressing towards the goal, but I'm not sure whether they are the right products, whether they will sell, and whether I am able to market them. At these times, I feel the entire hustle might not be worth it and it's probably a waste of my resources. Will you share your experience with this feeling and how you cope?


Caroline Chiari
I've been working on Koupi for a while, I can't seem to get users, or even traffic to my website. Every day I tell myself that Koupi is a waste of time, maybe just a portfolio project, and I should just stop. The way I see it is Koupi is a one person project. I never learned this at school. I studied physics in college. I never had any real, formal computer science education (a few classes audited here and there). But I built fully functional product that would make my life so much easier if I could use it at my work. I worked too hard to give up. When I started, I didn't have the skills necessary to get me to where I am today, but now I do. Right now, I don't have the skills to get me to where I want to be (marketing & sales), but I've got to work on it. Every day, I have to be better. Not the best, just better. Building a company is a marathon, not a sprint. I'm a sprinter. The only way to finish is to tell yourself that once you climbed that, or made that turn, you won't even remember how unsurmountable it looked when it was a right ini front of you. I think the most important mechanism I have to deal with low self-esteem is to look back at where I was. How hard the challenges ahead were, how tough it all looked, and tell myself: you already did the impossible, how hard can everything else really be? I hope that helps!
@caroline_chiari I feel like giving up every day and that we've picked the wrong market, not niche focused enough, it's really difficult to stay focused
Caroline Chiari
@sendpilot1 Another thing I do is step back and take a break. Right now, I'm focusing most of my time on building my personal brand (blogging, youtube, social media etc.). It's a worthy investment for both myself and my company (and any future idea I may have), and it allows me to stop the spiral of negative thoughts towards Koupi.
Piotr Gaczkowski
@caroline_chiari Thanks for sharing this. I think I can relate. Marketing and sales are probably the toughest things to learn for me. Is there anything we can do to help you with your product?
Henry Zhang
I've found that when i feel like that, it helps to talk to someone who supports you. A lot of the time it feels like i wasn't getting far enough fast enough, but other people will often tell you otherwise. If you have a team, I also find it helps me remember the faith i have in them and their abilities. That being said, low self-esteem days always suck the most!
Piotr Gaczkowski
@henry_zhang3 Thanks, I agree that talking with someone supportive is a great help. Too bad I learned about this so late!
Valerie Fenske
Hi Piotr, I think it's all about balance. A lot of work leads to quite a lot of expectations, which may not turn into the reality. So here I usually rely on data and analytics. Before jumping on any activity, I also say to myslef "if I fail, I will have not "a fail" but "the lesson learnt", Good retrospective session is a miracle. And yes, working with emotions was the hardest part of my journey. But the result is - I have fewer and fewer days when I'm not content with myself
Piotr Gaczkowski
@valeryfenskaya great suggestions about "the lesson learned". Even though I plan my products as experiments (if I fail, I'll have much more knowledge than I had before), sometimes emotions take over and rational perspective is lost.