Even after seven years of selling my software, there are still days when I feel like I’m a fraud and have no idea what I’m doing. Those feelings are never more real than on days when I don’t make a sale. I’m lucky that they’re now few and far between compared to when I was just starting out, but when they do happen, they scare the hell out of me.
It’s hard to notice that your sales are down until they’ve already been down for a while. I’ll catch myself reviewing the day’s numbers and realize not only did nothing come through today, but it’s been a full thirty-six hours since I made a sale.
My mind immediately starts worrying. I’ll first double-check that my website hasn’t had any downtime and then walk through my checkout process to make sure all the moving parts are still connected together. Sometimes I’ll even run a few test transactions. If I’m still worried, I’ll pull out my credit card and make a real purchase. It’s only after I successfully confirm my infrastructure is working that I really start to get paranoid and impostor syndrome sets in.
I start to wonder: Is this it? Have I run out of customers? Is the app no longer working and people just aren’t telling me? Has everyone finally figured out that my app really is worthless? Have they determined I’m a fraud for even attempting to sell my software?
It’s crazy, but all those thoughts – no matter how fleeting – really do cross my mind. I’ll have to step back, take a breath, and tell myself that, no, nothing’s wrong. You just happened to have a day where no one bought your app.
I think the problem has only compounded itself now that I rely on my app income to support my family. Back when my sales were just extra income there was no real reason to worry about down days. But having a family changes all that. It adds pressure you didn’t expect.
But, then, a few hours will go by and a new sale comes through. I exhale. Everything’s fine again.
I’ve gone through this doubting/worrying process enough to know that it will always pass. I’ve found it helps to reflect back on all that I’ve accomplished with my business these last seven years. It also helps to have friends in the industry you can talk to and bounce ideas off of. There’s so much to learn about running your own software company. Learning that zero sales days are going to happen and then learning how to deal with them and avoid them is just part of the process.