When Going Uphill, Downshift!

When going uphillHave you ever experienced tailing a heavy-loaded truck in an uphill climb? Worse, the climb is in a curve you can’t overtake the truck? That’s so nasty not only for you, but also to the truck driver.

There were even stories of truck drivers losing their control or their machines giving up because of the climb. Lucky for those who were able to avert accident and just their machines going under repair.

Sometimes I imagine what it would be like to drive such trucks, hauling heavy cargoes in long distances. And although I haven’t driven myself a heavy-loaded truck, I know the inner workings on the driver’s perspective.

It’s not an easy work.

I Almost Given Up With My Machine


I don’t have an idea how heavy your load is, but one thing is for sure, we are all heavy-loaded.

During my worst downed moments, I even thought of killing myself or committing a suicide. The reason that thought got a chance in my mind is because, I envied those people who are already dead—it seems they are now free from problems.

Broken Engine

Thankfully, my loving mother got my back and encouraged me to get up.

The business has gone down to its lowest point, and unlike those countries where someone could just declare bankruptcy to escape creditors, in my country there’s no such escape route.

But my mother was so diligent in encouraging me. He even reminded me that the thought of committing suicide is of evil and will land me in hell. Funny thing is, I was afraid of hell since childhood, I don’t wanna be there so I picked myself up.

In Proverbs 1:8 the Lord said…

“Hear, my son, your father’s instruction AND do not forsake your mother’s teaching.”

Moments of Introspection


“How did I landed in this situation?”Moments of introspection

“What principle or belief that got me here in the first place?”

Those were the questions in my mind while sitting in silence tears dripping down my face.

I realized, there’s no one to blame but me. It is wrong to blame the problematic electricity our town has, that if it weren’t for them, I would have made more money with my online business.

I started an online business to augment my offline business needs.

It is also wrong to blame the market, and to blame anyone else. As a business owner, I should take responsibility for the failures I got. This wouldn’t be here if I have not made personal mistakes.

Thankfully, I got my mother and this mind that seems being empowered by our Big Boss up there in Heaven. Thanks a lot I’m still able to think, as there are a lot of people out there taking disastrous actions hastily without even thinking.

When Going Uphill, Downshift!


What happened to me may happen to many of you out there so let me warn you not to commit the same mistake.

In the beginning of this blog post, I mentioned about heavy-loaded trucks going uphill. There’s big reason why they move very slow as they climb.

To be able to pull the load up the hill, the engines run faster but the gear ratio is lower and the speed is slower. However, the power is greater—enough for the truck to climb and get to the other side of the hill.

When going uphill, downshift!

This was my mistake:

The first time I got a financial challenge, instead of downshifting, I did the opposite.

After taking out the money in a business loan that’s beyond my capacity to pay, I allocated a portion of it and invested in an online income program that I thought will accelerate my income production.

You know, those online income opportunities that promise a lot of potential, pays weekly, but charge fixed amount monthly as system fee. Good if you can generate huge income in short span of time as the system will be paid by itself. Bad if you are not able to generate quick income as you will find yourself obligated to pay them monthly even if you’re not making money.

This happens every day with people in haste of making money online. Worst, aside from the cost of maintaining your “supposed to be money-making system”, the only way to generate income as per suggested is by buying solo ads!

Buying Solo Ads

Conclusion


That was my mistake. Instead of taking that high-flying adventure that depleted my cash faster than ordinary, I should have taken caution with the remaining cash from my loan.

Instead of accelerating my speed (as I thought it will help), I should have done the opposite—downshift.

There’s a huge tendency for risk-takers like me, when faced with a similar challenge, to be driven by emotion more than by rational thinking. Sometimes, overconfidence can do harm than good.

Always remember, you’re in business, you’re not playing a Casino game. When on the brink of losing money, don’t bet higher. When faced with such challenge in business, that’s the time to be careful in your thinking and making decisions.

When the going gets tough, cut costs and put your eggs in a safe basket. Don’t think high-speed, get-rich-quick sounding programs gonna pick you up. They might drain your cash faster.

Invest in a solid business, a business that’s both low in investment and risk, and a business that has a sure or ready market.

27 Comments

  1. Pentrental

    Though I am sorry to hear of the challenges you’ve faced I can say that you have created a solid analogy here, comparing personal matters to downshifting a semi while going uphill. Over-confidence definitely can be a detriment to any young entrepreneur out there, so I appreciate you bringing awareness to this very sensitive issue. Creating relatable material especially for those who may be struggling is very commendable. I applaud your effort here and I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts. Well done!

    • Gomer

      They said, experience is the best teacher. But when you can learn from the mistakes of others, why commit the mistakes yourself and incur yourself a damage? The smarter way to learn is by learning from the mistakes of others. We can’t live long enough to make all the mistakes in this world just to learn.

      I have started this blog with that purpose of sharing my experiences with others. I hope you guys find these helpful. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment. God bless!

  2. Alblue

    I can somehow relate with you. I was blinded with an online business opportunity once and it took a lot of my saving, but unfortunately, the business is a scam. This is because of a hasty decision and desire to get rich quick. Now i’ve learnt my lesson and keep it low. Your analogy about the truck going uphill is very good. It’s slow but have enough power to bring the load to the peak. Now I also going slower but gaining some traction to my online business consistently. Thanks for sharing your story.

  3. Mark

    The first thing that caught my eye here was the truck, since that’s what I used to do before I became a writer and affiliate marketer. I can totally relate to the struggle of going up a hill with a total weight approaching 80k lbs. But all that aside, your mother gave you some very valuable advise. Once you’ve taken your life, you can’t go back and undo that. It might put an end to some of the human problems you have right now, but it’ll create a bunch of new ones for your family and leave a hole in their hearts that will probably leave your soul more restless and miserable than you ever were in life.

    As I always remind myself, life is hard. It always has been and always will be. I’m not entitled to a life free from struggle, no matter how much I hate it. My only solution is to keep pushing and endeavor to make myself stronger and more resilient, so I can power through life’s problems as they pop up. It won’t be pretty, but it’ll feel good inside each time a challenge is conquered and that’s worth more than its weight in gold. Besides, if you think long and hard about these problems, there’s always a thing or two that you could do, that for whatever reason you still haven’t. If nothing else, just pushing through these situations makes you stronger and proves to you that you’re made of better stuff than you probably thought you were.

    • Gomer

      That’s what I’m thinking now. If I get through these, I will emerge a stronger person. There’s a song that says, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”.

      Thanks for pointing it out, that we are not entitled to a life free from struggle. Every thing here on Earth has its own struggles, including us, humans. That’s the result of our first parents (Adam and Eve) committing sin, the world got into this mess. What we ought to do now is, become tougher and smarter.

      To others out there who are tempted to take short cuts because they think the shiny opportunities will really take them out from the rut, they are mistaken. Those were just packaging installed by the sellers of the opportunities, for you to get attracted. Instead of you making money, they will suck money from you. So, be careful about that.

  4. Ray

    At first, I was not going to leave a comment when I started reading but then decided that everyone should be listened to regardless of the way their message comes across.

    I’m glad I read your entire post because in many ways it makes more sense than many that I have reviewed.  in the past.

    Life and business are never clear sailing. It’s the people who persevere and learn from their mistakes who will ultimately be successful. I believe you are such a person. You have your priorities straight, and that means a lot in life and business. Nothing in life or business comes easily.

    People who fail in business are usually the ones who think they can get rich without putting in the effort. There are no shortcuts in getting up the hills of life. There is no way to speed your way to the top of the hill. Yes, a thousand times yes, we must bear down and realize that it’s slow and steady that will come out on top.

    You “will” succeed if you never lose sight of this.

    • Gomer

      Thank you for such a good advice, Ray. 

      I guess that’s the correct description of it. Slow and steady.

      Because, businesses that are founded on solid grounds, businesses that are founded on correct principles, take off slow and steady. Perhaps the reason why old folks caution the young ones not to take haste.

      With me now, the struggle is still here, but I can assure you guys I’m more stronger now than last week. A little negotiation with the creditors helped, and operating on only what I have (and not borrow new money) seems helping me get through all of these.

      Thanks for reading, and for leaving your comment. God bless!

  5. MissusB

    Thank you for the inspirational motivation you shared. A lot of times we face challenges that makes us think of the unthinkables. I myself faced financial loss and got no choice but to deal with it step by step. You were right when said that  we have to be careful in making decisions because it’s going to be tough once we go plummeting down with bad outcome. 

    Right now I make myself busy with a small business and do a lot of hardwork to let it grow. You deserve a tap on the shoulder for not giving up and for gaining wisdom amidst the trouble you’ve been through. 

    • Gomer

      I consider your words here as a “tap of my shoulder” though just a virtual version. Thank you. 

      Thanks also for the almighty God up there for giving us wisdom and strength of character. In times like this, when we think He has forsaken us, He’s actually on our side waiting for us to seek His help. 

      Miracles do happen. Life is full of surprises. Just put your trust in Him.

  6. Smart Mzumara

    Hello! Gomer,

    Thank you very much for your inspiring blog posts. Surely, you are writing your life story and know that there are many of us who can relate. I have made the same mistakes you have done but you give very good encouragement not to give up.

    I experienced the online businesses sagas when i was starting. They promised much but could not deliver. Money and time lost. I also would say maybe if I had saved that money, or maybe I should not have started this, maybe..maybe…maybe! No really, God has a plan for you and me.

    Yes, instead of digging ourselves out of debt, we end up digging ourselves deeper because we don’t seek God’s guidance. I have been that way but your article has put me in perspective that I should change and let God lead.

    Romans 28:8 the Bible says “And we know that in all things God….” We may have started our business on a bad note but all will turn out good in the end because you have faith in God.

    Once again, thanks for the inspiring blog.

    Best regards

    Smart

    • Gomer

      Thanks for reading and leaving your comment. And also, thanks for reminding me of that wonderful text in the Bible, it’s so encouraging! (Romans 8:28)

      “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

  7. Dominic

    Powerful advice you’ve given here Gomer. Honestly, I thought this article at first was about how to drive uphill, pardon me for thinking that (I just got my driver’s license so I got elated a bit).

    And by the way, are we soulmates, bro? I also took on debt which I couldn’t pay by using my credit card that has a large credit limit. I spent it on a coach who promised I could make money fast in 6 weeks time. What’s worse, is the method also taught solo ads! It means I was spending money on both training and advertising at the same time WITHOUT determining what it yields in return. I just followed the hype!

    And like you, I was also being impulsive and getting the nudge from self-help gurus who kept emphasizing that “I must take the leap in order to make the big break”. Too bad, I was misinformed at the time I made that investment decision.

    • Gomer

      In my opinion, business models like the one you described here is “immoral”. What makes them immoral?

      They knew first hand that the people they are going to attract are already struggling and have money problems. Or, at least majority of the people that get attracted to their programs are not in the best financial shape of their lives, that’s why they’re searching for a solution. 

      Now, here comes a guru that instead of lifting up the struggling, he milked them. He sucked all the remaining energy from the struggling. Isn’t that immoral?

      That made me realize I should not be with them. I may earn some money, but sooner or later, sadness will follow. When you promote such program, you’re not selling a business program but rather you’re selling your soul!

      I’m sorry for my words, but those are just my opinions. Anyway, now we’re here working in a better platform. I now feel the responsibility of picking up the hands of others, and lead them to a better destination.

  8. Andrew G

    I surely appreciate this today as I’m going through this. I’m sure that many people are going through as well as it is hard to even admit to yourself. I have to come back on payments for things that I’m not able to pay at this time. However, your encouragement and downshifting has encouraged me to pick myself back up. Thank you for this encouraging article.

    • Gomer

      We, online entrepreneurs, sometimes become loaded with too many businesses to manage online. Too many businesses also means, too many costs to pay. 

      What I did with “downshifting” was, I cancelled all other subscriptions except for the hosting of this blog. Even with my AWeber autoresponder, since there aren’t too many subscribers yet, I let it go and prefer to sign up with a free autoresponder provider which is MailChimp. This is what I mean with “downshift”. 

      If you are having a hard time paying too many things online, cancel the unnecessary and maintain only the most important subscription you have to pay, like in my case, my blog hosting.

  9. Sherika

    May you be blessed and prosperous. I appreciate your ability to face life’s challenges inspite of the tremendous odds against you, you are to be commended for your strength to overcome. Ok, now to the article itself.
    1. The concept of the article is great
    2. The comparison you made between the experiences and the operation of the vehicle is good.
    3. You need to check your grammatical constructions – I found a few errors in the article
    You are on the correct path, continue 👍

    • Gomer

      Thanks for the feedback. I will try improve on them especially the grammar issue. It’s good to have other people critique our work, and thank you so much for that. May God bless you too.

  10. Faheem

    Wow, suicidal thoughts. 

    If you think about it, those who commit suicide make a reckless choice based on emotions in a tight situation as well. Horrible to hear someone having to experience that. 

    You know, there’s a fine line between recklesness and a calculated risk. Do your best in doing what you can to get your income in a good way and live as a good man and God won’t abandon you. 

    If you think about it, every day up till now you’ve been alive have been given food and drink your whole life. You haven’t been abandoned. Just put in an effort and try to live righteously and be patient. 

    God willing you won’t be abandoned.

    • Gomer

      I’m so thankful that I am still blessed with a clear mind and of course, a loving mother.

      Thank you too for the encouraging words, for reading this blog post, and leaving a comment here. Your words are enough to power me up, to fight on. May God bless you with your kindness.

  11. lynnsamuelson

    Hi Gomer,

    It sounds like you’ve faced some pretty serious challenges that have given you a great perspective on life. You are fortunate to have a mother who saved you when you were at your lowest point. Faith also helps during challenging times and I can tell you’ve got that too. I’m currently in a situation that’s given me a heavy weight also and it involves an adult child who’s had deep depression and anxiety for the past five years. He’s moved back home with us and we’ve been trying to help him out of it. There have been some dark days and times when I wonder if he’ll ever get out from under. I’ll need to remember this: When going uphill, downshift. Great advice! 

    • Gomer

      Yes, faith is needed. And oftentimes, it is easier to say it in words than to actually have it. It happened to me, the reason I almost lost my sanity of thinking death just to escape my problems and obligations. But then, as you have said, there was a loving mother who comforted me. And she’s one of the means that God has provided me, a way that someone with weak faith would not understand.

      In most instances, God is helping us in a way that He think as the best for us. To most people, they can’t understand it, because most people wanted God to help them in a way they want it. And that’s wrong I think. That’s where the word “God’s will” come into play. His will, not ours.

      With the principle of downshifting, it also applies literally on the financial aspect of doing business. Just like a person who’s going uphill, in mountain climbing, you can’t carry all the things that you want but only those that are needed by yours. As the ascend gets tougher, you will find yourself dropping unnecessary things just to lighten your load. Same with payments, sometimes you have to cancel unnecessary payments. Sometimes, you have to drop unnecessary businesses and maintain only the ones that are really important and generating you revenues.

  12. Henry

    Hey Gomer! I have been following your journey as an affiliate marketer for some time now. I always appreciate your solid points. And there is one you once mentioned directly to me on a comment some time ago. It said “We’re birds flying in V”. This post, with its initial picture of heavy-loaded trucks has done a great service to all of us, fellow entrepreneurs. And I commend you for honestly warning others by talking about your struggles at this present stage.

    I know you’re grateful for that angel (angel in some contexts means messenger) from God that has encouraged you. I’d like to give her a huge hug and say “Thank you” because she has not only helped her son. An evidence that you value her and greatly respect her is the fact you have paid attention to her words of wisdom. Following your initial thought would only worsen the situation. It would literally be jumping out of the frying pan into the fire.

    I’m a Venezuelan and I still live in Venezuela. Most of us (me included) have lost more than 30 pounds because there is not enough food. No medicines, riots (and constant danger in the streets), blackouts in all the country (electric power goes out daily but it has even gone for several days continually) and of course that means no Internet. Devaluation, political agitation and you could confirm what I’m saying because it’s all over the news. I never imagined I would live through something like this. We have lost it all. And during the last couple of years, we constantly tell each other in a cheerful tone (because we Venezuelans are jokers, whatever situation arises) “Things can’t get worse.” 🙂 But, guess what? Yeah, they do get worse, and worse… and worse. And we have started to realize we haven’t touched the bottom yet. Rumors of war and invasion have spread our nation. Jokes have shifted from asking with a burlesque tone “What will you have to eat?” to “Eat something so you’ll have strength for when the invaders’ come.”

    But it’s in this context, where we literally have nothing economically that we realize “a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth” (Luke 12:15). Satisfaction doesn’t have to do with how good was our meal today. Satisfaction comes in accepting God’s gift: “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

    Look, I have been reading your posts and have found great value in your content. Present conditions are adverse, but I have no doubt you’ll establish yourself online. It’s just a matter of time. Every entrepreneur goes through this stage you’re in, and I know you know it from within.

    But it would be a tragedy beyond measures, 

    if you lived your days here surrounded with pleasures,

    having a very comfortable life, 

    eating and drinking whatever you like,

    conforming yourself with the meal that doesn’t fill

    and rejecting the Savior that will.

    God doesn’t want to condemn us but He is just,

    and taking a closer look at our ways, He must.

    But He designed a plan in which He has given His Son,

    He bore the cross, so we could escape and fear none.

    Blessed be any event or circumstance,

    that although adverse, makes us change our stance.

    Having wealth is perfectly fine,

    but don’t be surprise with me this time.

    You could be offered all the wealth in this world.

    You may work hard and actually take hold.

    But if you reject the Savior and Lord,

    that would be the worse scam ever told.

    • Gomer

      That’s profound. Thank you, Henry.

      I read somewhere before, that when you feel like you have a big problem, when you feel depressed, what you need to do is go out and meet other people. See the world around you, go to problematic places where people struggle, and you will see you’re more fortunate than them.

      I hate to say that we’re more fortunate here than the people of Venezuela, what I mean is, just when I thought my world has already crumbled, there you guys fighting for survival. That showed me a perspective of the world, that while I complain, that while I worry about my welfare, there are many others out there who are carrying loads that are actually heavier than mine.

      Again, thanks for the encouraging comment. Keep safe, brother.

      May the Lord protect you and help you guys get over the crisis.

  13. RoDarrick

    Very engaging discourse this was. I appreciate your strength to take risks and despite all challenges, you were able to scrape through. Its very inspiring and worthy of emulation. However, I must commend your comparison of the concept of downshifting to real life situations. It made the article much more enjoyable to read. 

    • Gomer

      Yes, and it applies very well with doing business. 

      When I was confronted by the fear the new liabilities I acquired, I committed a mistake of joining online income programs that are subscribed at a significant amount of money as monthly fees. Good if you are able to sell the membership to others as your commissions will pay for your subscriptions, but bad if you fail to make a sale as you will find yourself paying month after month like $50 to $100 even if you’re not generating an income.

      When climbing uphill as applied to business, one needs to get rid of businesses that are actually liabilities. They are not assets. Liabilities are defined as “something that puts money out of your pocket” while an asset is “something that puts money INTO your pocket”. So, those online businesses that I got that drain me money? I cancelled the subscriptions and stop the loss. That’s what I mean with “downshifting” when the going gets tough.

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