Expecting nothing is different from not having a plan

in work •  23 days ago


I think it's almost impossible to have absolutely zero expectations. What I think people mean when they say "have no expectations" is "have very low expectations in order to not be as disappointed in case things go wrong".

When it comes to work, to progress and monetary income, having huge expectations is not always good, especially if you're doing something online.

Expecting to get thousands of views on your first blog post will probably result in a lot of disappointment. Expecting to get a lot of requests from people that ask you to draw something for them for a certain amount of money simply because you uploaded a drawing on DeviantArt may also result in disappointment.

That's why, as I kept trying to work as a freelancer, I got to the conclusion that having extremely low expectations when it comes to how much attention I'll receive and how much money I'll be able to make, would be the only way I could actually try to work online.

The reason is that making money on the Internet is a lot harder than you may think. There are many things you need to take care of besides what you'll create, like self promoting, getting attention and monetizing your content, tasks that will probably take a little too much from your time.

All that, combined with having to create high quality products, finding clients or people to consume your content and hoping to be lucky enough to actually make some money with what you do, will often result in disappointment for those who expect things to be extremely easy.

The thing is, having low expectations isn't the same as having no plan. Those are two different things that too many people consider to be the same.

Expecting to become a great programmer after coding for two weeks and to get a job in only a month after you starting learning how to code is not the same as wanting to become a programmer in the future and having a well thought plan that will help you learn all the things you need in order to get a job.

Expecting to become an amazing artist after finishing one sketch book is different from knowing that your objective is to become an artist, then coming up with a plan to achieve your goal that will involve learning anatomy, maybe some environment design, how to draw digitally and so on.

Having a goal automatically means you expect the desired outcome. What you should keep in mind is that while having absolutely no expectations isn't possible, having low ones can be really useful. Expecting things to just go your way because that's what you want doesn't mean that's what's gonna happen.

That's why having fairly low expectations and a well thought plan is, usually, the balance you should be striking for. It depends on what type of person you are, and how you handle things, of course. You'll need to figure out for yourself how high or low your expectations should be and what kind of plan you need in order to achieve your goals.

But you should always keep in mind that expectations and goals are two different things. You cannot achieve much without a proper plan, and you can't always keep yourself motivated without expecting to get the outcome you desire to some extent.

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ǝɹǝɥ sɐʍ ɹoʇɐɹnƆ pɐW ǝɥ┴

Being self employed is very different to being employed somewhere. If you're employed you can set your expectation realistically as long as you know your employer. When you're self employed I agree with you that your expectations should be low so that you don't end up demotivated and disappointed. And as you said, planning is very important. Being someone who is in process of opening a business I agree that without planning you'll definitely fail..

Thank you for sharing!


Yes, sadly a lot of people are interested in freelancing or opening a business because they think of all the freedom and spontaneity, and they expect to succeed fast because of those things.

However, both freelancing and opening a business require a lot of planning, more than I anticipated when I first started. If you don't make sure you have at least some things figured out for the near future, it's gonna be really hard to sustain yourself by hoping things will be great just because you work really hard.

Good luck with your business!

Ich glaube, dass es der beste Weg ist, seine Erwartungen hoch zu halten. Allerdings darf man nicht den Fehler machen, sich selbst falsch einzuschätzen. Erst wenn man von sich selbst das richtige Bild hat, ist man in der Lage von anderen das richtige Bild zu erhalten. Erwartungen sind auch gleich Hoffnungen. Je besser man seine Zielgruppe (andere Menschen) kennen lernt, je besser wird das, was man anbietet. Und dann kommt auch der Erfolg. Stellt Euch immer die Frage, warum soll der Andere jetzt auf Deine Sache reagieren? Warum soll ihn das jetzt interessieren? Welchen Wert hat es für den anderen?
Was will ich erreichen? Selbst wenn es noch so perfekt ist, wird es nicht immer klappen. Nicht aufgeben und weitermachen. Es ist wichtig, den Glauben nicht zu verlieren.


Sorry if my answer is a little "weird", but I don't speak German, and in order to understand what you said, I had to translate everything, and I'm not sure it's 100% right.

I agree with you, but not completely. Having some expectations is good, especially when it comes to yourself and your own development. It will help you become better and, in a lot of situations, it will help you achieve quite a lot. It may even make people see you the way you want them to.

The "problem" appears when one has really high expectations of something that isn't always in his power. I can use the same example I used in the article - freelancing.

You can have high expectations both when it comes to what you may be able to achieve and to how those around you will behave and will treat your work.

That doesn't mean everything will be easy. It also doesn't mean you'll succeed. Expectations don't really do anything except motivate you to work for something you aren't certain you'll achieve.

That's why I think expectations should be managed. Believing in yourself is one thing. Having high expectations when it comes to what you can learn and how skillful you are is also good.

However, having high expectations when it comes to success, and expecting to succeed just because you have high expectations, doesn't mean you will. That will often lead to disappointment unless you have a really good plan to avoid failure.

That's why I'd rather keep a balance between expecting to succeed but also being aware of the fact that sometimes things will be a lot harder than I'll anticipate.

Good to see some attention on your blogs once in a while. This one really deserves the upvotes from the content it brings.


Thank you very much, both for the kind words and for the resteem :)

Good points. I have had a web presence for more than 2 decades. And yes making money is hard. Especially if you have ethics. I got into the game to promote foraging. Mostly herbs in the start. I started programming to deliver content at first in Delphi then in Perl. I now deliver content over multiple sites using Perl and MySQL. To cover the cost I had to provide hosting services to others.

I joined steemit.com because it offers many opportunities. Both on creation and on commenting, a part of earning most here ignore. Upvote a comment and it promotes good content.

I have also added steem payments to my hosting services. I would really like to add voting to my site to pay contributors.

Thanks for the post.


Ethics, as you said, are an important factor, one that I didn't mention in the article.

I can't even remember the amount of times I chose to not get views and attention simply because I considered that the main ways to get those things are unethical.

I couldn't make myself leave stupid "hey, check out my content too" comments on other people's articles, or to talk about my work as being this amazing thing that people should definitely check out.

A lot of those who get a lot of attention do those things, one way or another, and while it works for them, it's something I and others are not always willing to do.

Making money online is, as you said, hard, and with 2 decades of experience, I'm sure you know what you're talking about.

And while Steemit is indeed an opportunity, there are things about this website that aren't as good as they could be. One of them is, in my opinion, the fact that people are following and giving money mostly to those who already have money, instead of people who are just starting out and actually create good content.

Then there are people who steal content or post only images or stolen jokes instead of actually creating something themselves, hoping to get a lucky upvote and make some quick money.

The Internet is like a jungle in a lot of situations, and, from my point of view, unless you're willing to "fight" with everyone else for attention, it's gonna be hard to get any.


Many good points. I try to create my own or value add. As a part of education and pointing my fallowers to otherz good content. I want to incorporate steem to my own sites. To reward both programing input and site content such as new and updated data in say the herbal database. Removing the 7 day limitation to post is another.

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Thank you, both to you and, once again, to @clayboyn !

My vote does'nt make a difference ;-) so i resteem your post. LGG


Thank you, I really appreciate it! :)


That's the way! ;)