The Trick to Sticking With Web Dev­elop­ment

Stop the cycle of quitting when things get tough.

Man sitting in an orange booth at a silver table, fingers in his hair with a look of frustration, using his laptop

Professional web developers aren't smarter than you.
They just made it to the finish line.

A career in web development is enticing. The pay is good, great benefits, loads of autonomy, room to be creative, and sometimes the opportunity to work remotely. That makes it easy to start learning web development, but the difficulty makes it just as easy to quit.

You have to find a way to break that cycle.

I know because I was caught in the cycle for years before I finally found a way to break out. Now, I’m a professional web developer. I have a fulfilling job, live where I want, and make my own hours. Every day is exciting. My job is challenging, and I’m constantly learning… and it feels amazing.

Here’s the story of how I finally broke through and how you can do it too.

I worked jobs I was unhappy in for about 15 years. I woke up every morning wondering if I could justify not going in that day. Every vacation ended in a crisis, me asking myself, “What am I doing? Is this all there is? When’s my next vacation?”

The saddest part is that I already knew a lot about web development. I had learned quite a bit over the years and even built a WordPress site or two on the side. The only thing I was lacking was the motivation and willpower to fill in the gaps in my knowledge and transition careers.

That all changed when I fell in love with Seattle, Washington. It became my Big Goal to live in Seattle, and that pushed me forward into a new career and a new life with more possibilities than I could have imagined. I reminded myself of my Big Goal all the time. I fantasy-shopped for apartments, read everything I could on the city, studied its history, watched every YouTube video with “Seattle” in the title, and virtually toured the streets using Google Street View. The constant reminders kept me focused on doing whatever it took to get there.

Since I discovered this hack, I’ve worked with amazing startups, built open-source libraries that people actually use, written a book, and had an article published on That isn’t all though…

After years of hard work, I achieved my Big Goal and made it to Seattle.

A fake Xbox achievement notification reading "Achievement unlocked, moved to Seattle"

I’ve analyzed how I was able to transition from the failure cycle to winning, and it starts with the Big Goal. If you set a sticky Big Goal and remind yourself of it frequently, you have a fighting chance at pushing through the friction and frustration that comes when learning web development gets difficult.

Willpower is a limited resource. As you bang your head against a difficult task, willpower gets used up. Setting the right Big Goal and using it effectively allows you to refill your willpower reserves and give yourself a nearly unlimited supply of perseverance.

This is really all it takes. You don’t have to be a math genius. You don’t have to be a business mastermind. You don’t even have to have a bachelor’s degree. (I don’t.) All you need is a tool to help you push through. Your Big Goal is that tool.

Get to your finish line!

This short email course will help you identify a Big Goal that will propel you to a new career in web development and a new life.