In my DigitalFilipino.com adventures, I have a lot of initiatives that were pro-bono and unprofitable such as my publications and research reports. At some point, my concerned friends were questioning me for doing those things. I told them that this is all part of the sacrifices that one has to make in order to gain a bigger stake later on.
Usually, the return comes in triple-fold. This is where I had no regrets for coming up with the 10-StatsReport series (2002-2003). Even though the sales was not good enough to cover the cost of research work, the opportunity I gained in speaking at various international conferences had been most worthwhile and had put me at a different level.
As my current work does not give me the opportunity to be as hands-on in my research as in the past (where I personally do the face-to-face survey, answer validation, encoding, and analysis), I hope to able to resume with this work again as soon as I find the right person to help me out.
The same goes when I did a lot of advocacy work for the passage of the Y2K and E-Commerce Law. I spent no less than 40 hours a week, online and offline, lobbying for support from various groups, speaking at events, and talking to important people. The sacrifice I took then partly paid off as DigitalFilipino.com continuous to exist online.
This is also true with our physical health. Quitting bad habits now for the sake of living a longer & healthier life for our children is enough motivation, than just looking good on your next major event.
Taking sacrifices is important if we want to achieve our big picture goals. It is never-ending and I guess that is what makes our life relevant and meaningful.