It’s another Expert Briefs, where I ask really smart business owners to answer your burning questions.
If you've missed past Expert Briefs, you can click on the undies to see them all –>
I am asked this question often and I think it's safe to say that it happens to everyone.
This week I asked our panel of experts …
When you're having a bad day or where you feel like throwing in the towel and just saying ‘screw it' what do you do to pick yourself back up and keep plugging along?
I think you'll find the answers this week interesting and hopefully motivating.
Denise Wakeman of Blog Squad Tips says:
Depending on how difficult the day is feeling for me, I do a couple of things;
1. Go to the gym or for a short run.
That almost always clears my head since I'm away from my desk/computer and focus on my body. A good workout will do wonders for my mental state.
2. If it's really bad, I contact my business mentor.
She can always talk me down from the “screw it” place and talk me back up to recognizing my gifts and how I serve others and that i am appreciated.
Between those two things, I can usually get myself back to work with a positive attitude.
Mark Mason of MasonWorld.com says:
OK — you are asking for the secret sauce now.
Seriously, I run into this problem all the time. Like a lot of internet marketers, I have a day job, a wife, four kids, a dog, a cat, two turtles (Pumble and Tumble) and five fish. I also have a house with a ton of chores. I usually don't work on internet marketing until after 10PM, and some days it is really easy just to “screw it” (Nicki's words) and go to bed (or watch old Law and Order re-runs).
When I feel that way, I use one of 2 strategies:
1. Instead of doing NOTHING, I pick something that I want to do that is not on my list of things that I need to do.
Check out some new software, read some blogs, do some fun social media work. Basically, I goof off on non-critical BUSINESS tasks. Stuff that I usually do not allow myself to do when I am focused on making real progress. Then at least I get SOMETHING done.
2. I work on my Motivational Monday series.
Now, many people think that I publish motivational blog posts just to help my readers. The truth is, they help me too. I intentionally started that series to help me stay motivated too.
Most of all, people need to remember that internet marketing is a marathon not a race. Pace yourself. To me, that means that it is actually OK to say “screw it” every now and then.
Lynette Chandler of TechBasedMarketing.com says:
Such a timely question because I was feeling so ready to throw in the towel last night. Thinking back to the last times I felt this way, here's what I did.
Let it go, do something else, or if it is late at night go to bed.
Sometimes a few hours will do the trick but sometimes it could be a day, two maybe a week. But that's the beauty of doing what we do. Take as long as you need. If however you are taking forever to find your fire again then something is seriously wrong and you'll probably want to do a re-evaluation of the business and direction you're heading.
Sometimes the point of frustration is more about an unpleasant task that has to be done.
The last time that happened to me, I wrote to my assistant and explained to her the issue, that I didn't want to do or think about it. The wonderful woman took the entire thing off my hands and let me move on again.
I'm not a talker by nature but have found I really need someone to just talk things out with me from time to time with a few good friends in the business and also my husband. The last time I did this, I ended up with a new vision.
Lynn Terry of Clicknewz.com says:
I walk out the door and drive straight to McDonald's to pick up a job application. About halfway there, I realize how insane that is and turn around, then get back to work. 😛
Seriously though, it happens to all of us. It could be an email that is totally deflating, or a nasty headache, but sometimes there are just days when you don't “feel it”.
If I have something specific scheduled, I take a deep breath (and maybe a short break or power walk) and then work my way through it. More often than not though, I don't – my schedule is very flexible. So in most cases I'll step away from the office and take a nice long nap or watch an engaging movie.
A big part of taking care of my business is taking care of myself.
I don't take that lightly, as I know all too well how burn-out or mental fatigue can affect my work. Fortunately with a flexible schedule I can work when I am at my best, and when I'm feeling inspired and creative. And otherwise nap and read and watch great movies. 🙂
Shannon Cherry of The Business Building Live Intensive says:
Usually it's more than just one bad day that makes me want to throw in the towel. It's a bad week. And when it's bad, all I want to do is tune out and tune into Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
For me, it's Buffy. For you, it could be playing on Facebook or cleaning the house. Whatever you do, it's avoidance. And it's a sign something is up.
So here's what I do:
1) Allow myself some time to detach.
Sometimes just having a break from it all can do wonders. I allow myself a half-day to do what I want. They key here is to set a time frame and keep it. Then get back to work.
2) I make a list.
Sometimes it's overwhelm that's got me paralyzed and turns a bad day into a bad week. Usually, this is something I do with a partner – either my husband or my accountability partner. That way I don't get caught up in the list (which I already have in my head anyway) and start getting it done. Once the list is made, I select the top three things that MUST get done today. The rest, as they say, is gravy!
3) I think about my WHY.
Why am I in business in the first place? What is the motivator behind all I do (the good, the bad and the yucky). For me, it's my girls. I want to be home when they are home. I want also have time to be their advocate, as they are on the Autism spectrum. So I need to make sure the time I am working is productive. I think of this… and get cracking.
Susanne Myers of AffiliateTreasureChest.com says:
As you well know Nicole, I have those days on a somewhat regular basis and you know what the first thing is I do. 🙂
Step One – Send an instant message to Nicole Dean
Sometimes all it takes is to hear a “poor baby” or get a virtual hug from someone who understands this biz, understands “you” and gets why that one nasty email you found in your inbox is ruining your entire day. That's why my first step is to instant message Nicole. She sets me straight and reminds me that I don't really want to go back to an office job.
Step Two – Work on something productive
Next, I try to work on a little something that makes me feel productive. If it results in some comments, sales or new signups, even better. I might write a quick article or blog post and publish it, send out an email, or turn some articles into a short report that I can give to my list.
Just making myself do something to grow my business is often enough to get me in a better mood.
Step Three – Look at how far I've come
If none of the above do the trick, I open Google Analytics, Clickbank, Aweber and my shopping cart and look at where I was at a year ago. Seeing how much more traffic I get now, how many more affiliate sales I am making and how much my list and customer base have grown is a great “pick-me-up”.
It may feel like I'm taking one step forward and 2 steps back, but the stats show that I am making progress.
Nicole Dean of .. here! .. says:
Wow! I got a lot of responses this week – and I didn't even have to send a reminder saying “Hey guys… you gonna answer or what?” lol. This is obviously a hot topic.
Everyone has given great advice. So, I'll say “ditto” to all of my smart friends above.
Before I dive in with my answer, I'd like to, once again, say how amazing my friends are to be so transparent and honest in their answers. Instead of saying “oh, I never feel that way. I just sit on the beach and suck margaritas all day and my life is perfect” – they shared the honest truth.
YES. Some days are deflating. Some days, you lose your mojo completely. Yes. Some days you question whether getting a job would *really* be a bad thing.
Goodness. This month, I got an email from someone who I thought was a friend (or decent acquaintance at the least) that felt like a punch in the gut. It was totally over the top. That royally sucked. (Before you ask, it's no one who you guys know from Expert Briefs. These ARE friends.)
Other things that can make me want to say “screw it” are…
- Technical snafus that roadblock me. These drive me bonkers.
- Spending time creating and sending an email or freebie that I think my people will LOVE and it tanks. (Yes, that happens.)
- Getting a refund request with the words “I don't mean to be mean but…” in it. (I can count the times on one hand that it happens, but I can personally remember every time it has in the years I've been online.)
- Creating a new product that people have been asking for – but they don't buy right away in the big numbers you thought they would.
Stuff like that can send you reeling.
It can make you question everything.
- Who you are.
- What you're doing.
- Why you're doing it.
- IF you're actually helping anyone.
- And, whether or not you should even bother.
Back to the drawing board, right? 🙂
Connect with Someone Who Understands.
The FIRST thing I do is always the same – I connect with someone who understands and knows me and who I trust.
Reboot your Brain.
Then, I give myself permission to lick my wounds a bit and get away from the computer to “reboot” my brain and my emotions. I know that if I try to power through it – it's ineffective for me. I have to step away for awhile.
Some of the other things I do are similar to the others:
- Spend time with the kids if they're home.
- Go throw the ball for my Einstein puppy for awhile.
- Go beat myself up at the gym.
- Go on a walk.
- Take a bike ride.
- Read a book that's not work-related in any way shape or form.
- Indulge in some TV time. (Normally the TV is off while I'm working.)
- Take a nap.
- Get a pedicure.
- Walk around and clean the house.
- Do some laundry.
- Run errands.
- Go outside and rake.
- Clean my car.
- Drive to the beach.
- Ask my Joe to take me out to lunch.
- Jump in the shower or bath. I swear there is something magical about the shower. I don't know if it's the steam or the sensory deprivation or what, but I get the best ideas in there.
- Step outside by the pool with a piece of paper and pencil and start doodling until things make sense again.
Keep a Happy File.
I also keep a “happy file”. I print nice emails that I get from people and keep them in one place so I can go back and read them when I need a pick me up.
I also mark the nice things that people say to or about me on Twitter.com as “favorites” so I can pull those up when I'm feeling down. Here's how it looks. You can do this, too. http://twitter.com/#!/NicoleDean/favorites
Take Time to See how Far You've Come.
One thing that I talked about in the Q&A this month at www.IncomeCPR.com is that I always recommend to my coaching clients that they set up a binder with their monthly stats in it. It's like Mark said, this business is like running a marathon. Oftentimes, you don't realize how far you've come until you take a moment to look behind you. And, like Susanne said, look back 6 months or a year – at your list size, your traffic, your income… and see just how far you've come. That always helps to spur me on.
Understand that it's NOT Just You.
Sometimes it feels like bad stuff only happens to you. It doesn't. Just for fun, here's podcast that I recorded back in April 2009, the day that my pedal fell off my bike WHILE I was riding it. I know I laughed really loudly in this recording – I apologize to your ears in advance!
As I always say yes, you will fall. And, yes, poop happens – even to the “successful”.
Dust off those britches and get back into the game.
Check out this Recommended Resource:
Rachel Rofe & Ronnie Nijmeh created a cool course called Time Management Tricks.
Check it out if you want more info on organizing your day so you can spend less time in front of your computer — and more time living life.