Every few months, I’ll get hit with a lack of marketing “mojo.”
Usually, marketing is my top priority. (It should be yours, too, if you’re running a business.) I know the marketing channels that are most effective for me and I’m typically very strict with my output.
But then, all of the sudden, I’ll wake up one morning and it’s like some sort of whimsy, lazy fairy flew into my life to take all of the motivation away.
Especially when the Factory45 program is in session, I’ll start investing more time in helping other people start their businesses and let my own business fall to the wayside. Which is all good and dandy until I’m hit with a major dose of business FOMO.
“Man, I really wish I had made that list.”
“Wow, she got that feature? I wish I had pitched that.”
“I should totally capitalize on that topic and write about it… maybe tomorrow…”
I find myself justifying my lack of motivation with thoughts like: everyone needs a break sometimes… or… I’ll do it after the holiday weekend… or (my favorite one)… it’s summer / holiday season / school vacation, no one is paying attention anyway.
While I’m all about dishing advice and sharing lessons learned, it should go without saying that my entrepreneurial journey is a work in progress just like anyone else’s.
Even writing about not having motivation makes me want to stop writing this post. The struggle is real.
The silver lining, though, is that I’m able to look at this phase as just another state of entrepreneurship — my guess is that even Richard Branson takes a hiatus on his private islands once in a while.
When you don’t have two-weeks designated vacation time or a job that ends at 5pm, it can be easy to forget that very few people push full-steam ahead 100 percent of the time.
And while this is certainly not my first time in entrepreneurial La-La land, it’s the first time I haven’t tried so hard to fight it. I’ve been conscious of not attaching negativity to it even if I would have felt immense guilt in the past.
In doing so, I’ve been able to look at this lack of motivation in a way that will make it easier to manage next time.
In case you ever find yourself in a similar boat, here’s what I’ve observed:
1.) Embrace it. I was traveling for two weeks and by the time I got back to Boston last week, I had caught some sort of illness and completely lost my voice. By Wednesday, my typical writing day, the last thing I wanted to do was write a blog post.
It’s kind of embarrassing how much I struggled with the idea of taking a week off from the blog. What if someone notices they didn’t get an email from me? What will I post on social media during that time slot? What if people unsubscribe?
Eventually, I was able to get rational about the fact that zero people will care if they don’t hear from me. That simple realization allowed me to embrace a free afternoon of laying on the couch with a box of tissues, a cup of tea and a steady line up of Netflix.
It was so much more productive when I chose to embrace the “lack of productivity” rather than waste energy on fighting it.
2.) Give your attention to your behind-the-scenes operations. Lacking the creativity for another Instagram post or quippy tweet? Use the other side of your brain and focus on the aspects that may be pivotal to your business but probably aren’t seen by your customers or audience.
For me, that means giving extra time and attention to my Factory45’ers: jumping on impromptu phone calls when they need it, fully engaging in our private Facebook group, problem solving during office hours, and giving them the best client experience possible.
It may not be direct marketing ammunition, but more important than the perfect Instagram photo is the user experience you’re giving your customers.
3.) This too shall pass. There is nothing constant about running a business. It’s always changing and evolving and depending on the season, your launch schedule, your production timeline and other factors, your marketing mojo will eventually come back to you.
Don’t let your current state convince you that it’s here to stay.
4.) Accept it. There is always going to be a colleague, another designer or a company you look up to, appearing to be multiple steps ahead of you. That’s life — running a business is no different.
The truth is, you’re not missing out. Your experience is unique to you and you’re exactly where you should be. There is always going to be another opportunity, there is enough time, and your journey should be dictated by you — not by an outside perception of someone else.
Do you and good things will happen.
Photo credit: Matthew Wiebe