I don’t know if it’s the recent full moon or what, but I’ve been in a creative flash zone. You know the ones? Flashes of energy where you are inspired, focussed, practical and productive and can’t put a foot wrong? These moments are so necessary in the process of building our empires. But they’re not the most reliable moments. You can’t run a business and build an empire only when you feel those hits.
What’s more important is what we do when we’re in the opposite place. When everything feels heavy, and hard, and challenging, and useless, and comparisonitis is living true to its name and thieving all our joy.
What do you do in those moments? Do you give up, go quiet, and then need to send another apologetic newsletter or social media post about why you went AWOL? Once or twice is fine, but more than that and you’ll start sounding like a broken record. And I don’t want that for you.
So if you’re down and flailing and you need a jolt, here are some of my best tips:
1/ Reach out. To someone who can help influence what happens next.
I recently returned to my day job after 6 months off on maternity leave. It’s been really weird and hard being back because I’m not able to do my old role (I’m only doing 1.5 days!) and trying to find my place and groove in the team again. After feeling down and out I came clean with my boss and told her how I was feeling. And we’re working through it and I feel so much more engaged and inspired. I reached out. To someone who could help influence what happens next. In biz you’re often flying solo, so who do you reach out to? Your partner (in life or biz!)? Your mastermind buddies? Your coach? Your biz bestie?
2/ Move your body.
Sounds a bit counter-intuitive I know but seriously, you need to move your body. I don’t know if Marie Forleo said it first, but she’s the first person I heard say it “inspiration lives in the body, not in the mind”. Hellishly true. So get yee to a yoga class, or go for a walk. Have a shower. Do anything other than the biz shiz you’re supposed to be doing. It works yo.
3/ Work out the 20%.
According to the Pareto Principle, 20% of our effort yields 80% of our results. Do you know what your 20% is? It’s really the heart of two books I’ve loved lately, The One Thing and Essentialism (grab one on audio for free using my special link). I’ve now read 2 books on the topic and I admit, working out what one thing, or what 20% makes all the difference in your business is not easy work. It’s tough.
For me, my 20% that yields most of my impact and results is my podcast (which I’m mercilessly consistent with) and building community and connection.
So when the chips are down, ditch everything else for the 20%.
4/ Put your purpose on autopilot.
OK so what happens when you start getting distracted, seeing bright shiny objects, or comparing yourself to others and questioning your whole business model? You call everything into question, your purpose, your ideal customer, your business model.
I am hellishly guilty of this one.
So, my hack for you: put it on autopilot. Put it on paper – your purpose, your client, your business model, your plan. And when you start questioning yourself, just look at it and promise yourself to follow it, put one foot in front of the other and see if it sticks. It’ll stick.
5/ Be a CEO.
At the end of the day, you’re running a business. And if you don’t feel like it somedays, well, it’s kind of too bad if you’ve got people relying on you. Suck it up. Head down. Bum up. I know I sound unforgiving and for sure there’s always circumstances which require more understanding, but a lot of the time, I think we can get caught in this online world getting caught up in the “do what you love! follow your passion! it’s all easy! nothing’s hard!” when in reality, even passion takes hustle. Look at the most passion-led, heart-centred, spiritual gurus you know, whoever you resonate with. I guarantee they have and do work their little behinds off. When they feel like it and when they don’t. Be a CEO.
BONUS! 6/ Start a podcast.
Ha! I’m only half-joking! Podcasting is seriously the mainstay of my business. It inspires me, gives me a rush and a high like nothing else (except maybe Paypal notifications when I’ve been paid!). I get to step above my day-to-day business, connect with inspirational leaders in my field, and curate conversations that I can then share with my tribe. Seriously. This shiz is good.
So there’s my 6 tips. I absolutely know at least one of those will help you next time you’re in that slump. So let me know okay?