Being an entrepreneur is the hardest I have ever worked. In comparison to building a company, my corporate career was easy! While there have been many highlights and periods of excitement during the last 12 years, there have also been those moments when I’ve been in the doldrums, where my energy dropped and I (briefly) considered doing something different (winning the lottery being one!).
I’ve lost and regained my mojo many times. Thankfully, the good days have far outweighed the bad!I know from the countless conversations I’ve had with other leaders that I am not alone in losing my mojo, or the only one to have found myself fluttering between excitement about my business and all the possibilities one day, to feeling overwhelmed — and sometimes, underwhelmed — by the whole idea the next.
So what can you do if you find yourself in the dumps? If you’ve (temporarily) lost your mojo?
Marshall Goldsmith, author of “Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back if You Lose It,” recommends that you stop waiting for things to change. Instead, he suggests that “when the facts are not to your liking, ask yourself, ‘What path would I take if I knew that the situation would not get better?’ Then get ready to do that.”
Don’t wait for your mojo to miraculously reappear. To recapture your vim and verve, you must take action. Of course, there is no singular prescription that will work for everyone. However, here are four suggestions that work for me – and have worked for those around me – to get you back on track and return your spring to your step:
Get “a shot of” YOU!
OK, not literally, but metaphorically. I lose count of the number of phone calls or emails I receive from contacts and colleagues who are looking for “a shot of Morag.” Normally, I have a very glass-half-full and optimistic outlook on life. When others are feeling down, they call me, and I provide perspective, suggestions, and a little humor to help them get back on track. Unfortunately “a shot of Morag” doesn’t work for me. It’s like trying to tickle myself – a futile action. Instead, I’ve discovered and cultivated relationships with my own go-to people who I can turn to when I’m experiencing self-doubt, or my energy is flagging.
- Who are your go-to people that can bring the smile back to your face and the enthusiasm back for business? Give them a call and set up a lunch date!
Take a break
This may sound counter-intuitive, but I’ve found that when the going gets tough, most entrepreneurs tend to work harder, add things to their to-do lists, and over-extend to get through a down period. While this may prove a successful strategy on occasion, it can also ultimately exhaust us further. Instead of working harder, try taking a break. Play hooky from work, go sit in the park, hangout on the swings, eat an ice cream, go to the movies, drive into the country and have lunch away from the hubbub of your work. Chances are, a short break and distraction will provide you with the opportunity to think, put things into perspective, and identify new opportunities or tactics that will get you back on track.
- Where’s your go-to place where you can relax and recharge your batteries? It doesn’t have to be a long break! 30 minutes in a new place can make all the difference.
Check your priorities
When I lose my mojo, it can be because I’m working on the wrong things and my stated priorities are being overlooked. My company is a huge priority for me – but so are my family, spending time with friends, and my two other passions: ballroom dancing and playing bassoon for a local orchestra. However, the to-do list at work never seems to end – and can quickly become all-consuming. As a result, it’s these last two “me-first” items – music and dancing – that tend to take a hit when things get especially busy at work or on the family front. When I adjust my priorities and make sure that my other passions get care and attention, I find my mojo and enthusiasm for my work returns.
- Where are you spending your time? Take a moment to reflect on your priorities, and then compare these to your calendar. Where might you need to make adjustments to ensure you are working on ALL your priorities and passions?
I know budgets can be tight, but trying to do everything yourself may be a significant factor to why you are feeling overwhelmed. I tried to do and be everything for SkyeTeam for a long time — and in hindsight, for too long. Just because I could do something didn’t mean I should. Letting go of the tasks that I didn’t enjoy or wasn’t as proficient at meant that I could devote my focus and energy to the things I do well, where my mojo is fired up and not chewed up!
- Where should you be leaning on professional help instead of doing it yourself? What is one thing you need to focus on – and will focus on – when you choose to let go?
If you find yourself losing your mojo and you want to reignite your passion for your business, you have to take charge and change. Don’t just hope things will turn around or wait for the clouds to part. Take action, and ensure you recapture your sparkle!