I’m feeling really ‘meh’. I’ve lost my mojo.'
Three people over last few weeks have said that very phrase to me. 'Sales have been low', said one. ‘I’m working a lot in isolation’, said another. ‘I’m wondering if this is even a viable business idea’, said a third.
The head can go to a pretty dark place when things aren’t easy, hey. When people aren’t rushing in ‘droves' to buy your product it can make you ask yourself ‘am I doing something that the market wants? Is this even a good idea’?
I met someone for coffee recently who’d had a mojo vap.
We chatted for a while and I observed that what she was selling was something a ton of people I know would buy (including myself). ‘This seems like something you could turn into an event or workshop and sell to people like me. I’d throw money at you if it was an event’, I said.
‘Nyeah’, she said, uninspired. ‘I tried an event and it was really hard. We didn’t get much traction’.
Nyeah. Work is hard. Making things that don’t exist is hard. Doing new things is hard. Making money is hard.
But doing something once and it not having a shit-ton of pick up doesn’t make it a failure, you know.
If you care about something enough, it’s reason to do it.
Toddlers can’t walk until they learn how to. Do you think they quit when they have a few wobbles?
If your idea, service or product hasn't gone gangbusters, there could be a ton of reasons why. Sometimes its less about the idea you're putting forward, and more about the execution.
Maybe the right people haven’t heard about it yet. Maybe your messaging wasn’t clear (I had this just recently with a workshop myself). Perhaps the marketing didn't reach the right people. Or maybe it was just on a tricky day or time for people to make it to your event. Making money is hard and like anything in life - there’s no magic bullet.
Or maybe, as in my case - you don’t actually need a shittonne of people to buy your product. You just need a few good eggs who find your service or product meaningful or helpful in their lives. Because if a few people get value out of what you do - that should be inspiration enough to know you’re doing something right.
Working on your own is isolating. It can be really, really lonely.
I experienced this myself in early Concierge days. I wasn’t sure what it was I was going to be ‘selling’ but I was psyched all the same. My friends and family diiiiiidn’t entirely get what the vision was because the truth be told - I wasn’t sure just yet, either.
As Penny Locaso said in our Facebook Live chat this morning, ‘when you’re working in a team, when you do well, you have all these other people around you telling you ‘well done’. But when you’re by yourself you literally have to pat yourself on the back and just keep going’.
A few years ago, a therapist asked me to write down all the negative stuff I was saying about myself.
Jesus, it was depressing.
According to me, I was a fat failure who was single, broke and perpetually stressed. (In reality, I was size 8 on $70,000 a year, working three days a week with amazing friends, I had money to burn and I had prospects on Tinder. So, nyeah).
Here’s an example of what my brain would like me to think:
What are you doing? How are you qualified? Who’s going to pay you? You burnt yourself out three times in your twenties and now you want to try another project?? Who’s going to pick up the pieces when you crash and burn like you’ve done in the past? What the hell is a Concierge anyway? You’re hardly a legend at ace-ing work yourself Rach, just look at your track record. Ooh, look a bit fat in that outfit. When’s the last time you went to the gym?
Ugh. Toxic stuff, hey.
With all this bullshit in my head, it was a wonder I got anything done, right?
Well that's the thing. I got nothing done during those years. I was killing myself over work and smashing the gym six times a week living off a crazy diet. Over years, those thoughts became real and I genuinely thought them to be fact.
The thing that really helped me come out of my shell since then was seriously reconsidering the language I was telling myself and instead using facts when my depressive symptoms would take over. This took some serious rewiring.
The script now looks like this:
- What are you doing? No idea, feels good, people seem to dig it, going with it.
- How are you qualified? Who’s more qualified than me to talk about anxiety and depression? I had it for years, mother fucker!
- Who’s going to pay you? General Assembly, Lululemon, DDB Group - you want a freaking list?
- You burnt yourself out three times in your twenties and now you want to try another project?? And? Who hasn’t fucked up or faced trauma in their life?
- Who’s going to pick up the pieces when you crash and burn like you’ve done in the past? ME. I’m going to learn from my experiences and look out for the warning signs. I’m going to take responsibility for when I feel vulnerable earlier and talk to people before I hit the wall of total hell. You think I'm going to let all those therapy bills go to waste??
- What the hell is a Concierge anyway? It’s my idea, end of.
- You’re hardly a legend at ace-ing work yourself Rach, just look at your track record. Brah, you think I could talk about burnout with authenticity if I hadn’t had those experiences?
- Ooh, look a bit fat in that outfit. When’s the last time you went to the gym? Fuck off, my tits look amazing rn.
And when I’m feeling nervous, anxious or on the way to a presentation, I have this mantra:
“I’m doing the best that I can. I’m nervous because I’m excited. I’m excited because I created this. Go and help others feel confident. You can do it’.
So, if you're in a mojo void right now, consider this:
Did one human enjoy your product / blog / insight / talk this week? Did you make an impact in someone’s life? Did you help someone by making their day by delivering the best bloody product around?
And if they didn't - who else can you reach out to that could help you find that audience? HINT: I AM A PR. I KNOW PEOPLE.