When I first started my business, I remember being surprised by how the periods of extreme, heads-down productivity would without fail be followed by Real Housewives’ marathon-fueled burn-out. It took me months but I eventually learned that the all-night work sessions and project binges weren’t actually going to get me ahead of where I would have been if I’d just allowed myself to be realistic with my workload and expectations.
It all evens out in the end.
And the extra kicker, I learned, was that my quality of work was almost always better when I gave myself room for creativity.
This lesson is one of the reasons that I learned that the first element of success is mastering your mindset. Sorry to beat the old drum, but there’s a reason why everyone says this. It’s because everyone who achieves consistent success knows it. So the real key is to avoid the burn-out slump altogether, but when you’re already there? It’s to get out back up, out of the slump.
1. Invest in yourself or your business – think of things that can actually help you achieve your success, things that you might think are too expensive or that it’s not just the right time and do it! Maybe it’s a course you’ve been eyeing up or maybe new headshots for your website or promotions. Just do it. Besides the thing that you think you’re receiving (ie: headshots/course), you’re also receiving something better: You’re triggering to your mind that you believe in yourself & your success enough to invest real money into it.
2. Help someone with what you’re good at – Two benefits here: You get to share your expertise and you get good karma by helping someone. Anytime I’m in the dumps or having doubts about my business direction, helping someone who needs it is the quickest medicine I know for nipping those feelings in the bud and replacing it with renewed optimism & enthusiasm.
3. Do a braindump – If you suspect that your mindset funk is coming from feeling overwhelmed or having lack of clarity about your next steps – do a braindump for at least 10 minutes of everything you have to do. Take out a piece of paper and just list everything that comes to mind. Then rank it using the Eisenhower matrix into “Important/Urgent”, “Important/Not urgent”, “Not Important/Urgent”, “Not Important/Not Urgent”. A clear list of the things you really have to do and those that you don’t should become apparent. Plus, you’ll have a very clear idea of your next steps.
4. Gratitude! I can’t say it enough but the easiest way to start feeling awesome about your life and business is to write down all the things that you already have going for you. Everything that’s awesome right now. The key to a mindset for success is to spend your time dwelling on your success. This breeds more success. If you spend your time dwelling on what you don’t have or your failures, you’ll breed more failures and lack.
5. Take a break – Get positive about your situation by taking a break. Give yourself a chance to miss it.
Whether you take away one idea from this post or try to implement them all, you’ll be able to bounce back from your (inevitable) entrepreneurial slump and back into an expansive, creative space.