Do you suffer from business blues?
I have mood swings quite frequently – hormonal mood swings, that curl-up-in-a-hole mood swing when I’m feeling fed up at having to be all things to all people and since I started my own business – business mood swings.
Sometimes, I wake up feeling completely unenthusiastic and drained out that I have to work in my business.
Every email or client request makes me sink lower in my chair, and negative feedback (even a minor comment) can have me spiralling down into a business drain and looking for a sugar fix.
I often have thoughts of pulling the plug, and fantasise about sitting on the couch and watching Netflix or Stan all day (at least once a month!)
I hate those days – oh boy!
It’s easy to love your business on a good day.
You fly high and feel like you can conquer even the highest mountain (it’s like the euphoria after you give birth).
But on the bad days, when you feel like deleting everything and hiding in a hole, what does it take to love your business baby again?
Business mood swings are common in entrepreneurs
Every entrepreneur suffers from mood swings. Take heart, you’re not alone.
Surprisingly, these are quite common in people running their own businesses. Why? Because you’re in charge and there’s no one else to blame.
And mostly, you’re alone or maybe have a small team. Or like me, you’re trying to look after two small humans and a home (I’m writing this blog while accomodating requests for snacks, breaking up fights and multiple toilet visits).
My business mood swings are often caused by frustration at not having enough time to do all the things I want to do. Or if I haven’t done creative writing in a while or if I’m not feeling a sense of achievement daily.
But the buck stops with me. So if I’m having a business mood swing, then my business stops too.
My mood swing often lasts for hours or a couple of days and it’s almost always followed by a declaration that I’m going to close down my copywriting business and apply for a job. I’ve gone as far as trawling through SEEK for work!
I always stop short of actually applying for a job. Why? Because I remember why I quit in the first place!
In this post, I’m going to share some of my own tips on how to get through a mood swing in your business.
#1 Step away from EVERYTHING
And I mean everything. Switch off your phone (or turn it to silent), close down social media and any other screens and go for a walk. Don’t listen to a podcast either – silence is your friend, get comfortable with it.
The idea is to empty your brain of the tech and social media noise cacophony and give it space to think things through.
Once the noise stops, the real thinking and breakthroughs will follow.
Write in a journal or a notebook and unload everything you’re feeling. You’ll feel so much better when you do. Sometimes the mood swing may slip away as you write.
I don’t recommend watching Netflix or a screen because it numbs you and the chaos stays in your brain. Exercising or a long walk often helps put things into perspective.
#2 Go back to YOUR fundamentals
Think about your WHY.
Why did you start your business? Why didn’t you look for a full-time job?
Was it to turn a hobby into a side hustle? Was it to look after your family? Or earn enough spending money?
For me, it was to pursue my love of writing and be able to look after my children. The goal has never been to earn bucket loads of money (though it would be nice) and focus on my goal of writing a book, and eventually becoming an author.
What’s your WHY? Write it down so you can look at it on those off days.
Many business owners (me included) fall into a comparisonitis trap and keep looking for the next shiny idea. But sometimes the old and slightly less shiny object we have in our hand is good enough.
#3 Talk to someone
Have a buddy who also runs a business and can talk you off the ledge or at least cheer you up?
Often I talk to my partner (who really tries to cheer me up) or a friend or a writing buddy to help me cut through the noise in my mind.
Private Facebook groups where you feel comfortable enough to vent are also great – but nothing beats a heart-to-heart chat with a friend over a coffee or over the phone.
Often you realise that things are not as rosy for others too and it can be comforting to know this when you’re feeling low.
#4 Ride out your mood swing
I don’t try and deny that I’m going through a mood swing in my business or even a hormonal mood swing!
I’m one of those people who’ll acknowledge it and ride it out for as long as it takes. If it means spending a day in bed eating crisps or cake or both, then so be it!
I’m all for whatever makes you feel better and gives you the energy to keep going in your business. Try and get to the root of your business blues and take steps to stop it happening next time.
It doesn’t always have to be a giant leap, it can be baby steps. As long as you keep moving forwards.
Give yourself permission to stop occasionally and just breathe.
PS: I posed this question to my group of copywriting buddies and popular answers were:
- shut the office door and spend more time in the kitchen or garden
- take a morning to write at a cafe
- an exercise session shake off the negativity and get those good endorphins flowing for energy. Fresh air!
- EFT tapping. Sometimes yoga. Sometimes locking myself outside until someone finds me!
- go to my coworking space
- only do small, achievable tasks that are fun to try and pep me up
- go for a walk
- create silly fake websites full of copy that reflects my mood (typical writer response!)
- pop on some upbeat music, listen to a headspace meditation, cry, send venting Whatsapp messages to my sister who makes me laugh, get a soy mocha from my fave coffee shop
- dance or sing it out
- listening to a podcast that has nothing to do with copywriting or biz development. Something funny.
How do you deal with a mood swing in your business? Do you ride it out or work harder?