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Falling “out of love” with your business? Feeling bored, blah, bummed out? 4 ways to shift out of an emotional slump.

Falling out of love with your business? 4 ways to shift out an emotional slump. #entrepreneurship #onlinebusiness #melissacassera

Some days, your business is rocking. Everything seems to land right into place.

Customers are clamoring for your attention. Your content is exploding all over the inter-webs (so many likes! so many shares!). You get invited to appear on a hot podcast (who, moi?) and you feel like Beyonce slipping into a bedazzled gown for the Met Gala. All eyes on YOU.

And other days?

You fall into a puddle of crushing depression. Nothing seems to be going right.

Your audience is totally not obsessed with you. In fact, they seem kinda repulsed.

Maybe you get a snarky email from a disgruntled customer, or a bunch of people “unsubscribe” like your newsletter is riddled with the plague.

Or maybe it’s not “them” — it’s you.

You’ve lost your motivation for something you were SUPER excited to do, like, a week ago. Your e-course is sitting, half-finished, or that big client project is collecting dust, or that talk you were planning to present at a conference is feeling so “blah,” and you’d rather stab yourself in the eyeball than sit down and get back to work.

It’s like you’ve fallen out of love with your own business.

You’re contemplating just tearing down your website, selling all of your possessions, and moving into a treehouse in Sweden to live out the rest of your days in isolation.

WTF is going on?!

I’ve spent over a decade running my own business — first, as a publicist, later, as a small business strategist — and I’ve gotten up close ‘n personal with thousands of biz owners in that time.

Here’s what I can tell you, for sure.

Many, many, many business owners:

– Feel depressed sometimes.

– Doubt themselves.

–  Have major dips in confidence.

–  Lose interest in their work. (“Blarf, this again?”)

–  Secretly resent their clients because they feel “trapped” by their own success and busyness and then feel awful about it and then…

–  Take to the couch for Netflix binges and pints of cookie dough ice cream to drown their biz sorrows.

I don’t care if you’re making $5 or $500 bajillion a month, you are bound to have ups and downs.

In fact, I’ve yet to meet a business owner who DOESN’T fall into the occasional emotional slump.

But having a “down” moment doesn’t necessarily mean that your business is doomed, that you should quit now, or that you need to “radically” change things up.

Being human means experiencing highs and lows, seasons, and cycles.

You might just need to ride this one out.

Be patient with yourself.

Hate to say it, but if you’re in a deep slump, this is probably NOT the best time to make a “dramatic” career or business decision. It might be smarter to wait until the malaise has lifted, a bit, and then create your new strategy (if you still need one!) once you’re back in a happier, more visionary state of mind.

I’ve had my fair share of slumps over the years. I promise you: they do come to an end.

And yes, you can take action to alleviate the dark clouds and help yourself to feel better, a bit faster.

Here are 4 moves that always work for me, and that I have to remind myself to do, consistently:

1)  Close your ‘puter and take a BREAK. Seriously.

Taking regular breaks and indulging in pleasurable activities makes you more productive, insightful and creative.

If you are working from a stressed-out headspace, NO ONE will want to come to your party.

Make sure you are giving yourself at least one real “day off” every week AND make sure to schedule a “pleasure break” into your workday for at least 30 minutes, every day.

Your pleasure break could be… a long walk outside, an episode of your favorite TV show, a quick massage, a twerking break, whipping up a batch of cookies, or something totally mindless like polishing stemware or organizing your books by color — whatever makes you happy!

I suggest scheduling these pleasure breaks into your calendar just like you would an important meeting. Show up for yourself!

2) Turn your attention to gratitude.

Be thankful for what is working in your life and biz, rather than fixating on what you “don’t have” yet.

But don’t just “think” grateful thoughts — do something tangible and active.

Write a thank you note to a customer, colleague, friend, or the barista who makes your morning coffee.

Take your focus away from yourself (meltdown-city) and do something kind for someone else.

I know it’s the ultimate cliché, but it really works. When you focus on gratitude, you’ll snap out of your funk so much faster!

3) Attend a class, event, show, or performance that is outside of your industry.

I was having a monumentally “blah” week, recently, so I decided to attend my friend Becca’s Creative Day Retreat, just for funzies. We sipped garden wine and made decadent beauty products (like “love balm!”) and even my Shih Tzu, Lily, got a flower crown. I left feeling so refreshed!

You know the old expression, “All work and no play makes Melissa a murderous psychopath.” (That’s how the phrase goes, right? 🙂

Even if you LOVE your work (normally!) it’s still valuable to get outside of your usual grind and do something JUST FOR FUN.

Cooking classes, art classes, rowing down a river, stand-up comedy, a tour of haunted buildings in your city, or going to see MAGIC MIKE XXL for the third time in a row (no judgment!)… do whatever excites you. Invigorate your spirit!

4) Talk to someone.

If you try everything I’ve just described and you find that you’re still feeling really, really low, that could be a signal that you need a little extra TLC.

I don’t talk about it too often, but I have struggled with depression in the past and I am a huge supporter of coaching, counseling, clinical therapy, and all that good stuff. Mental healthcare professionals exist for a reason: to give you a safe, confidential place to talk (about ANYTHING), and help you get through dark times and find meaning and excitement again.

If you are looking for someone to talk to, I recommend Dr. Suzanne Gelb and Gemma Stone. Both of these women are life coaches AND psychologists. Double-whammy of credentials. The cherry on top: they are both loving, kind-hearted entrepreneurs, so they can especially relate to the woes and struggles you might be facing as a biz owner.

If all else fails…

See the MAGIC MIKE XXL movie one more time, just for good measure.

If I was a doctor or psychiatrist, I would literally just write “MAGIC MIKE XXL” on a prescription pad and say, “Watch Joe Manganiello theatrically dance-thrust a water bottle onto his groin so that it explodes three times and call me in the morning.”

See? You’re feeling better just thinking about it. 🙂

Wishing you happier days, ahead.

And most of all, remember:

If you’re in an emotional slump right now, it doesn’t mean you’re a messed up person or a bad business owner.

It just means… you are NORMAL.

xo.

Melissa