My favorite coffee mug (that I affectionately named and used every day for the past 4 years) fell to the floor and shattered into 300 pieces this morning. When I was sweeping up the pieces, I bumped my head. Ugh.
My reaction was to wallow.
Poor me. My favorite mug is broken!
Poor me. I bumped my head!
In 2007, when I first became self-employed, this situation would have led to a meltdown. I would’ve found every reason to be sad, and moped. It would have ended with me deciding to stop being self-employed (because I’ll never make enough money, anyway), eating a box of cookies, and watching television for the duration of the workday.
Today, I did something different—and it made me realize how drastically I’ve changed since 2007.
Yes, today I moped. I mourned my favorite mug. I rubbed my head with a tear in my eye. But after 5 minutes, I got a grip. I forced myself to do one small, productive thing—and it snapped me out of mope mode.
It’s a lesson that self-employment taught me: Action is the way forward.
When I’m heading toward Wallowville, here are some actions that get me back on track:
- Find a prospect. Send an email introducing myself.
- Remind somebody to pay me.
- Comment on, or start, a LinkedIn discussion.
- Check in: with a past client, or about an outstanding proposal.
- Ask a client for a testimonial. Better yet, write one to get them started.
If you can force yourself to do something productive for your business, for just 5 minutes, it can change your outlook. I regularly use this tactic, and it definitely changes mine.
What actions do you take when you feel mopey?
BTW: If you want to meet Deidre and other creative freelancers struggling with the same issues as you, come to the Creative Freelancer Conference, this June 21-22 in Boston, part of the week-long conference-fest, HOW Design Live. Early bird deadline is March 30!
And if you aren’t yet registered for CFC, sign up to take advantage of the combo $100 discount: $50 early bird before Mar 30th + $50 Marketing Mentor discount with promo code “CMM12”