Feel like wallowing? Try this instead…

Deidre RienzoMy 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:

  1. Find a prospect. Send an email introducing myself.
  2. Remind somebody to pay me.
  3. Comment on, or start, a LinkedIn discussion.
  4. Check in: with a past client, or about an outstanding proposal.
  5. 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”


4 thoughts on “Feel like wallowing? Try this instead…

  1. Ayn Roberts

    I find that it helps for me to do the same thing. I often use this tactic as well as allowing myself a certain amount of time (say 10min) of doing something just fun and relaxing, like watching a couple of cat videos on youtube or reading a few blog entries. Once my timer goes off, I know it’s time to get back to being productive.

    Great little post.

  2. fathima

    Thanks for sharing this! I’m a wallower of note – something small happens that upsets me and it can derail me for ages. I know it’s bad, but it’s hard to get out of that habit. Your solution will take some practice, but it’s worth it. Nice and productive 🙂

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