Today, I am slamming my fist down on the Go Button.
As I write this on the day after Christmas, I am watching Paul Soares Jr. and his dog Wilson fight a hoard of zombies, giant spiders and skeletons in the twilight forest using only his wits and a sword crafted from diamond. My 6-year-old and I play Minecraft together, and Paul has awesome Minecraft tutorial videos. Believe it or not, the epic battle Paul is waging in Litches castle (Paul is winning) is the biggest motivation for me to keep the promise that I made to myself before Christmas. The promise that I made was that I would rededicate myself to taking Late Night Internet Marketing to the next level.
Of course, all of that requires some explanation, but…
First, let me say thanks to all of you who have sent me tweets, email messages and Facebook posts trying to figure out where I've been. Truth is, I kinda lost my MoJo coming into the end of the year. Things were going really great in October. While I had not come close to hitting all of my 2012 goals, I was gaining ground and things were moving in the right direction. I released episode 40 of the podcast from Asia and I got back to Dallas all set to record episode 41. But I was pretty tired from the travel and then some major changes started happening in Day-Job land. And then, nothing.
Day Job Excitement (and excuses)
Most of you know that I have a pretty big job with a large electronics company here in Dallas. I think a lot of you are in a situation similar to mine — a day job that you don't hate by day, side hustle/hobby/blog/project at night. Out of respect for my employer, I never call them out by name on this blog. I've worked there for over 20 years, and really believe they are one of the best companies to work for on the planet. In fact, they constantly rank well in the best companies to work for, best companies for working moms, etc. The company is built on a foundation of corporate ethics and respect for people. It's a great company with a rich history.
But even a great company has to make adjustments that impact people sometimes, and my day-job company here in Dallas is no exception. The changes were will publicized in the mainstream media, and hundreds of people were impacted.
So, without getting into too many details, let's just say I still work for the same company, but my job is changed, and I have been totally distracted by all of the chaos surrounding the change. There is a lot more to this part of the story, but I don't want to violate my own rules about not discussing work on the blog. (I also don't work on LateNightIM.com while I am at work). I view it like crossing the beams in Ghostbusters.
But here is the thing — distraction is not really the whole story.
The Anatomy Of A Funk
Like I mentioned before, I sort of lost my MoJo. It's a little hard to admit, and I'll be talking more about it on episode 41 of the podcast when it is released (tomorrow). I've heard long-time marketers like Nicole Dean talk about “getting into a funk” before, but I never really understood what they meant exactly. It turns out that if you briefly lose focus and motivation (for whatever reason), it is very easy to let days, weeks (and in this case a couple of months) go by without working on your side hustle.
It's one of the reasons for my rule that you should “do something to work on your internet business every day, no matter what.” But I broke my own rule.
For me, it all kinda felt like when the batteries die in a remote control car. It just slows down and stops responding to commands.
I am still not sure exactly what happened, but if this has ever happened to you, then you can let me know your thoughts. It all started with some procrastination and excuses. I kept thinking during the day that I would get to recording that next episode tonight. But then tonight would come, and I would watch TV instead of recording. Or, I would go to bed early. I would literally “promise myself” that I was going to do online stuff at night, but when night came I would decide to “start tomorrow.” I was tired. NCIS LA was on. The Cowboys were playing. What ever.
Once this had gone on for a couple of weeks I started to get frustrated with myself, and that made it even worse for some reason.
Lot's of excuses for why this happened. I was tired from traveling, there was lots of chaos at work., I had some minor computer trouble, there was the stress of the holidays, etc. The thing is, there are always excuses. The key is figuring out how to power through them.
Getting Out Of A Funk
I am not expert on Funks. So, I am certainly not able to give you good advice for getting out of yours. But I can tell you that my experience is that you need to remember why you are doing what you are doing, celebrate small successes, and draw on the support of people around you.
For me, the key to getting out of my funk was about three things
- Support from fans. I got some really nice tweets, Facebook messages, and emails wondering if everything was OK. I loved that. It helped me remember why I am working on LateNightIM in the first place. I didn't like having to tell people that I was being a slug, and I could not help them if I was not engaging and producing content.
- An unexpected conversation with Paul Soares Jr. of MineCraft fame and Pat Flynn. That conversation made my week. More on that on the Podcast. Note also that Paul will be appearing on the podcast in an episode soon. After that conversation with Paul, I was really pumped up (and so was my kid, which was double-neato).
- My wife. She's been encouraging me in a really sweet and helpful way to “get serious” about LateNightIM.com. She is the reason this all got started in the first place, so her encouragement is particularly appropriate.
So, I am back. I have some serious goals for 2013 that I will share in a post next week. Note that the goals include immediately returning to weekly production of the Late Night Internet Marketing Podcast. And I plan to track them monthly and report my success right here.
I'd love to hear your thoughts about all this. What are your experiences with motivational funks?