I would like to produce more educational resources for #consultants, #freelancers, and #agencyfounders, but my previous experience in that world makes me hesitant. It’s exhausting, thankless work & left me doubting I have anything to offer. Am I the only one? – @chris_hawk
The question above is one I’ve heard before and let slide by, but this day I responded, that I’m feeling the same way lately. Particularly the exhausted and doubting myself part of the equation, which I told Chris because just these last few weeks I’ve been wondering what’s up with my motivation.
How I’m Feeling
I’ve been trying to finish a book on marketing, that I admit I’ve struggled with motivation for. I had 3 other books I wanted to release this year, and that’s unlikely to happen with the progress I’ve made on them so far, which is none.
It feels in so many ways like nothing is moving forward, I’m just trucking along paying bills.
In some ways it’s funny that now I feel like things aren’t moving instead of 18 months ago. See 18 months ago I was wondering how I’d pay for everything every month. Currently I’ve got a few decent retainer contracts that easily pay all the bills and keep putting money away towards purchasing a house. Instead of stressing every day about how I’ll pay bills, I show up and put in a certain number of hours towards client work and I know it’s all fine.
In so many ways I’m in a much more stable position than 18 months ago, and yet I feel less motivated to push on my own stuff. In part, it’s because my last attempts didn’t get the traction I had hoped. No I wasn’t ever hoping to make millions, an ever increasing return as I release more books and courses would be great.
I supposed this not happening is saying that I’m not finding market fit, but when I survey my readers they’re asking for the exact thing I’m giving them, they’re just not purchasing it after they say they want it.
In part, life is crazy right now. My wife works 3 – 9pm during the week. My oldest is skating 4 days a week (with my wife who is a figure skating coach). I’m there Thursday’s to take my youngest two kids to their skating time. I’m out Friday either at skating then swimming, or just at swimming with my youngest two and then my wife and oldest daughter join us at swimming while we wait for the two younger kids to finish their lessons.
Then I want to run and be in the mountains, which eats Saturday. Sunday is my wife’s run and church and any other thing that comes up.
I’m simply at a busy time in life, and I’m feeling it.
Of Course you Don’t See It
@curtismchale Surprised (and empathetic) to hear you say that, it always seems like you’re killing it. – @chris_hawk
While Chris was surprised to hear that I’m feeling the same way, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. When you’re feeling down, you don’t have the energy to go post anything about how down you’re feeling. You’re just trying to get your pants on in the morning because if they fall out of your hand, it’s back to bed until you muster the motivation again.
I don’t make a conscious effort to only share the cool stuff I’m doing, that’s just how it happens. The tough crappy things are part of life, like why on earth are my kids fighting all day every day right now and never want to go to the beach or the river but complain about never going after spending 2 hours fighting about going? When those times come up, I’m just happy they’re finally mostly staying in bed and I can collapse onto the couch with my wife, only to realize laundry needs to change over again so up I get to change the laundry.
Second, all to often I find those “confession” posts/videos/things to feel all slick and marketing like. In fact, I don’t remember one that didn’t feel like a marketing tactic to be “real” to an audience.
Why on earth would I participate in that crap?
Finally, I’m not sure I realized how I was feeling about big projects until the the week or two before I saw Chris’ tweet. I sat there thinking about the marketing book realizing I was making little progress on it and wondering where my motivation was? Realizing that I’m…not burnt out…but discouraged and instead of dreaming about the traction a product should get just going through the motions.
That’s not to say that the book is bad, I think it’s good. When I read it I think it’s good advice that has helped me build my business. It’s helped my coaching clients build their businesses. I get great feedback as I’ve sent advance copies to people.
But I can still be unmotivated about a project even if everyone says is great, and I even think it’s great.
Getting Past It All
I actually have no idea here. I don’t have 5 tips or 7 practices to do tomorrow morning to suddenly get out of whatever funk you find yourself to be in.
What I do know is that I love my freedom. I write this in the few days before school starts and I’m looking forward to helping with my kid’s cross-country team and have weekly runs throughout the winter.
I enjoyed being able to take off most Monday’s in the summer and get out in the mountains. I like that I’m going to see my kids at swimming lessons, and they come ask me for a perfect “daddy pony” to go to school.
But, that doesn’t mean I’m not tired and going through the motions sometimes. I’m not even sure that’s a bad thing, it’s just part of life. Sometimes even the thing you enjoy doing with all it’s perks is still the thing you have to do when you’d rather be off relaxing.
Maybe I’m looking for a new challenge, and just don’t know what it is yet. I’m trying to find it though.