Let’s face it: writing and operating a business has it’s ups and downs. I’m always suspicious of Pollyanna types who say business is all sunshine and roses every day. Yes, I like my life and what I do, but everyone gets the blues sometimes.
In my case, yesterday was my first day back at work after a 10-day trip. In the morning, I was greeted by more than 250 emails that I had to sort through and file. While I was away, I managed to catch an East Coast germ, so I have some nasty sinus problem. I’m coughing and it feels like I have a piece of quilt batting wrapped around my head. Then we had a couple of customer support issues to deal with, which took up even more email and phone time.
Looking back, I got no actual productive work done yesterday. Today my head is still muzzy, and I’m facing some large looming deadlines.
The net result is that today I’m feeling tired, discouraged, and grumpy. When you are feeling less than glorious about the state of your world, here are five things you can do get past a case of the blues:
1. Talk to a trusted friend or mastermind partner. Since 2005, another author and I have talked at least twice a month about our businesses and book projects. Being able to share both the highs and lows of your business with another professional is incredibly valuable.
2. Join discussion groups. I am a member of a private marketing discussion group. Over time, particularly with a private group, a level of trust develops and again you can share your struggles without worrying that people will slam you for being a “failure” or inadequate. Be extremely picky about the groups you join online. You want to deal with professionals, not a lot of people that are basically flame-warriors looking for the slightest excuse to rant and make others feel bad. (Many forums degenerate to an amazingly immature level all too quickly.)
3. Go for a walk. I know it’s simplistic, but exercise and just getting away from your desk really does help. I have four dogs, so I have ample encouragement from the Canine Division of Logical Expresssions to go out for an afternoon walk every day. I find that after the walk, I often feel better.
4. Don’t compare yourself to others or dwell on the news. When you’re feeling tired and down, hyped-up emails from Internet marketers claiming to be “rich beyond the dreams of avarice” are particularly depressing. The national news is often even more disheartening. If you are fighting a case of the doldrums, stay away from the media. Turn off the RSS feed, close your browser, and delete marketing emails without reading them.
5. Give yourself a break. Some days, you just aren’t going to be as productive as other days. That’s life. I know I have deadlines looming, but I’m not going to get a book cover, a gigantic Web site project, and this newsletter all done today. And that’s okay.
Being a book publisher or owning a business of any kind isn’t easy. It’s okay to have down moments. Take the time to care for yourself physically and emotionally. It’s vital to the health of both you and your business.