Post written by Mic Johnson, Blogger|LinkedIn Trainer|WordPress Content Guy|Social Coach|Rational Optimist|Jayhawk Fanatic|Cancer Volunteer
“Life is a roller coaster. It goes up and it goes down. All we have to do is hang on.”
– Mic Johnson
I want to share a little story of how this blog post you’re reading came to be. I got up this morning, shaved my baby face with an electric razor, brushed my teeth, watered the flowers and plants, and turned on the sprinklers. Then I went to the gym and got in an hour workout, lifting weights, doing some cardio, and ending with a few sit-ups.
The entire time I kept thinking, “I need to write a blog article today. What am I going to write about?” It’s that way for me sometimes. Sometimes I’m inspired and have all kinds of ideas to choose from. Sometimes I have writer’s block and I can’t seem to land on anything that gets my creative juices flowing.
So I thought about a few LinkedIn topics. I thought about writing how businesses can get started with blogging. I thought about talking about a WordPress web site project we’re working on. All of these ideas went through my head, but none of them inspired me enough to sit down and start writing.
I finished up my workout, got into my car, and drove home. As I pulled up to our house, the sun was shining (on an unusually cool and gorgeous morning in Kansas City) and the sprinkler was doing it’s best to help our yard get through the summer. And then the idea for this post hit me….
Watching the water spray across our still-mostly-green grass got me thinking about how often I get frustrated (and yes, sometimes depressed) when things in life and business just aren’t going my way.
So why did the sprinkler inspire me to write this post? Well, lately in Kansas City the local weather folks have been talking almost daily about the chances of rain. I’ve been watching the forecast regularly and hoping that we’d get some rain so my yard, flowers and plants could get a much needed drink.
We live in an older neighborhood so sprinkler systems aren’t commonplace. I don’t enjoy taking the time each week to get the hose out to water all of the plants, landscaping and the yard.
But I do it so that the grass stays green, the plants grow, and the flowers bloom. I do it because I know if I don’t, everything will die. And most of all, I do it because it makes our house feel like a home. So I….
Jason and I have discussed recently how business slowed down for us in May and June. We’ve heard that from several other business owners too. In fact, I heard it this morning from another business owner I see at the gym regularly. It’s natural to think (and Jason and I did this too), “What are we doing wrong? Why did this happen? What are we missing? Do we need to change the way we do things?”
It’s important for businesses to go through that exercise periodically to make sure what they do, and how they do it, still has value. But it’s also important to realize that ups and downs are a part of business, especially as the economy continues to struggle after years of recession.
Sometimes things are just outside of your control. Sometimes business owners won’t make the right buying decisions even when it’s staring them in the face. Sometimes a client loses business and it has a trickle down effect and impacts your business relationship. You can drive yourself crazy asking “Why?”, but most times you won’t get anywhere. So you get back to the basics. You plant some seeds. You reach out to people. You meet new people. You get together with people you haven’t talked to in awhile.
Today, I reconnected with a woman who I haven’t seen in months. She called and wanted to get together so she could tell me about a new business she’s starting. She also wanted to better understand what Blue Gurus does so she can refer clients to us. Will it lead to business for me, for her, for both of us? I don’t know. But this is one way I….
After that appointment, I had lunch with someone that was referred to me from a mutual friend. He’s not looking to hire Blue Gurus.
Instead, he’s looking for a new job. Because of my previous experience as a recruiter and my history of working in corporate, small business, and start-ups, occasionally I’ll meet with people to do a little career counseling.
I’m not paid for this time and oftentimes I help someone and never hear from them again. But occasionally someone comes back to me and hires us to help them out. In fact, we’re currently working on a web site project for someone I did some career counseling with about a year ago. When he landed a new job, they needed a new web site, and he reached out to me. Just one more reason why I…..
Later today, I’m getting together with a group I put together called Introducing Awesome. They are awesome people that I’ve met throughout my career and who inspire me. We meet once a month, with no set agenda, and with one simple idea in mind….
“When you get awesome people together, that’s when the magic happens.”
I never go into this gathering thinking “I better get some business from these people today.” I go in inspired and excited about what we might talk about, what problems we might solve together, what new opportunities might come up, what information we share, and how we might help each other personally and professionally. It’s a group of GIVERS getting together and it’s one of the things I look forward to the most each month. Just one more way I…..
Whether it’s going to the gym regularly, reconnecting with people in business, reaching out to friends or family you haven’t seen or talked to in awhile, or something as simple as watering the lawn….nothing grows without love, care, and effort…don’t give up…don’t put it off….instead, keep watering….
What about you? When business or life frustrates you, what techniques do you use to “keep watering”? I’d love to hear them. Please leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.