How to Get Yourself Out of a Slump

Text of my newsletter from 16th May.

If you prefer to listen:

When I look back on my career, both before and since I went independent, the things that come to mind first are the times I screwed up.

Sometimes they just pop into my mind, other times I’m reminded of them.

Yet from a distance, my overall career trajectory has been OK, at least so far.

Steadily increasing responsibilities (and money) during my employment days, and steadily increasing satisfaction during my self-employment days.

Despite that, the times I got things horribly wrong pop into my mind first.

And I squirm with embarrassment.

In the first article I’ve linked to below, Mark Schaefer writes about exactly this point, and it prompted me to consciously focus on, and think about, the things that went well.

As I did so, I began to feel more relaxed and confident.

I also started to reflect on what I had learnt from the disasters: better ways of handling situations, better ways to approach projects, and the need to spend more time on what, to me, was the boring stuff: getting into the weeds.

As a result, looking back, I became better at what I did.

The pain caused by every one of those screw-ups taught me a lesson. (Pain-avoidance is a big motivator!).

Thinking about the successes reminded me of something I learned in a course, but hadn’t practiced for years:

Take the time to write down a list of the things you have done that were successful, and for which you were complimented, promoted or given a raise, and keep that list in a drawer. Make it as complete and as detailed as you can, add to it when you remember other things.

Then, every time you’re feeling down, take out the list, read it and think about those successes for a bit.

It’s a great way to shake yourself out of a slump.

This week’s links

In addition to Mark Schaefer’s life lessons, I’ve also linked to an article that explains skyscraper content, a content distribution playbook and 4 local marketing tips for small businesses.

5 life lessons from 40 years in Marketing

Mark Schaefer looks back on his (so far) 40-year career in marketing and offers 5 observations on his success. As I said above, the impact of pain on learning and subsequent success resonated strongly with me:

5 life lessons from 40 years in marketing

Skyscraper content: how to help your readers

As with any industry, the online marketing world is riddled with jargon. You will have heard terms such as ‘Skyscraper content’, ‘Pillar content’, ‘Cornerstone content’ and so on.

They are all the same thing, and they are a powerful content marketing tool.

Mark Walker describes the concept in this article, using the term ‘Skyscraper content’, and how to do it well:

Skyscraper content: how to help your readers

Content distribution playbook

Promoting your own content may feel awkward, but it will generate more results than just writing more content.

Ross Simmonds challenges you to focus on promoting the content you’ve already written for a month, and sets out a specific, 6-day content promotion cycle that you can follow, step-by-step:

Content distribution playbook

4 local marketing tips for small businesses

Umesh Kumar offers four easy-to-implement local marketing tips for small businesses:

4 local marketing tips for small businesses


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Cool (and smart) people and businesses to follow

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