I lost my business mojo

I seem to have lost my blogging voice lately. It’s weird. I think part of it is being out of practice. I used to blog every single day, and now, that’s a lot harder with work and sharing a computer. I have a lot less time to sit and mull over my blog post. That makes me kinda sad. And when I do go to write, I can’t seem to get the words right. They feel awkward in my head, and look more awkward on the screen.

It seems I’m temporarily stuck.

It’s not that I don’t have things to write about – I do. I’ve got lots. But none of it seems worth it, none of it seems to want to find the words.

I wonder if part of it is feeling like no one is paying attention. I mean, of course people are paying attention, I have readers for pete’s sake, but I guess I’ve been questioning the point lately.

Actually, I’ve been doing that with a lot of my business. I think it’s because I have a job, and a regular paycheck. It changed the dynamic between myself and my art in ways that I didn’t expect. And ways that I’m still struggling to address.

Things like, I’ve stopped expecting my business to make money. So I’ve stopped doing the things that would help it make money. In a totally bizarre way, I’ve given up on it. It’s like something in my brain is going “Oh well, you’ve got a steady paycheck now, better give up on this making money independently thing”.

I don’t get it. I don’t understand how this happened. It’s completely blindsided me. True, I’m painting again and experimenting again and that feels awesome, but I’ve nearly completely abandoned the business side of things. And it was a side that I enjoyed, the power of running my own business.

I’m wondering if I gave my power away when I signed up for a paycheck. I wonder if it’s secretly wiped out my hustle. Before, I had to hustle ’cause guess what? This is the only money coming in. Now I feel…cushioned. Protected. It’s really, really bizarre. It’s like I’ve lost my business mojo.

To be perfectly frank, it kinda freaks me out.

It’s like an apathy has come over me. I just can’t seem to see the point of marketing or writing the blog or hanging out on Twitter. This is baffling! Completely and totally baffling. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.

And because it scares me, I haven’t been able to deal with it. I’ve been too apathetic to deal with it. So while I’m all gung ho about my art, and creating and learning and I’ve been a lot happier, I’ve been completely ignoring this entire part of my life that I’ve just totally abandoned.

I don’t get it. I just don’t get it. I can’t even seem to deal with it. There’s this big wall, this great big stuck here that is so bizarre to me that I’ve barely even been able to acknowledge it’s presence.

I guess the only thing I can do is meet myself where I am. Which is…umm…I don’t know. Floating somewhere in this great void of apathy. Confused. Not sure of what to do. Not even entirely sure what’s wrong with me.

I think I’ve fallen out of alignment with my business. Getting a job, getting a paycheck triggered something in me, some latent pattern that thinks that getting a job means no more business mojo. Or something.

It’s like I’ve given up my right to make money independently. Even as I write this, trying to get myself to care about my business making money, part of me just seems to balk. It’s like it’s saying “Oh no, we don’t do that anymore. Sorry.” And then shuts off.

It’s incredibly frustrating. This is my thing! My passion! My business! My empire! (Every empire has to start somewhere.) So why the heck have I stopped caring about it? What exactly is wrong with me?

There’s something deep going on here. Really deep. There’s a knot to untangle, a wall to shift. I’m having trouble even typing this because it’s just so stuck. There’s no space around it, no room to breathe. It’s just this big tangle of ropes, heaving and sweating and groaning.

Sigh.

And if I’m totally honest, more than freaking me out, this whole situation makes me sad. I miss my business. I miss hustling. I miss that side of myself that I seem to have sacrificed to the paycheck gods.

I’ll let you know if I figure anything out.

Current Bids

  1. bej says

    As a writer, I find that I don’t market and create at the same time. (And since most of what I write is poetry, I can’t expect to live on it!–which is different from your situation.) I focus on writing for a while and then on the admin business side of it. When things are going well, these flow into one another from one day to the next. But at other times I focus on just one side. Also, getting a “day job” to support myself ALWAYS takes more time and energy than I think it will! But for me, a day job is a necessity right now, and I also find it a source of rich material and learning. Good luck sorting all of these issues out. Moving is a HUGE deal. I have moved a lot over the past 20 years and I noticed that it usually takes me 3 months to settle in and a good 6 months before my writing gets flowing again. Maybe you have an adjustment period too? I hope these comments help somehow. I enjoy reading your blog and can empathize with some of your struggles. All the best!

  2. says

    You’ve had a lot of change recently. And you were really really tired. Go read some of your blog posts when you first got that job. You were TIRED.

    So maybe you are just taking some much needed time to adjust. You are getting back into painting gently and experimentally and that is feeling good.

    At some point (soon, probably) I bet you’ll get back into running your own business, gently, experimenting with things.

    And I bet that’ll be good, too. Because you won’t be desparate and scared. You’ll have the paycheque as a cushion.

    You’ve got time. You can be here where you are for a bit.

  3. says

    @Wormy – I like the idea of a fallow period. It’s much more comforting than “I’ve lost my get up and go”. Will attempt to be patient with myself, although that’s easier said than done ;-)

    @Diana – Lurkers and commenters are both welcome here ! (Confession – I’m a lurker too.)

    It’s actually not the lack of selling that’s got me down – I’ve sold more this year than ever before. It’s like my motivation to try and sell just got up and left when I wasn’t looking. It’s completely bizarre.

    But at the same time, maybe my lack of sales the past month has been at least partially because of the economy so I can remind myself of that at least and cut myself some slack :)

    I always remind myself that the pieces that are still here are the ones whose perfect owners haven’t found them yet ;)

  4. says

    Hi Sarah,
    I’m a reader of yours but a bit of a lurker, sorry.

    Would it be rude of me to point out that our current economic downturn has taken the spice out of selling for a lot of us?

    I know I can only take so much rejection, and when artwork starts to take over my studio and the walls of my home instead of selling, I get dispirited.

    In fact, just today I was thinking I should put it all out of sight! Because walking by these pieces that were such a joy to create, these pieces that haven’t found homes yet, that’s kind of sad.

    I hope we are able to return to a normal marketplace for art in the near future. I don’t know how long I can maintain my motivation for my own small business with so little interest in the marketplace.

    I’m so glad this hasn’t dampened your interest in painting for its own sake!
    .-= Diana´s last blog ..La Vida es Dulce (Life is Sweet) =-.

  5. says

    Oh, hard! Yuck! First off, this requires tea and chocolate cake and toffee. Yum, toffee.

    I think I know where you’re coming from at the moment because what you describe here seems similar to what I’ve been going through in a slightly different way.

    I feel a little like a rabbit stuck in the headlights, startled, blinded, panicking and knowing I need to make a move but not being able to.

    Whilst I’m not suggesting this is what you’re feeling, I’ve been experiencing an apathy to dealing with this and that is what I identify with.

    I sat down today to write about it because I was all jittery today and needed to sort it out in my head. I realised that first off I need to be kind to myself about this, then I need to be really sure about what it is I want out of this situation rather than what I think is expected for me to want.

    It sounds to me (and feel free to take this with a pinch of salt) that earning money has let you explore the art, taken the pressure off your art having to earn and therefore conform to a “standard”, but there is also a part of you that was hugely empowered by running your business and that gently you’ll reconcile being able to play with art and play in business. In the mean time, you’ve got your rent covered.

    Sounds like a fallow season to me, with a bit of replenishing going on after the move, settling in and down, saying good bye to the beginnings of your new adventure and ensuring you’ve got enough inside before continuing in your new direction. If you’re used to pushing on ahead like crazy, these times can drive you nuts.

    Oh sweets – lots of hugs and warm wishes.
    xx
    .-= Wormy´s last blog ..You’re Invited! =-.