I have discovered several women (and guys) in a career funk. Obviously they are good friends or they never would have confided such a weakness to me. They have all lost their mojo and are stuck in the mud, but they are all at different points of this cycle. I find that Lost Mojo has a distinct cycle/path that has to be traveled.
I thought I was the only one to lose my mojo when I ground to a halt back in 2015. Looking back, I see how depressed I was. It stemmed from a bad job situation that I failed to fully recognize.
In my profession, the key phrase is “fake it until you make it”. You never tell the truth to anyone except your absolute closest confidantes and even then you don’t tell it all because you can’t be sure even they can be trusted 100%. You tell your frenemies that you are busy, life is good, your partnership is great, you are happy, etc. I did that, but my problem was I believed my own lies. Once I woke up and looked around, I realized: 1) my partnership wasn’t real, I was only an income stream; 2) my boss was not who I thought he was; and 3) the only person who cared and could make things right for me was ME.
The next step was planning. I had nothing to offer to another firm. No book of business that would earn me a signing bonus, plus I was sick and tired of the corporate BS at the firms. I couldn’t see the benefits of these corporate giants. I had been with one for a decade. It had been great on the resume, but so much of my earnings went into the black corporate hole that it made no economic sense to me. These corporate giants don’t value me. They consider my clients theirs and expect to keep them if I leave. They can even take them away from me if they decide someone else is better suited.
But going back to funks/loss of mojo. My dearest BFF is going thru the deepest slog of the muddy pit of despair. Her ray of hope has been watching me plow through and come out the other side seemingly sanity intact and happy. $$ are still my concern, but I refuse to be afraid or anxious about $$. Although my banker just called me and I trembled about taking that call….all was fine. She needed a referral!
Anyway, I’ve been in this crazy profession for 20+ years and I have spent 15 of those years eating only what I kill. I know that I’m a badass Amazon and I’ll be fine. It may only be rabbits right now, but my vision board is full of elephants because I know that I can land something that will feed me for a long, long time.
BFF has experienced far greater success than me. So perhaps her funk was a greater fall for her. To win her freedom, she made a not-so-great deal with an OK devil. She too wants to believe her boss is a good guy — not a self-centered prick who was sleeping with a bitch in her very small office. A bitch that methodically uses every tool at her disposal to sabotage BFF.
BFF wished for a man who would take care of her. She found him — he has volunteered to support her while she reinvents herself. He believes and supports her wholeheartedly because he’s an entrepreneur and understands the great risk/great reward gamble she needs to undertake.
I have suggested a plan that keeps her in the game while she waits out a new non-compete. She needs to make bold moves this year. She needs to open her eyes again and tell corporate America to go fuck itself. I know she can do it. She’s brilliant, likable, driven. The question is — can she let those of us who love her, help her? I’ll let you know….
My other GF is also in my profession. We bonded over trying to raise kids in our crazy careers. Her story is one of amazing heartache and I think she is one of the strongest, most resilient women I know. I’ll have to write her story one day.
This GF has just recovered her mojo. She is emerging from the mud pit of despair to once again kick butt and take names. She hasn’t changed jobs — she tried but couldn’t find a new spot that was an improvement over her current one. Last week over dinner, she told me that she admires my bravery in setting up Maggie & Co. Her niche does need a big corporate profile, but her competition is brutal. I have no desire for it.
She told me that I was invaluable to her breakthrough. I was so flattered! I think it was because I’m not afraid to speak the truth to her. She has told me her deep secrets and I have shared mine. We see each other for a monthly 3-hour gab fest and we always have each other’s back. Her outlook is bright once more and I am absolutely thrilled for her.
The guy who is in a funk was once at the top of his game. His fall from grace was stunning. He has an older half brother in the game and I’m convinced their father has some sort of crazy gene he passed on to these guys. Both had a fall from grace, both are a bit crazy but everyone loves them. I have heard the rumors of his depressive tendencies, some anger towards his partners, but I’ve never seen it.
This guy jumped out of corporate America when I did. He immediately started his own firm while I stopped at my previous job. He was doing OK but he has struggled with a sense of purpose. He’s tried different things, gotten divorced, found new love, just had a baby, but he hasn’t gotten back to his previous earning power. He was once part of a powerful team that was making tons of $$. The team is no more, but their friendship remains which says a lot about all of them.
This guy wants to be affiliated with Maggie & Co — maybe. He wants his independence and to keep his own firm, but he finds the daily solo slog difficult. He doesn’t want a boss, but I have never agreed to be a boss — only a facilitator. My brilliant idea is to match him with my BFF — they would both be formidable once again….That meeting will be soon. Very soon.
So if you have lost your mojo, it’s OK. It happens to us all. You just need to realize that the answers are within you. You and you alone are the only person who can fix your funk. Don’t look to others, don’t blame others — take a deep breath and look inside. And talk to people that you trust because they will tell you the truth. I’ll write some more about this on my journey out of the mud pit of despair….