Entrepreneurship Is Romantic Until It Isn’t
Entrepreneurship is all romantic and fun until reality hits. Imagine losing $800,000 in a failed business. Creditors are knocking on your door. Your friends think you are a bit crazy. You are unemployed, and doubts are beginning to creep in. Worse, you can’t even get out of bed. You’ve lost your mojo.
This is how Mel Robbins found herself many years ago, before the remarkable turnaround that propelled her to the top of the motivational speaking industry.
Nowadays, millions around the world have tuned in to Mel’s message or turned up at events to hear her speak. Because she has lived her message, fans find it authentic. There is no spin.
What there is are simple techniques that can help you get your own mojo back and be more productive in life. Tools like:
- her famous “5 second rule”
- the “daily quit time”
- practicing acts of everyday courage
It’s easy for any of us to feel overwhelmed and depressed when faced with life’s biggest challenges. These productivity techniques will help you stay on top of it all, and get your most important work done.
Have You Battled With Depression?
Mel Robbins’ experiences show that it’s not just ordinary people who struggle with obstacles like shame and depression.
Hearing how one of the business world’s most iconic stars has come back from joblessness and depression shows there’s a path out of our own struggles.
Mel Robbins’ message resonates very well with professional women, but I believe it applies much more widely. From the overworked mom with little time to put into her career to the full-time student juggling two part time jobs, there’s something for all of us to learn.
Get Support From Those Around You
Mel Robbins is the top female motivational speaker in the world, and she is the host of The Mel Robbins Show. She’s also the author of the bestselling book “The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage.”
Mel has not been alone in navigating through life’s less pleasant moments. Indeed, she credits the support she has gotten from her inner circle and her husband for helping her get clarity in tough moments. Sometimes we need those people around us who can show us that the fears and shame we feel are just liars.
After flirting with bankruptcy, Mel found herself unable to get out of bed and get going, feeling bad about being broke.
Her husband encouraged her to start taking action again and get going.
When you don’t take action, you will forever remain trapped thinking that the big scary things are impossible, when, in fact, they are anything but. You just need to get going, and everything will eventually fall into place.
Things definitely feel easier once you’ve taken that first step.
Make a Date With Failure
Recently, I sent a LinkedIn connection request to some C-level executives from a finance publishing company I was interested in doing work with. I definitely questioned myself a bit, but again, it’s nothing but the fears trying to talk me out of a potentially lucrative connection.
I connected anyway, and was pleasantly surprised when some of these individuals connected back. I just planted an important seed for getting work done together in the future.
Again too, how you respond to failure, or the possibility of failure, can empower or cripple you.
Mel Robbins has a saying about failure.
“Big, fat failure is the key to realizing your dreams.” — Mel Robbins
Too many of us allow ourselves to get stopped dead in our tracks because we want to avoid that possibility of failure. Like Mel Robbins, the greats just recognize that failure along the way is a prerequisite to hitting our goals.
Attempting to skirt failure is like wanting to learn to walk without putting one foot in front of the other. If you do that, you will never walk. The sooner you try, and fall flat on your face, the quicker you learn to self correct, and, eventually, you will be walking everywhere as fast as you want.
Learn to Fail, and Handle Failure
Part of the problem with failure is that we have been taught from childhood that failure is wrong and bad. Mel’s experiences show, instead, that we must embrace failure if we want to get ahead.
That means that expect failure to happen in the process of pursuing a big goal. Don’t be put off, as Mel at first was, when it does happen.
Pick yourself up and try again.
Eventually, you will score a big hit. If you are too chicken to even try, you will never get to the big leagues.
Getting out of Rock Bottom
The invention of Mel’s now famous “5-second rule” came at a particularly trying time in her life. In what she calls the “worst moment” of her life, Mel was battling with depression following a severe business failure.
She and her husband had just had their successful restaurant business go bust, leaving them with a $700,000 loss. She was distraught, and she did not want to get up to face the day. This continued until her kids started missing the school bus because she was late getting them off to school.
One day, however, she saw a video on TV of a NASA rocket launch. The countdown to the launch flashed a moment of inspiration in front of her eyes.
Suddenly, she saw the no-excuses way to get her own life going: count down like a rocket ship from 5 to 1, and at 1, go, with no way out.
Applying the 5 Second Rule
She first applied this to getting up out of bed in the morning. It worked well there, so she applied it to other things, and soon, she was routinely knocking out things that had been hard to her before.
Later on, with the support of what she calls her “gang of five,” Mel went on to accomplish some really big things. In her own words, she “went from a nobody” to being the most booked female speaker in the world. Her speaking fees went up exponentially, and the accolades came pouring in.
Tap Your Peak Productivity Window
Along the way, Mel made some other fundamental discoveries that boosted her own productivity even more.
One of these is backed by science from Dan Ariely, a Duke University professor who posits that the body’s peak productivity happens within 2 hours of waking up. Based on this, Mel recommends taking the first couple hours of the day to work single mindedly on your most important goal.
Because the mind is fresh and undistracted, you will make more progress, and faster, than if you clutter your mornings with other tasks first.
Like many of us, Mel found that work expands to fill the time allowed. She found herself working long hours and grinding herself down.
To combat this, she established a firm “daily quit time.” When that hour strikes, work ends. This is such a great technique for us entrepreneurs who are often prone to overworking ourselves.
Your Turn: Embrace Failure and Use the 5 Second Rule
To make the most of these techniques, you can start by embracing your own failures in life and work. Accept that to grow in your career and in life, you must go through episodes of failure. It doesn’t mean that you’re a failure.
Next, consider using Mel’s 5 second rule to get yourself started on taking action on your goals. When confronted with a tough task, rather than procrastinate endlessly, just count down from 5 to 1. At 1, start on the task. Just like a rocket-ship, when you start moving, there’s no turning back.
To make sure you are not wasting your “peak productivity” morning hours, reserve that time for something more consequential. Give yourself that 60-90 minutes at the start of each day to work on your most important initiative.
Your Turn: Set Your Own Daily Quit Time
Finally, set a daily quit time each day, when you will stop working and switch off work. You will be tempted to do more. Instead, stick to your daily quit time. You will enjoy work more, and you won’t be a slave to your own tendencies to overwork yourself.
The work we all do these days is tremendously challenging, but others have gone through similar challenges. What do you think of Mel Robbins’ unique techniques for greater productivity? Give them a shot and see how they work out for you.