Sometimes finding the right words to describe how you are feeling can be difficult.
After the crash in 2008, I was asked to talk to a group about “How to get your mojo back.” The request wasn't to talk about where the mojo had gone (that was obvious); it was to help write a prescription for ways to get it back. As a relatively positive guy, it wasn't difficult for me to come up with the advice. But the dynamic today is different.
The absence of mojo in 2022 is more about the overall company mojo than just individuals. The business just feels tired and down and lacks energy. The team has been running at aggressive levels in very weird and stormy waters for a long time and, while they do show up, they are not all there.
Residential construction is a business that has a history of people feeding off one another to motivate and inspire. That people dynamic has changed.
I've seen sales teams lose their motivation, staffs burning through their aid time off, and businesses where unexpected resignations are happening in droves, some leaving without even another job lined up.
Recently I read about a phenomenon called “quiet quitting” that helped put into words what I've been seeing out in the field. Quiet quitting is not just leaving the business, it is about quitting the work or changing the work ethic and priorities.
Most of the columns I write come with tips and suggestions on how to change or fix things. In this column, I am just recognizing and being empathetic about what you all are experiencing. Know that you are not alone, and if your business has felt really gung-ho, be thankful, not critical. I hope that in future columns and podcasts I will be able to share more real-life examples and tips on ways to fix this. But for now, let’s just acknowledge what we know:
- Misery loves company ... choose not to participate. This means try to focus on the positives in your business and not the negatives. Stop watching the news and staring at your phone feeds.
- People feed off people. The more people interactions the better. Some can be face-to-face and some virtual, but try to keep interacting. Try to hang in there and connect on a personal level, too. If you are feeling a little down, a call to a friend may be the best medicine.
- Know that what you are doing is important. Home building is important. You create joy in homeowners' lives by creating wonderful homes. These projects are where fond memories are built. Every prospect that reaches out to you is an opportunity to help someone, not just a sale.
- Listen. Sometimes the reason a client (or a team member) is acting in a certain way may have more to do with other stresses in their lives, not you or the business. It may be some of the same funk that we are all feeling.
- Be kind. Before my mother died, I asked her what she thought about heaven. She said, "I'm not sure, but it is important to be kind."
We all just need to be more kind. While this is not a guarantee to get the mojo back, it's a start.