When you feel lost (or tired), return to your roots

Yowza, 2017 has gone by in a flash.

Yet this last month of the year is still vitally important to your business.

If you are a bit tired at this point, I fully understand.

Last week on Wednesday, I reached my own “cup full” moment and had to check out for the long weekend to recover my energy.

Between plates of leftovers, ice skating in downtown Mesa and corny holiday movies, I sat outside and looked at the garden.

“There is so much left to do. I want to do it all. Why didn’t I get to it earlier in the year?”

I felt the frustration start to creep in.

Taking a deep breath, I remembered one of the fundamental parts of building a significant body of work: your best work is anchored by your “roots” – the deep, enduring connection you have to why your work has meaning in the world, and why you are the person to do it.

Usually our roots are anchored in the long-term change we want to drive in the world.

This change is messy, and takes time. It is the long haul.

One of my roots is:

“building the leadership capacity of small business owners so that no one has to face the pain of economic instability.”

This is a deep, complicated web of work that involves thousands of partners over decades of building.

It is ok to take a little break. Pacing ourselves is essential.

Passion is fleeting

Sometimes we mistake fatigue or momentary confusion for “lack of passion.”

I think about passion in business the same way I see romance on Hallmark Christmas specials.

A three-day whirlwind relationship between the “uptight marketing girl from New York” and the “scruffy yet handsome handyman from the country” ends in a marriage proposal under the misteltoe.

Fairy tale passion equal to “launch a six-figure business in your jammies in one weekend!”

While we long for the simple fantasy, we know that the reality is much more complex and interesting. I dream of producing the sequel.

“Uptight marketing girl from New York” suddenly realizes that the small town is not everything it is cracked up to be. She rages at her neighbors, gets loaded on Jack Daniels and makes a huge scene in the country store. “Scruffy yet handsome handyman from the country” is annoyed as hell at his new wife and wishes he never decided to throw flour at her while baking cookies, leading to their first fleeting kiss, interrupted by a family member who walked into the room at the exact moment their lips were about to touch. He drives off in his pickup truck, never to be seen again.

If it were easy, everyone would do it, right?

Roots are enduring

Get your mojo back by reconnecting to your roots.

There has to be a true purpose for you to be in business.

Why is your product or service necessary, beyond making money for you?

Why is it important for you to bring it forward at this specific time of year?

Why is it important for you in particular to bring it forward for your particular audience?

What will happen if you don’t do this thing?

Why is the struggle and conflict worth it? Is it worth it?

Roots Reset

Spend some time in quiet contemplation of your roots.

You may find, as I did, that a well of fresh energy, resolve and motivation will bubble up, just in time for the month of December.

Reader Interactions


  1. Phyllis says

    Words of wisdom. The “If it were easy” line rattles around in my head often.
    Another wise person shared with me that we don’t have to struggle. We don’t get extra points for pushing past the point of meaningful.
    Thanks for the reminder and reset. Huge help today.

  2. Lisa says

    This is beautiful Pam! Such a great metaphor…that hallmark movie .
    These stories we create for ourselves based on those “non” reality shows. Thanks for the inspiration to relax, reflect and find the energy in my roots!! Definitely needing to do this!

  3. Darcy says

    Thank you for this, Pamela. This is exactly what I needed, right in this very moment. And thank you for your other posts, which I have read and found very helpful.

  4. Abby Rudek says

    Thank you for sharing this, Pam. Your words of wisdom always seem to align with something I am currently experiencing, and I seem to always find assurance and remembrance in your posts. Love, Abby

  5. Lawrence Fox says

    As usual, running behind…terrific post and a great set of questions to ask myself (and maybe challenge others in some of my networking groups, if I may?)

    I plan to spend some time during the Christmas break looking at 2017 and planning for 2018–and these questions will be part of that process.



  6. Dave says

    This thinking is what got me excited about improv again. I’m excited to start facilitating these workshops in 2018. Thanks for the inspiration, Pam.

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