FB Live: 3 Things to Ditch if You're in a Career Funk

In this Facebook & IG live, I'm coming to you from _______. Hint: It was discovered by the Germans in 1904. If you get that reference, we need to be friends!

What the heck is this LIVE about? Funks...mind-numbing, soul-sucking career funks! It happens to the best of us. We lose the luster for our career. So what can we do about it? Throw in the towel and surrender. No, friends! We are not quitters. We are ditchers. We can start by ditching three things that every single person has been guilty of doing.

This one is going to be a shorty, but a goodie. Pinky promise. Stay classy;)

Watch the video below to find out where I am and learn 3 things to ditch when you’re in a career funk.


A quick game of: Where in the World is Barbara? If you guys read the emails or posts, you know the place I'm at was discovered by the Germans in 1904, and if you got my Anchorman reference, you could guess I am sitting in, not so sunny today, San Diego.

Yesterday was fun. I had a good travel day, even though I forgot to pre-check my flight. Normally I do and I used to have A-List Preferred, but I hardly travel so instead I had a C boarding pass. If you guys know Southwest, C is equivalent to death. You're going to be squished between two guys with extremely large shoulders that are clipping their toenails. I mean that's basically what C means. As I was walking in, I was literally the last person on the plane. The flight attendant kind of winked at me and she was standing in the exit row in front of a chair. And I said is that seat open? And she was like, yep, and it's all yours. I couldn’t believe it! It was awesome. I love southwest.

A for our talk today is going to be a little bit hodgepodge. Like I said I'm in San Diego, sitting outside. It was raining earlier, which explains my crazy frizzy hair. And not only that, but I had the audacity to wear a white t-shirt today. And I also spilled coffee because I was walking and talking. Clearly I can't have nice things. Like I don't know, that's my life.

Let me tell you guys why I'm traveling. If you can see behind me, I’m at the Social Media Marketing World. This got me thinking about what today's topic would be, so it's kind of different. It's not about marketing. It's not about sales. It's about, what to do when you hit a slump in your career and how to get out of it.

I was recently having a conversation with one of my clients who has been in a funk and she was asking what to do? It was kind of like a pep talk session for her. Because she felt just burnt out with her career. Like she was just going through the motions. For those of you that know me personally, I am a fixer. It's kind of a good and bad quality, but I hate when people are going through hard times or where they're not happy with their life in some way. Immediately I'm say, let's make a plan. Let’s work on this. And it was just me and a girlfriend talking about how to jump out of a career funk. After that I talked about it with a couple of other people and what I found is, it doesn't matter whether you're working full time or you're a stay at home mom and your number one role is to take care of your babies. We all get in funks with what we're doing. It's human nature. No one wants to be living life operating in a funk. So how do you get out of there?

I came up with a few big points that I want to share with you in order to ditch that funk and I have a few other life tips that have helped me and my friends.

BTW: I hope that you guys tag and share your coworkers and even your team, because I think everybody gets in this. A lot of times people don't tell their boss they're in a funk. Who wants to let their boss know that they're not excited about their job? It feels like career suicide or you don't want your boss thinking of that. But it's probably likely that if they've been doing this awhile or if they're not showing up how they used to. Everyone understands the career funk.

The very first thing I want us to ditch is the whole comparison game. We all think somebody else has it all figured out but the truth is, nobody has it all figured out all the time. If somebody tells you that they've got it figured out on social media, we think that people know what they're doing and they're pursuing their passion and they're always “on,” that's a lie. So the very first thing to ditch is thinking that somebody else is further along in their career or in their life than you are. That's a dangerous road to be on. It doesn’t serve you at all.

The second thing that I want you to ditch is the idea of blaming somebody else for your funk. Nobody else is responsible for your career or for where you're at in life. Nobody else is going to be responsible for that. Ditch the idea that somebody else is responsible to take your career or your life to the next level that you want to be at because it is simply not true.

And the reason I wanted to bring this up while I'm here attending the Social Media Marketing conference is because one of the biggest things we can do to get out of the funk of our career is to find something that we're really passionate about again, and re-focus. For all of us, whatever we're doing, there are different, exciting levels of expertise within what we're doing that we need to find and ignite. I know for some, let's say you're in multi-family, you're a property manager and maybe you've been at the same property for 5, 10, 15 years, I talked to managers that have been in their community 30 years, so how do they do it? How do they last so long avoiding that funk?

The reality is, if you settle into the idea that it's good enough where you're at and you’re complacent being where you're at; you're eventually going to get into a funk because you're not learning, you're not growing. The idea that you should settle is another bad mindset that needs to be ditched.

I wanted to share this quote from Vince Lombardi, “The joy is in creating and not maintaining.” And what that means is: we all want to be comfortable. That’s a big goal everybody's working towards. But what we actually find is human beings need something exciting to look forward to. We need something to be passionate about and we're most excited when we're doing and creating new things, not maintaining the status quo.

The biggest antidote for feeling like you're in a slump is to take action. Action creates opportunities. Action gets us moving to new possibilities. But before we can take action, we need to learn to ditch the noise. A lot of the times when we're in a funk, we're not sure why we're in a funk, but we're so busy that we're just going through everything we have to go through. It's hard to think about what it is that is causing us to be in that funk. You need to ditch the noise, take some time and remember why you got into the career that you did in the first place, and ask yourself what it is that you loved about it.

When I first became a property manager, I very quickly fell into a funk. The reason I got in property management is because I loved people and I loved marketing and I loved sales, but I was actually doing very little of the things I cared about. I was really just in operation mode and trying to keep my head above water. It’s no wonder I found myself in a funk. To try to fix that, I jumped back in and said how can I incorporate the things that I love and create? From there I could claim my expertise. I started digging into marketing. I started thinking, how can I build this from my expertise? What is the voice that I bring to the table? And that is something you've got to look for.

John Wooden, UCLA coach, says “if you wait, when opportunity comes, it's too late to prepare.” So for those of you that are not happy, where you're at in your career, in your life, you can start preparing right now for the opportunity that you want and then activate the opportunities that you already have. With preparation comes investment.

Some people are lucky and have jobs that pay for training and education. That is a wonderful tool, if you have it use it. But you might be asking: What if my boss doesn't want to invest in me? What if there's a conference I want to go to or there's a session that I want to do and they're just not willing to spend the money on me?

The biggest advice I can offer to that is the same advice I practice for myself: Invest in You. I spend money on me. I know I hear a lot of people say well, it's not my job to pay to go to a conference or it's not my job to take this online course. The bottom line is when you invest in yourself; that's an investment that you take wherever you go. Whether you're at a property or you're at this one or whatever you're doing, any of those investments, they're going to stay with you. You are the best place to invest in because nobody can ever take that away from you.

So if you've hit a funk, look for an opportunity reignite some passion in your career. For me, I'm here at Social Media Marketing World. My focus this year is all on marketing Sprout and Lauren's focus is on building and growing our team. We both have a clear focus and we're both taking training that is leading us in that direction.

Early on when I started Sprout, I had no money. My husband and I bootstrapped the business, for those of you that don't know our story. I had zero dollars. I not only gave up my job, but I also wasn't making money initially and I didn't want to take out a loan. I invested in a $1,200 course.

Some of you've heard of Marie's B school. I saw it online, I watched all of the courses and I was just inspired by the way this person talked about business and I just loved it and I thought, you know what? I can either figure this out alone and I can pay the costly price of doing this for years and years or I can go to somebody that's years ahead of me. And it was $1,200. And I remember that it was expensive. And then I talked to Lauren about it and we said, let's do it.

We also invested in getting a mentor. We paid for a business coach long before we could afford it. At the beginning it was virtual. We were doing it with a coach that we'd never met and was coaching multiple people. And then in the years we saw the value of that. So we hired another coach. That's the bottom line. If you want to learn to cook, you're going to go to somebody that knows how to cook. If there's an area of your career that you're interested in, prepare for the opportunity before it's even there. Take those courses. Don't wait for somebody to give you that handout or to take that opportunity for you.

The next thing is, you have to be okay with being uncomfortable. A lot of times when we get in a rut, it's because we're doing the same thing day in and day out and we're expecting to have a different result. We know Albert Einstein said that's insanity. So get comfortable doing something that is uncomfortable. Stop the security of the familiar. I wrote that down because I think sometimes we get really like comfy in what's familiar. I know for me, at a certain year mark, I'd start to get a little bit burnt out and a little bit frustrated. And that was when it was time to switch it up again. For those of you that have been at your jobs like two, three, four years, you might be starting to hit that funk, that feeling of I’m over it, that burnout. That is a sign for you to change your comfy routine. Get uncomfortable.

Now for some practical things for when you're in a funk. Practical things to say, “First of all, what are my goals? What are my career goals? What are my life goals?” and then ask yourselves, “Are my actions every single day in line with my goals?” I love that. It's like if you say that you want to lose weight, you want to be healthy, but you're sitting at home and it's 6:00 and you're binging on Netflix and eating a bunch of Cheetos. That's fine if that's what you want to do. But if your goals are the complete opposite, then you know what? That is not living in line with your goals.

If you say that you want a career and a life that you're excited about, but you're doing the same old thing, you're showing up to work, not prepared, you haven't outline in your goals, then your actions are not in line with what you're saying, right? That is dangerous.

Figure out what it is that you want. A lot of us, we got into the business, myself included, by accident, but what is it that we love and what is it that we do? How can we do that better? Then figure out, how are you doing in life? A lot of times,  if you're in a funk in your career, it's because you're in a funk in life. You're not feeling as if you're connecting enough in your life. Or maybe you're just kind of going through the motions and you're not happy there. So get out and do something, change your environment.

In addition to learning, Lauren and I say, get out of your space. Anytime we can leave our environment, whether it's for a few hours and go work at a coffee shop together or by ourselves, or we can get out of town for one or two days, attend a conference or just brainstorm. When you can change your environment, you earn a whole new perspective on life. And it seems crazy, but it's like you see other people, you get inspired and you're not dealing with the day to day hustle.

For me, I wasn't in a funk when I came here, but I did know that I needed to continue growing in this area and it's something exciting that I can then bring back to my clients, to my team. My excitement is going to feed their excitement. When I was a manager and I was walking property and dealing with all the grouches. Anytime I’d lease or sell, and I could see somebody so excited about their home for the first time and telling me why they were moving, all of a sudden I was reignited.

The same thing with Sprout. Now that we own a business, there's days where I'm just like in a mood because I'm doing a lot of the things that I have to do, but not a lot of the things that I love to do. And so if that is the case for you, find the quiet space to find the things that connect you back to the heart of why you're doing what you're doing.

This next bit might not be popular with some people, but sometimes you're in a job that you probably shouldn't be in. Now I'm not telling anybody to go and quit their job, but if you've been trying to get out of a funk and this place is sucking your soul dry and you don't feel in line with the company's values or the vision, then it's probably not the place for you. It is okay to change. For some of us, we have to stay where we're at financially, but figure out what it is that you're passionate about and if you need to make that cut, make that cut when the time is right. Again, back to that quote that says, “if you wait for opportunity to show up, it's too late to prepare.” So prepare for the job that you want and show those qualities and develop those qualities now.

Those are the main things. But a few other helpful basic, life tips. Get out of your environment and go for a walk. Set yourself up for a good day with a good morning routine. Everybody, I mean if you're in any of the motivational quotes or in the speakers of like influencers, everybody's talking about a morning routine. What's funny is it's so true, but it's nothing new. I mean, the way that you set up your day is going to be the most important. So your first couple of hours of the day, what are you doing to get yourself prepared? And then what are you doing throughout the day?

The other myth that happens too is the idea that if you just bury your head and get this work done, you’ll get out of the funk. And that is a huge lie. More work is not always meaning more production. Just because we're busy doesn't mean that we're actually doing anything.

Sometimes in the middle of the day, step out, like Leah always talks about going to get lunch, I mean, I get stuck at the desk a lot of times and then it's like reminding ourselves and our coworkers like let's go for a five minute walk or just go outside and have a cup of coffee or a water, like get some fresh air.

If you're in a funk, change your mindset, set some goals, change your priorities. Don't pass the blame. Nobody can get you out of that funk but you. Saying that your boss isn't supporting you, saying that your boss isn't training you, isn’t helping. I hate hearing from an employee that says I don't know where to go for help! Education is everywhere and education is free. And sometimes just getting pumped up about something that you're doing in life is enough.

Remember action creates opportunity. The bottom line is as human beings, we all need something to look forward to. When you have something on the calendar that you're working towards, whether it's a goal or it's a vacation or it's just something you're learning and you can't wait to hit that goal, when you're anticipating that something is coming up and that it's something that's good for you, man. That’s when people really get excited. Think about how productive we are right before vacation.

The problem is, if we're living for the weekend, we are in big trouble. Most of us are working five days a week. It's a majority of our time. If we're spending those five days being miserable, we are spending a majority of our lives miserable. And let's not wait for retirement. Let's not wait for when we pay off debt. Let's find ways to get inspired with what we're doing every single day.

I'm here to get a little bit more inspired in what I do every single day so that we can bring that to our clients. But I have to tell y'all, I think Thursday or Friday, Amy Porterfield is presenting, I'm having a total fangirl moment. Hopefully I get to meet her and hopefully this was helpful for you.

Try something today. Do something different. Go for a walk at the very least, set out your goals and I just can't wait to see how you guys are crushing it, not only in your career, but also in your life. I'll be checking in throughout the day and let you guys know how it's going. And happy to see all of you on. Loved all the comments for my 30 years in the industry plus. Keep doing what you're doing and I'll see you guys soon.


Sprout Marketing