The Great Slump of 2010


Sometimes in life you need someone to come along and give you a swift kick in the ass to get you back on track. My swift kick came this week in the form of a good friend who is also a business coach, Allan Tsang.

There’s no point in lying about it, my personal life has been crumbling around me and I’ve been in a slump so big that I can’t possibly focus on being the best professional me. I’ve watched myself go from the kind of person who grabbed opportunity by the horns to the kind of person who ignores it all together. The spark, passion, and tenacity have been replaced by a sinkhole and every move I make feels tedious.

In one respect I feel like I’m being a tad dramatic because during the “Great Slump of 2010” I’ve still managed to make a great career move, write for Fistful of Talent, and keep up with the Culture Fanatics (a group I founded where culture fanatics from some of Fortune’s Top 100 Best Places to Work get together to exchange ideas). But I’m not exaggerating. For every one thing I have done there are dozens of things I haven’t. I’ve stopped blogging, tweeting, and following up on opportunities that would have once gotten a lot of attention. I’ve stopped reading up on industry trends, passing along fun bits of information, and spending my nights excitedly planning out the rest of my career. I’ve just…been in a funk.

So when Allan came along and offered to coach me I was excited and honored. He knows my potential, understands what it means for people to have mentors in their lives, and will definitely hold me accountable for getting my stuff back in order. My first assignment is to read “Who’s Got Your Back” by Keith Ferrazzi. 

Have any of you read it?


2 thoughts on “The Great Slump of 2010

  1. I haven’t read it, but it sounds like maybe I should. =) I’ve hit a bit of a slump as well, and I hate it. I’ve never been able to separate my personal life from my work life, so when one of those areas is out of whack, they both are. And, unfortunately, everyone around me knows when that happens…I hear that I’m not a lot of fun to be around under such circumstances. I had some really eye-opening peer feedback on a recent performance review. “Ryan can be condescending and quick to judge if he doesn’t like a particular way something is being done.” Well, normally, that’s not true, but dealing with my mother’s sickness has put me in a terrible mood at home and at work.

    • Ryan,

      Thanks for sharing your story.

      I coach with employees all the time and while most of what we talk about is how they can improve their professional relationships there isn’t a single session that goes by where their personal lives don’t come up. It’s impossible for employees to compartmentalize their professional and personal lives but highly negative personal circumstances make focusing at work even harder.

      I think this is why team coaching and having friends at work is so important. Sure, you need to work on your response to employees sometimes but a bit of understanding on their end could go a long way.

      I hope your mom is doing okay.

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