How To Crash And Burn

Quick pre-article note: While new episodes will be out beginning in January, here’s this week’s pair of greatest hits from the Mojo for the Modern Man podcast 2022 vault:

How to Crash and Burn

One of the most valuable lessons I’ve ever learned is all about asking for help.
One of the most valuable lessons I repeatedly forget is all about asking for help.
Ironic, ain’t it?
The short backstory goes like this:  I’m working with an amazing branding team – Arcbound, in case you’re wondering (or looking) – and they are collectively jumping through fiery hoops to update, sharpen, and clarify everything from my messaging to my website, socials, etc.
It’s been a great ride so far, and one that, three months in, continues to feel fresh and oh-so-new.
Note:  While I’ve had a clear niche established for two decades, I consider myself a relative newbie to the world of true branding.  Others might argue that I’ve had a brand all along.  They may even be able to say what it is.  Yet I haven’t exactly been conscious about it…
Back to my story.
A few weeks ago I started to slowly spin.  Then I accelerated.  Then, already travelling at a good clip, I did one of those things I’m well-practiced at, but not very proud of: I hit the accelerator even harder…
Only after slamming into the wall at a very high speed, already a depleted mess, did I think to ask for help.
It’s an old pattern that I’ve played out more times than I care to admit: More! Harder! Faster! BOOM!
As a (mostly) one-man operation, I’m used to the creative things being all me.
Sure, I have ample co-leading and team-player chops, and I’m quick to ask for help in those circumstances.  Yet, when it comes to the stuff at the core of my business, I’ve applied (up to now) a different set of rules.  When I step back and look at those rules, they’re limiting at best.  At their worst, they’re punitive and self-destructive.
That’s not melodramatic language.  Them’s the physiological facts behind sustained cortisol stress-benders.
And, wow, was I on one.
I’m not going to bore you with the parts of me that led the charge.  Suffice it to say they thought they had to prove themselves, to show they were worthy through endless effort and struggle.
With my brilliant rebranding team working behind the scenes, doing exactly what I hired them to do, I reached for a stack of old stories, turned them up to “11”, and made busy-work of all that spinning, fighting tooth and nail against my own vision and purpose.
I mentioned that I finally asked for help.  It came in the form of an important, messy conversation with Jeanine, one of my mentors and coaches.  It was a solid, revealing session that shown bright light on the pattern and the aspects of Self keeping it rolling.
I came away from that, and a follow-up conversation, too, with a determination and commitment to break the pattern as early as possible by seeking help as soon as I have even the slightest inkling that it might be needed.  Or simply wanted.
I know, down to the core of my being, that if it’s worth doing, it’s worth asking for help.
At that same cellular level, I know that if I’m ever going to see my vision come to be, I cannot, nor to I want to, do it on my own.
I invite you to take this as a cautionary tale, complete with instructions on how – and how not – to crash and burn.
You get to choose, of course.  Though I do hope you’ll learn from my experience rather than your own.