Days when you just don’t wanna.

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Doug Kessler

11. 11. 2019 | 3 min read

Days when you just don’t wanna.

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Good days/Bad days.

That’s how I’d characterize this week.

Also this month.

And, come to think of it, this year.

And, frankly, my whole career in marketing.

Good days/Bad days.

I’ve had so many of both that I no longer over-react to either.

I try to enjoy the hell out of the good days—days when I look around and marvel at the folks we’ve managed to bring into the Velocity jalopy; or days when something we produced rang its intended bell; or days when a client sends a note of appreciation (To all clients: this is hugely, disproportionately motivating for agencies). Or (shameful spontaneous gush) days when we win 2019 B2B Agency of the Year in the Drum Awards!… which just happened*.

I enjoy the good days and I’m grateful for them but I try not to let them go to my head, as if we’re the greatest thing to hit marketing since Peter Drucker.

Good days just say, “We got something right. And this job can be fun and challenging and rewarding.”

Whoever sends me good days, Thank You. (By which I mean, “Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou).

Then there are the Bad Days.

Days when we get annoyed with each other.

Days when a client ignores our extra effort and blames us for their mis-brief.

Days when we let a client down through our own dysfunction (or from garden-variety screw-ups).

Bad days are no fun.

But, having had over 1,467 of them, they don’t cause me to panic anymore.

Bad days may make me feel like “I SUCK at this!” but they no longer make me conclude it. I can see why it’s a bad day and let it go, looking forward to the 50/50 shot called Tomorrow. (Actually my ratio is way better than that but it’s better to keep expectations in check).

A weird kind of bad day: the gumption deficit

A sub-species of Bad Days are the days when nothing bad happened at all, but I just can’t find my mojo.

There’s plenty to do, but I just can’t make myself do it.

The Main Thing I Need To Do Right Now is squatting in the center of my desk, tail dipping into my wastebasket, bad breath befouling my keyboard.

But I just.



This kind of bad day tends to fill me with guilt. (How can I lose my mojo when there’s so much to do and so much is so clearly going so right?).

We’re all trained to disguise our just-don’t-wanna days. To pretend we’re always-on, non-stop, high-productivity performers no matter what’s going on inside.

But that’s a lie.
And maybe it’s okay to just admit it.

My new approach (with added Stoicism™) is to welcome my just-don’t-wanna days.

Call them fallow periods. The only way to keep the field fertile.

True, I didn’t do The Things I Said I’d Do (and they didn’t do me).

Yep, my To Do list is lengthening instead of shortening. (What else is new?).

And, yes, I’m letting someone down. (Soz.)

But we’ve all had hundreds of days like these. They come with this weird and wacky marketing gig. If I dumped a JCB-full of horse crap on myself every time it happened, I’d need Elon Musk to invent a burrowing machine to find me, wash me down and plop me back at my desk. (Admittedly, this does sound kinda fun).

Maybe there’s a way to celebrate Bad Days right in the middle of a Bad Day.

To completely accept it as a Bad Day. And still be grateful for it.

Prolly not.

But worth a try.

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  1. Marty Rogers

    Liverpool SEO Marty

    November 20th, 2019

    We all have these days matey, it’s part of life and being a balanced human with all of our struggles and battles. Oh the fun that is life! 😀

    1. Doug Kessler

      November 27th, 2019

      Thanks, Marty. True…

  2. Kateryna

    February 14th, 2020

    Thank you so much for this! In a addition to being undeniably successful, you are also being vulnerable. Thank you for both the inspiration and for helping me feel better about myself!

    1. Doug Kessler

      February 20th, 2020

      Thanks, Kateryna!
      Success is relative, I guess, but I imagine even Gary Vee occasionally has a day when he thinks, “I’m staying in bed”. (Maybe not, though).

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