When Social Media Hands You Lemons…Make Jam!

When Life Hands You Lemons...Make Jam!

When Life Hands You Lemons…Make Jam!

We’ve all had those weeks when nothing goes right. Maybe it’s because Mercury is in retrograde. Maybe it’s someone having a bad day and taking it out on you. Maybe it’s none of the above. For some reason, you get lemons.

Staying Positive Feels Impossible Sometimes

Sometimes, being positive and upbeat can be nearly impossible. Every post on social media gets little engagement. Your Twitter feed gets hit by spammers, and Pinterest is deader than a DIY coffin made out of Mason jars and upcycled pallets. Whatever. You still have to be positive because that’s the kind of person you are–even if you do feel demotivated.

Turn Away from Social Media

Turning away from social media and doing something completely different for a day or two (or three) is just what the doctor ordered at times like that. For instance, making jam. You can always force it into a blog post later (ahem!). And besides, it’s July and there are beautiful Blenheim apricots. And also: when you’re done, you get jam.

Detour from social media for a few minutes…

It’s not a complete detour, though. To tell the truth, I found this great apricot jam recipe on Pinterest (where else?). It has no pectin, and only three ingredients (the results are pictured above). You’ll have fun making it, and you could even share it with friends that you met online, if you figure out a way to get it to them.

Then you could post a picture of them eating it on Instagram. All your other friends would be jealous. But nobody posts food pictures on Instagram, right?

Nature Can Keep Your Thoughts Positive

Nature Can Keep Your Thoughts Positive

Hiking and Fresh Air

For me, hiking and fresh air and trees make me feel refreshed. You might have your own ritual that turns you from bitter to sweet. Writing is another way to process, especially if you have “introvert tendencies.” Turning that bitter into sweet is something we all have to master occasionally.

From Bitter to Sweet

I’ve found that staying with the negative feelings long enough to let them surface and dissipate is the best in the long run. Nobody can say how long that will take, or what will come up. Eventually, enough time passes and the bitter becomes sweet again.

The Happy File

Another way for me to turn around the negative is to go to my Happy File (yes, it is like a Happy Place–thank you for asking). I’ve got a file with great and uplifting things in it. One is a hard copy file, and the other is a board on Pinterest that reminds me of all that is good in the world. Also, I like the idea of reframing negatives into positives, as the third point in this Entrepreneur article, How to Train Your Brain to Stay Positive, outlines. And looking at my Happy File or board makes me smile–even if it’s the middle of the night and I’m up with a bout of anxiety.

What Do You Do with Your Lemons?

Do you have an easy way to get out of a funk? I’d like to know…maybe I could borrow an idea or two from you. Please leave a comment!


Startups: Ten Ways to Demotivate Employees


Startups: Ten Ways to Demotivate Employees

Startups: Ten Ways to Demotivate Employees

If you work at a startup, you might have heard of a few ways to motivate your employees. But I’ll bet you don’t know that many ways to demotivate them! Here are my top ten. And of course these are tongue-in-cheek ideas.


Looking over an employee’s shoulder, watching their every move, and poking your nose into their business is a sure way to demotivate anyone. And it’s also a great way to say “we don’t trust you to do your job.” Forbes has a good article on Managing Micromanagers. One thing to keep in mind is that the micromanager may be suffering from being micromanaged as well.

Constant Criticism

It's Still Baloney

It’s Still Baloney

Finding small errors and focusing on those is a sure way to demotivate an employee. This includes the formula that many use to deliver criticism–in a “sandwich” with two pieces of praise on either end. That’s still a big slab of baloney in the middle of that sandwich, right? Even if you do believe that you’ll make more money by making your employees happy, why do that?

Never Express Gratitude

Count to Ten

Count to Ten

If you do feel the need to say anything positive, count to ten and then wait until the moment passes. Some people seem able to follow this rule. Never saying thank you, or spending a moment to say “good job!” can work wonders in the demotivation arena.

Leave ‘Em Hanging

Promising something over and over is a fantastic way to cause people to become disenchanted. The promise can be anything from a promotion to a software release to a change in the direction of the company as a whole. And don’t explain why what they were promised never materialized.

Constant Threats of Layoffs

Don't Ever Look for the Best

Don’t Ever Look for the Best

When everyone is frightened of losing their jobs, morale is usually at a low. Even if there is no planned layoff, having a rumor that there will be one can cause a great deal of demotivation. And demotivation often brings along its friends, Fear and Lack of Confidence. Woo Hoo!

Stupidity at the Top

Put people in charge who lack experience and common sense, as well as humility, and your people will definitely feel demotivated. You might consider hiring only friends or family members for an added demotivational bonus.

Bad Communication

If you can avoid any communication telling employees what is going on, they’ll probably be unhappy. This includes email, informal get togethers, or all-hands meetings. Another good trick is to cancel meetings at the last minute.

Asking Too Much

Avoid Communication

Avoid Communication

Having lofty goals, and especially if they’re set by someone else, is a surefire recipe for disaster, especially if the goal-setter is unfamiliar with the victim’s work flow. If the goal-setter is in another part of the country, or better still, another country, that’s even better.

Being Intentionally Mean-Spirited

Few companies are intentionally mean-spirited, in my opinion. So being mean-spirited will take extra effort. It’s worth going the extra mile.

Lack of Down Time

The expectation of asking employees to always be “on” can cause burnout and fatigue. Need I say more?

What Are Your Favorite Demotivational Tips?

One of my favorite sites, Despair.com, has posters and calendars for sale if you need a laugh! But I’m interested in what you’ve experienced yourself. Please leave me a comment!


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