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Recent INTJ Reader Question: Dealing with Dips in Business?

Monday August 19, 2019

An INTJ reader from Canada writes,

Advice on how to deal with dips in business?

[I had four potential clients] who were interested and who were supposed to get back to me for work. Nada.

I don’t mind focusing on other stuff (music, writing, gym) but at the same time I need to keep pushing forward and I’m not sure how. [Freelance] listings are a bit dry this week too.

My Reply

Sure, I’ve experience those dips in business before myself. They may come again in the future, too—it’s unwise to think your business will never experience any kind of downturn, in my experience.

One of the traditional INTJ blind spots is “weakness.” It can really bug INTJs to talk about it. This is often the reason why, when other people talk about their weaknesses or fears, an INTJ can start to feel agitated, and jump in with (even unneeded) suggestions. Hearing about or talking about weakness can make us uncomfortable even at a subconscious level. But we can get better at tolerating this information, and we can use that growth to help ourselves become stronger. Understanding this about myself helped me make some dramatic and effective changes in my life. The topic of weakness is not one that should be avoided. At one level, weakness is fixable, but at another level it is existential, or ever-present.

Also, I think anybody with a business, or who runs a business, learns to see that these dips and other hazards exist and can be worrying no matter how big you are, no matter how much money you make, and so on. And even to an experienced person, the next dip can always seem like the final dip, the real torpedo that sinks the ship, or whatever. It can really be scary.

In the abstract, one answer I’d give to “what to do” is: You gotta find your own dip routine, is what I’d offer. Refine it over time.

And for those of you who want more information:

If it worries you that much, I’d attack it on paper first. Try to take it head-on. Here are some suggested steps.

  1. Acknowledge that it exists, and get into why it sucks and how it sucks (you might feel like you just did that in your message to me, and that’s great).
  2. Plan for ways to take care of yourself. You know how everybody who goes to the hospital gets put in a bed, right? A famous comedian made fun of that. But really it reduces nervous system strain. So I think you have to find those activities that help you take care of yourself and reduce unneeded strain.
  3. Next, watch your cyclic mood. Your body has that natural cyclic tendency, and it affects your psychology. So you kind of wait until you are in, say, “list making mood” and it’s easier to just find yourself listing things you do.
  4. Then you list and plan for things you WANNA do, like even 3x more than the HAVETA do stuff. So you know you’re not killing yourself, you’re being gentle. You’re doing things that match your values, mixed with some things that may seem annoying or doubtful.
  5. Then, think about people who can help you shoulder this burden. Like, would you feel comfortable telling a working professional you’d like their advice on what to do as a copywriter when work is low? If you can do this in person, it can open up a channel for you. Back when I was starting my first business, I had a colleague like that. I could just call them up and say, “I’m in between projects, and wondered how you’re doing, and if you’d like to brainstorm anything we can work on together?” (I didn’t say that all at once, but you get the idea)
  6. Then at this point you’ve built up momentum. I shouldn’t even have to say “do” here because you won’t even have to force it. You’ve got a list, you can start anywhere, and you’ve talked to people. The doing should do itself, and that should feel pretty great.

Finally, INTJs tend to get bonus “luck points” the more they research things. So please continue to research this topic, especially if you see it possibly happening again in the future.

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