What the heck is the Mad-Sad Syndrome Sierra!?

I can hear your confusion at this rediculous statement and I’m glad it has caught your attention because for some reason there always seems to be a little dark maker cloud hanging over the handmade community. I kid you not #truestory I have seen the following posts throughout social media regarding craft shows just this week alone. “I’m so done with craft shows they all suck who wants to buy my stuff”, “My show was a total flop so I packed up and left early I was so p*$$ed!”, and “Why do we even bother? the good shows obviously only pick their favourites” holy smokes folks! and this is only a select few of the dozens I’ve seen! I think that mindset as a topic in the handmade community is really over looked and should have more awareness brought to it because it is so crucial to running a successful business. The mad-sad syndrome is my own little coined term because it explains perfectly the majority of reactions I see posted from makers across social media. They’re either really mad or really sad. I would love to see more makers shouting their successes big or small and being backed by a supportive community! Which is what Piece of Cake Trainings was founded on, so it only makes sense that I write this piece.

I was chatting with Annette from Lip Service Beauty over in the Makers Market Society group (come and join in if you’re not a part of it already!) and it turned out that she was a part of an event that triggered a monsoon of crazy emotions in literally every handmade group I’m a part of… but there was not one peep out of Annette! See the post and her return comment below:

I realized that her market was the exact market that was causing the uproar and I had to ask! Her response blew me away… in the centre of all the controversy part of her response in additional comments was “I made some great connections, met some other awesome vendors so it wasn’t a complete bust.” and then it hit me that soooo many vendors out there suffer from the Mad-Sad Syndrome and in some cases maybe don’t even realize it. Annette on the other hand was able to find the positive light in her day and make the best of it! She was able to pin point a learning experience so double kudos! It was so nice to see a maker take a terrible outcome and turn it into a learning experience and flip it on it’s head to gain a win out of it! That’s what growing in our businesses is all about right! If we didn’t get faced with these obstacles I think we would all be zillionaires by now! #wishfulthinking am I right!

Do you suffer from the mad-sad syndrome? Have you ever…

– Packed up and left early from a show because you were mad at the turn out?
– Refused to apply to a show again because you got the evil rejection letter?
– Felt sad or mad at a show all day because there was low foot traffic, customers weren’t buying, and/or your neighbours were doing better than you?
– Chewed your neigbours ears off at a show complaining about everything wrong with it?
– Inflicted these same feelings as above to customers, or let them over hear your opinions about the show?
– Left your table/ booth unattended to go shopping because there were only a few customers walking the show?
– Blasted social media in a negative manner with your feelings towards the show or something in your business and/or sadly blasted social media and claiming to throw in your craft show and/or entrepreneur towel?
– Cried, or felt defeated, unmotivated, uninspired, or disappointed in yourself for the events of a craft show day or something in your business?
– Hated everything about your business and felt like you were just not good enough?
– Just plain old wanted to quit?
– Gave up on social media because you couldn’t get new followers or engagement?
– Told another maker that they should just not bother with something because it didn’t work for you?

The list could go on here but you get the idea of what’s happening. The mad-sad syndrome is letting those negative moments, events, and outcomes, affect our minds by letting the negative emotions that come with unexpected outcomes take over our whole being, forgetting the specific reasons we are building our businesses or are doing craft shows and who we are at those craft shows and in our businesses.

It sucks! but… sometimes our craft shows can be a bust

Sometimes it can be from events that are completely out of our control like the weather, it could absolutely be from poor market research on our own part before committing, it could also be completely on the show organizer for executing a terrible event (annoying but true), and so many other reasons… The one constant variable that we can control is ourselves. We have the ability to control how these outcomes affect us and how we want our day to go. It’s up to us to make the best of our situations and try to get the most out of them. Even if that does mean that sometimes we have to recognize when we mess up too. It’s ok to mess up! heck we’ve all messed up somewhere at some point in our businesses! It’s ok to mis judge the fit between a craft show and our businesses. It’s ok and completely natural to feel upset about things that happen. It’s not ok to beat ourselves up about them, or think that we’re not good enough, or make ourselves feel so $h!tty that we just want to quit, or worst of all get ourselves so worked up that we are so angry and making decisions this way. Mindset is a powerful thing and it really can make or break us. It’s up to us what way we want to feel and think about these things. Over all ultimately this will make or break our opportunities for success.

When our business world seems like it’s going way downhill we just need to take a moment to put ourselves into a positive mindset although at times can be extremely difficult ( I totally get it) the benefits will always outweigh being negative. This relates to everything on the list above like not getting into that curated show we really wanted to do, it’s most often not that we’re not good enough. The number of applications some of these shows receive is insane! We need to take a step back from criticizing ourselves and ask ourselves what we can do to make our application stand out like WOW the next time. It’s all about having the right mindset about ourselves, our work, and our businesses as a whole. I think as entrepreneurs we will all hit a wall sometimes and feel unmotivated like losing your business mojo, and that’s ok! we cannot be on all the time that’s where having a positive mentor, friend or group can really help lift our spirits before we self destruct ourselves. Like the saying goes “Fill your mind with good, and surround yourself with people who lift you up” – Lewis Howes

a strong positive mindset is your best friend in business and life…

While this takes lots of practice and work on they way we process and think about things in our businesses and events that happen in general, building a strong positive mindset is one of the best things we can do! Don’t dwell instead think about what we can do to make the most of the situation. Don’t get negatively charged emotionally be neutral and analyze how we can do things differently and be even better next time or even in the moment. Most importantly believe in ourselves. Believe in ourselves to be a positive role model for ourselves. Believe in ourselves and the businesses we’re building and stop beating ourselves up. Believe in ourselves to be able to take on the toughest of obstacles because heck we all know as entrepreneurs those are many and doubled in between! It’s how we handle them that counts!

Here’s to taking the “negative nancy” out of our mindset and throwing in some “awesome annette”!

drop a comment and share 1 positive thought about you or your business! How can you fill your mind with more good thoughts for your business!?


p.s Want to get to know more about your business as if you were an old married couple!? Check out the “Personalized Craft Show Strategy Workbook” and get in the right mindset and start building your profitable craft show strategy!