Gini Dietrich

Competing for Who Is Most Stressed

By: Gini Dietrich | May 11, 2011 | 

I’ve been doing a lot of self-talk lately. You know. The kind where you have to convince yourself to behave differently than you feel because you’re a leader and you set the example.

You see, the launch of Spin Sucks Pro didn’t go exactly as planned and I’m not in control of what needs to be changed and fixed for it to be valuable to you and others. And that drives me batty. No, it drives me insane.

I don’t like not being in control and really wish I knew how to program and design so I could work 36 hours in a row and get it all fixed…at least to a  point that is presentable and we’re comfortable charging for the content we’ve spent the last eight months creating.

But I don’t know how to program and design (and here I thought I could do everything) and it’s out of my control.

And it’s stressing me out. Big time.

I’m also feeling sorry for myself, mostly because I’m exhausted. I can’t remember the last time I had a single day off. I keep waiting for Spin Sucks Pro to generate revenue (which, of course, it can’t right now because of things beyond my control) so we can hire some content creators and I can, I don’t know, do my job of leading a company toward our vision.

And then I read a Harvard Business Review blog post that shook some sense into me.

Stress doesn’t discriminate between good and bad. It comes, unbidden, anytime we are in a situation in which we are worried about an outcome we feel is beyond our control. So we complain. We gossip. We get snarky. Which quickly infects those around us. And then they complain, gossip, and snark. Pretty soon we’re competing for who’s most stressed. Who’s got the most work. Who’s got the most ungrateful, unreasonable boss. Which, of course, just makes us all more stressed.

Sounds pretty familiar in the Arment Dietrich/Spin Sucks Pro offices lately. And I’m the biggest offender. Even though I do my self-talk and try to keep a happy face to influence morale and the culture, I’m much better at it earlier in the week than toward the end. By Thursday every week, I find I AM complaining about the things that are out of my control. I’m pretty snarky about it. And I’m completely aware of it, yet I don’t stop.

While I complain and gossip about all of the things wrong with Spin Sucks Pro, my team begins to do the same. And I love to hear it because, well, misery loves company. But it’s not making me feel better and, I’d guess, they don’t feel better either.

So this is it. I’m stepping out of that role and changing my attitude. This is one thing I won’t compete on. We’re all busy. We’re all tired. We’re all doing the jobs of three or four people and getting paid the salaries of half a person. We all have things that are beyond our control. We’re all in this together.

So this is my pledge to do better: To my team, to our crazy (but very lovable) Spin Sucks community, to our clients, and to my friends and family. That said, if you have an issue or problem and need to complain, I will listen. I will empathize. I will not add fuel to the fire.

If you see me going against this pledge, I expect you to call me out on it. And you don’t even have to be nice about it.

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

  • DebraCaplick

    You sound like me lately. But sometimes you just have to let off steam or the pressure cooker you place your system in is going to blow a gasket…and technology is perfect for creating stress. The physical results of unrelieved/unacknowledges stress on the body can be devastating. Just pick the time and place to blow off steam – a trusted friend, the gym, a frank resignation letter that you print off, crumple into a ball and throw across the room (just don’t hit “send”), or any number of other activities to avoid raising your blood pressure. If all else fails, maybe we can have a drink this weekend and blow off steam that way.

  • Mrs D. Sending you positive vibes. Let me know the location of said deadbeat programmers so I can go administer the beating we’ve discussed. Meanwhile, keep the chin up and just be your usual awesome self. Model who you want your team to be. They’ll just love you all the more for it (as will we).

  • MollyFulton

    Dang Gini! Will you get out of my head already? We keep thinking/writing about the same things lately. Here’s my post along the same lines yesterday:

    I applaud you taking responsibility for your response and impact on those around you. You rock!

  • CristerDelaCruz

    Brave post, girlfriend! I’ll do my best to call you out on it if necessary. Please don’t hesitate to return the favor 🙂 … guessing you probably won’t. Hesitate, I mean 😉

  • Hi Gini – I know it’s easy to get sucked into the morass of suckage, and our egos love to keep us there. In an odd way it makes us feel better about ourselves. But psychology aside…

    Having done web development for the past 7 years and for clients for 6, I know how frustrating it can be. It still happens with some custom development I contract for clients today. What I’ve found works pretty well is to create a list of all the issues, see what doesn’t match up with what was promised and bring it up first, and then work to get everything fixed. Easier said than done when frustrated I know, and yes a lot of “breathe in breathe out” is required.

    Ultimately, barring some major technical challenge (as I write this realizing I have no idea of the specifics) it will get done.

    Good luck making that happen, and if I can help in any way (I speak geek and business) let me know.

  • KenMueller

    I for one, love your attitude. I think it’s what draws people to you. And while I’m not there seeing all this unfold, I am a teeny bit aware of what’s going on. Stress is understandable. I would be a mess if I were in your shoes.

    Just wanted to let you know that you inspire me. There. Now I’m done being sappy.

  • ginidietrich

    @CristerDelaCruz You’re like a breath of fresh air so I doubt I’ll have to call you on it!

  • ginidietrich

    @KenMueller Thank you! It’s nice to know that’s your perception…especially because I’ve been complaining to you. 🙂

  • ginidietrich

    @rdempsey Yeah…we’ve done that. Three times. Hopefully the big meeting yesterday, with the recap and deadlines attached, will help. 🙂

  • ginidietrich

    @MollyFulton HAHAHA! I’ll totally go read your post! LOL!

  • ginidietrich

    @Sean McGinnis Thank heaven I have you around. You’re intimidating just to look at.

  • ginidietrich

    @DebraCaplick The letter idea is a GREAT one! I may actually write it and never hit send. And, with that, I’m off to ride my bike to relieve some stress. I’ll see you tomorrow!!

  • ginidietrich

    @rdempsey And thank you for your offer to help!

  • If I choose to follow you in such a role (not complaining) does it mean that I can longer voice my dismay at your uncanny ability to lay down 7 letter words with such rare consistency that it makes the mailman seem inconsistent? Moreover, you seemingly only opt to use words that have been piled under dust for decades, used only briefly in stuffy English classrooms and among wielders of polished rhetoric in ornate tea rooms and parlors across the pond.

    However much as this seems to be a complaint, it is only a good morning compliment to your well established dominance over me in the realm of WWF yet your continued grace with which you defeat me and an attempt to have you crack a wee little smile. Rest assured that I will rise to overcome, but until then, dear Gini, I wish you a release of stress and lifting of the burdens from your shoulders, if only momentary. I do not presume to fathom the stress level you are experiencing, but I certainly strive to one day be a business leader like you who is capable of handling so much as you do.


  • DianaBaur

    Hi, Gini.

    I guess that it’s the curse of the entrepreneur. It’s a habit, the sense of never being satisfied and being unhappy about things not within our control. I live in Italy. Italy is a place where people come to relax because the paradigm is that people here don’t stress. Well there are a few people who stress here: the Type A foreigners who come here and try to act in the same way the did in Topeka or Hong Kong or wherever they might have come from, only to find that you can not get anything done here with that kind of attitude. Just getting a teeny 3 room B&B open and booked with the bureaucracy here/learning to how to internet market was overwhelming for me. And I used to run the marketing department of a large company. I was stressed there too, but this new horizon brought me to my knees.

    That whole thing, over 7 years, made me rethink every aspect of who I am and why I put so much stress on myself and why, for some people, efforts never seem enough even though one knows one is doing all one can in the situation one finds oneself in. Looking back, I can be satisfied with my efforts. At the time, though, the stress and anxiety were enormous.

    I think that’s a habit. A not very good one.

    Now I am trying to master social media, blog promotion, developing a product line of hand made items, figuring out its promotion, and following the guides of what it takes to be successful at those things. But I want to break the habit of killing myself with stress. Life is short, and for God’s sake, I live in Italy.

    Thank you for your post.

  • ginidietrich

    @JamesDBurrell2 That’s not a complaint. That’s merely a “Gini you really rock at Words with Friends” statement. LOL!! Right now you’re beating me. I hope it doesn’t last the whole game!

  • ParkRidgeDDS

    What a wonderful post….really….you are refreshingly honest and transparent about your issues and your values. Being a control addict myself, I can relate on SO many levels. And, while this post wasn’t a request for help or suggestions, I will share that has become my daily go-to place to decompress…. I still struggle daily with my control issues but I have more options to allow me to give some of it up….

  • ginidietrich

    @DianaBaur LOL!! That is SO FUNNY because @johnfalchetto and I talk about this. You don’t really go to live abroad and things change. If you’re a type A, you’re a type A, no matter where you live. Sometimes I think the simple life of living in the mountains and having to worry only about shoveling snow would be nice. But then I realize I’d try to overachieve at something and I’d be back where I am. Thanks for confirming that that is absolutely true!

  • ginidietrich

    @ParkRidgeDDS Well, I can say that poems and professional hugs and kisses from you really helps! I’ll check out your daily go-to place, but right now I’m off to ride my bike and sweat out some of my issues. 🙂

  • I love this Gini! I am gong to announce right here that I am going to stop bitching about my bosses. So what they are all crazy? I have done all I can to educate them, and now I just have to move on.

    Complaining about it feels good in the short term, but has no real lasting effect. I can get myself all worked up about something, and then spin my wheels. A much better idea is to take positive action.

    I am even going to resist the urge to make a snarky comment right here. i want to so bad! I need a sarcasm font I swear!

    I will come and beat these designers in the kneecaps if needed too! I have always wanted to visit Chicago.

  • ginidietrich

    Hey – just showing kdillabough how to use tagging!

  • DianaBaur

    @ginidietrich @DianaBaur @johnfalchetto Gini to be honest I was stuck here in 2008 in about four feet of snow with my dog for over a week before the neighbor came and dug out our 1/4 mile hairpin driveway. All I had was firewood and DSL and a full freezer. I wrote about 5,000 words a day that week. When I looked back I thought it was like some bad parody of “The Shining”. Luckily I did not just type the same thing over and over into my computer 🙂

  • ginidietrich

    @NancyD68 Now, now. I didn’t say anything about you guys not being snarky! That’s what makes this community so much freaking fun! And I’ve never seen you complain about your bosses…only ask for advice in communicating with them.

  • ginidietrich

    @DianaBaur What did you do with all those words?!?

  • Gini, I so love this post and admire you for sharing it, fessing up and well, keeping it real. I’ve had a very similar couple of weeks and I’ve been complaining to anyone who will hear me. I hear myself and think, “Get over yourself.”

    I had lost 2 of my bread and butter clients at the beginning of the month (not to competition, mind you, to the economy – which is the worst form of competition) and in an effort to keep them began hacking away at my services and fees so that I could keep the cash flowing. BAD idea. No one wins in that scenario. No one. So, after much complaining to my inner circle and of course, my Mom, I decided to shut up and get to work on finding my new bread and butters. Everyone has a sucky situation right now or at some point in the recent past or near future. We’re all in this crazy world together. You’re right, when we start complaining about our stress level it does become a competition and nobody wins. So, onward and upward my dear. You, above all people, will come out on top and you will set a shining example for the rest of us. You already have.

    )))virtual hugs((((

  • @ginidietrich Yay! Ride that bike…enjoy it!

  • DianaBaur

    @ginidietrich They are part of the book about opening a B&B in Italy. 120,000 word written. Still massaging it. Three years later. OY.

  • Gini, this takes guts. Coming out in the open with our own shortcoming, when things are going haywire with a project.

    This is why you are a leader. Nobody is required to be perfect but some of us recognize we aren’t and try to change.

  • @ginidietrich THANK GOD! I don’t think I could handle being serious all the time! Plus, you love that I make you spit Diet Coke! When are we going shoe shopping? Retail therapy works wonders for stress Gini.

  • wendykeneipp

    @NancyD68 The crazy thing about spending the time complaining about your bosses is that 1. You are giving them control over your thoughts & emotions and 2. All the time you give them during the complaining is taking valuable time away from things that you could be thinking about or doing that is positive and that you can control.

    I’ve had a good friend consistently reiterate the control idea to me and it’s literally saved & changed my life – control what you can and let the other stuff go. I make a plan for how I can potentially regain control or at least influence something, set the plan in motion (or at least know it’s out there when the time comes), and let it happen. Very difficult thing to do sometimes! Lot’s a deep breathing and self restraint!

    @ginidietrich Love the honesty – I totally relate! When you turn that focus around, you’ll excel at that as well as you do at driving to get things done! Be careful, you might create a new work culture with this new attitude. : )

  • KDillabough

    @ginidietrich @ginidietrich Did it just to show that…yes, this is what I do every time. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Not on this site of course 🙂 but on others, where it’s like poltergeist. So no worries: I’m really not as dumb as I may appear…and I’m not gonna stress about it, teehee!

    Gini, you are one real-meal-deal, and we love you for it! As @EricaAllison said: you keep it real! (and see, I do know what I”m doing:)

    I say we all are now committed to the bitch-free/complaint-free zippidydoodahday society! Cheers! Kaarina

  • Hey Gini,

    You’re a control freak!?! SISTER! I know what that’s like, and it’s not very much fun! I notice lately that I have to rely on other people a lot where I’m used to relying on my own resources. (It’s about time I learned that I can’t do it all on my own steam!) It is frustrating, though, when the others drop the ball.

    And so it goes! What can you do about it! As my friend always says, hang on to the handles of the dinghy and ride the rapids. Sooner or later, you’ll come to calm waters!



  • Hang in there Gini… that’s all. No big speech from me. Just hang in there, Your hard work is appreciated.

    –Tony Gnau

  • Hang in there Gini… that’s all. No big speech from me. Just hang in there. Your hard work and attitude are appreciated.

    –Tony Gnau

  • @johnfalchetto Hear Hear JF

  • @DianaBaur That was beautifully said Diana. 🙂 Boy do I love it when I see your name pop up in places that are my favorite think-tanks.

  • You see, this is why they make trips to NY Gini– so that other really goofy (me) and smart (JF) people can make you laugh enough to forget the rigors of being a social media mogul 😉

  • I admire your honesty and openness and hope for the very best for you – and everyone who needs some time to simply breathe and enjoy the amazing fact that we are alive.

    All I can add is to emphasize the word “control”. I believe entrepreneurship is grossly over-rated as a concept because it stresses making things happen – organizing, convincing, leading. I much prefer the life of a craftsman, someone who shapes what is in their hands and can take pride in a job well done.

    “Control” is what it is. Life is right in front of you – as is a lovely hunk of uncarved wood of some kind. What will you make of it today? That’s what I ask myself.

  • nateriggs

    And that’s why you are a leader, Gini. 🙂 Having the awareness of the need to always be looking at our own actions, critiquing how they effect who’s around us and adjusting our behavior as necessary is what gives you the ability to really lead. (Thank Dr. Covey for all those ideas…)

    I think you are more in control that you realize… (and yeah, I would kill to have picked up learning code and design when I was a kid. Would make things much easier).

    Keep swinging, my friend… 🙂

  • TheJackB

    @ginidietrich I started the week with a birthday post in which I complained about being bitter, angry and frustrated and your comment took some of the edge off. So let me return the favor and say that if I lived closer I’d make you go out for a drink.

  • Yes, misery loves company, which is why I try to be careful about how many people I’m openly miserable with. They’re the people who’ll make me laugh and get out of it, or give me a swift kick in the butt and tell me to man up (yes, that phrase exactly). But sometimes you have to do that, Gini, to get it out of your system. However, there is a difference between doing it once in a while, and making it a habit. I can’t imagine you make it a habit, and this was just an extraordinary set of circumstances that put you in this mood. Kudos for kicking yourself out of it.

    The letting go thing is really important, isn’t it? I’m still learning that lesson. I’m also trying to be better at TAKING control of a situation when I can, instead of letting it languish and drive me nuts. I did that the other day with a potential business opportunity, and I can’t tell you how much better I felt.

  • ladylaff

    Dear Gini, is there anything I can do to persuade you to take at least a week’s holiday? I promise you everything will be fine, if not much better, when you return. You sound like an active and ambitious lady, so maybe go for a hiking or cycling holiday. I can honestly say that some of my best solutions to mind-bending problems have emerged when away from the office and in nature, focusing on something else. And I know you know this: your colleagues probably need a break from your crazy, lovable, bad self. You will be amazed and proud at what people achieve in your absence and when you return, you’ll be ready to take on the world. You deserve it!

  • ladylaff

    ps – if you go on holiday, I’ll be happy to contribute a Spin Sucks guest blog! 🙂

  • I learned a long time ago (and that’s a long story) to not let those things get to you. How? I’m still not sure. I will FREAK OUT at an inanimate object that doesn’t do what I want it to (ever heard the 12 pains of xmas? that was ALWAYS me until my wife came along) but a person screwing up or or a system not bearing out? Cakewalk for me. I’ve gotten better about the inanimate objects but I am definitely more like to go bananas over a lightbulb that won’t fit versus someone I work with screwing up. Course, I have kids. @ginidietrich The self knowledge alone is 3/4 of the battle.

    Keep up the good work and I’ll check with you on Friday par usual.

  • Way to go @ginidietrich . I can only begin to imagine how stressful launching Spin Sucks Pro. I know that while technology can sometimes hinder your plans and make you feel like you didn’t accomplish what you set out to do when you said you would. The reality is there’s always going to be stuff beyond your control and what I do know for certain is when you put in the effort it all works out. I am beyond certain that Spin Sucks Pro is going to be awesome. I am beyond pumped about it and I will wait for as long as it takes, and so will your dedicated community.

    I hope you all will be able to rest and celebrate too. Thanks for the reminder to not complain, we are all stressed and it’s something everyone has to work on at times. I look forward to the day when we can say “remember when Spin Sucks Pro was just beginning…”

    I will try to hold you accountable and I will take your pledge too…so you I am giving you permission to virtually slap me on the hand too…but don’t get carried away with this though…haha 😉

  • I spent most of April in the exact same head space. Falling behind with deadlines, a client project that just wouldn’t work, life stuff in general, it all brought me down, I can empathize 100%. As much as I adore the technology that allows me to do what I do for a living, there are days I want to smash it all and go live in a cave int he hills never to see an electronic anything, ever again.

    And I am seriously in awe of your content creation schedule! You turn out great posts pretty much on a daily basis! That’s huge! The Spin Sucks team rocks!

  • wagnerwrites

    It’s freaky how much I needed to hear this today. I’ve been trying the upbeat self-talk since I woke up this morning, and this post has helped it finally take hold. Otherwise, I was going to have to resort to the “stop sounding like your-mother-the-martyr” talk, and I hate that one.

  • Verilliance

    Yay you!

    But this concerns me in a more broad sense, and has been for a while. There’s this lure, this promise, this hope that social media is a gold-mine for anyone that does it right, but what I see is a lot of people overworking themselves to the point of overwhelming exhaustion, burn-out, or mini-breakdowns. What is the solution? I don’t know.

    Back to your pledge to not gossip and complain. Several years back I worked and lived at a Buddhist meditation center. (It had it’s own stressors, believe it or not.) Part of the Buddhist teachings is the Eightfold Path. They are similar to commandments, but also very different. There isn’t the threat of punishment should you not follow them. They are instead the key to ending the cycle of “suffering” in life. #3 is “Right Speech” and in a nutshell it means to speak the truth, to speak words that will be helpful, and to speak kindly. Wrong speech includes gossip, slander, divisiveness, lies, and idle chatter.

    Sounds reasonable, but I really came to understand what this really means through a teaching on the eightfold path where it was explained that when we engage in wrong speech we not only hurt others, we also hurt ourselves in subtle but pervasive ways. To engage in gossip, for example, plants seeds of insecurity. After all, if “I” am a good person but I talk about people this way, what are they saying about me?

    On another note, when I worked at the meditation center, every office meditated together for 10 minutes or so, then we “bowed” in to show our mutual respect for one another, and then had a meeting. I recently read a study about the use of meditation before business meetings and the outcomes was that those meetings went better and were more productive. Food for thought. 🙂

  • wagnerwrites

    I loved your comment. I have not studied Buddhism much but a friend who has inspired me to write a very simple post about Right Speech and how it might be applied to social media. This is definitely rich food for thought. @Verilliance

  • KevinVandever

    When you really stop to think about it (thank you for writing this and making us stop to think about it), complaining and gossiping are exactly the least effective ways to handle potentially stressful situations; yet we usually go there first. We should all make the same pledge and before we ever think to call you out, we should look in the mirror at ourselves, first. You know, glass houses and all.

    You bravely go were most are not willing to go, but you will win in the end…or, at least, feel much better about yourself 🙂

  • Verilliance

    @wagnerwrites Oh excellent. Hit me up on Twitter when you write that, I’d like to see it. 🙂

  • sassymomchicago

    Great post @ginidietrich ! Just what I needed to get me through the week!

  • ParkRidgeDDS

    @Verilliance I love this…I have been trying/using meditation for awhile now and just this past week went to my first group meditation at Blue Lotus Temple and had a wonderful experience. I am ready as much as I can about Buddhist teachings and find their philosophy to be truly one of kindness, compassion, happiness and peace. Your comment was inspirational!!

  • KyleAkerman

    Hi Gini,

    Again your willingness to be so candid during your successes AND your struggles is a big part of what brings folks back to Spin Sucks every day.

    It is very difficult to not stress out over things that are out of your control. Trust me, as someone trying to change careers I face this everyday.

    Everyone is fun to be around during the best of times, you know when life is all rainbows and ice cream. But I think people are truly defined by how they carry themselves during the bad times.

    Your ability to recognize how stress is affecting you and your team and to take ownership of overcoming that stress is just further proof of the successful leader you have become.

    So keep believing in yourself. Keep believing in your team. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

    The technical glitches will eventually get solved and Spin Sucks PRO will kick some major butt!

  • ginidietrich

    @DianaBaur Finish massaging it already! I want to read it!!

  • ginidietrich

    @Marcus_Sheridan Think-tank?! Here?? Marcus, my friend, you need to elevate your standards. 🙂

  • ginidietrich

    @EricaAllison Ah…what a good sweat and 20 miles will do for you!

  • ginidietrich

    @wendykeneipp I hope our work culture is already headed that direction and I’m just having a bad couple of weeks. I think that’s what really got me thinking about it. I don’t want a culture where people have to walk around on eggshells because of my mood. That would suck…almost as much as spin.

  • Hi Gini,

    Great post. You’re so right about gossip, snarkiness, etc. Those things make us feel better at the time, but they give us permission to not deal with the issue, to not solve the problem, to not do something to reduce our stress, to not make things better. I hope your post will inspire everyone to be more observant about this topic, and when they see it happening, stop themselves in their tracks, and say “I have a choice here. There is a healthier action I can take. And I’m going to take it.

  • ginidietrich

    @NancyD68 And I, literally, spit Diet Coke at my wall. It wasn’t pretty.

  • ginidietrich

    @KDillabough LOL!!

  • KenMueller

    @ginidietrich hey, sometimes you NEED to complain. At least as far as I’m concerned, you weren’t overdoing it. And you’re one of the good people. So no worries.

  • KDillabough

    @ginidietrich Happy to provide some comic relief! From one member of the BFCFZDDD Society to another…let’s all join hands and sing kumbaya:)

  • Hi Gini,

    Don’t you just hate the moment you realize…you’re only human? LOL I’m sending good vibrations your way to help you out of your wonky mood. If that doesn’t work…just remember this…stressed is desserts spelled backwards! Mmmm chocolate!

  • ginidietrich

    @Lori I find I can give up control if there is COMMUNICATION around set expectations. It’s driving me nuts that we agree to expectations and priorities and then I hear nothing. For days. No matter how many emails or phone calls I make. And then I get angry because I’m being ignored and I start to spew pissiness internally. And while I likely have the right to be angry, it’s not helping morale here.

  • ginidietrich

    @Marcus_Sheridan If only it were the rigors of being a social media mogul. I think the riches have to still come before I can be labeled as such! I seriously cannot wait to see you guys!

  • ginidietrich

    @wabbitoid Sometimes I wonder if I wouldn’t have been better off being a solopreneur and having to answer only to me. Not that I would trade it now, but the rough days make you think the grass is greener.

  • ginidietrich

    @nateriggs That whole, “You need to learn computers” talk didn’t sink in for you, either?!? Sigh…

  • ginidietrich

    @TheJackB Woo hoo! First round is on me!

  • ginidietrich

    @Shonali If only I could take control of this situation! But you get to count yourself among the lucky few who gets frustrated emails from George II.

  • ginidietrich

    @ladylaff I will go on holiday! As soon as Spin Sucks Pro is fully launched. 🙂 I actually had a week of in October and again in December. So I’m not due yet. But I’m adding you to our guest blog list anyway!

  • ginidietrich

    @faybiz Can you come hang out with me for a few weeks so I don’t end up killing someone?!

  • ginidietrich

    @rachaelseda Bwahahahaah! You just gave me permission to slap you. OH! This is going to be fun! Maybe more fun than flaming bags of poo.

  • ginidietrich

    @therealkazia LOL!! I’ll meet you in that cave. I’ll bring cabana boys and wine.

  • ginidietrich

    @wagnerwrites I don’t know. The “stop sounding like your mother the martyr” talk sounds like it works really well!

  • ginidietrich

    @Verilliance Wow. What a great experience! For all of the reasons you listed, but also because you learned that, no matter what, we’re going to have stress in our lives. You can lead a super simple life and still have stress. What a phenomenal lesson.

    I don’t know who is saying that social media is a gold mine, but they’re clearly not the ones who ARE doing it right. It’s exhausting some days. Like @therealkazia said, sometimes you just want to chuck it all and go hide in a cave.

  • ginidietrich

    @RamonMartinezJr OMG! I’ve NEVER heard that! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ginidietrich

    @KensViews Unless, of course, we’re gossiping under a sun umbrella at the pool with drinks in Vegas! I mean, what?

  • ginidietrich

    @KyleAkerman Thanks Kyle! I appreciate the vote of confidence AND rainbows and ice cream!

  • ginidietrich

    @sassymomchicago AND ON THE BLOG TOO!?!? YAY!

  • ginidietrich

    @KevinVandever Does this mean we have to stop making fun of angelica7641 for wearing her helmet backwards?

  • @ginidietrich it works wonders! I had a childcare malfunction yesterday and ended up with a very short day in the office. So, rather than be frustrated, we headed off for a hike in our favorite local spot: Carl Sandburg Home national park…it’s beautiful, great hiking trails, goats, no cell phone – just me, the 35 lb baby, and my backpack carrier. We even saw some day old baby goats. Worked up a sweat and felt much better about not being in the office. Glad to hear your bike ride was a good one!

  • @ginidietrich Just remember me every time you look at a Diet Coke and I will know my job is done!

  • Good leadership is not easy — I admire you for sticking this out there — and for getting out of the team’s way.

  • KevinVandever

    @ginidietrich angelica7641 Goodness, no! And miss all those stress relieving potentials? No pledge I make will EVER include that clause.

  • Nick

    Gini, have you heard of a company called @dashal? They are really good at this stuff! :o)

    • Gini Dietrich

      Huh. Is that why I had them do Spin Sucks??

  • @ginidietrich it sounds based on other comments that it would be justifiable homicide- you can have my 6 year old for two weeks

    she might try your patience but your CAN NOT stay mad at her no matter what.- really need to ee Chicago again some time- haven’t been there since… 98? yikes. plus the “How The States Got Their Shapes” show highlighted it last night

  • I am full of snark these days. It’s not healthy or productive. Thanks for the gentle reminder, Gini. You and your team deserve a pat on the back for Spin Sucks Pro. Nothing ever goes as planned. Nothing. Be proud of what you’ve accomplished…I am sure your fans are! 🙂

  • ginidietrich

    @Nick Funny! I think a company of a similar name designed Spin Sucks.

  • ginidietrich

    @KevinVandever angelica7641 PHEW!

  • ginidietrich

    @faybiz Send her to me!

  • ginidietrich

    @BethHarte Except there is nothing to show yet! But thank you. 🙂 P.S. I think a little snark won’t hurt anyone. It’s one of the best senses of humor.

  • ginidietrich

    @Marijean Who said I got out of their way?!? LOL! It’s been a rough couple of weeks, but I’m working on it!

  • nateriggs

    @ginidietrich Nope. And now that decision takes money out of my wallet and puts it in the pockets of other (much smarter) people frequently. 🙂

  • ginidietrich

    @nateriggs Yeah. Mine too. We should both go back to school and learn it.

  • @ginidietrich I wouldn’t have it any other way. 🙂 And it’s not like you haven’t listened to me moan and groan either…

  • DebraCaplick

    @ginidietrich @DebraCaplick I hand washed my car today to relieve stress – and of course, to guarantee a thunderstorm tonight. I used to write those letters on a weekly basis sometimes when I did my year as a local Jaycee president….and I’m thinking of taking up the habit again!

  • I’ve been thinking about this for a few hours now. I’m going to hve to disagree with you on a few points.
    The snark and gossip that I’ve been observing and participating in with you is not excessive. And it’s a healthy outlet for us. We need to maintain a sense of humor through this process if only to maintain our sanity.
    Also, it’s important for us to be discussing these things an constantly looking for a way to do things better. (could we be communicating better? Etc)
    As a team member who has invested a lot personally in making this successful, I don’t want you to be putting on a rosy face just to make us feel ok.
    Sure, we all have to keep out stress levels in check and do our self talk in the morning so there is a fine line. But dude!!!!I need the snark, the bitch sessions. Then we end it and get this bad boy LAUNCHED!!!

  • C_Pappas

    I feel like this a lot lately but for a little different reason. You see in my career I have always been the entire marketing department. So if an email needed to get created and sent, I did it. And if I needed to change something on the website, I did it. I am now on a team of 7 and my role is small and I rely on 6 other people to do the things I always relied on myself to do. So I cant just create an email and send it the very second I am thinking about it and it stresses me out that I cant do that and I have to wait until someone’s ‘bandwidth’ frees up (man, I hate the word bandwidth!!!). Ok, so I am stressed apparently myself. Spring took way too long to get here and I dont know about your neighborhood but its freaking cold in Boston!! And no relief in sight! So I applaud your effort to stop, but how are you going to exactly? Love to hear your ideas and suggestions. And also how to respond to things like ‘Im not sure, I need to flush it out for x amount of time’ and ‘my bandwidth, my bandwidth’.

  • Nick

    @ginidietrich ……………

  • ginidietrich

    @Lisa Gerber I don’t think we participate in any gossip – that reference was simply from the quote on the HBR blog. If anything, we’re overly kind. And I know this likely hit close to home to you, but I wasn’t really thinking about our trying to figure out a way to get this thing launched and the communication around it. I was thinking more about the way I feel and how my mood affects our culture and morale. I try really hard to set a positive tone, but it’s been hard this past couple of weeks. I just don’t want anyone here to feel like we’re not all in this together or that I feel like I’m the only one who’s overworked. I’ve been SUPER grouchy since we “launched” and I put this out there only to make it visible that I’m working on not letting it affect everyone’s moods.

  • Ha, that so resonates with me. I suppose that’s a big part of why I have dogs. The woofs always listen and always reward me with their affection and getting me out walking every day is a great de-stresser.

  • jennwhinnem

    Oh @ginidietrich , IT projects are tough. I’ve been the dedicated communicator for IT projects and…this is how they go. They ALWAYS go like this. IT never seems to behave. I hope I won’t incur the wrath of IT professionals for saying this.

    If it helps, I for one am looking forward to the launch of Spin Sucks Pro as soon as it’s ready! You’re not losing momentum with me – if anything I’m like “ah, it’s behaving just like an IT project should!”


  • @ginidietrich Meh, it’s not as glamourous as it seems – and it seems about as glamourous as wallowing in a mud puddle. Believe me, I get tired of re-inventing the wheel constantly (round, right?). And while it may not be a picnic to be frustrated by other people, constantly knowing you have no one to blame but yourself gets very old (ie, there’s a dark side to self-awareness, at least with me).

    The only reason the grass looks greener is I’m too tired to mow it at the end of the day.

  • Dr_Rae

    Gini, this may be what you are looking for twhen you are “competing for who is most stressed”…

    We all need stress to be creative and to live. When our stress becomes distress or eustress we must begin to learn how-to manage and overcome the stressors (causes) that the stress indicators (physical cues and signals) present to us.

    Thank you for the opportunity to share this with your community.

  • @ginidietrich you were born to build a great company… rest in that.

  • Dr_Rae

    Gini, this is for the next time you find yourself “competing for who is most stressed”

    We all need stress to be creative and to live. When our stress becomes distress or eustress we must begin to learn how-to manage and overcome the stressors (causes) that the stress indicators (physical cues and signals) present to us.

    Thank you for the opportunity to share this with your community.

  • @KyleAkerman Kyle – I am in COMPLETE agreement with your first paragraph – warts and all is what built this awesome community (or at least a HUGE part of it). I know of no one person who is more human online than Mrs. D.

  • ginidietrich

    @Dr_Rae So is this my affirmation to just forget it all tonight and go curl up in bed with a glass of wine and a book?!

  • ginidietrich

    @C_Pappas LOL! You know what? This is EXACTLY what we’re going through with our development firm. I guess I understand that the bigger you get, the more you have to plan for things like sending newsletters and making website changes. But I like being nimble and being able to react to client’s needs. I know that if we told our clients to wait until we had bandwidth, we wouldn’t have clients. I feel your pain, sister!

  • ginidietrich

    @jonbuscall And they love you NO MATTER what!

  • ginidietrich

    @jennwhinnem It’s so nice to know people understand this is how it goes. I was so focused on them having something to show by May 2 that I didn’t think to ask them if, I don’t know, the ecommerce on an ecommerce site would work.

  • ginidietrich

    @Mark_Harai I may need you to say this to me again. And again. And again.

  • ginidietrich

    @Sean McGinnis I’m sorry. Who are you and what did you do with Sean?

  • KyleAkerman

    @ginidietrich How about a DOUBLE rainbow and a new pair of shoes? 🙂

  • jennwhinnem

    @ginidietrich We should collaborate on a project where we beat IT into submission. What do you say?

    Also – oh God. I have to laugh, but oh God.

  • geoffliving

    Me, too. I’ve been on the road for two months straight it seems like and my gut is ten pounds heavier for it. I miss my ladies, and my book is coming out. I am so with you.

    That being said, I am amazed by how much you continue to give. Let me know if I can help.

  • @ginidietrich Haha! Love how we’re carrying on one convo across two blogs and a facebook post. Left out texting, e-mail, voice & video. WTH?

  • ConnieMcKnight

    Gini, I feel your pain. I launched a WordPress blog a few months ago and didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I tried to change html code and everytime I did I would cause a bigger problem than I had in the first place. It seemed like I was taking 1 step forward and 2 backwards on a daily basis. I too was used to being in control, and was completely out of control. The thing that got me through was the saying “This too shall pass.” and what do you know, it did and now everything is working the way it should. Soon you’ll be saying the same thing.


  • markwschaefer

    Here’s something funny. Over the weekend I wrote a post entitled “I’m blazing down the social media Highway to Hell.”

    Sounds like we were having the same kind of day. I decided not to post it, at least yet, because I was reacting to the stress and knew in a day or two it would be better. And it is.

    We are living in a particulalrly vulnerable time because an increasing amount our lives, and livelihoods, are dependent on technology. I was just commenting to Mrs. S the other day, that I do not (and cannot) builf in time for IT upsets so when it happens, the stress cycle begins. It is especially acute for me when I disappoint customers.

    I don;t know what the answer is because undoubtedly the situation, and our vulnerability grows worse month by month. In the end, we can only rely on each other … to the extent that technology allows it!! : )

    Hang in there dear friend.

  • JudyHelfand


    You know what stress is? Writing a a wonderful comment and then hitting the wrong button and having all my thoughts to you go into neverland. LOL or OMG…whatever.

    Do you remember me? We met here about a month ago when you asked the question or posed answers to “What two qualities does every CEO need?” To that I said every CEO must be generous in every sense of the word and you replied: “Generosity is not one that has been mentioned here; what a great addition. I’m going to bookmark this so I never forget that, as Spin Sucks Pro grows, the little incentives throughout the year make a big difference.”

    The operative phrase in your response to me was “as Spin Sucks Pro grows”. You are in a stage right now. This is your company, your vision, your dream…and you need others to believe in and die for your dream. I think you said you have been working on Spin Sucks Pro for 3+ years. You planned a launch date and it seems you are going to be a featured speaker at Blog World New York. This is pressure. I have come to believe that Microsoft and Google relieve pressure by launching BETA versions of their products. Google Talk is still in BETA. They get the whole world to test their ideas and offer feedback. They don’t make a lot of promises and they don’t win them all. Here is the thing about project management. You can plan, set up your risk analysis, write test plans until the cows come home, but the bottom line is this: you cannot always manage what humanity will throw your way. Babies are born early, people get sick, people die, people fly airplanes into buildings, earthquakes…the C-Suite shuffles. How any project gets launched is a miracle of the same human nature that clogs the bottlenecks.

    Did you see The Social Network? The most telling line in the movie (for me) was when Mark Zuckerberg was asked when FACEBOOK would be finished and he replied: “It won’t be finished. That’s the point. The way fashion’s never finished.”

    Take care of yourself and “dare greatly!”


  • Omnific_Design

    A lot of people are in with you on this, Gini, myself included. I do web design. But, I do not do programming. So, I have to rely on my team to translate my designs into all those codes that make up a website. And, there are really times when things don’t go as we plan. In times like this, I would have loved to get all snarky like you said. But, because people generally know me as the peaceable Aussie, I grin and bear it. They don’t know that the stress is building up inside. Good thing I have two boys and a wife who is able to lighten my day’s burdens every time I go home.

    Your taking a turn for the better is very admirable, Gini. Not a lot of people are able to do that. You are one strong woman to be able to do what you are doing. Chin up, ma’am! Everything will fall into place soon, you’ll see. You deserve great things and they will come to you. 🙂

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  • autumnmthompson

    “Those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter” Dr. Seuss. I have a soon to be 6 year old, so I don’t remember great quotes if they aren’t in a children’s book. To limit my stress, I tell myself…self, you can only deal with today’s problems. Tomorrow hasn’t come, so don’t steal the problems from that day. Spin Sucks Pro didn’t launch the way expected, SO? When it’s running in all its awesomeness, will anyone remember? Very doubtful. We will be too busy devouring it! So, don’t stress. Ride your bike and decompress (or whatever you do to decompress). But, enjoy the ride. It will be all worth it! Six months from now you will look back and say”It wasn’t that bad!”

  • KDillabough

    @markwschaefer You make such an excellent point, Mark, when you say we’re in a particularly vulnerable time because so much of our lives/livelihoods are dependent upon technology…which is great when it works, agonizing when it doesn’t.

    When I was experiencing (and am still experiencing) a technology problem, @ginidietrich was there to help in a nanosecond: I can’t imagine, Gini, coping with the magnitude of what you’re dealing with, when such a small thing as I’m experiencing causes me such frustration. But, as they say, “this too shall pass.”

    Your comment, Mark, does bring up an interesting point to ponder. If the tools “disappeared”, would we still “only rely on each other”, if that reliance has been built on accessibility through technology. It makes me take pause to think of all the wonderful people I’ve met, ideas I’ve been exposed to, knowledge I’ve gained that wouldn’t be there save for technology. I don’t have an answer for that, but it certainly underscores how important technology has become, and how crippling it is when it doesn’t work.

  • KDillabough

    @ginidietrich @Mark_Harai Consider Mark and I singing, in harmony, over and over: “You were born to build a great company”, as you curl up in bed with your book and a glass of wine…or 2..or….:)

  • Dr_Rae

    @ginidietrich What ever works for you Gini, the choice is yours!

    Being aware and accepting your stressors and stress indicators is the key..

    Share what you are feeling without blaming/conjoling/manipulating the other person to change. Since feelings are irrational you release them by sharing without acting on them..

    What works for me and people I’ve counseled over the years is to stay in the moment and share “I feel____ when you____” (fill in the blank with your stress indicator, your physical signal/symptom)

    What choices you make and where you go from there is up to you!

    Let me know how this works for you, Thank you for your question and your continued interest in this important issue that we all deal with on a daily basis…

  • @ginidietrich Mission accomplished?

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  • angelica7641

    Haha!! @ginidietrich @kevinvandever I will be generous enough to share my crazy stories to destress us all!! We have to have a sense of humor, right? Otherwise we’ll all become even more snarky. 🙂

  • HowieSPM

    We all have our coping mechanisms Gini! And its the things outside our control we dwell on and bitch about. Because the stuff in our control that we fail to take care of…..we would rather not bring up. But the stuff out of our control is so easy to go completely bonkers over. It’s human nature.

    I have a game to help you. Start with sitting in Traffic. On a scale of 1 to 100 what is the stress for you. Like an 80 right? Now progressively come up with more nutty stuff like getting mugged. etc and see how the scale changes. Eventually traffic is like a 5 and you know your stress is no more than bumper to bumper gridlock right now.

  • TheJackB

    @HowieSPM I don’t know about that bumper to bumper stuff. Just thinking about it makes me want to start honking the horn. If the guy in front of me doesn’t close the gap between the car in front of him people are going to cut in and my commute is going to take longer than it should.

    Damn that selfish fool. Doesn’t he understand that I could save five minutes and those five minutes add up. I hate that. All that time stuck in traffic when I could be commenting, writing or doing other fun stuff.

    Damn Howie, you got me all worked up for nothing. 😉

  • KatherineBull

    Hmmm…you seemed perfectly relaxed to me when we sat down and had coffee together for an hour. Or, was I too busy yakking about MY stress? 🙂 Stress sucks. As a control freak-in-arms, I know how it feels. Half the time I feel like my head is going to explode. I literally talk myself out of it. Sometimes that works. I recommend a massage or facial or something that is different from the usual. If I can do that, and force myself not to be stressed during that time, it really does help. Spending some time with the dogs makes me feel less stressed. Take JB to the park. If he’s at the office, great. But, away from the office for 30 minutes with your doggy is way better.

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