My Hot Mess: Chris BroganIn a series called My Hot Mess, inspired by the Wall Street Journal, we’ll speak to communicators around the globe about the things they’re doing right now to get through this hot mess we call life.

Today we talk to Chris Brogan about how he’s coping during a pandemic. Check back every Friday to learn about a new victim communicator and how they’re coping during this crazy time.

Words matter to me, so while this series is about coping, I never use the word because it feels like I’m already at a deficit.

I think being from New England has instilled a sense of being the underdog in me.

I’m not a sports guy, but you have to know that when I was growing up, the Red Sox hadn’t won a World Series in decades and the Patriots were a joke.

If you wanted to be a sports fan, you had to be a fan of losing.

But my dad, Steve, would always say, “They still have a chance.”

It could be 11-0 in the 9th inning and my dad would say, “They just need 12 runs this inning.”

Being a Hermit Isn’t So Bad

For a guy who makes his money wowing crowds of people on a stage, and flying to see clients all over the planet, you’d be surprised to know I’m an introvert of the highest order.

When the order came to stay home, I said “Sure thing!”

Oh, and I lost 91% of my business overnight.

But hey. Silver lining. No “TweetUps” to attend.

I’m a divorced dad and my kids come to stay the weekends with me.

The other days of the week, I’m utterly solo, so coping is easier when you have only yourself to annoy.

Working From Home Is OK

I do a bunch of creative jobs. I write books. And help companies with better language. I write strategy documents. And shoot lots of video and audio.

Working from home is the norm for me between client gigs so this hasn’t changed a lot.

Only, I take a bunch more naps now (thanks, depression).

My sleep schedule is weird where I’ll go to bed early, wake up stupid early, but then want tiny naps twice a day lately.

Like everyone, I now have 81,454 more Zoom calls a week.

I’m very good looking so I like showing people my head, but it does get rather tiring.

But Laundry Can Go Away

I really just wanted to type “Go F yourself, laundry!” and leave this section blank.

And So Can Going Outside

I live in a very small town.

There are two grocery stores: the big one and the little one that looks like it’s still 1958 in there.

The little one is about 150 footsteps from my house, so I get my supplies there.

I noticed recently that when I leave the house, I trigger a low level panic attack the entire time I’m out.

Sweat drips on my neck.

My heart rate is super high.

My breathing is shallow.


But as a guy who deals with a minor case of major clinical depression, I get a free side order of anxiety thrown in so suffice to say I’m used to it.


That’s one of the secrets of panic attacks.

The breathing fixes a lot.

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

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