What is Mojo?

What is this thing we call mojo? Well, Wikipedia says:

Mojo (pronounced /?mo?d?o?/) is a term commonly encountered in the African-American folk belief called hoodoo. A mojo is a type of magic charm, often of red flannel cloth and tied with a drawstring, containing botanical, zoological, and/or mineral curios, petition papers, and the like.[1] It is typically worn under clothing.

We all know when we say, “we have mojo” or “we need to find our mojo” we’re not talking about a magic charm, we’re talking about getting our groove on, our swerve on, etc. But what the heck does that even mean?

We know when we don’t have mojo, right? We know when we need to find our mojo. Yet when we have it, sometimes we don’t know it – we’re just groovin along. Then we fall off and say, “shit, we gotta get our mojo back.”

When I try to define it, I think mojo embodies…

  • Confidence
  • Execution
  • Freedom
  • Success
  • Momentum
  • Teamwork
  • Positivity
  • Perseverance
  • Enthusiasm
  • Knowledge
  • Perspective
  • Control
  • Focus

That about sums it up, eh? If you can get all that at the same time, either as an individual or as a team (or organization), than you’re unstoppable. Mojo also implies that you can’t easily be derailed, taken off course.

Can you have mojo without some of those attributes? In my opinion, no – you need all those things. Without perspective you don’t have mojo; without positivity you don’t have mojo, etc.

How do you get mojo? How do you go from where you might be now, to a place where you got mojo? I suspect mojo starts with some fundamental things. You must have some perspective before you can start building mojo. You must be focused on something specific to build mojo. What else? What do you think? Let’s build on this.

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    February 6, 2011 at 14:17

    What do you think? What is Mojo? – Help me define it by leaving your comments.

    Sam Rush
    February 7, 2011 at 09:58

    Great post, Ben. I think you covered it and also I don't think it's any more scientific than that. I'd think that mojo is something that anyone can attain. Like any attitude it takes practice.

    November 13, 2011 at 04:31

    So did Manny Pacquaio somehow lose his mojo despite his win over Marquez?

      Ben Saren
      November 13, 2011 at 11:54

      I’m struggling to see the connection there. More importantly I’m not sure I’m qualified to speak for Sr. Pacquaio!

    Mediamojoguy (aka Ken English)
    May 30, 2012 at 16:58

    Right on target. But there is a new twist to the the word MOJO. According to Wikipedia, Mojo refers to Mobile Journalists, i.e. staff or freelance reporters who write their stories from their communities thanks to technical tools such as digital cameras and camcorders, laptop PCs with broadband wireless connection or smartphones.
    The term “mojo” (mobile journalist) has been in use since 2005. It originated at the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press and the term is now current throughout the Gannett newspaper chain in the United States.
    I believe people who create online content are mobile journalists, some have more mojo than others, but mojos, none the less.
    You can be an incredible individual, with powerful mojo, if you can incorporate the 13 elements listed AND produce online content. 

    Don Petracek
    August 13, 2012 at 12:26


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