The Four Seasons of Business
I fully admit that I’m someone who LOVES to plan, anything and everything. So it was a little unusual that I began 2018 without much of one at all. With a crazy busy holiday season I didn’t even have time to think about goal setting or diving into my Powersheets so I waited until January but instead of going full steam ahead once the new year began, I spent the entire month just taking in my thoughts and really thinking through all my ideas. And the biggest download that I had was that I needed to create more consistent content. So I decided to start a podcast. And I spent the better part of the winter and early spring just generating ideas, working on my messaging, and creating the first episodes. And that’s it. I didn’t launch a million things, I wasn’t constantly trying to get new clients, I just spent the first 3 months of the year in a planting season. I was creating things on the back-end and sowing the seeds for future growth
This was the first time I really allowed myself to be in just ONE season, typically I try to do everything at once. But it’s important to really understand that there are multiple seasons of business just like in life, which happen to be very much like the seasons of the year.
There are seasons of planting (spring) – where you are sowing the seeds of what’s to come, you might be focused on learning, education, or just gaining experience, or maybe creating your products or services, this also includes putting out consistent content to grow your audience.
There are seasons of growth and abundance (summer) – where business is blooming, you’re easily booking clients and selling products, you’re spending a lot of time IN the business, doing your craft, working with clients, doing the work you love and seeing the fruits of your labor.
There are seasons of harvesting (fall), where you’re pulling back a bit, seeing what’s working or what’s not working and making the appropriate changes, possibly implanting new systems or revising your systems, getting rid of revenue streams, products, or services that aren’t working or selling or just aren’t speaking to you anymore. This is the time to prune and revise, and pivot. This is the time to think about how to serve your audience even better or maybe even to serve a different audience all together.
And finally there are seasons of stillness or rest (winter). Seasons when you spend time taking care of yourself and your family and allow yourself to just be still. Often times if you’re not feeling creative or you’re burnt out, it’s because you haven’t intentionally taken time to just be still. Now this doesn’t mean that you need to close up your business entirely, it could just mean that for several weeks or months you don’t take any new clients or you batch some new content ahead of time or repurpose some old content so that you don’t have to create anything new for a while.
This was the season I was in for December and January. I needed to just not be in hustle mode for a while and to just read, and journal, and see what came to the forefront. I tend to force things. I’m a go getter so I’m constantly in a mindset of “ok what’s next?” “what could I be doing right now?”. I always feel like there is something to do and it’s hard for me to just be still in my business. But that stillness allowed me to see that I needed to hit pause and spend some time planting.
The big question that I want to ask you is, what season of business are you currently in? It’s important to understand where you are and BE FULLY where you are. It’s impossible to be trying to plant and grow and harvest and rest all at the same time. What does your business need from you right now? What should you be focusing on?
I’m planning to be in a season of planting for a while. Yes there might be some periods of growth thrown in there here or there as I launch something small or add new clients to my roster but for the most part 2018 to me is entirely about planting, and putting consistent content out there, and learning more about you, my audience, my listeners, my business friends, and what you need most and how I can better serve you where you are.
So in addition to asking yourself what season of business you are in currently, you need to ask yourself what season your business is NEEDING next. Often it’s the seasons of rest or harvesting that are most needed but often ignored because we are always told to GO GO GO…to HUSTLE. To just keeping booking more clients, to just keep putting out more offers or more services or more products. Launch and then launch again.
Lara Casey from Cultivate What Matters always says this and I feel that it’s so appropriate for what we’re talking about today, it’s ok to grow slow. And I agree, the fastest built businesses aren’t usually the strongest. Take the time you need to build your business properly and make sure that it fits into your life.