Talk It Out Tuesday: Coffee Chat
Embracing the Cycles of Business
Grab your dark roast and your headphones. We will be sipping coffee and chatting about: how to navigate the natural cycles of business!
We all experience the natural ebbs and flows of our lives - so why should our businesses be any different? During this coffee chat we will be talking about how to determine what part of your business cycle you are currently experiencing as well as what to do during the natural "high's" and "low's."
Episode 8 Coffee Chat Replay
Episode 8 Podcast
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Lauren Dragon-Cook: Happy Tuesday! Today we are talking about the cycles of business and embracing those cycles. We aren’t always “on” all the time. It is very hard to do that. I don’t know anybody that can do it well. It is not something you should be doing anyway.
Just like with life and anything else, there are cycles to everything. It is very difficult to be “on” all the time. I can’t always be “on”. If you still work a full time job and this is your side hustle, then you know when you come home that is your safe zone. If you had a rough day you know you can just decompress. What I have found in speaking to so many creatives, is the fact we don’t honor the same kind of rest within our businesses. I’m going to talk a bit and compare a bit to just the seasons and what their purposes are. Everything is kind of connected. Which is cool!
Highs and Lows
For a majority of my life, I’ve struggled with cycling through energetic highs and energetic lows. The highs are always great! Who doesn’t love the highs! Crossing things off your list and getting these massive amazing results… hitting your goals! For me the highs have never been the problems. The low are what totally derail me. I have a much harder time sitting with myself when all my creativity dries up and I feel exhausted from thinking and working towards the goals I have. Its during those times when I stress out the most.
The periods of low is when the self-criticism and judgement and self sabotage live in every corner of my brain. When my results start to slow down… this is when that happens. I want to help you a little bit with that today.
It can be hard when you have a partner that isn’t in the creative space and maybe they work 9-5… sometimes its really difficult to express what you are going through. They themselves have experienced it, but it may not apply so much to motivating themselves in their business.
I’ve done enough of my own inner work to know when I fall into this pitfall… this low… it really means for me (personally) to pull back and to reflect and rest and do less… at least until my creativity returns and I can start making stuff happen in my business. In many ways I think we all feel this period of time is less valuable than a high. But an energetic low should be something we all begin to look at as something we have to navigate. It shouldn’t be viewed as darkness and something we have to cope with. Instead you should be asking yourself how can I be more intentional with honoring the way your business cycles. How can you embrace this low period and incorporate it more into your life and business?
If we really embrace the cycle of our business then we would love it all. Energy directly corelates and is influenced by the cycles that are found in nature. Whether it’s the four seasons, the lunar phases… there is a reason why all of that happens in nature. We are not designed to be “on” all the time just how nature has seasons and moons. We are most productive when we can embrace both periods of time… lows and highs.
If someone cannot acknowledge and talk about their lows… that’s not real! That is not reality. POSER. What is being portrayed on social media is the high. The successes. But what we don’t always see are the lows. It is important to acknowledge it for your own sanity.
What are the consequences for when you feel you are always “on”? A loss of motivation, burnout at the end of the season! That is why coming November… we are all Zombies! We are all Zombie Vendors. We don’t know if we are coming or going. We can’t do our best work. We are exhausted. How do we incorporate the natural cycles into our business? We plan our productivity around those different phases.
First Phase: Winter/New Moon
This is off season for us. Energy is low for most of us. It should be about planning what actions TO take. January was all about setting goals! Ask yourself what you want to be working on when you are “on” again. What goals do you want to accomplish? This is a really good time to check in with the bigger picture for your business and make sure you are making adjustments if anything is out of alignment.
The primary focus during this time of rest should be to think about what you want, engage in self care, do creative projects you usually don’t have time for… This is the time to chill.
If you are currently feeling this way… an energetic low… don’t be so hard on yourself. You are supposed to be feeling this! There is a reason you are feeling this!
Second Phase: Spring/Waxing Moon
During this period, energy is starting to build. It is time to plant those seeds. The primary focus of this phase is to start doing the things you put on your action plan. It’s a great time to initiate a project, or launch a new offer in your business, or a new styled shoot. I see a lot of wedding pros go into hibernation from January into March. Then you start to see all these styled shoots happen! And it is because people are getting back into their groove.
Third Phase: Summer/Full Moon
During this phase, energy is at an all time high! The primary focus is to take action! Do it! Get it done! Be thankful for anything you are bale to accomplish. This is the time to push yourself and act upon all that inspiration you had written down during phase one. Maybe its speaking engagements… networking events… pound the pavement!
Fourth Phase: Fall/Waning Moon
During this period your energy starts to slow down a bit. This isn’t a bad thing! This is a period to wrap up your last projects, your last sessions, your launches… This is the perfect time to clean up your office. This is also a great time to take the time to reflect what went well! What worked?! What didn’t work?! Whatever it is that is not working for you anymore, let it go.
Putting It All Together
Take some time and see how your energy is relating to the seasons or changes. Look for similarities. Once you’ve opened your eyes to it, you will see it will happen more often than you think. And you might even know what to expect and look for.
If we were always “on” we would crash and burn. There is a reason why we take breaks. If you feel you are in a low, allow yourself to chill.
When we own a business we don’t have the luxury to just STOP. What I do during these periods of low… figure out the bare bones. The bare bones requirements that I need to do to get done to get the money flowing. Can you combine certain tasks?
The most important thing I want you to take away from this chat… you don’t have to wait until you lose all of your motivation or until you burn out completely, before you decide to truly honor the low periods of your business. If you can start to be more observant and intentional about this, then you can plan for your slowing down period into your regular business schedule. You can set yourself up to accomplish more with less effort. Set yourself up to JUST BE!
Please be kind to yourself. Often as women (talking to the ladies here) we give give give! But we find it hard to receive. So please be kind to yourself through this process. It can be hard to follow something through and do it well, if we are not full ourselves.
What I had to teach myself and learn and change the programming that society has engrained in us… is that the work will still be there tomorrow! If you are having a bad day, don’t try to get shit done! When I know my creativity isn’t there, I’m not going to try to create a new blog post or graphics or design elements. You will be more productive the next day if you had the time to rejuvenate. I have to remind myself of this all the time! Just because I’m talking about this doesn’t mean I’m an expert or I am immune to this.
Thank you so much for today and I hope I was able to shed some light on some topics. Next week two of my friends, Dove and Nicole are energy healers are creative business owners. I met them about a year ago and they have transformed my life. I’m really stoked they will be here!
A little plug…
One new service I am going to be putting on my services page is doing readings for people. $25 for a 30 minute session to discuss your business and your life. Be on the look out for that!