Seasons in Business

 
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Are you making this mistake in your business?

We all experience the natural ebbs and flows of our lives - so why should our businesses be any different? It’s time 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."

I want to bring attention to something that I am seeing more and more regularly. It is this mistake (I don’t really believe in mistakes but this comes pretty close to one) that creative business owners are making regularly.

It starts with this belief that in order for you to be growing and to be successful in your business, there is this whole idea that you have to be productive or active in order to make that happen. That cannot be further from the truth. I’ll tell you why…

Business is a Reflection of the Seasons

You are not the energizer bunny. Your business is no the energizer bunny. Your business reflects seasons. Your business goes through cycles, whether it is reflecting of the seasons or moon phases… it is ironic how not only do the seasons give you those same periods of rest and actions, as the moon phases do… it is supposed to be that way in business too guys.

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.

What Does Imbalance in Business Look Like?

It starts to resemble not having enough clients to worrying about where your next client is going to come from. To not being paid what you truly are worth. To not even having your ideal clients. That is how an imbalance in energy in your business begins to manifest. There is this problem that has permeated our creative industry where everyone thinks they are supposed to just go go go and get it done. But the reality is, they are not addressing the real root of the problem.

I am telling you, because how many times have you tried something else in order to fix the need to have more clients or tried something else to figure out who your ideal client is. Or tried something else to nail down your pricing. How many of you can resonate with that?

As a society of creative entrepreneurs we have come to believe that we need to find an outer solution to our problems. Again, that cannot be further form the truth because an imbalance from energy means you have too much of one thing happening, so you have to bring in more of the other thing to make it balanced. What is the opposite? Feminine energy. What does this look like?

It looks like this nurturing, loving, compassionate, listening, comforting energy. Not the go go go get it done. It’s the sit back, take a breath, it’s alright. When there is this imbalance that affects so many entrepreneurs, they think that a webinar or a course or a master class or a coach will be the solution. It is the end all. But what they are not addressing is the real root of the problem and that is the imbalance of energy within your business.

With all of that being said, I have created a cycles in business roadmap for you. You can use this from now on so whenever you feel you aren’t doing enough or you shouldn’t take a break today… whatever feelings arise for you… whip this sheet out and take a look at it. It will show you exactly where you are supposed to be in your business as far as it relates to energy and whatever cycle you are currently in.

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How many of us beat ourselves up if we feel we cannot stop? How many times have you said that to yourself (myself included)… what ends up happening? You end up doing the same task over and over and over again. It doesn’t ever feel right. It doesn’t ever feel like I’ve completed it. I’m doing more work in the long run than I even should be to begin with because I didn’t listen to my body. I didn’t listen to what I was being told. You fight it, because again you feel you are an energizer bunny. You feel like you are supposed to just plow through and get it done.

That is that masculine energy again. That is okay, we need that masculine energy. But as business owners we have too much of it. We have way too much of it. That is probably why you are an entrepreneur to begin with.

I wanted to just leave this with you and share the fact that it is okay to take that break. It is okay to be in a place of rest and not feeling guilty about it. You are a business owner, you bust your butt. You think about your business 24/7, before you go to sleep. How can you make it better? How can you get more clients?

You deserve a day, once in a while without beating yourself up, to do the inner work on yourself. If there is no you, then there is no business.

Some people have a longer winter or spring or summer than others. It doesn’t matter. It can be different for everyone. But that is why it pisses me off to no end when you hear these gurus and leaders out there and they’re like “take my course, do this one more thing…”. Holy shit! If I hear the word hustle one more time, I’m gonna shank a bitch. Haha I’m sorry! But really though, the idea of hustle is so stupid. It should be so much more of a flow. It should be so much more ease. It should come easier. We make it so much harder.

It is exhausting and it leads to burnout. It leads to all of the things we fear as creatives. But if we just listen to our intuition when it tells us to put the laptop down, put the phone down. If we actually listen to that… we wouldn’t have half the friggin’ problems we do as business owners. 

The people we see online as successful entrepreneurs and creatives, they are able to take those breaks that they need. They are able to take the time to breathe., but they just don’t share that because it is frowned upon. Which is so silly to me. They think it will show weakness, but in reality it shows they are a well rounded machine, a well rounded business.

Balance the Masculine Energy as an Entrepreneur

How many of us beat ourselves up if we feel we cannot stop? How many times have you said that to yourself (myself included)… what ends up happening? You end up doing the same task over and over and over again. It doesn’t ever feel right. It doesn’t ever feel like I’ve completed it. I’m doing more work in the long run than I even should be to begin with because I didn’t listen to my body. I didn’t listen to what I was being told. You fight it, because again you feel you are an energizer bunny. You feel like you are supposed to just plow through and get it done.

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There is that masculine energy again. That is okay, we need that masculine energy. But as business owners we have too much of it. We have way too much of it. That is probably why you are an entrepreneur to begin with.

I wanted to just leave this with you and share the fact that it is okay to take that break. It is okay to be in a place of rest and not feeling guilty about it. You are a business owner, you bust your butt. You think about your business 24/7, before you go to sleep. How can you make it better? How can you get more clients?

You deserve a day, once in a while without beating yourself up, to do the inner work on yourself.

Some people have a longer winter or spring or summer than others. It doesn’t matter. It can be different for everyone. But that is why it pisses me off to no end when you hear these gurus and leaders out there and they’re like “take my course, do this one more thing…”. Holy shit! If I hear the word hustle one more time, I’m gonna shank a bitch. Haha I’m sorry! But really though, the idea of hustle is so stupid. It should be so much more of a flow. It should be so much more ease. It should come easier. We make it so much harder.

It is exhausting and it leads to burnout. It leads to all of the things we fear as creatives. But if we just listen to our intuition when it tells us to put the laptop down, put the phone down. If we actually listen to that… we wouldn’t have half the friggin’ problems we do as business owners. 

The people we see online as successful entrepreneurs and creatives, they are able to take those breaks that they need. They are able to take the time to breathe., but they just don’t share that because it is frowned upon. Which is so silly to me. They think it will show weakness, but in reality it shows they are a well rounded machine, a well rounded business.

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.

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.

When you learn HOW to master tapping into your own intuition and the innate wisdom that lives within you, you’ll confidently navigate your business in a whole new soul-centered kind of way.
— Lauren Dragon-Cook

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