by Deb Coman| Featured Contributor
It’s summer in the U.S.
School’s out. Beaches are filled and sun-kissed noses have that papery, lace-like, peel-y thing goin’ on.
And you’re still clacking away on the laptop trying to stave off the summer lull that no one wants to admit is a bit of a dark, gloomy cloud.
Just the other day when I was mustering up some motivation on a group call, I acknowledged the strain of maintaining steady income levels as an entrepreneur during summer months. Someone quickly chimed in she did not want to throw her hands up and give away all her power to the summertime slog.
Can you blame her?
I caught right on to where she was going with it and I applaud her staring down “the slow” almost willing it to pick up the pace.
Don’t Give Way to the Summertime Blues
If we allow ourselves to succumb to the summertime blues slump, we’re dead in the water.
Any service offers or summer specials won’t get off the ground no matter how we wrap them in a bow or tout summer-slashed-pricing.
Now more than ever, it’s time to stay the course and stand in our power. And here are some simple ways to get the upper hand this time of year.
#1 Decide How To Spend Your Time
Consider your current client work, business development goals, and all the things that have been on your To Do list that never get done. Maybe it’s time to just kick back and summer!
Prioritize Current Client Work
This is an excellent time to prioritize all your existing client work to get it back in their hands sooner. As you meet deadlines early and wrap projects ahead of schedule, clients may keep the momentum going and be willing to add new projects, negotiate more time with you, or address some of their “hang-on” To Dos that fit your skill set. Let them know you have the time and space to take on additional work.
Revisit Business Development Goals
Maybe it’s time to dig into your own business goals, optimize your systems, and implement next steps. Consider your lead generation, client onboarding, list nurturing, content creation, social media engagement. Are there glaring holes you need to address? Is there a course you purchased that you could spend time on? Is it a good time to re-evaluate your overall business operations? Put it on your schedule for now! Let your business be your top summer client.
Resurface Old To Dos
We all have tasks that seem to remain bottom-feeders on our To Do lists or get carried over every time we start a new productivity platform or system. Set aside time to go through them ALL and make a decision: do now, do [insert specific date and put on calendar], or cross off the list. It’s a never do. Maybe it’s no longer relevant. That’s totally fine. Move on.
Take Time Off
If it’s not coming together and you are able and willing to take a break, do it! Work shorter days, shorter workweeks or–gulp–take more planned time off. There’s nothing like a break in routine to drum up creativity when you get back to work after much-needed R & R. Do it and enjoy it, sans any guilt!
#2 Go With the Flow and Don’t Fight It!
However you decide to spend your time, understand that others will approach it differently. It may be harder to reach people, return emails and calls may be a lot slower coming, and if you get one more autoresponse vacation email …. Oh, I understand. But be cool! Know that some business owners embrace the summer feel, do work less, and take big chunks of time off. Don’t sweat it … do YOU!
Build Some Me Time Into Your Workday
If the pace is a bit slower, ease into the day with some self-care, grounding and mindset work, or a quick dose of exercise or meditation. Maybe you’d enjoy reading inspirational or business books. Whatever your choice, build in something you love that starts your day with some gas in the tank.
Reach Out to Former Clients and Contacts
Go through your CRM or files and revisit people and work that you loved. Pick up the phone or write a handwritten letter (yes!) or email a former client, connection, or colleague and check in. Tell them what came to mind when you came across their name or thought about the work you did together. Be grateful. Let them know. Reconnect. Bring them up to speed on what’s new in your business. Who knows, it may lead to something … perhaps on a personal colleague level or maybe even a business opportunity. Don’t focus on what might happen. Just be in the moment of reconnection.
Put a little fun in your business. Spend time really talking about, writing about, and otherwise sharing what brings you joy–business and otherwise. Share it in your client and subscriber emails. Spend more time sharing and engaging on social media. Do a live stream. Post more photos. Tell more stories. Pull back the curtain just a little bit more on your business. It’s amazing what happens when you do.
#3 Stay the Course, It Doesn’t Last Forever
Whatever your approach to summer, or whatever season you’re in, know there will soon be a shift. With new seasons come new energy, new opportunities, new possibilities. What’s possible for you? What are you looking forward to?
Make a Plan For What’s Next
Enjoy the present while also envisioning what’s next. Set goals, intentions, and make plans to take action when the pace picks back up. Be ready for it. Shore up your systems. Practice new habits. Embrace the seasonal change with joy and open arms. Who knows what’s in store and what next thing is around your next corner!
Keep Doing What’s Working
Acknowledge your patterns and work habits and practices that serve you well and make your business stand out. Those things that are your uniqueness need to be celebrated. Keep some semblance of order in spite of what the weather does and no matter what your colleagues do this time of year. This is your business, your rules, your successes! When your systems are working, keep it going. Summer is not a permission slip to throw all systems to the wind.
Be Present To What Is
Whether you slow down, speed up, or keep your usual pace, make a little time to step in the grass, feel the ground beneath your feet, and sunshine on your face. Consider working outdoors even just for part of your day. Move your desk closer to a window view. Listen to more music. Take short walks around the block. Step into whatever the season means to you and the parts you enjoy. Work is work but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun.
We always get to decide what this time of year will be like and summer doesn’t have to mean slow and it certainly doesn’t have to mean STOP.
What does summer mean to you?