Are you having a quiet August at the moment?
Whether it’s the pandemic or old age I’m mellowing. I have a better grasp on work / life balance than I used to.
I still believe you can’t expect a full-time wage on part time hours and that is why we’ve previously published 5 Ways To Use A Quiet August To Improve Your Business
This blog however is about the emotional impact on business owners.
The stress. The worry. The guilt.
Whilst those established businesses will be making the most of the down time and relaxing and leaving the hard work to people like us. It can be hard when you’re only just starting out, in the early years of their business who can feel guilt and worry over a quiet August.
I know that one quiet month can feel like make or break and that the whole business plan is failing. I’ve been there in the early years of Altrincham HQ and I want to tell you the good will out.
I hope these words help you view things a little differently and help you stop worrying.
1. You Deserve Those 5 Weeks Of Holiday Time
If you were employed, you’d be taking 5 weeks holiday a year.
If it got to November and you hadn’t taken enough holidays your boss would force you to take leave in the last 2 months of the year.
They know that breaks lead to increased well being and productivity.
As business owners we’re guilty of overwork and keeping on the hamster wheel.
We never seem to take a total break from work. And this is from someone who still 12 years into running a business only takes off 2 weeks over Christmas and 10 days for a summer holiday.
One of the reasons you started working for yourself was for work / life balance, control over your destiny and to be your own boss.
You have a right to have those 5 weeks holidays, so if you know it will be quiet take some time off work and in a way that’s manageable for you.
Either a total break or a part time hours.
2. Family Time Is Time Well Spent
In case anyone needs to hear this.
Your business is not the most important thing in the world.
It might feel like that at times, but be honest.
Your friends and family are the most important thing in the world.
Our businesses play a huge part in our identity and hustle culture has told us to ignore our friends that are partying or to spend evenings working.
The pandemic didn’t reduce many of our hours, but actually extend them.
As business owners we shouldn’t feel guilty about creating lasting memories and self-talk like “I’ve done nothing today to grow my business” doesn’t help.
Take photos. Print them out. Know how good you’ll feel when you look back at them.
3. Your Pricing Model Should Allow For Quiet Periods
You need to charge your worth.
If you have the right pricing model, it will allow for quieter periods.
You shouldn’t be charging prices so low that you have to work 70 hours a week 52 weeks a year just to get by.
If you can’t afford to have one quiet month a year, your prices are too low. Or you don’t have enough customers over a 12 month period.
I’d also advise where possible that some of your business is on a retainer basis so you have a guaranteed level of income each month regardless.
I want everyone reading this to raise their prices by 10% if they haven’t done so in the last 18 months.
4. Time To Work On Your Business Is A Good Thing
“I don’t have time to do xxx”
How many times have you said this so far this year?
And then you get a quiet period of business and rather than doing the things you didn’t have time for earlier, you just spend 7 hours a day worrying about the quiet period.
We detail 5 Ways To Use A Quiet August To Improve Your Business in a full blog – but here’s a short list of things you might think about doing.
– Arrange Your Own Meetup
– Content Production
– Update Your Processes
– Client Catchups
Those are just 5 – but I’m sure there’s a list of things like a photo shoot, website redesign / rewrite, accounts, invoice days and so much more to do.
5. Time To Focus On Your Health Is A Good Thing
No health = No Business.
When we’re busy we eat badly, we don’t exercise and we put on weight.
A quiet August could be a reset for your health.
A chance to lose those extra lbs you’ve put on the past 7 months.
Get outside on a summer’s day. Soak up the fresh air and pound the streets, climb those hills, turn those pedals.
Whatever is your exercise of choice.
Get on it and use the spare time productively.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST >>> JUDGE THE SUCCESS OF YOUR BUSINESS ON QUARTERS NOT MONTHS
Judge the success of your business On Quarters Not Months.
We can all have a bad week or a bad month here and there – but let’s look at the bigger picture
How have you done this Quarter?
How does this quarter compare to the same quarter last year?
Don’t sweat the small stuff and focus on the bigger picture.
It’s in our psyche to always focus on the bad things and not look at how far we’ve come.
Honestly – if you’re switched on enough to read this far, I suspect you’re doing better than you think.
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