As entrepreneurs, we have so many things on your plate:
- designing the life-changing product/service your clients will LOVE,
- building up the awareness around your impactful solution,
- maximizing the efficiency of your marketing & sales,
- managing the legal & accounting aspects of your business,
- building relationships with the media,
- growing a team (or not?!)
- … while managing your own time, energy, work-life balance, family expectations AND dealing with internal mindset blocks as you step out of your comfort zone (on a daily basis).
Anyone would feel overwhelmed.
In fact, most people do!
Entrepreneurship is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. How you manage your resources (time, money, energy, creativity…) is important if you want to avoid having to give up halfway-through.
In order to avoid burning out – or being disappointed in yourself and your results when they are slower than what you initially intended – it is essential to find your entrepreneurial rhythm.
And it doesn’t have to be regular!
That’s right: you don’t have to do everything, all the time.
In fact, everything in nature is cyclical. Just like we shouldn’t expect the economy to produce unlimited fast-pathed growth, we shouldn’t expect our businesses to always be in acceleration mode. It’s unhealthy, unsustainable, and quite frankly non enjoyable !
What if instead, you could take the time to honor each phase of your business development, without trying to rush to the next? What if you took the time to do things well instead of fast? What if you could embrace and feel satisfied every step of the way, instead of always be chasing the next to-do list item?
This is what nature’s four seasons can teach us.
Nature is abundant and sustainable, and yet it’s not “always growing”. It has phases of rest, phases of preparation, phases of growth and phases of harvest.
Winter – Regenerating
Our first season of the year is winter. Nature seems still, the days are short and quite. It’s a time for resting, as well as regenerating strengths before spring.
As entrepreneurs it’s important not to rush and forget this important season : taking the time to celebrate what has been, to regroup and regenerate your energy, and do some introspection to set your intention for the months to come.
The biggest mistake to avoid at this stage is trying to take action without building up your foundations first. This would be for example trying to build up your website before having tested and validated your product/service, or look for clients before having defined your own vision first.
Spring – Seeding
Then comes spring, a season of rebirth. Nature starts moving again, leafs and flowers are growing and blooming. Plants are being seeded and the first fruits start to appear.
As entrepreneurs, we need to remember that in nature, flowers bloom in spring ONE BY ONE and every week opens new possibilities… It’s a great time to plant next seed, but you shouldn’t plant them all on the same spot at once ! It’s important not to rush and forget this important season : taking the time to care for each and every seed we plant, watering them every day, and wait for them to bloom at their own pathe (even if it only looks like a small bulb at first… it will bloom eventually ! )
The biggest mistake to avoid at this stage is taking to many actions in many directions, and forgetting to water the seeds / honor the time they need to bloom. This would be for example launching 5 services at the same time when you don’t even have had several customers on the first one.
Summer – Shining
Summer is the season with the longest days. Fruits and crops are maturing thanks to full on sunshine, while water is getting rarer.
As entrepreneurs, this season is a great time to shine bright, to share your message widely, to transform the initial flower bloom into big healthy fruits. It’s important not to burn out in this important season : managing work life balance and finding the most efficient ways to shine bright is key to not overburn your crops.
The biggest mistake to avoid at this stage is taking to many actions in many directions, with no methodology or framework that will enable a lead to transform into a prospect, and a prospect into a happy client. This would be for example being present of 5 different social media platforms and having no energy or time to nurture actual qualitative relationships, or spending so much time on social media that you skip sending newsletters (spoiler : people buy after getting to know, like and trust you first, so emailing is key!)
Fall – Harvesting
Fall is the season where most crops can be harvest. It’s time to make reserves for the winter to come.
As entrepreneurs, this season is when all of your hard work from the past (planting seeds, watering, protecting from too much sun etc) finally materialize into delicious results. BUT there are so many at the same time, if you try to hand pic the fruits one by one all by yourself and without a strategy, many will end up rotting on their branch. This season is all about being strategic (you don’t want to waste time going in every direction) as well as gathering the right people around so that the momentum you’ve build doesn’t go to waste.
The biggest mistake to avoid at this stage is staying alone, not maximizing the fruits and not putting enough on the side for the winter season that might eventually come. you have to unlearn and detach from what has brought you here : your independence; creativity and self-starter energy has to leave space for outlining clear repeatable processes, managing and motivating others, as well as letting go of total control over every detail.
Even if you can borrow nature energy at each season (for example, setting your yearly goals in winter or starting a new project in spring), know that your business has it’s own seasonal cycles. And they don’t necessarily last 3 months ^^
If you want to discover what entrepreneurial season YOUR impact-driven business currently is in, as well as what you can focus on (and the mistakes to avoid) in order to maximize your time, energy and resources, we’ve got your back !
My business bestie Danielle Sutton and I have created a 10 minutes-short quizz that you can take (for free!), in order to discover what your current season is, as well as get our personalized advises to make the most of your season.
Solène is the Chief Empowerment Officer of Creators for Good.
She developed a methodology that allows Global Citizen to start and grow their own impactful businesses from anywhere in the world – and with no need for investors or government support.