During one of my recent interviews for my book, Breaking The Spell, the topic of embracing the ebb and flow came up.
It’s not something I’ve done well in the past. As a business owner for 13 years, it’s been something I’ve come face-to-face with on many occasions. Business booms, and then it slows down. While I’ve tried to build in some practices over the years to balance things out (like recurring billing programs) steady is still not the natural state of a successful business, at least in my experience.
I used to freak out over this.
Crazy busy was my go-to mode. It was my comfort zone. I thrived on it. It provided me with a strong sense of purpose. And, when things would slow down, instead of enjoying the respite, I would get nervous. I would worry about whether business would ever pick back up. I would begin to fret about money. Sometimes, I’d even let the fear get so bad I’d start wondering if it was time to go back out and get a job.
Years ago, when I still faced these fears on a regular basis, a good friend who had been in business a lot longer than I had advised me to enjoy the slow times. Use them as an opportunity to take time off, and re-energize myself, so I would be refreshed and ready when business picked up again (which it inevitably has over the past 13 years).
I listened, and while it has not been an easy transition to make, I believe I have finally made it.
Nature has four seasons. The ocean must ebb and flow—if the water just kept coming in we’d have a flood. Life and business are no different.
The reminder from my book interviewee was a good one. As I am once again in a time of transition in my business and life, and experiencing a bit of an ebb, I am actually finding myself welcoming it. I have also noticed that as soon as I relax into it, the flow begins picking up again, all on it’s own. Speaking opportunities start showing up. Business and marketing ideas begin swelling up inside of me.
Now that I am better able to enjoy the ebb, I get a lot more excited about the ensuing flow, because I know I’ll be ready to embrace it when it shows up.