Every year in late-August, I get the itch.
It happens like clockwork as the stores fill up with backpacks, the weather cools, promo emails ramp up and my love of wearing flip-flops every-waking-moment starts to wane.
I begin to crave routines, meal plans, structure, pumpkin spice lattes and office supplies. I start organizing stuff I never organize, and go into heavy-duty business planning mode for the Fall.
The anticipation of it thrills me. And yet, it can overwhelm me too.
After meeting with fellow entrepreneurial friends for coffee dates, lunches and Skype chats, I know I’m not alone.
As we gear up for the fall, the truth is that there’s often a bridge that we need to cross between our summer realities and the fall possibilities that lay ahead.
Our productivity may be down from weeks of enjoying a slower pace. Clients may not be calling, responding or even thinking about hiring right now and so you’re wondering what to do with your time. Maybe you have big fall launch plans, but the prospect of rallying up your resources and energy to execute feels a tad overwhelming. Or maybe, as a number of clients have shared (and I’m feeling it too), everything is just taking a little longer to get done.
So…how do you bridge the space between the slower pace – and the frenetic energy that comes with Fall?
Here’s what I’m playing with:
1. Embracing reality, not fighting it — every year I feel this way. EVERY year. This is not new. I should not be surprised by this. And EVERY year, I find my mojo and flow (usually by about Sept 15). Rather than fight how I’m feeling, I’m going to embrace it and live into it.
2. Ditch the either/or — my mind may be screaming, “Get into hyper-active overdrive Steph!!!!” and yet my body is saying, “Can’t we just play one more day?” This is a battle I can’t win because it’s based on an either-or perspective. Instead, if I embrace an both-and attitude, I can have both.
Today that means writing this to you on the patio of my favourite coffee shop listening to my favourite writing soundtrack (to one of my favourite movies perfect for curling up on the couch with this Fall).
3. Stay present — ok, I am not Eckhart Tolle’s perfect student but what I’ve noticed (this week especially) is that by living in the ‘in between’ – the space between the present (summer and relaxation mode) and the future (fall and action mode), I’m missing out on the perfectly delightful small moments that still exist – even on August 28th. So I’m going to pay attention more (especially to my daughter as she turns 4 (FOUR!) tomorrow).
4. Start the process of re-entry — save the shock-value for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and start a gentle re-entry process. Maybe it’s about cleaning your digital files, writing plans in Evernote, creating an editorial calendar for September, reaching out to some new prospects for coffee meetings or getting plans on the calendar. Start small, keep it simple and ease your way back in.
5. Trust — this may be the hardest of all. Trust that you’ll find your mojo if you’ve lost it. Trust that the clients will come once they too settle into their new routines. Trust that in a few weeks you’ll be busier-than-ever and you’ll sink into a groove that works.
What are you doing to bridge the gap between summer and fall? I’d love to hear how that transition is going for you – comment below.
Yours in the in-between,