motivation

The Four Seasons Your Business Will Go Through

Hey! It’s June. Which means I’m back from my writing ‘sabbatical’ (which really just means, I didn’t produce content during the month of May). I’m talking about the personal reasons I took some time away in my newsletter that’s going out today, but in short: I was just really freakin’ busy with client work, moving, and life. Phew.

I felt a little guilty at first, I mean here I am touting all about how great business is since I made The Switch (should I refer to 2016 TheCrownFox as PRE-TS?) and how motivated I am and excited I am… and then I just disappear? But, friends, I’m still super pumped… I just had a lot of work to do for clients. Which I am very happy about it! Blogging, or not blogging, didn’t affect that bottom line so I put my time where the money was last month.

Which led me to being a little at a loss for what to start writing about as May drew to a close. I knew that I wanted to re-introduce blogging into my weekly schedule, but what to write about? Per usual, decided to go with what was on the forefront of my mind – the seasons of business.

What’s that? Well, for me, it’s this:


THE EXCITEMENT SEASON

First comes the excitement. This was probably when you decided to start a business and everything was super, super, super exciting. You stayed up until 2am regularly reading Pinterest posts and making to do lists. You probably built out an entire year of content in an editorial calendar, planned the 4+ launches you wanted to accomplish, and knew that it was only a matter of time before you were getting featured on The Huffington Post or some awesome podcast.

I love The Excitement Season. It’s FUN to plan, day-dream, and let your brain go wild with the possibilities. It’s not exclusive to just the birth of your business, either. I had an Excitement Season in December/January, when I knew I was shifting my business and was running rampant with ideas of what all the ‘newness’ could look like.

For a lot of entrepreneurs the Excitement Season might come in late Fall, when things are slowing down for the holidays and you can begin to think about the following year and all that you will do or accomplish.

There’s not a right or wrong time to have one of these seasons, but I will say in experience it’s good to take the season for what it is: excitement. Yes, follow through on your ideas, see what is actually possible, make it happen… but don’t let yourself get too discouraged if everything you dreamt of can’t exactly happen in that super idealistic, I-can-do-#allthethings timeline. The Excitement Season is good for brainstorming, ideation, and getting creative – but eventually you have to shift into the next season or nothing will ever actually get done.

Action steps for this season: write down all of your ideas, but don't get too attached or caught up in elaborating on any particular idea too much yet. In the next season you'll start actually seeing what is possible, what you can and want to do take the time to do, etc. This season should be more about being in a flow of just being creative and brainstorming. Creative brainstorm sessions are essential here!


THE BUILDING BLOCKS SEASON

So, when it’s time to get #allthethings done, you move into the Building Blocks season. For me, this was this past February/March. It’s when you are taking those ideas and dreams from earlier and starting to flesh out exactly what is possible, when it would be possible, and how it would be possible.

This season is still fun – you’re still riding the idea-high and putting real actionable steps to your plan. You might focus on connecting with others that can help your plans come to fruition, in the forms of joint venture collaborations, adding team members, etc. This is when you start to really develop a timeline, SMART goals, and a plan (for whatever it is that you are doing).

During my last Building Blocks season I had developed 3 solid ideas for things I want to happen this year. Personally my biggest struggle lies in this season ending and the next one starting.

Action steps for this season: Be sure to go through each idea from The Excitement Season and work out exactly how much work/time is necessary to bring that to life. Be honest with yourself, is that amount of time/work something you'll actually want to do in the next season? If yes, then put a plan and a timeline to it. If no, put it aside for a later date (or discard it completely).

"Will you actually put in the time/work necessary to move out of the idea phase?" (tweet that!)


THE DOING-THE-WORK SEASON

The next season is the hardest one. This is when you actually put your nose down and do the work for everything you dreamt up and planned out. April and May became ‘doing the work’ season as far as client work goes – I had filled my open spots and now needed to do impressive, high-quality work to make clients happy, stick around, and refer me to their peers.

If you’re planning something that is more like a launch (of a course or product), this is when you’re actually doing your launch sequence – hosting webinars, sending out email sequences, guest blogging, etc. This is when you are in the thick of it and probably feeling the most overwhelmed and stressed. Even the best thought up and laid out plans can’t account for weird hiccups – technical issues, getting sick, life circumstances, etc. that will appear seemingly at random during this season.

This is the season when I personally need to schedule and hold myself accountable for self-care, or face feeling completely burnt out and ~*over it*~ half way through. I recommend that to you, as well. If you’re currently in this season, or know it’s fast approaching, schedule yourself breaks to stretch, drink water, and go for a walk. Schedule a lunch date with a friend so that you can get away and let your mind rest. Don’t make this season any harder than it already is by not treating yourself with care and respect!

Action steps for this season: Make sure other elements and factors in your life are in sync for this season (i.e. don't be moving, don't have a ton of travel planned, etc.). This is when your business will need the most of your time, so plan ahead to be able to give that time (or plan to outsource more during this time, so you can focus on exactly what needs YOUR attention).


THE CELEBRATION SEASON

Once you’ve finished launching or getting through whatever you were focusing on in the ‘doing-the-work’ season, Ihighly, highly, highly recommend giving yourself a celebration season (before you jump back into The Excitement Season). The Celebration Season should be filled with good things – sharing your journey and successes with others, treating yourself to something you’ve been wanting or needing for yourself or your business, and connecting with others. I’m entering a Celebration Season right now and can’t wait to start scheduling more coffee chats and decorating my new office.

The Celebration Season shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s important to acknowledge what you’ve accomplished and been working hard at lately. I know the pull to get right back into the Excitement Season and start planning your next venture is strong, but without a brief time of relaxation and rejuvenation, it’ll be hard to get those ideas flowing organically and freely.

Action steps for this season: Share your success! Post content that reviews what you've done and your successes. Share on social media, or in Facebook groups. Your Celebration Season will encourage others out there, so share things that you've learned and accomplished. This will also be good research for your next Excitement Season (you'll be able to see what people respond to, want to learn from you/your experience, etc.).

So, with that being said… I’d love to know what season you are currently in and how it is going for you. Leave a comment below and let me know what’s going on in your business currently (and how we can support one another)!



I’m Kaitlyn, your design assistant! I work with successful creative entrepreneurs to create cohesive, clean, and compelling visuals for their businesses. You can keep being the #girlboss you are (but with more time to focus on growing your empire)! Let's set up a time to chat!


I Changed Everything In My Business + Here's What I've Learned

We’re rapidly approaching the 3-month mark of when I re-launched everything and changed my life and business big time. I don’t do income reports, mostly out of the complete lack of wanting to figure all that out and then convert it to percentages or whatever because I wouldn’t really share real numbers anyway, and so on… but I will say this, the last 3 months have been without a doubt the best of my business. Financially. Emotionally. Mentally. Everything-ly. It’s just seemed to ‘click’ in this magical way and I wanted to share some “aha!” moments that I’ve experienced with you.


IF YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT, TALK ABOUT IT

First things first: there aren’t any rules to this running your own business thing. There aren’t. Don’t let anyone tell you that you HAVE TO DO XYZ to make it or be successful. Don’t let anyone tell you have to talk or communicate or exist in some sort of perfect way to be ‘an expert’ and ‘gain authority.’

Do you know what an expert can do? Talk about things he or she is not an expert at and feel no worries or doubts about things they are good at. I’m serious! Ask someone you know who is really good at something – ask your plumber or your doctor if they are an expert at tax law, or baking apple pies, or knowing how to pull the next piece out of Jenga without toppling it over… chances are they will openly and willingly admit that they are, in fact, no expert at that.

So feel free, my friend, to admit that you might really suck at social media strategy (hey-ooo! Haven’t posted on Instagram in like 3-weeks OOPS), or can’t code a lick to save your life, or whatever. That doesn’t take away from what you do know and what you are good at. And even more, if you want to talk about something that you aren’t ‘an expert’ about – you’re also allowed to do that. People learn from other people’s experiences, too. So talk about whatever the hell it is you want to talk about, I give you permission. Stop being scared of not having enough clients or not having made 6-figures yet or whatever it is that is holding you back.

"There's no absolute path to success, so don't let anyone tell you that you HAVE to do something." [tweet that!]


IF YOU WANT TO SAY NO THANKS, SAY NO THANKS

Here’s a huge lesson I’ve taken in over the past few months. We are so, so, so totally allowed to say “no thank you” to things. We are our own bosses! If you don’t agree with a client or want to work with them, politely say so. If you don’t want to accept the guest blog post submission, or be featured on someone’s Instagram, or whatever it is that you feel you ‘have to do’…  just politely decline.

I wrote a whole post about sticking up for yourself (and setting boundaries) that circulates around this topic and it got some great responses, which I was flattered by. Kaitlyn in 2016 said yes to 100% of the opportunities, clients, and chances she was given. I figured out that webinars weren’t really my thing after like my 2nd webinar, but I kept doing them because people kept asking and I felt bad saying no. I’m not saying webinars are bad, but I am not great at them and kept knowingly wasting my time and energy and stressing myself out for no reason.

2017 Kaitlyn on the other hand? She says ‘thanks, but no’ a lot. In business and in life! And you know what? It feels GOOD to understand my goals, my needs, and myself well enough to know when something is not a good fit or going to benefit my audience or for me.


IF YOU WANT TO MAKE SOMETHING WORK, YOU HAVE TO ACTUALLY WORK

I should probably make a really big blog post all about this point. I spent 2016 with a lot emotions, but one key part was this “why not me?” mentality. Why wasn’t my blog posts going viral? Why wasn’t I get featured on The Huffington Post? And so on. Turns out I wasn’t actually working that hard… so… maybe that’s ‘why not’.

So here’s the “AHA!” moment. Things like passive income and funnels and all of that sound so glamorous and amazing – but these things require you to actually DO work at some point. You can’t just post like 4 blog posts and expect the money to start rolling in and you to be spending your days on yacht making beaucoup bucks. I mean, Pinterest might tell you otherwise, but I think a lot of those people might be glamorizing their truths.

If you really want this business thing to work then you have to work. Period. It’s a job. It’s a business. Stop working from your bed (guilty), stop wearing the same pajamas as work clothes and then again as pajamas for a week straight (guilty), stop taking breaks to watch The Good Wife on Hulu (guilty), and stop blaming everyone else and/or the world for your career not taking off rapidly (guilty). Instead – DO THE WORK. My productivity skyrocketing seems awfully coincidental to my business success rising and the only real conclusion I can draw is that actually working brings in results.

"If you really want this business thing to work then you have to work." [tweet that!]


SUCCESS BREEDS MORE SUCCESS

On that note – embrace the good moments because that breeds more success. For me, when a client is really happy and satisfied and telling me that they are – I relish in that and it makes me want to work harder for them (which means they are more likely to refer me, and grow my business). Acknowledge your successes – get excited.

I’ve been working through a Manifesting course and I’ve taken the time to review my finances nearly every day since and also to track my income and you know what? My income has increased. Now I know there are many factors to that, but I do think there is something to be said about seeing my money, knowing what’s going on with it, and hearing the nice little ‘cha-ching’ noise the app makes whenever I input a new amount. It feels good to feel good, and I really like to embrace that feeling so that I work harder to have more of it.


SELF-CARE AND BOUNDARIES ARE ESSENTIAL

Your self-care routine might be different than mine, but mine involves taking time for yoga and working out, cooking (aka watching my partner cook) good dinners, and not working on weekends (unless I really feel like it/want to). Implementing more time and energy towards making these things a habit has led to me feeling excited and rejuvenated and well-rounded. Mondays are seriously my most productive day and I can almost guarantee it comes from the break I give myself during the weekend.

I know a lot of us get caught up in thinking we have to do it all, then we get overwhelmed and run away and hide, and then we get mad that the world isn’t working out in our favor. Well, I feel you on all those thoughts – but here’s a big “AHA!” – do what you like to do and are good at, don’t overcommit or make yourself insane, and give yourself a break. You don’t have to make 6 figures in one launch two weeks after you start your business. I promise you, it’ll be okay. That’s actually probably the biggest “AHA!” of them all – it’ll be okay.



I’m Kaitlyn, your design assistant! I work with successful creative entrepreneurs to create cohesive, clean, and compelling visuals for their businesses. You can keep being the #girlboss you are (but with more time to focus on growing your empire)! Let's set up a time to chat!