Working in seasons is an analogy I’ve consistently shared and recommended to my clients over the years. I’ve found that this perspective and practice allows a business to finally forego any fragmented consistency they’ve been exhibiting in favour of focused attention on one area at a time and thus, experience real growth. And if you think about it, the seasons we experience in nature represent growth as well —a slow, subtle shift into a new way of being in an effort to make room for what comes next.
Business, like the seasons we experience is cyclical. Having an understanding of this cycle and where your business currently falls within it can be hugely helpful in making decisions for your marketing strategy and how to expend your resources.
You may stay in certain seasons longer than others but eventually, everything will shift and move forward. In other words, a season in business (unlike in nature) is not restricted to a three-month timeframe. For instance, if you’re creating something entirely new, you may stay in a season of Spring for a longer period of time before shifting into Summer and watching it bloom.
Additionally, the season you’re experiencing in business may not line up with the natural seasons, nor the seasons of other businesses. This is helpful to know especially when things feel stuck or stagnant. If you learn how to work with the natural rhythm of your individual business and trust in the timing of it all, you’ll reap the rewards that follow. There are challenges and opportunities to be found in every season, so choose to embrace them all!
Let’s take a look at each season and what they might represent in business.
Spring is a season of creation, of possibility and potential. It’s the start of a new cycle (re-birth). After the slowness and rest of Winter, you may find yourself full of ideas ready to plant and the energy needed to begin bringing them to life.
Having a clear and focused plan in place is key so that you’re not expending energy on the wrong things and working harder than you have to. In other words, don’t throw your seeds without a clear vision for what you’re planting in the long-run.
Summer is a season of growth. It’s a time to refine, iterate, and ultimately launch the projects you’ve been working on. There’s a lot of movement happening that requires you to show up, to stretch, to expand. This is a season of activation and promoting what was in production during the last season.
Basically, business is in full bloom. The energy of Spring may have calmed, but now it’s time to get your projects closer to completion. Keep the momentum going by optimizing the growth you’re experiencing. To continue thriving, you’ll need to water and nurture the seeds that have sprouted. This might look like engaging in activities like promoting your offerings, tending to relationships and forming new connections, all of which will help sustain your business come the colder and quieter seasons.
Autumn is a season of harvesting, enjoying the fruits of your labor from the past two seasons, foraging new ideas, and engaging in activities that fuel inspiration as you prepare for an inward Winter.
This season also represents business maturity. There is a greater sense of ease and flow. Your business or product is well-established —it’s out into the world being of service to others! This is something to truly acknowledge and celebrate before setting your sights on the future.
While you’re riding the high of Autumn, it’s important to remember that winter is still on its way and business will soon begin to slow down. It’s important to take some preparatory actions so that you can truly rest during the Winter season rather than resist it. This might look like saving and setting aside funds, following up on connections made during Summer, or evaluating your offerings and identifying how you can differentiate your business. (Psst! Our Brand Touchpoints Digital Guide and Template is a great tool to use during this season when you have the time to assess and elevate your brand and customer experience.)
Winter is a season of healing, rest, restoring and replenishing yourself and your business. It’s also a great time for reflection; taking stock of what’s working vs. not working, and letting go of what’s no longer serving your business.
Despite your preparedness for the drier season of Winter, it can still feel like a particularly hard one to navigate. That’s because naturally, entrepreneurs are not very good at sitting still, especially when others are experiencing a drastically different season alongside us. But Winter has its gifts if you’re open to receiving them —like the opportunity for reflection, finally getting to contemplate the big ideas that you might’ve recently foraged in Autumn and certainly won’t have time for once things sprout again in Spring.
Remember, seasons change (some sooner than others), but change is inevitable. Whatever season you find yourself in as a business owner, embrace it for what it is, navigate it with confidence, and find reassurance in knowing that there is time and space to tackle everything.