I’m an independent professional — and most of the people I coach are too (or they want to be). As such, the summertime presents an interesting opportunity for those of us who are consultants, facilitators, trainers, coaches and the like. With over a decade of being self-employed, I’d like to offer a few suggestions for those who might be newer to the terrain … so you can truly enjoy this special time of year.
Projects Still Happen
If you are new to the free agent lifestyle, let me reassure you that yes, projects still happen during the summer time. This is a conversation I’ve been having with some of the newer graphic recorders and graphic facilitators I mentor (and other solopreneurs who deal with corporate and other types of clients).
While it is normal for contract work to slow during the warmer weather, it still exists. In fact, some types of work can only happen during summertime … as it’s the only chance our clients have to focus on important but not urgent things. My private trainings and retreats actually increase during the summer, as clients have a natural lull in their own workloads and/or use their summer vacation to develop new skills. Or, to sort out what they want the next phase of their business or life to be.
So, if you are new to this kind of lifestyle — rest assured that work still exists in the summer — if you want it to! (and if you keep your mindset and energy in a receptive state).
Have Fun – It’s Good for Your Vibe
In my earlier years in consulting, I was nervous about summer (and Christmas) lulls. However, over the years I’ve come to trust the process … and take advantage of the special energy that these seasons hold. My team is back and forth on vacations (which slows everything down anyways) and it’s a great time for me to take some much needed R&R too. Something us workaholics need to remember the importance of. And, creativity often needs downtime to properly germinate our next round of ideas!
If we can relax into our down time … our energy changes to a lighter place. We breathe differently, we smile more, our body calms … the hyped up state that many of us spend our days in actually mellows. Which is a very good thing from an energy and Law of Attraction point of view. A happy, relaxed person is a much better attractor than someone who is worried, scared or negatively focused. Or on overdrive. In short, mellowing out is good for you and helps your bottom line! And, when work boomerangs back to you (which it will in September) you’ll be refreshed and ready for it!
Take Charge of Your Own CalendarAnother thing that has helped immensely over the years is adding offerings to my sales funnel that I am in charge of – rather than all of my work being dependent on contracting gigs. With my public workshops and trainings, I create a framework for my calendar (sometimes up to 18 months in advance) Through this advanced scheduling, I know what I am doing and when. And my other work falls in around this underlying structure (like many little pebbles falling in amongst bigger boulders as one of my coaches used to say). I strategically schedule my offerings so I leave parts of my work week open for opportunities that are spontaneously attracted. It’s a great system that has worked beautifully for me — gives me a great balance of stability and spontaneity.
Speaking of calendars, my team and I have finalized mine to the end of 2012 (see the events section for details). Taking charge of your calendar and building a proper sales funnel is one of the many techniques I teach in my Biz and Life Accelerator. If you are a new or seasoned solo practitioner or small biz owner in the 50-300k range (or want to be) … I invite you to apply for this one-of-a-kind incubator. So you can enjoy not only summer but every season of your calendar!