Life and Business Seasons: Navigating what matters most
This is a much-needed conversation today to talk about navigating the ever-changing seasons of business and life. Success is nuanced and ever-evolving and as business owners, we need to define our version of success and adapt to different seasons. Today I’m exploring how to honour what matters most during the different seasons of life and business and why accepting where you’re at is vital for your well-being and business success.
I really want to validate the juggle that many business owners face in trying to balance the demands of their business alongside challenges in their personal lives. No matter what your life situation, there will always be seasons of challenge. We need to be realistic about how these seasons impact us and adjust our focus to prevent burnout and frustration.
The global landscape has been marked by significant changes and uncertainties, especially over the past few years. As business owners, we must adapt to these industry and worldwide seasons. Even within our businesses, seasons can vary. Growth seasons may demand more time and energy, whereas stable seasons allow us to maintain and enjoy our current level of success.
Things can get particularly challenging when personal and business challenging seasons coincide. If you're currently in this season, I want to encourage you that you can get through it. And if you’re not in this situation, preparing your business fundamentals, such as operational models and automation, will help you navigate these challenging times more effectively.
As a business owner, it's essential to embrace the ebb and flow of seasons in both your personal life and your business. Success isn't about meeting someone else's standard; it's about defining your own path. Normalise your humanity, recognise the challenges you face, and adjust your focus accordingly. Your unique journey and your decisions shape your success. Remember, you can do difficult and challenging things, and no matter the season, you will be okay.
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[00:00:00] Kristy: success is not binary. It's not this nor that Sometimes it's nuanced, sometimes it shifts and morphs, and sometimes it evolves, even if for just a short time. But what we need to navigate as business owners is our own version or definition for success. In this episode, I'm peeling back quite an important conversation.
[00:00:32] Understanding seasons. honoring what's important for life and business at different stages and times. This can be quite hard for business owners to navigate. I know you're a high performer. I know you're a high achiever. I know you want everything. To be just so across all facets of life and business, but is that realistic?
[00:01:01] That's what I unpack in this conversation. Are you ready? Let's go. Hello boss. And welcome back to the podcast. This is episode one 31. Oh my goodness. This conversation is a biggie and here's the thing. We're not handed a playbook for life, business, parenting, all the things. and you in many ways are a pioneer in this modern online business ownership world, a world that's constantly morphing and growing and evolving with you and for you.
[00:02:18] The way we run businesses is so unique, even if I reflect back 10 years ago, or in 2010, when I first started my business, the way we do businesses today. So different and that makes it exciting, but it also can make it challenging at the same time because there's very little reference.
[00:02:41] Behind us to know what we need to do. I've spoken about seasons in life and business here on the podcast before, but I wanted to drill down and dedicate an entire episode for this topic in case you missed the other conversations, but also. Frankly, it's worthy of a standalone episode because this notion of one gear and let's face it, that's full throttle is unrealistic to say the least. And this often leads business owners down a path of feeling overwhelmed, struggling to juggle all the things, a sense of failure when things start dropping, frustration by reduced capacity, on the business side or on the life side, and Not sure where it's all gone wrong, things aren't going wrong. It's just that you haven't reprioritized and shifted your focused based on the seasons that you're in. I don't think we can have this conversation without acknowledging those of us who are parents, Those of us who are holding space for raising humans. And when you first become a parent, you expect that you need to be on and that you're going to be busy for those first few years.
[00:04:05] And I don't quite have a teenager yet, but from what I hear of those in front of me, things are still really busy in the teen years. And in fact, maybe even a little more so. Being a parent doesn't stop beyond the toddler years. It shifts and changes. It evolves. And there are times where it's smooth sailing and you can focus on other things. And there are other periods that may be longer and sustained or shorter and sharper that require deep focus and attention from you. So to be a business owner and a parent and pretend that you're not a parent is not realistic.
[00:04:47] And that's what's going to send you down a path of burnout. And that's why we're having this conversation today, because you have other things beyond your business that are going on for you. And that might not be parenting that might be caring for elderly parents. That might be things that are going on for your health.
[00:05:07] It might be a myriad of different things. But the reality is, is that. Seasons are at play, both on the personal side and the business side. And so I want to bring this out into the open. I want to talk about this to normalize it, to help you to navigate. Those seasons that feel sticky and hard, and you're not sure how to get through them.
[00:05:33] The other thing I want to acknowledge is that as women, particularly female founders, back when I first. Entered this business world. It was very male dominated and What was represented in history is men that had someone at home supporting them that took the mental load of.
[00:05:55] Raising the kids or organizing the house or facilitating all the things that happen at home so that they could dedicate their time, energy and capacity to their business. Now, not everybody who listens to this podcast is female Or identifies as female. And I understand that, but a large proportion does, and we can't have this conversation without acknowledging that if you're working from home and you're a female, chances are you're carrying a larger proportion of the home load, unless you have someone at home with you that you can share that with.
[00:06:31] And even if you are sharing it, there are still a lot that you'll be carrying. But if you are the person at home and perfect timing, one of my kiddos is homesick, was homesick yesterday and I had to go up to the school and grab them today. That meant a reshuffling of things. Now that's not a season of course, but that's representative of my life.
[00:06:56] That's representative of the things that I navigate as a business owner and a mom and a woman and the role that I play in our home. So. To pretend, as I said, that that doesn't exist isn't going to help you sweeping it under the carpet is only going to end up with you feeling really dissatisfied and just at the pinch in all areas of your life.
[00:07:22] So let's get into a few of the different seasons that you may be experiencing and let's just normalize that. the first is industry or worldwide seasons. Let's be honest. You've probably been in business over the past few years, if you're listening to this podcast, typically the people who listen to this one our established business owners.
[00:07:47] But even if you're fairly new, I'm sure that you can understand this position, the world shifted and changed in 2020 and it hasn't changed back since and it probably never will. And that's part of evolution. That's part of change. But the thing is, is that over these past few years, there's been a difference in seasons for many business owners. Now, this isn't to say that we are all in a winter. Okay. That's not what I'm saying here for some businesses, especially during COVID they thrived, they were busy. They could not keep up with demand. That sounds really good in theory, but in practice, if you're not fully set up for that, and I'll talk more about that in a minute, that can also create a very intense and busy season in your business.
[00:08:40] On the flip side, the economy, the house prices, interest rates, inflation, all the things that maybe has impacted your business negatively this year could be a winter of a season. there are things that may be beyond your control that influence the impact to your business and as business owners, we need to learn to navigate that we need to learn how to be in that season and how to adapt.
[00:09:12] Ourselves and our business to that relevant season. That doesn't mean that you go all in and work harder or that you step out and work less. It's not as black and white as that. It's really about acknowledging that you're in a broader season. and how do you navigate that?
[00:09:29] The next season I want to talk about is your personal seasons. And I touched on this earlier. if you're a parent to a human or humans, then that's definitely going to influence the type of seasons that you're in. Sometimes things go on with your kids that may require.
[00:09:50] Your focus and your capacity. And that may mean that you have less time and energy for your business. And if your business doesn't permit that, then that's an opportunity for you to reflect on how you can make this work, either getting more support from elsewhere in home, be it your partner or extended family or whatever that might be.
[00:10:17] Or support for your business. And again, I'm going to talk about the collision of the two in a minute and things that you need to think about in order to prepare for a time when you've got both personal and business, you know, really requiring a lot of that energy. But for now, when you're in a personal season.
[00:10:40] Thinking about how you're able to take that capacity and space from your business and reapply that back over into your personal life you may like to be able to have all the time in the world that you can work on your business. And for many business owners, we love and thrive in our business, But if you've got things that are happening and problems that you need to solve and challenges that you're working through on the personal front, and you're not re shifting your time and energy into that, you may find yourself in a situation where that becomes bigger and The outcome is actually taken out of your control, or you become resentful of your business that you can't step back to focus on that.
[00:11:29] For many of us, we are lifestyle entrepreneurs. Yes, we have an income and yes, we are contributing to our financial freedom within our family. And yes, we're profitable and all those things. But for many of us, we're also in business to support the ideal life that we wish to live.
[00:11:49] And I've mentioned on the podcast before, that may not be traveling the world and working from the beach. That may not be working two days a week. What your ideal lifestyle might be raising your family, living your best life, running your business, making an impact in the world, serving your clients in a combination of all of those things. But that's your ideal life. It's up to you to decide that. But if your business isn't flexible enough.
[00:12:17] Or simple enough for you to be able to extract yourself to be able to support or maybe not even fully extract yourself, but to be able to free up your time to be able to reinvest that back into what's important in your personal life or the personal season that you're going through, that could be really tricky.
[00:12:35] Other seasons that might be going on in your personal life might not necessarily need an extraction. It might be that you've got other things to juggle in addition to your business. So it might be that you're doing a renovation. I too understand that. That was me last year. I had the renovation and I was juggling my business and it didn't mean that I needed to move out of my business to support what was going on in my personal life, but I needed to be accepting of my capabilities inside the business.
[00:13:02] Whilst this big endeavor was happening on the personal side and being realistic. That's what this is all about. If that's the one word you take away is about being realistic about your personal energy and capacity. maybe when you've got this big thing planned, or even if it's unplanned, knowing what you're capable of delivering and doing and taking action on your business is so critically aligned to the success overall of your business and life that You need to lean into that and understand that and be prepared for that and be okay with that.
[00:13:38] More importantly, be okay with that because sometimes we can get really hard on ourselves when we think, Oh, like I said before, I want to be able to work all the time. I want to be able to work to this level and operate at this level and yet to be also navigating a challenging season, be it small or long term in your life May not be realistic for that to actually occur. And therefore that sense of failure may come into it, which actually, is it a failure? I don't know. That's really up to you to think about. and one more thing that I wanted to touch on when it comes to personal seasons is. The reality that so many entrepreneurs and business owners are neurodiverse, and there can be times where you are at burnout, particularly autistic burnout is something that's real, or that if you're ADHD and you're struggling to navigate.
[00:14:37] The seasons in your life, and that then impacts what's going on in your business and being realistic about what that juggle actually looks like, because often the way things are portrayed online can be through that very typical lens. It can be through that lens of yes, we can do all the things.
[00:14:55] Yes, I'm that person who can tick all these personal boxes As well as run this multimillion dollar business and achieve all these things here. And for someone who's neuro diverse, they might be looking at that going, how on earth is that achievable for me? So being realistic about your own seasons and what you're, mind, body, and spirit also needs and requires from you.
[00:15:19] so when it comes to business seasons, I think you and I both acknowledge that there are many seasons in business that can shift and change And much like with personal seasons, it can be short and sharp or it can be sustained. So you might be going through a growth season, in which case you need to keep things really simple on your personal side and know that you need to have maybe more boundaries around the time For your personal life and the things that you've got on your personal life, but also knowing that this is not something that's going to last forever.
[00:16:01] That's the whole point of seasons. This isn't your forever. so your business might be going through a growth season, Or you've got a project or a launch that you're delivering on or working through. or you might be in a slower season, I think sometimes we often talk about the things that are really busy and full on, and we forget to address when we're in a down season and that might be.
[00:16:25] just the way your business works is that you have busy periods and lots going on at a certain time. And then it eases off and eases back at other times, or it could be that's beyond your circumstances, something that might be linked to what we discussed in the 1st point around industry or worldwide seasons, but acknowledging seasons.
[00:16:46] Change and sometimes things are busy and intense and sometimes things are slower and if you are in that slower time, how can you be more intentional about where you're investing your time? and what I mean by that is perhaps that's the time that you schedule in rest, perhaps that's the time that you reinvest that back into you and your wellbeing or maybe you're investing your time back into your business developing the next thing that you're working on, but in a softer, more ease state, perhaps you're in a stabilization season, and I've spoken about this on the podcast before about intentionally stabilizing Often online, there are messages reinforcing go grow bigger, better, stronger, more, more, more. And that can leave you feeling like you can't just let the dust settle. You can't just let this level be the level for now. Again, we're talking about seasons. This isn't you settling your business in this place forevermore.
[00:17:55] And if that's what you want to do, great. That's not what I'm talking about here. I'm talking about a season of stabilization where you've got a good number of clients. You've got a good workload. You've got a great team or support or whatever in place. You want to enjoy this level I've spoken about this need to always be achieving, always be reaching that next goal and hinging your success on that next goal.
[00:18:20] But what if the season that you're in is stabilization? And that's the goal is to settle, to focus on your clients, delighting your clients, the client journey, tweaking, and just sitting in this now space. That is not a bad thing, despite what we're led to believe online in that as business owners, we always have to be performing and achieving and growing and all of those things.
[00:18:47] So recognizing that in business, you may need big energy and capacity for those busy stints and stints is the operative word here. And sometimes you are going to be in a period where things feel stable or are stable and. are going along nicely. Sometimes things are not so great. And that also needs your attention and focus to understand the challenge and figure out how to move through that challenge to get your business back on track.
[00:19:24] And that might mean that you have less time on the personal side, less time on that lifestyle element. But so long as it's. Just a season, you'll be okay. Now, I just want to quickly address the duality, what happens when you have the collision of personal challenging season and a business challenging season.
[00:19:50] Now, if you are in this season and you're not prepared for it, I want to. Just acknowledge that for you and recognize that is a hard place to be what you can do if you're not in that season right now, because if you are, and you haven't got all your ducks in a row, then it may be just trying to solve each and every problem as it comes, but also knowing that you will get through this, that you can do difficult and challenging things in your business and in your life.
[00:20:26] and addressing each of those things to figure out how you can reprioritize and shift to work through each of those challenges so that you can move through the season that you're in. Okay, so that's if you're in that season, and you're not set up for it. What I think is important to address in preempting a duality tough season is the importance of your business fundamentals. This is where having your operational model systemized and optimized is so important. Okay. Not the most exciting stuff I know. But if. Your processes and your systems and the way you run your business is well documented and is executable by somebody else, then that opens up a pathway to get support in your business.
[00:21:25] equally. If your business is automated, this will mean that you don't have to do and touch everything in a process for your clients. if you're doing everything manually, when you're in a hard season, that's going to get harder. So if you have to reply to all of your website inquiries, some are not great, some are great, and you're having meetings with people and it's all done manually, that can take up time.
[00:22:00] Yes, it might seem like a small thing, but that plus the next thing, plus the next thing, plus the next thing will create more pressure systems than is necessary. And that's going to feel hard When you're in this hard season,
[00:22:18] your time is the most precious resource. And when it comes to busy seasons in life and business, your time is the one defining factor. Your time leads to your capacity, leads to your energy, and that is what you need to invest. to prevent the unnecessary sticking points in your business, optimizing, streamlining, working through that client process and journey.
[00:22:50] Is so important. How can you make that as easy as possible? Sometimes we think we don't have time to spend on that element of our business because, hey, that email or scheduling that appointment or doing that thing or sending out that. Such and such that's not that big a deal. It doesn't take me that much energy.
[00:23:11] I can do it with my eyes shut, but when you are at a pinch with time, that's going to feel a lot bigger than what it needs to be, and you'll be kicking yourself that you didn't invest. In this part of your business, business and growth is not linear. Life is not straightforward and predictable and navigating the two together can be a match made in heaven or lighting a match with fuel.
[00:23:45] Regardless, you are capable of navigating challenging times. Being a business owner requires critical assessment and thinking, knowing how to move and shift your focus is all part of that and accepting that when you're not in a smooth period, there may need to be some adjustments.
[00:24:10] And it won't last forever and that you will be okay. This is such an important conversation to have because we think we need to be optimal at all times that we need to be meeting some standard. That someone else is set for us at all times as a parent, as a human, in our life, in our business, in all the things and coming back to what I started with this episode is that you get to decide your definition of success. You get to decide what is important. You get to decide what you're focusing on, what your boundaries are, what. You're going to put your energy into and what you decide is okay and not feeling guilt or shame about what you're doing.
[00:25:03] My intention with this episode is to normalize the different seasons, to not pretend that they don't exist, to normalize your humanity, To normalize that you are juggling a business and your life and that you want to live your best life as well as run a successful business, whatever that success means to you, we are in new paradigms And it's okay for you to do things differently, to do things your way, because there's no one that you can look to as evidence to say, yep, that's what I want. It's your path, your decisions. I hope this episode has helped you. I hope this episode has supported you. And if it spoke to you, let me get this message out there.
[00:25:52] May I invite you to either share this in your Instagram stories with your takeouts, or if you are listening to this on Spotify or on Apple Podcasts, please leave a review. This podcast is here to support you, but what you say about this podcast helps others to decide whether or not they're going to tune into which. If they do, then like you, they will also feel supported as a business owner. Thank you so much for tuning into episode one, three, one, as always, I look forward to chatting with you next week. This episode was recorded on Killin Darbin land.
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About your host, Kristy
Hi, I'm Kristy, thank you for tuning in to the Run Your Business Like a Boss Podcast. My purpose for the podcast is to help Business Owner’s in the growth stage of business (messy middle) have a sustainable business, they love.
I’m an online business coach, based in Brisbane, Australia. I provide 1:1 business coaching, to Service Based Online Business Owner's and a group coaching program commencing in 2022. I believe whole heartedly that having a Business Coach is what gives you the competitive edge. As your coach I support you to overcome challenges quickly, uncover blindspots and make business decisions with confidence and clarity. All of which keeps you moving forward and maintaining momentum.
As your Business Coach, my role is to help you organise and formulate your ideas, turn them into a goal and then into an actionable plan! All while meeting you where you're at and providing you relevant tools and support along the way.
Thank you for tuning in to the Run Your Business Like A Boss podcast!