Have you ever been in a slump in your business? That deep cave of the doldrums where creativity has been pulled stage left, your clients are non existent or responsive the way they used to be? You are not alone. Business slumps, as regular as they are almost ALWAYS seem to last FOREVER! When our business life is flourishing, we tend to take this time for granted, as in we believe it SHOULD be this way always.
Now there’s something to be said about our mental equivalent being this good, as you wouldn’t be in business if you thought it would all go to hell all the time. So because we tend to feel normal and easy when things are on the uptake, we become very uncomfortable with slumps, and tend to have no patience while we are there. The slump is truly a feeling of ultimate failure, as though the end has arrived, and our business is done. We also tend to finalize any idea that does not fully pan out. Oddly it is difficult to let an idea not succeed.
We attach ourselves to it being the only way through, when in fact there are infinite possibilities and this is just one. Yes, in good times, we all know this, but when we fall into any slump, sometimes these principles feel like “pie in the sky” ideas. Due to the nature of a slump, and the short attention span we have for anything positive, The following are three REALISTIC things you need to know in the moment to help you move forward.
1. Remember the slump means you’re alive
All of life has cycles, ups, downs, ins and outs. Think of the heartbeat. We would be dead if we just had the one end of the pump. We need the up AND the down of the heartbeat to keep our blood moving. Business is exactly the same. When you are in a slump, remember, this means your business is alive! This is a good thing. Our sleep cycle is also an up and a down. If we never slept, we would die.
2. Create a list of things you’ve been too busy for during the up cycle
This means that as part of the cycle, there is meaningful work that can only happen during times that are slower. Think about the less exciting things that must be done, in times of a low. Research, brainstorming new projects, or even just rest. We tend to have a very difficult time doing the insular parts of business when clients need you, or your product sales are up. All those things that feel important, but you’re too busy during times of success, can all be made into a list of, “I’ll do that later.” Well, sister, time to pull that baby out! Get on task and remember this is all part of what needs to be done.
3. Don’t take the “ups” OR the “downs” for granted
In both successful times AND slumps, due to the nature of thinking they will last forever, we often take both times for granted. It may be weird to think we’d take a slump for granted, but we do. We wallow in self pity, and forget that the busy “up” cycle is just around the corner. This isn’t even positive thinking. The regrets we experience in our successful times include the frustration of not completing our “I’ll do that later” list.
The moral of the story is truly to understand both times of slump and success are temporary. Attempt to avoid getting egotistical during successful times, and remember the temporary nature of the slump.