If you are an entrepreneur, there will inevitably be times where business slows down. I’ve been living this life of faith (self-employment) for decades now — and here are some things I’ve learned when the calendar is more empty than full.
1. Don’t panic. Instead of saying “Oh, shit!”, teach yourself ways to calm down. Think back on times when clients and money flowed in (a weekly journal and spreadsheet is very helpful). It’s easy to fall into panic mode and forget that the Universe has your back. Even if you do panic, admit it and show yourself a little compassion. Creating a business is not for the faint-of-heart. Have confidence and know that things always have a way of working out. How do I know? I’m still in business!
2. Be creative. If you’re a writer like me, use the time to think and write about future projects, craft blog posts, freshen up your site, create classes, offer discounts in a newsletter, reach out to friends and collaborate.
3. Meditate and increase your daily spiritual practice. This can be applied to #1. Use the extra time to get down with your soul. Try chanting. Read good books. Keep your mind as positive as possible: affirmations, magical journal, focused intent. It may seems like none of it is working if the bank account is low and email quiet, but it is. Have faith. It all matters. It’s easy to do spiritual practice when life is grand. When it gets hairy, that’s when you see how deep your roots go.
4. Diversify. I read the Tarot. I teach classes. I write books. I invest in the stock market. I think about different ways to create life-long passive income streams. When Shivaya Wellness slows down, I increase and diversify those streams. Don’t stay stuck in one river: jump around.
5. Know that this too shall pass. Cycles are just that: ebb and flow. Would I love to have a packed calendar all the time? Yes, and no. It’s all about balance. Sometime I need a break even when I think I can’t afford it. Who knows? I might be gearing up for a gig/client/event that hasn’t introduced itself yet — and I’ll be grateful that the downtime helped me prepare.
6. Stay healthy. Keep your body in tune, rather than gorge on self-pitying pizza and ice cream. It will just make you feel crappy in the long run. Go for walks, nap, take baths, do yoga or some type of body movement. It might be easy to slide into self-blame or anger at the downtime (I should’ve worked harder, budgeted better, had more gigs, hustled), but downtime can be a break to refocus and see how well you nourish yourself during stressful times. Hang out with friends, chat with a healer or therapist, write, sing, take a drive.
This work we do isn’t just about supporting others. It’s also to help us heal our limiting thoughts, self-hatred, sense of worth, lack of connection. Having downtime in business gives us a chance to explore the triggers that arise. It’s usually not the surface worries — such as financial fears — but a fear of trusting ourselves and the benevolent energies that surround us. Believe me, I have stern talks with “my people” sometimes because I think they forget what’s required to live as a human being. But it’s all a practice and exploration of the self.
When downtime arrives for a visit, welcome her back and visit together over a cup of tea. She won’t be around for long, but she is sure to return. Might as well make friends now.
My latest class! Join me in “Learn How to Self-Publish Your Book” on Sunday, 6/29 from 12-2pm at Pyramid Wellness, Rutland, VT. Find out more here.