If there was one thing I struggled with when I first started my business, it was that I kept waiting for everything to fall together. I kept waiting for that one moment, that one turning point where everything would get easier and it would all feel smoother. I think I just wanted to feel like I knew what I was doing.
And you know what? At a certain point, things did feel easier and smoother and I felt more in flow with business. That is, until things stopped feeling like that and I had to struggle and push and learn and go uphill again. What I’ve learned to embrace is this seasonality of building a business.
There are seasons to the year and the seasons to your life and truly, there are the seasons of business. Learning these, understanding them and embracing them has become a key part of my growth and my sanity. Because before figured out the seasons, I was driving myself crazy trying to feel like it would all be ok, like I knew what I was doing, like I could relax. I constantly felt like I was missing something or that I was behind. And when things did finally feel right, I couldn’t relax enough into it because I was always worried about what was coming next.
From my standpoint, there are five seasons to business. They are all extraordinarily fun and all a little bit difficult. Each has their own part to play in building a sustainable and profitable business. Here is my view on the five seasons of business:
The Idea Season
This is a fun season. It’s a season where everything feels exciting and new and fresh. It’s when you’re creating programs and building brand messages. It’s when you’re just starting to feel the possibility of when you can bring to life. This might happen as you are balancing a full time job. Or it might happen as you create new services or new revenue streams. It’s the beginning of something exciting.
The Build Up Season
This season can be tough for people but if you learn how to look at it properly, you learn to love it for what it is. The Build Up Season is all about building up the ideas you have created. You’re putting in a lot of work in this season. You’re hustling, spreading your messaging, showing up every day in service of the idea you have. Maybe you are meeting with investors. Maybe you are networking or pitching your idea. There are a lot of lessons in the Build Up Season. For many people, it’s the season you just feel like you’re trying everything and seeing what works and you might start to wonder if you’re getting anywhere when you hit the momentum season.
The Momentum Season
The Momentum Season is when things start to click a little. It might be when you sign your first few clients or start consistently hitting your goals. It’s when you first start to think “Oh wait, this might actually work.” This is such a fun and exciting season. It’s often full of little wins and movements in the right direction. But it’s also a season people want to skip because they are too busy looking for the big wins, the huge sales, the massive followers to notice that they are really gaining momentum. If you feel really stuck in the Build Up Season waiting for the big win, take a look around to see what is working because you might just be in the Momentum Season heading into flow.
The Flow Season
The Flow Season is where everyone really wants to be. It’s the season where the money is flowing in and you feel like you really have a handle on what you’re doing. It’s when you’re getting requests for services or proposals instead of constantly reaching out to others. It’s your first big money month or when you finally land that huge feature in a magazine. It’s when you really feel like everything will be OK and that you’ve got it together now.
The Peak Season
The Peak Season surprises some people. It certainly surprised me. This season usually means you’re ready to up level again, to go into the next phase of your business. It’s when things are going really well but you know that something is missing or not working correctly. Some people experience burn out in the peak season because they don’t realize they need to shift or they feel like they’ve done something wrong. For some people, it’s when they start to hire team members. For others, it’s when they shift their services and offers. It’s the sign that the next chapter is coming and it usually funnels right back into the Idea Season.
There’s no set time limits on these seasons. Some might last months and some might last years. It all depends on you and your journey. Business, as with life, is really just one wild, unpredictable ride. Learning to embrace every season and enjoy it for the part it plays is all part of the fun.