Some of my favorite memories happen in the summer.
With more activities, family vacations, camps, and the kids home, we naturally think summer means we have to sacrifice spending time on our business to enjoy family time.
But what I found over the years of running a photography business with young kids, it doesn’t have to be an either or.
You can keep your business going without sacrificing your family time in the summer.
I get that the weather is nice.
I want to pack up my stuff and go outside so I can do all the fun things.
Working in the yard, planting flowers, and planning a cookout with friends.
Those things are great, but I want to give you the mindset of a business owner.
When you become a business owner, it’s a commitment.
It’s like when you buy a house and you have a yard but neglect it, so your house becomes overgrown.
Sometimes it’s beyond repair and you have to dig it up and start over.
If you do a few things consistently, you mow one day, water your flowers another day, and pick weeds every now and then, then you can have a beautiful yard with all the things that make you happy.
The same thing can be applied to your business.
You can’t just look away and do nothing.
You have to do a little bit each week to maintain your business.
A fun thing about summer is going out and meeting people.
Many of you put the switch on family mode when you go out and do fun things, but you forget that you can be doing business at the same time.
I want you to make a conscious decision to weave your business into all of the conversations that you’re having.
Keep your business radar up when you’re out and about.
Each week I want you to set aside time to make sure 6 things go on the calendar.
1. Schedule your appointments
Summer is such a good time to make appointments.
Catch up on your health and maintenance activities of everything in your life without fighting the treachery of winter.
Try to get those things done in the summer because you’re going to run into people.
It’s so fun when I go for an appointment somewhere and I run into people in the waiting room and I start conversations with them.
Talk to the owner, receptionist, doctor, whoever they are.
How’s their business?
What’s going on?
Do they ever partner with charities?
Would they want to tie in and do something with you?
Then follow up and write them a note of joy thanking them for their time and asking to work on creating something together.
2. Join a business group
There are so many different kinds of business groups in your community.
Check out your local Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBOP), women’s groups, rotary groups.
Find one to join or if you don’t have the money to make membership dues payment right now, go as a guest.
Many business groups welcome guests.
You may have to pay a small fee, but you’re saving the $350 membership fee until you have that money and you can commit to going.
When you go as a guest ask yourself, will I come to this?
Have I met people?
Then decide whether or not to join.
I have some students who really struggled with this and once they did it everything changed for them.
Good things happen when you leave home.
3. Get involved over holidays and weekends
We’ve got all kinds of things from Juneteenth, July 4th, Memorial Day to chicken fries, and spouse company parties.
That’s where you meet people and great things happen just by talking to people.
4. Show up early
The summer is the perfect time for your kids to try new things.
If you put them in a music class or a camp, make it a point to go early.
You can visit with parents and talk to the instructor.
5. Reconnect with your friends
Start a walking group together, create a play date, and have everybody invite a new friend.
If you have a friend who is negative and toxic, maybe it’s time to find a new friend group.
They say you’re the sum of the five people you are hanging out with most.
Who are you hanging out with?
How are they influencing you?
If you’re around someone who’s being negative all the time and telling you all the things they can’t do and hence you can’t do it’s going to start rubbing off.
One of the things I hear the most in our programs is that people have never been in such a supportive community.
As humans we crave community, we crave someone to encourage and cheer for us and it’s a choice who you’re hanging out with.
6. Ask to help
I want you to ask yourself: Who can I help?
Who is on your list of businesses that you’d like to partner with?
We call it Dream 100 that you would like to work with.
Watch what they’re doing on social media and see if they have events that you could go to.
What problems are they having and how can you help solve them?
Maybe they’re looking to hire someone and you have a friend who would be perfect.
Can you connect them to someone?
Can you send them business?
What can you do to help?
Do these six things this summer, and when Fall hits you’ll have momentum.