I have mixed feelings about the changing of the seasons.
On one hand, I LOVE fall!
Sign me up for Pumpkin Spiced EVERYTHING, changing leaves, and ALL the cozy sweaters.
But on the other hand, fall means we pack up our family beach house and return to our full-time residence in Pennsylvania to trade surf camp, walks on the beach, and suntan lotion for kid’s homework, bus stop pickups, and evening gymnastics classes!
It often feels like a similar transition in our businesses. While the change of pace can be exhilarating and exciting, it can also come with some challenges as you get back into the swing of things and settle into a new pace of life and work.
As things shift in our world it’s important that we tend to the new demands on our time, attention, and energy by shifting our approach and our rhythms.
Even if you’ve NEVER heard of rhythms in business before, you have them, and they are already a part of your business!
They are recurring responsibilities that cycle in your business. Some rhythms may be dictated to you such as finances or marketing, while others may be more flexible, circumstantial, or industry-specific.
A rhythm is something that comes up again and again and it is essential for your business to operate, scale, and thrive.
Typically, there are daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual rhythms.
Rhythms can be unintentional or intentional, and once you’re aware of them, you can leverage their momentum to help you manage your time, energy, and tasks.
I think of it like shifting gears on a bike.
*says the girl who hasn’t ridden a bike since she was a teen 😅*
Your rhythms are the gears. When you find yourself working too hard or pedaling like crazy, you shift your gears to even out your pace and reduce your efforts. That maximizes your energy and balances it with the speed and distance you’re looking to achieve, all while accounting for the terrain and any other forces like wind, rain, etc.
Your rhythms can work with you or against you.
But, once you know how to tweak them, you can leverage rhythms to suit your needs. Just like it takes time to get the hang of finding the right gear when you first learn to ride a bike, it can also take some time to fine-tune and adjust your rhythms as a creative business owner.
The transition from summer to fall can be significant and may leave you feeling like you’re pedaling up a steep hill in first gear.
Hello, figurative calf burn!
This shift can feel so abrupt and uncomfortable because the rhythms that served you in the summer months no longer fit your needs in the fall.
You may find that some rhythms stay consistent (often out of necessity)! After all, you really should prioritize reconciling your books each and every month!
But some of the rhythms that were functional throughout the summer months may no longer serve you in your current season!
Maybe now that the kids are in school, you find yourself with additional capacity, and you pick up extra projects.
This will likely affect your communication rhythms. You may have more projects with existing clients, so you may need to be in touch with them more often than before.
And maybe you need to add in additional rhythms like weekly project summaries or monthly strategy meetings that were not necessary when you only had a few small projects going on.
Or maybe you added projects by adding clients. And maybe that means your rhythm can stay the same; it just takes longer for you to get through each time. Would that affect your other rhythms?
You should consider all of these factors when adjusting your rhythms to support your current season in business, now and in the future.
The same can apply as you shift from fall to winter, the holiday season into the new year, winter to spring, and spring to summer.
Aside from shifts that line up with the calendar seasons, your business may have its own seasons of hustle and rest that you will want to account for and respond to throughout the year.
You’ve likely heard this expression before,
“Fall into a rhythm.”
And it happens so often in both life and business.
The problem is:
Falling into a rhythm is PASSIVE.
As a business owner, you want to ACTIVELY choose and curate your rhythms so that they actually work for you!
What tends to happen is we either let the ebbs and flows of life dictate rhythms for us (for better or worse), OR we try to overhaul everything all at once and feel more overwhelmed and disorganized than when we started!
The key is to intentionally realign your rhythms to suit your current season in life and business.
Your goals AND circumstances directly affect your rhythms. Your rhythms are like the scaffolding that supports you and helps you achieve those goals despite your current situation.
All that to say… it’s a good idea, as the seasons change, both in your life and your business, to check in on your rhythms to make sure they are still supporting you, your goals, and the work you are doing.
Luckily, I have years of experience setting and realigning rhythms in business for myself and my clients.
I’ve distilled this process into three simple steps that you can implement today!
While setting and resetting rhythms may sound daunting at first, you might be surprised to learn it can be a simple process when done right!
With these three tips, I’ll help you ensure your business is in the right gear so that you can confidently capture the rhythmic momentum and lean into it!
When you let your business rhythms pull you forward (rather than hold you back), it will feel sooo much easier to stay on track, making your short and long-term progress smoother and more sustainable!
The first step to realigning your business rhythms is to take stock of where you are RIGHT NOW. This isn’t about planning for the future, three or even six months ahead. This is about understanding exactly where you are and ensuring your current needs are met in business and your life so that you can intentionally respond to your current circumstances.
Ultimately this will ground you in where you are right now!
Now that you are clear on where you currently are (in life and in your business) and your goals and strategies are top of mind, you can realign, see how far you’ve come, and understand how far you have to go as you work towards your business aspirations.
In this step you’ll want to think critically about where you’ve been, where you are currently, and where you’re going in your business. It’s time to dig deeper so that you can get a realistic and effective-for-you plan in place going forward.
It’s time to recalibrate!
Think about what has changed since you last set your rhythms:
With these insights in mind, you’re ready to make some meaningful adjustments!
Now’s the fun part: figuring out how you’re going to get from here (the present) to there (your goals).
Use the info and insights you gained in steps 1 & 2 to tweak your rhythms (or even create new ones) so you can move forward in a smarter, more effective way that aligns with your current season, circumstances, and goals.
Remember: NOTHING is set in stone!
It’s YOUR business, so you get to call the shots. It’s always ok to adjust your goals or strategies as needed to get back into alignment– in fact, I encourage it!
You are entitled to change your mind or make new (better!) decisions and plans when you learn more or gain new experiences and perspectives.
After all, when we know better we do better!
So scrap anything that’s not working, or adjust it to bring in better alignment and results. Now’s not the time to get stuck with an ineffective or clunky rhythm just because you’ve already sunk so much time into it!
Think about what is and is NOT working so you can make improvements:
Then, put a plan in place and decide WHEN and HOW you can make it all happen so you can hold yourself accountable.
COO Tip: Read on for my recommendation for how to make it happen without the overwhelm!
There are a variety of rhythms in business, and they’re often intertwined. Every business specifically needs these 8:
COO Tip: Click the links above to access the blogs where I break each of these rhythms down for you!
Since you have so many rhythms humming along behind the scenes in your business, I caution against throwing them into chaos by adjusting them all at once!
Try to adjust them one at a time and let each settle before changing the next.
Another option is to take it in stages.
Remember: your current rhythms have momentum. We want to work with them rather than against them to avoid hard stops and restarts along the way!
So, think about how you can work towards your new rhythms if you need to, and be sure to give yourself plenty of grace!
Intrigued by the idea of rhythms in business but want to get a firm understanding of them first?
I have an entire 9-blog series dedicated to rhythms in business. You can go through each rhythm one at a time to intentionally and strategically layer in the best rhythms for YOUR creative business.
Check them out here:
THE 8 RHYTHMS YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS THIS YEAR (INSTEAD OF RESOLUTIONS)
CEO TIME: WHAT IT IS, WHY YOU NEED IT, AND HOW TO MAKE IT HAPPEN
FINANCES: HOW RHYTHMS WILL HELP YOU SHIFT FROM SCARY “F” WORD TO F YEAH!
SALES RHYTHMS: HOW TO DITCH THE ICK AND SUCCESSFULLY SELL WITH CONFIDENCE & AUTHENTICITY
OPERATIONS RHYTHMS: THE FUEL YOUR CREATIVE BUSINESS NEEDS
CREATIVE RHYTHMS: ARE THEY A PRIORITY OR AN AFTERTHOUGHT IN YOUR CREATIVE BUSINESS?
MARKETING RHYTHMS: HOW TO GET IN FRONT OF YOUR IDEAL AUDIENCE NOW
ENGAGEMENT RHYTHMS: THE MISSING LINK TO KEEPING IN TOUCH WITH YOUR IDEAL AUDIENCE