Ah, summertime. It is hard not to let the mind wander when the season is in full swing—especially if you are forgoing a vacation. But summer can be a highly-productive and creative time when you take advantage of the slower pace to jump start your brainstorming. Maybe you want to change careers, start a new venture or look for ways to improve your business. Summer is a great time to take action.
Check your skills. Figure out what areas you need to work on and use the summertime to focus on making these improvements. “Conduct a personal strengths and weaknesses analysis to determine what type of skills you’re good at and which you can improve or outsource to someone else,” says small business coach Lance McNeill of Business and Community Lenders of Texas.
Mix it up with others in the industry. Don’t do the typical conferences. Try other types of gatherings such as a “meet-up.” “Meet-ups are grassroots associations of people with similar interests. Join meet-ups that pique your interests. Attend meet-ups regularly and network with others. Start conversations that might lead to an opportunity,” explains McNeill.
Focus on clients. Take a good hard look at how business is going and what are some of the things your business is lacking. What are some of the services your clients wished you offered? “Look at the needs of your clients/customers this summer–and in the coming year,” says coach Kricket Harrison, Bright Outside the Box. “Take this time to plan for the future. If you can’t capitalize on this summer, you can set a plan in motion for next summer.”
Focus on yourself. “Look at your own life right now. What’s the one thing that you complain about? What’s your biggest frustration? If something bothers you, it probably bothers other people, too. Identify the challenge and see if you can come up with the solution,” explains Harrison, author of the upcoming book Focus On The Finish Line; 5 Steps to Follow Through and Finally Make Money.
It’s list time. Grab a pen and paper and organize your dreams and goals. “Make a list of all the activities that you enjoy or think you would enjoy. Really delve deep. Do you want to skydive? Travel? Play Pokemon? Facebook? Read? Dance? Sing? Make Analyses? Talk? Listen? Watch? Participate? Do you like animals, kids? Be truthful–what really ‘floats your boat’? Don’t think of this in terms of what you can do to make money or make a business. Just focus on what you really enjoy doing or being,” suggests life coach Nadine Sabulsky, author of Use It Wisely! Volume 1: Time Management, 7 Steps for a Creative Mind and Living The Naked Life: 10 Ways to Expose Your Unlimited Creation Abilities.
Next, comes a second list, this one of your goals—call it a Master Goal List. “For this list, answer the following questions:- What do I want to be? This can be anything – do you want to be happy? Satisfied? Peaceful? Excited? Famous? Add anything else that comes to mind. Do you want to climb Mount Everest? Raise a family? Plan a vacation? Then take action,” says Sabulsky. Do the things on the list that you can actually take action on, she says.
Summertime. The living may be easy, but put your business and self into high gear.