This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Tri-State Ford. The opinions and text are all my own.
For the last eight years that I've been running a full-time social media business, I've observed one seasonal rule: February and March are quiet.
Don't get me wrong: In these months, I still work with great clients, sign new deals, write proposals, take new business meetings and even enjoy press, but I also have a two-hour gap in the middle of my day (where I often enjoy a fancy lunch!) I answer my mom's phone calls at 10:00 a.m. (anyone else's parents enjoy calling right when they’ve settled in at their desk?) I go to the gym in the late afternoon (right when I feel like I might be hitting that mid-afternoon slump.)
In an age when it seems like everyone is playing the "Who's Busier?!" game, I'm not ashamed to admit: I fully embrace the quiet.
In the early years of my business, the quiet scared me. “Is this a foreshadowing of what the rest of my business year will look like?! “Am I lazy if I enjoy a two-hour lunch?!” (Answer: No, breaks are healthy - and deeply necessary for productivity.)
And, after years of slumps, I finally came to terms with the fact that winter will always be coming, and that it can actually be a wonderful opportunity.
You see, in my business, February/March are that unusual time of year where the weather is too fickle to confidentially throw an event - and most brands are still feeling the after-effects of costly holiday campaigns.
So, instead of fighting the current and pitching ideas that often fell like trees in the woods, I did what any Type A small business owner would do (I think)? I made a list of the five most productive things I do when business gets quiet!
I hope they help you as much as they have helped me the last two months.
See your doctors. I just booked a dental cleaning for the first time in two years (not proud), a dermatologist appointment (check those moles!) my annual gynecologist visit, and an appointment with an ENT to look at the post-nasal drip I've been putting off for weeks (again, not proud.) Take care of yourself, fam - can you think of anything more important?
Hit the road. Leaving your environment is the key to loving your environment. So when Ford approached me asking if I wanted to take a 3-day road trip to test out their new SUV Edge, it couldn’t have been better timed. The Co-Pilot 360 technology offered us a literal brake (it features automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection) - and “re-charging” for the weekend also took on new meaning with Ford’s bad-ass wireless charging system. (Head to my Instagram for some more images from our trip to Hudson, NY, and click here to find a Tri-State dealership to test-drive the Ford Edge.)
Pick up a pen! (or guitar, or baseball)… Like many of us, I put my writing on the backburner when work gets crazy, but a period of quiet is the perfect time to get back into the practice of writing my Forbes column, my regular social media posts - and this blog, of course. Making writing a habit gives me a better chance of keeping it a habit when work picks back up.
Pitch press. As a small business owner, getting a great piece of press about my work can be life-changing. It gets my existing clients fired up – and puts me on the radar of new clients, too. So when I find myself with a two-hour break, I brainstorm ideas with my team for pitching articles and submitting quotes, like this awesome story in The Zoe Report I was recently featured in about how to pivot when you’re in a career rut.
Take care. I recently saw a quote I loved by Cleo Wade that said: “If self-love says ‘I love you,’ self-care says ‘Prove it.’” Take this quiet time to catch up with friends. Get a manicure with fun nail art. Write a letter to your grandparents. You’ll be back in the saddle before you know it, so give yourself and those around you this precious gift of time.