It All Adds Up: Fall Forward – Embracing Changing and Preparing for Growth
It’s that time of year when everyone senses the reality that change is in the air. The weather shifts to crisp and cool days, the relaxation from the warmth of summer shifts to an urgency of seizing the daylight and the landscape of nature celebrates the beauty of change with richness, depth and beauty.
Fall is a natural season of change and for me, it represents new beginnings. Personally, it’s the start of a new school year and a shift in the daily at-home routine with my family. In my business, it’s a time for me to assess business outcomes and productivity and make necessary changes to ensure a strong finish by year end. However, learning to celebrate and grow from the natural progression of change required a mindset shift and forming new habits.
I’ve always operated at two speeds…fast and asleep. There wasn’t anything in between. I walked fast. I talked fast. I drove fast. I was always on the go. While the constant activity created a track record of getting things done, it also came with many missteps, fatigue and avoidable mistakes.
I continued at that fast pace because I thought it was necessary in order to make up for my perception of “lost time”. When the mistakes happened, I just picked up the pace and tried to accomplish more, instead of slowing down to process the mistakes, make necessary changes and celebrate the wins. This practice of always being on the go at a high speed was robbing me of my opportunity to be most effective, to enjoy progress and to learn from missteps. The high speed of constant movement created increased levels of anxiety and I was on the path toward self sabotage. Something clearly needed to change.
As solo-preneurs and small business owners, it can be so easy to fall into the trap of working IN your business and saving little time for working ON your business. While this pattern of constant movement can produce results of getting things done, it also can stagnate growth and create burnout.
It is so important to incorporate external learning communities and opportunities for growth as leaders and decision makers. I have found it to be both scary and liberating to step outside of my high speed of busyness in exchange for the thoughtful work of slowing down to increase my growth capacity. Slowing down brings me face to face with the things I have mastered, but also the areas in which I need to grow or completely outsource. Slowing down to reflect, plan and proceed takes time but can yield powerful results.
I am naturally wired for constant movement at high speeds, but I am most effective when I build in the benefits of a slower pace. For me, slowing down will always be a work-in-process. As a small business owner, my goal is to effectively balance the workload of growth and success and the benefits of slowing down for reflection and necessary change. I am definitely up for the challenge.
I’d love to hear from you. How do you prepare for growth as an entrepreneur? How have you incorporated external learning communities within your growth strategy? Send your comments to me by clicking here.