No matter what day of the year it is, you could be in the dead of “winter.” Customers stop calling, there are no more regular season games; your friends and business associates all seem busy with other projects, they don’t have time for you. Budget managers are in a “wait and see” mode.
Nothing seems to be growing, work all around is frozen, everyone is waiting for things to change.
The ancient poet Hesiod wrote for farmers, sailors, and warriors: men whose work conformed to the natural seasons of the climate. But his advice still applies.
Consider: you do different work in April than in November:
“When you hear the voice of the crane [in the middle of November]
Take note, for she gives the signal for ploughing.”
Hopefully you have “ploughed” before winter hits. (In real farming, this gives the ground time to rest and soak up water before planting begins in the spring).
You sent out your mailers, you made your phone calls, you updated the content on your website. You’ve completed some projects, people are using your stuff, they are telling their friends.
Is your job now just to wait and chill?
“Pass by the blacksmith’s shop with its crowded lounge, and don’t go in
In the winter season, when cold keeps a man from his work;
Because that’s the time an active man can grow his fortune big.”
If you’ve played your cards right, your field is working for you when you sleep. This frees you up to prepare for “summer.” An ancient farmer sharpens his tools, repairs his plough, starts building another shed. Other men are at the blacksmith’s, rattling on about sports, politics, wives. But our man is focused. Maybe he’s doing pushups, getting his combat gear ready in case the enemy shows up at the borders in the spring?
What can you do with your downtime? Revise your pitch deck, go over expenses and trim the fat, make that phone call, start that workout routine. Study a new field, read a classic, take notes.
Summer will return, and it will find you ready.