The Chains of Change

Seasonal change, business change, business cylcesI’m a big fan of summer. Summer offers light, and blooms, and fruit, and warmth and joy. Summer feeds my soul and I am its most avid supporter, but summer’s taking flight. Have you noticed?

Mornings are a little chilly, leaves are twisting off trees and riding light autumn breezes. This is terrifying for me. (click to Tweet)

 I’m not opposed to autumn…no, it is my 3rd favourite season. It’s the winter I abhor. I do not welcome its darkness, its dampness or its frosty pain. Keep your sleepy, naked, muddy winter. I’m not interested. Heck, we had to stick Christmas smack dab in the middle of winter just to rally the frozen troops. Boo for winter.

Ceremony Guru, Cindie Wilding, of Bird’s Nest Ceremonies, recently posted a chipper reminder that fall is on the way. She spoke of the equinox – which is this Sunday. She mentioned fall being a season of balance, reflection and change.  Hmmmm…..

Hang on tight, or bail off this hayride, because I’m about to pull you into the madness of my stream of consciousness. This is how my mind works, and it is especially powerful at red traffic lights…so just be glad I’m not driving.

Seasons are like businesses. There is a natural ebb and flow to the cycle of a business. A time for planting, a time for growing, a time for harvesting and a time for rest and planning. If businesses fail to change and adapt – they die!

There is no fighting the seasons of the year. I can’t stop winter’s chilly forward march. It’s bondage, the “chains of change.” I don’tBusiness cycles, seasonal change have a problem understanding business cycles, so why am I fighting Mother Nature?

Fortunately, if we are skilled, lucky, or both, business seasons move along faster than Mother Nature’s. If you’re fighting your business season, perhaps you’ve misunderstood how to leverage it. As business owners, we create business plans and activities around the seasons of our work. We strategize, prepare, fill the pipeline and sell. In short, we take advantage of the seasons.

Business seasons aren’t always as rhythmic as Mother Nature’s. For instance, you may find yourself in the midst of an autumn harvest without having done your winter planning. Or, if you’re stuck in a perpetual business “winter” chances are pretty good you need some professional help to nudge you on to the rest of “the year.” No worries, you don’t have to despair and lie down or die in the cold…there are good people who can help you. Reaping a thin harvest? Call the people who sell seeds, or fertilizer. Lots of people sell fertilizer, so buyer beware! (click to Tweet) If you’re thriving in an eternal business “summer” please write a book so the rest of us can prosper and spend an eternity in the sun.

 Anyhou, we can’t expect our businesses to always function smoothly. That would be delusional.

So, I’ve decided to fully embrace autumn this year. As her troublesome cousin “Winter” follows on her heels, I may try welcoming her chilly embraces, too. Relating something I can’t control to something I understand and feel comfortable with takes the dread out of summer’s demise. She’ll be back, with her light and growth and song, because Mother Nature will do her job. Just like us business owners – leverage the seasons, follow the plan, watch the Almanac and we’ll be just fine.

A Big, Fat Harvest Moon to You!

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Michelle Andres is a coach, writer and artist who teaches creatives business behaviours that boost their Art coaching, building your art business, belongingnessproductivity and happiness…all the while honoring their unique and artsy selves.

 

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Copeless…At the End of My Ropeless

My personal messSometimes life gets messy. My personal mess began with a leaking ceiling during a triple digit heat wave. The restoration company demolished the wet plaster, set up an industrial fan in the living room and the adventure began.

The reconstruction impeded my ability to move, actually walk, through the house. The only way to get from the bedroom to the kitchen was by going outside. Saws, roof noises, pounding hammers and strange people – our dogs were constantly barking and pretty annoyed.  I was…no, I felt… greatly inconvenienced and life became discombobulated. Oh, yes, that is a word; the perfect word. Discombobulated.

To make matters worse, the construction guys knocked off at 2:00 Friday afternoon and I asked when I could expect them back. Monday. To me, that looks like 2 ½ days of lost production. Not everyone has a sense of urgency just because I do (click to Tweet). I am repeatedly reminded of that.

Sometimes change feels hopelessAs I stumbled through the ruins of my once orderly domain, I became increasingly copeless. Okay, that’s not a word, but I like it. It sounds kind of like “hopeless” so it makes sense. An hour before I wrote this chronicle, I got locked out of my kitchen (first draft said my OWN kitchen, geesh)  and I couldn’t access the garage (my OWN garage). I seethed. I’m sure before the ordeal is over someone will get hurt. Pretty sure that someone will be me.

As a self-fulfilling prophecy I proceed to unravel myself and focus on every little irritation. The noise of the saw cutting the supports for the roof. The shaking, confused old dog. I can’t get to the rooms toward back of the house. The guys make a colossal mess (they’re working!). I know better, but I decide to choose that road anyway, because after a week of mess and noise and uncertainty, I don’t have the “skill” to take the other road, the road I hope is more frequently traveled. To make it all worse…I know better. But, I am copeless. At the end of my ropeless.

Isn’t this the way change goes in our lives? We rail against it. We twist and we fight, sometimes even when the change is something we wanted or know will improve our lives or businesses. We KNOW we can choose to see it differently…but, sometimes, we intentionally choose not to. Sorry, that’s just…well…a stupid choice.

What are you choosing to view in a copeless light?

In 2 weeks, I can guarantee you, it will all be water under the bridge. Yesterday’s news. (Insert your own cliché here). I’ll be enjoying a clean and comfortable room, with lots of lovely, natural light.  I’ll also be be carrying the mantel of shame for my poor behaviour. Knowing I could have chosen another way of seeing things. But, we all do it, we’re human. We do all do it, don’t we?

The art of choice is a daily, spiritual practice (click to Tweet).

So what’s messy in your life? In your business? Are you handling it like a skilled adult…or like a 2 year-old child? Here’s the short plan to restore grace and joy into my well lived life:

  •    Focus on gratitude, in the moment, every day.Change can lead to life improvement
  •    Extend forgiveness – others are not trying to dance on my raw nerves – that’s about me!
  •    Visualize the outcome – I know I am working toward something     better.
  •    Take care of myself – know when to ask for a break and make sure I eat and sleep well
  •    Be patient

I’d love to know I’m not alone in my little stumble from grace. Please feel free to share a story, ask for help or just point at me and laugh at the link below.

It’s ALL Good!

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Michelle Andres is a coach, writer and artist who teaches creatives business behaviours that boost their productivity and happiness…all the while honoring their unique and artsy selves. Follow her on Facebook on Twitter

For a free gift that will help you boost personal productivity “Join the Tribe” and subscribe to this blog!