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Autumn is here; the weather is changing and the summer holidays are long forgotten. Many solo business owners are frantically busy working towards some strong end-of-year results.

Most business owners would prefer to wait for a quieter time at the end of the year before thinking about the next phase in their business.

The perils of being busy working ‘in’ the business

The main problem with being busy is that it can give you tunnel vision.  You just look at what you need to do and what’s most urgent, essentially losing your peripheral vision.

When you’re busy like this you often can’t be sure that what you’re just working on will lead to the best possible results. That’s because busy-ness can skim over any small inefficiencies or gaps in your thinking that can lead to a big waste of money over time.

IMG_5891Let’s imagine a major lucrative project was offered to you unexpectedly. It’s your dream project and means working with your ideal client.

If you’re already busy, would you have capacity and the necessary time to manage it? And be able to keep your other customers happy at the same time?

Most solopreneurs I meet don’t like to think ahead that way, telling theselves they’ll cross that bridge when it actually happens.

However, I would argue that unless you are prepared and ready to receive it, growth may never happen. Opportunities may pass you by because you are too busy to ‘see’ them or be able to gauge their future potential.

And if growth happens when you’re not prepared, having to think on your feet may just lead to overwhelm and not knowing what to focus on first.

So being frantically busy may actually be an important warning sign!

Change your focus to encourage new growth

So let’s why not try to create some space and time for a little bit of thinking. Here are a few questions for you to reflect on:

  • What marketing or business building activity has proven to be ineffective this year? Think about ways to phase it out or let it go altogether. There is no need to wait until the end of the year to do so.
  • What project or joint venture hasn’t worked out the way you hoped it would? It may be time to rethink or drop it. Otherwise you could simply be wasting lots of unnecessary time and money.
  • Where or when are you not making the most of your time (or money)? Are you losing motivation or interest in an aspect of your business, a niche you’re working in? Are you being distracted by too many tempting services that over-promise and under-deliver? Again, why not end the inefficiencies?
  • What do you dislike doing altogether? Can you ditch or delegate it and replace it with more of what you like and are really good at?

This is a great time to rethink your strategy and take the appropriate action. The very action that makes space for growth is often the one that lays strong foundations for the future.

What are you waiting for?

PS. If you’re serious about wanting to make changes that will drive your business forward and lead to better results, please ask me about my once-a-year VIP 30-day Mentoring Programme.

Ute2013-150x150About the author: Ute Wieczorek-King helps female midlife entrepreneurs to be visible, effective and profitable in business. Sign up to her monthly newsletter on the Success Network Website to receive a free ebook that shows you how to make a living from your passion.

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#faraway #augustbreak2013 #Thames

My summer months are usually fairly quiet, apart from the on-going 1-1 business support that I provide for a few regular clients.

There is a lot you can do to develop and grow your business whilst potential customers are either on holiday or simply not in ‘buying mode’ because their business is quiet too.

And so, with my main summer holiday well behind me, I have had time to write, start working on a couple of online learning classes, reorganise my office and read more on Twitter, my favourite social media platform. I use twitter a lot for my business and last week, found myself checking out the hash tag #augustbreak2013 used by quite a few other bloggers.

And what I found on Melanie Mackie’s blog, Scarletta Media, really inspired me! Melanie had just joined a summer photography project started by photographer Susannah Conway.

#skyline #augustbreak2013

#skyline #augustbreak2013

Susannah set 30 word prompts to help participants get ideas for their daily photo. There are no other rules and the participants are simply bloggers (like me) who want to have a break from their regular blogging routine for a month.

During the August Break Project we can share our photos on our blogs, in a Flickr group or via Instagram. When using the hashtag, other project participants can view and comment too.

As someone who captures her life on her iPhone, this project is right up my street!

I take photos of random things that I come across anyway, but apart from using the occasional image for my blogs, my photos are usually just for me! For example, I love looking at my photos at night, if I can’t go to sleep, as they tend to spark lots of happy memories.

#play #augustbreak2013

#play #augustbreak2013

Since I have joined this project, I have taken photos on the topics of ‘skyline’, ‘a selfie’, ‘taste’, ‘red’, ‘play’ and ‘far away’, some of which are included in this post.

So, maximising quiet times can also mean developing your creativity by doing or learning something that uses your brain differently. For example, I don’t consider myself a ‘photographer’ or someone who understands lighting or perspective, but thinking about the daily prompt and what it means to me, challenges me and keeps my mind (and my iPhone) occupied in a refreshingly different way.

Needless to say I’m really enjoying this new-found sense of creativity which is so different to writing. (Click here to see Part 2 of my summer project with more photos)

I would love to hear what your own summer projects are – why not share below?!

#aselfie #augustbreak2013

#aselfie #augustbreak2013

About the author: Ute Wieczorek-King provides business support for passionate fempreneurs who want to take their micro-business from good to great. Get Ute’s daily business tips on Facebook or sign up on the Success Network website to receive two free ebooks to help you grow your business and make it more profitable.

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