Just Close Shop
Jeremy Chard handles my highlights. While he’s waiting for the foils to hide my grays, he checks his phone and reads off: “I have to move our haircut scheduled for tomorrow.”
“Ugh!” he says, “Another one.”
Yep. His fourth one so far that week.
It was only Monday.
Not just any Monday – the Monday of Thanksgiving week.
Jeremy’s week is going to be potholed.
Like when you only have 15 minutes between Zoom meetings. There’s not much you can productively do in that time.
The solution is to just close shop the week of Thanksgiving.
Once you see the pattern of cancellations, that’s your clue of what’s to come next year too. Wonderful! Use it as feedback and plan around it.
When I started my first business I got high from every email asking to be my client. So much so that when Thanksgiving hit and my supply of new clients went dry, I would go through withdrawals and cry to my father that nobody loved me. It took me a few years to recognize that, in my industry, it’s a pattern.
It’s as quiet as the moon from Thanksgiving until New Years Day.
Budgets have run out for the year and everyone is distracted by fellowship and family (and consumerism).
Now I know to plan around it. I don’t rely on December to contribute to my annual income goals. Heck, now *I* start closing up shop around Thanksgiving.
Plan around it.
Don’t expect responses from potential clients. Don’t try to launch a survey. This is not the time to launch a new course or a book.
In Europe, somehow everyone vacations for all of August (I’m jealous). When I was preparing for a September workshop and needed input from clients in August, I got nothing but out of office replies. Now I know better.
If you can’t NOT work (which we can address in another letter), plan to use this quiet time to generate future work.
Hatch your next marketing campaign.
Reflect on your year’s successes and what you want to accomplish next.
Draft up 2 months of your email newsletter content.
You can still be productive – if you need that – while closing shop to clients, who are already closed themselves.
Plus you get to avoid the awkwardness next time you see a client who was part of Cancellation Week. No need to try to hide the hint of resentment in your voice or enact revenge by letting a gray stick out.
What periods are quiet as a moon in your industry? Write back and tell me when it’s quiet and what you’ll do in that time.