This week I was reminded of the titular lesson of stagnation versus recuperation so you all get to enjoy my thoughts on the matter.
We all have bio-rhythms or natural ebbs and flows of energy. I even remember this machine at an all-you-can-eat restaurant as a kid. You’d put your fingers on two electrodes and it would print out your bio-rhythms for you. I’m probably remembering the details wrongs, but there were three wavy lines on a graph showing health, love, and finances. They would each take their turn being above and below the 0-line for the next 30 days. While I dismiss the accuracy of this device, there is truth that our energy levels in all areas or our life are constantly in flux, between below normal and above normal. There is even the fairly prevalent condition called Bipolar Disorder, which essentially is an amplification of this norm; the highs are too high and the lows are too low, typically due to an imbalance in blood chemicals. At least, that’s my very high level understanding of it. Bringing this back to my point, this flux, or change away from and toward normal is normal in, and of, itself.
Your business life will behave similarly to the machine at the restaurant with separate wave patterns for sales volume, production output, and even how much extra you feel like working. The key is to expect it and know that it’s normal. Perhaps it also important to know your own cycles. For example, I know I spend weeks on end putting in 10-16 hour days, sometimes without taking any part of the weekend off. It’s a bad habit that I’m actively working on. I get a bit of guilt when I just don’t feel like working for a few days. I have to remind myself that these energy fluctuations are normal.
Similarly, it can feel so draining when our sales volume declines. While I certainly peek under the hood to see if all my other leading-indicator KPIs for marketing are in the green, once confirmed, I remind myself to ride the ebb and recuperate.
My younger self would be livid with me holding this belief. I was always pushing that boulder up-hill. While I did achieve great success in business, I was personally and emotionally exhausted. Then and now, when I see the lull, I begin to feel stagnant, like I was losing my edge by the second. Older me now start sharpening that edge in the lull. Finally read a book, get to that ticket to improve a process or marketing system, maybe even reach out to an old business process consulting client to see how much they’ve grown since last we spoke. Doing these activities actually gives me more energy contributing to shorter below-normal cycles.
As a matter of fact, I hadn’t had time to write a blog post in about six weeks. But here we are, finally enjoying a brief lull (the Labor Day holiday helps) and finally finding the time to write this blog post. I would normally work today, but I really didn’t feel like it. So I let myself do something hard…nothing. Then, I decided spending 30-60 minutes writing a blog post could be relaxing. Let me take care of that and then go play a video game for a few minutes. Low and behold, it gone done, and I feel a bit more energized. Maybe just one more ticket after a round of Fortnite before going for a run in the sun. This could be an amazingly relaxing day and really help me look forward to crushing six client appointments I have tomorrow.
Happy Labor Day and remember that every high has its low and vice versa. Make the best of it, and if you don’t like it, just wait a while and it will change.