Summer 2015 has been filled with lots of ups & downs. Along with the steaming hot weather in Jackson, Mississippi this time of year, the demand for a 200 degree beverage just isn’t as appealing. We also had a few business plans that didn’t pan out like I thought they would. On the upside, I’ve developed some new relationships with some awesome people in New Orleans who are involved in specialty coffee and I look forward to collaborating with them in the near future. I’ve also enjoyed having our first summer intern Audrey around. I love teaching and she’s given me ample opportunities. In return I’ve learned a lot about people and process from her. This summer has taught me other things too. I’ve learned there are basically 2 seasons in business: preparation and execution.
During the execution period, I’m running & gunning, TCB-ing (I guess that’s spelled right), making things happen. I’m talking, those days when it’s about 5pm and I realize I never stopped long enough to eat lunch. Generally, there isn’t enough hours in the day to get everything done & by the end of the day I am so exhausted that I only have enough energy to think about what immediately needs to be the done the next day. Although these periods are physically demanding, it’s rewarding to see things get accomplished.
The preparation period is the total opposite. Things are super slow business wise & if I don’t watch it, lazy habits become more attractive. Because I’m not getting a constant demand, my motivation decreases & my confidence takes a hit. Owning a small business is hard & when things slow down the first questions that come to mind are: “Is the coffee still good?” and “Do people still know I exist?” That might sound like I’m jumping to conclusions too dramatically, but those thoughts seriously cross my mind. After no one showed up for my personal pity party, I started seeking stories from other entrepreneurs who’ve dealt with similar circumstances. After reading and listening to their stories of overcoming, I became instantly motivated to use this slower period to my advantage. Instead of sitting around and sulking, I’m using this period to make improvements to our products and processes. I’ve also began developing some new ideas to better prepare for those times of execution.
I think we all deal with slumps one way or another. The important thing is to recognize them early to turn the situation around as soon as possible. That’s all I’ve got to say about that. Be blessed.