Two years ago, I began a new tradition for August. It is a practice that completely upset my norm the first year I tried it and set my business up for the most successful fourth quarter I had ever experienced.
This year, I am continuing the tradition. Instead of viewing current events as a reason to forgo what has become an important month for my business’ success, I see it as an even more critical call to action.
Now – while others are stuck in survival mode or attempting to salvage vacation plans – is the time to expand my mind and the way I think about things. As a leader, I challenge you to do the same. Let the story of my first Separation Season inspire you.
How August Sets the Tone for the Future Success of Your Business
During the early months of summer in 2018, one of my mentors made it a point to promote August as the month that sets the tone for your future. To say this sparked my interest is an understatement. At first, I questioned the logic.
How could the ‘dog days of summer’ hold this much significance?
How could such an obscure statement possibly be true?
Up until then I had not heard anyone, successful or otherwise, refer to August in this way. In fact, I only recall that the collective, agreed upon time to review and set goals is during New Year’s resolutions.
For businesses, it is common to set quarterly and annual goals. August is the middle of the third quarter. Not well-known as the month people grind on their goals.
This is why his emphasis on how game-changing it is to shift up instead of shifting down is what led me to take action.
As the saying goes, “if you want something you’ve never had you’ll have to do something you’ve never done.” So that August a few years ago I made a conscious decision. I made August a platform to launch into the fourth quarter with intention and momentum towards my business goals.
Instead of squeezing in a last-minute vacation or taking time off, I got intentional about the activities I would do each day of the month. I began by creating three categories, each with their own unique daily activities. When I say daily, I mean inclusion of all 31 days in August. The design of this three-part approach set me up for a first-class fourth quarter.
The categories were as follows:
- I reviewed results and re-committed to my goals.
- I identified the accomplishments I wanted to achieve.
- I focused on re-energizing myself through intentional connection with friends and family.
After breaking things down, I realized 31 days is not a lot of time to execute on my business goals!
The best way to attack all three of the above was to make the most of every day. So I did something different or new on a daily basis, no days off. (Disclaimer: “No days off my goals” does not mean no days off from anything like sleep, rest, or any other hype).
Some of these new things were super fun, like ripping a Porsche 911 Turbo around the tracks at the Porsche Driving Experience in LA (it’s open again).
Some were not as exhilarating yet were essential to remain immersed in my mission. I read new blogs and business books by previously unknown authors, listened to podcasts, redeveloped my coaching program, and opened myself up to seek and receive feedback from trusted colleagues.
When combined, each of these items gave me a new experience that I could use to grow personally as well as professionally with a focus on my business goals.
If nothing else, the activities I had planned for that first August alone – at this intention level – would have been a powerful stretch for me. Then, life decided to throw in a curveball. My dad passed away.
From the outside, I had every reason to slow down, give up on this “silly” project, and accept defeat. Instead, losing my dad created an acute sense of appreciation for the moments and memories that we create.
I felt an overwhelming obligation to continue to drive for my highest potential with my business goals.
The Surprising Results
Now, I am not sure if my mentor had all this in mind when he made the statement about August. What I do know, is that this one obscure statement, shifted my perspective in a matter of minutes, and I took on a challenge that changed the direction of my fourth quarter in 2018.
The surprising end result was a fourth quarter like I’ve never experienced before. I exceeded my business goals, expanded my team and moved into a new office space. I also felt a connection to hope that I had not felt before. Through trying new things and being open to different possibilities, I found a new hope in what life has to offer that empowered me personally and professionally.
So many leaders are talking about throwing away 2020. It has been a challenging year that has stretched us all beyond what we ever imagined. But now is not the time to quit.
Now is the time to take action toward your future success.
Because the fourth quarter will come.
Because 2021 will be here before we know it.
Because every single day – no matter the uncertainty – brings new opportunities.
It’s time to do something you’ve never done before with your fourth quarter, business goals, and beyond. Spend August investing in yourself as a leader and your business and reap the benefits of Separation Season with me.