October is here! And there's a chill in the air, even when the weathers' nice.
Summer feels like a fast-fading memory, while winter looms on the horizon, and creatures from the humblest hedgehog to the mightiest bear are preparing for hibernation.
It’s tempting to follow their lead, bury ourselves in a warm cocoon until the days get longer again... but no! We’re business owners, and we know that autumn is another season and therefore another opportunity for growth!
So, how to stay motivated during autumn?
In this blog we’re going to talk about keeping the ball rolling even as the nights get longer and the leaves abandon their place on the trees!
Create your own festivities
With Christmas still months away, we know that many of our members can feel like this part of the year is a little empty, maybe even lonely, without events to look forward to and celebrate. This is why we recommend making your own festivities. Something to inspire you to keep going, a reward for a job well done, and a pick-me-up to nourish your mind and soul.
This doesn’t have to be something grand – in fact, it may well be better to have little treats often as opposed to big ones infrequently, depending on how you like to work. Think about what motivates you, what you enjoy when the opportunity is there.
Are you a culture buff who loves art, literature or film? Perhaps a day trip to a museum, an evening at the theatre, or a home movie night could be in the cards. Do you gain your strength from your friends or family? Maybe a nice meal out – or in! - with them may be more your speed.
Even on a tight budget setting aside as little as a couple of hours to do something out of the ordinary can be fortifying, boosting your productivity back up and allowing you to continue on with the rest of your day-to-day business with fresh pep in your step.
Look after yourself
Taking care of your body is something that most business owners aspire to fit into their busy schedules year-round, as if you're ill, you can't run your business effectively! But it gets trickier in the colder months when it's wet and dark outside. It’s a sad fact that once October hits in the UK we just don’t get enough sun to nourish our bodies with the vitamin D they need to fight disease, reduce depression, and strengthen our bones. Taking supplements is an easy and pain-free method of staying healthy actively encouraged by the NHS.
Getting out in the light for a walk, jog or bike ride whenever possible really helps too, as it also benefits your general sense of wellbeing! Whether it’s a job, a bike ride or just a little stroll, taking the time to enjoy those beautiful autumnal hues while you can is great for the body and soul.
You can get vitamin D from your diet too, especially from oily fish, eggs and red meat, but what about that classic vitamin C? Fresh fruits and veggies aren’t so easily acquired from October onwards in the UK... but did you know they don’t have to be fresh to hold their nutritional value? Tinned or frozen fruits and vegetables are just as healthy with a lot of other added benefits, the most obvious being that they keep longer!
The chances are good that they will have been originally harvested in the UK before being preserved which keeps both cost and carbon footprint down too. So maybe you’ll have to say farewell to fresh tomatoes in salads for a few months unless you're happy buying produce from overseas, but a hearty hello to tinned ones in pasta sauce and soup!
Focus on nurturing your business
Now you’re feeling revitalised and nourished, it’s time to make sure your business is feeling the same! So, what activities can you undertake to keep your business growing and succeeding over the colder months? We’d like to recommend our Inspire Block-Busting sessions for this; it’s never too late or too early to get in contact with other business owners for their ideas and support.
If you’re not familiar, Block-Busting at Inspire is a form of masterminding, which is the name for group brainstorming and problem-solving that takes place between business peers. There’s no coach, no teacher, no authoritative voice, just a facilitator, you, and a bunch of other people like you. Like you, but not exactly like you: the diversity of a mastermind group is crucial to its success.
Whether they’re ahead of you in their business journey or behind you, whether they’re in the same industry or something completely different, everyone brings their own experiences to the table. Even a new business owner has something to contribute and even an experienced one has something to learn, so we think that everyone can at least give it a go for a month or two.
There are a few different ways to do masterminding and a few different types on offer, but at The Inspire Network we run our Block-Busting (with added accountability) for female business owners once a week over Zoom, so no matter how short the days get this time of year your body can stay nice and cosy while your brain gets flexed!
We do a 90 minute session in the morning one week and in the evening the next, so whether you’re an early lark or a night owl you can check in while you’re at your most alert and productive – or when you can get the kids out of the room!
We know that small businesses can not just survive but thrive this autumn, and the same goes for their owners! That said, we’re still going to do our bit to help out by running our weekly meetings, writing up tips and useful pointers, and hosting our EQUIP Masterclasses, just like we have the rest of the year. And we're busily working on some new ideas to really help our community of female business owners to find the support they need to make their dreams happen, starting in the New Year!
If you’re a woman with a business who’d like to get involved and gain access to all of this and more, our membership is just £10 a month for the lot! You can read more about it at www.theinspirenetwork.co.uk/membership, or drop us a message on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/theinspirenetwork