Use Summer “Leisure” Time To Build Your Business and Strengthen Connections, Part I

I am often amazed and amused when I speak with advisors about what’s happening with their businesses and I hear something like, “Oh, things are a little slow right now. It’s the typical summer slowdown, you know.”

Well, I suppose you’re free to view your business that way and just accept that summer won’t be as productive, or you can choose to look at these months with fresh eyes and take some steps to get the most out of them.

With this issue and continuing for the next couple of months, I will share some of the best ideas I’ve gathered over the years from some of the most productive advisors I know. My aim is to offer some suggestions on ways to continue to build your business and strengthen your relationship with clients and prospects all through the summer months:

Start with yourself. Do you plan to take some time off in the summer? If so, great! But I challenge you to look at that time away differently than you may have been looking at it before. Too many advisors take what they call vacation time, but then they are almost continually tethered to the office through phone, computer, or both. Other more experienced advisors will tell you, though, that if you’re taking the time to go on vacation and be with your family and friends, then actually be with them. Stop checking email and voicemail messages while you’re supposed to be on vacation and recharging. Either use your vacation time to recharge, or don’t use your vacation at all. That in-between stage of taking time away from the office but still being engaged with your office on a regular, daily basis is of little help to anyone, especially your family and friends.

At the same time, I encourage you to think about and frame that time away from work just a little bit differently. As many advisors do, you can choose to look at your vacation as simply unproductive time. Or you can choose to look at it as time away that you are actively using to reconnect with your loved ones, recharge your batteries, refocus your energies, and regain the proper perspective on what you’re trying to accomplish this year. As simple as it seems, how you look at your time away makes a significant difference in what you get out of that time away.

If there really is less activity in your office in the summer − not as much activity and not as many fires to put out − then use that time to work on your business. Business consultants talk about using 90 minutes a day to work on the most important parts of your business – the “big rocks” that Stephen Covey famously describes − and most of the year it’s tough to find those 90 minutes. Maybe the summer is just the right time to find the important planning minutes that can set you up for growth.

In next month’s newsletter, we’ll explore how your clients’ and prospects’ summer activities can actually help strengthen your connection with them. In the meantime, though, remember the value of time away, and how important it is to recognize its contribution to growing your business.

Charles Hirsch

Charles K. Hirsch, CLU
Hirsch Communications Consulting, LLC.