Continuing my series on planning and understanding the seasons of life and business this article moves on to spring.
Spring is a time to be prepared and plant for the coming year.
As the evenings lengthen the months of March, April and May herald the return of growth and potential. When looking at your plan in the gloomy days of January it can be hard to conceive of blossom, of green shoots of growth and new hopes. Winter seems relentless and people are still recovering from the excesses of the holiday season. However, sooner than you realise, the sun will be shining more brightly, a spring, literally, will be in people’s step and you want to be able to take advantage of this. If you get stuck in the chill of winter thinking, you will miss opportunities.
In Spring, your hardier ideas will start coming back into bloom. Now is the time to get new ideas planted and keep watching for the first shoots from pre-planted ideas to show themselves. Keep in mind at all times the bounty you want to come from them and feed them appropriately. Your plan needs to reflect that.
Looking at the seasons and spring helps you to aim for new beginnings
If you have identified your goals for the year, then you also need to be clear on the actions you will want to take to make those goals come into fruition. To deliver success on your terms, not others, your ideas need time to be nurtured, watered and fed. It is too late if come May you are scrambling around trying to plant new seeds, develop new pathways; your competitors have already done that. Early Spring, while everything seems dormant is the time to be initiating those new ideas, testing your new markets, new products and new approaches.
Think of the fashion business and all those models shivering in the winter sunshine dressed in their spring and summer collections. Even if your business is not seasonal, your customers and potential clients are expecting something new from you as spring arrives. It is hard wired into human beings to anticipate the positive, such as sunshine and warmer days, and avoid perceived negatives such as cold and rain. This also affects their buying behaviour. Online stores can expect a peak in sales during bad weather- it makes sense that we would rather shop online than brave inclement weather. For more on the effect of weather on consumer buying behaviour there is an interesting article – here
When you are planning for the year, then spring is a time to tap into the hopefulness of humans, and yes conception rates increase now as ““In the Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.” (Alfred Lord Tennyson). What if you are in an industry such as mine, professional speaking, or coaching or a service industry?
When you are an entrepreneur, or small service business, perhaps a solopreneur, then your plan for spring may be more personal. The winter months may have been spent strategizing about new programmes, services, directions you want to take. Spring will be a time when these ideas start to be implemented and bloom. Ideally you have an idea of an overall plan that spans more than 12 months and spring is a good time to start nurturing connections that may not yield fruit till next year
Spring can inspire new ideas for the future
So, spring is also the time to go out and look for the new ideas that will carry you forward into 2018. Network, connect, re-connect with established connections and keep your eyes peeled for new opportunities that you may not have thought of yet. This spring you will be implementing new ideas and processes, but you should consider that some longer-term plans need encouragement. In much the same way famers, will leave some of their land fallow…
“land that has undergone plowing and harrowing and has been left unseeded for one or more growing seasons.”
So, you may need to allow some ideas to develop more slowly. You will plough, by finding new connections, harrow by building up some rapport, but no seeds will be planted this year as the time is not yet right.
Your winter months of planning will be worth it when you start to see new ideas take real shape in spring. Just remember, that you need to respond to each season with some action as the cycle has its own rhythm. Each action you take has an outcome further down the line.
“Unless a tree has borne blossoms in spring, you will vainly look for fruit on it in autumn.”
Next week I shall look at summer months and how we can learn from nature’s responses to inform our own.