I have to remind myself constantly that my life as an entrepreneur does not necessarily afford me the same luxuries as some of my girlfriends who work full time 9-to-5 jobs. Though I enjoy the flexibility of being able to work on my own time, I often put in more hours completing tasks than would be allocated if I went into an office every day.
As we enter the throngs of summer, most of my friends are experiencing a “slow period” because of the vacations being taken by all, and also that “summer hours” which allow many of them to leave the office early on Fridays. Though I, and many other entrepreneurs and freelancers, would like to take some time off as the rest of our friends, if we don’t work, we don’t eat!
With that in mind, here are a couple of must haves for us entrepreneurs to hold close when seeking and completing business ventures during these summer months.
1) Stay the Course.
Summer is NOT the time to slack off as an entrepreneur. If you are not at a point where you can retire comfortably, you must stay on the grind no matter the holiday or temperature outside. Business development may seem daunting as most people are not as accessible as they would be in the fall months, however, utilize the summer time cocktail hours and barbecues to continue your networking efforts while enjoying the summer sun and festivities.
2) Keep Learning.
Before heading to college and participating in internships over the summer, I was a complete lazy ball of nothingness during the summer months from kindergarten through my senior year. I could have totally used that time to prepare for the next school year, or pick up a new hobby, but most times I would be on my mother’s couch watching music videos. As an entrepreneur or freelancer, I can’t maintain that behavior during the summer. Every person working for themselves must continue to learn a new trade of their business and/or a new way of making their business easier. As others are lounging by the pool with a romance novel and rum runners, you can lounge by the pool too, though it should be with a recent publication related to your industry, business cards and seltzer.
3) Breathe New Life to Your Brand.
It seems that everything “new” is introduced for the fall. New televisions shows/episodes, fashion, events, music, etc. Do not wait until then to unveil anything new you have brewing for your business. Surprise the masses while they have time to utilized and enjoy your products and services, which is in the summer while they are chilling!
4) Have Fun.
All work, and no play, makes Jill and dull gal! Though you should never lose sight or lag off from your business responsibilities during the summer, please allow yourself some time to enjoy the weather and catch up with friends and family. There is something refreshing about taking a meeting outside at the park, and this option that summer presents should not be overlooked. Find alternative means of getting work done and still enjoying the summer. After all, you’re the boss, you can get the job done however you see fit !
Rashida Maples, Esq. is Founder and Managing Partner of J. Maples & Associates (www.jmaplesandassociates.com). She has practiced Entertainment, Real Estate and Small Business Law for 9 years, handling both transactional and litigation matters. Her clients include R&B Artists Bilal and Olivia, NFL Superstar Ray Lewis, Fashion Powerhouse Harlem’s Fashion Row and Hirschfeld Properties, LLC.