During the past 9 years that I have been coaching full time my business has slowed down in the summer. The first few years I would freak out when my client base started declining in May and June.

Now I have come to appreciate the summer slowdown. In fact, the past few years I have actually given myself permission to get into full on “summer mode.” When I’m in this mode I still coach my clients and get my monthly administrative tasks handled, but I take a break from most everything else.

Instead I focus on “life stuff.”

For example, in the summer of 2005 I spent a lot of time in New York with my mom who was battling cancer. She died a few months later and I was so grateful that I was able to get in so much quality time with her.

In the summer of 2006 I had ACL replacement surgery on my knee. By making my healing and physical therapy the top priority I enjoyed a full recovery and was skiing that winter.

In 2007 I got engaged and was so happy to have extra time to plan the wedding and take a nice long trip back East to introduce Adam to my family.

Last year the focus was house-buying. I looked at 72 houses that summer and ultimately moved into a beautiful home in the Oakland Hills in the middle of September.

Despite the fact that I have taken a lot of time off the past five summers, my business has steadily grown each year and my client base always ramps back up each fall.

If you’re like me, the constant pressure to grow your business can become daunting. Even when business is going well, it seems like there is always more you could do.

Now, don’t get me wrong, as long as you are in business you need to do marketing and business development. You just don’t need to focus on it all the time – especially when you have automated systems in place so your marketing can work 24/7 even when you are on vacation.

Isn’t having the ability to take a break from business and focus on “life stuff” one of the big reasons we got into this profession in the first place?

Note: This is an updated version of an article that originally appeared in the August, 2008 Coach & Grow R.I.C.H. newsletter.

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