The Eye of the StormBy: Diane Hughes
I've been publishing a newsletter for over 3 years and I've been actively marketing and running an online business for almost 5 ... needless to say, I've seen a lot of trends come and go and definitely know all about "lulls" and "surges."
I know all of us would like more surges and if you're like me, you tend to get a little discouraged at first when you start to feel the effects of the lulls. This is normal and although they say you get used to it as time goes on, I have to say I still get discouraged every year around this time, but I've since learned how to deal with it a little more positively.
Since my slow season hits with a bang, I would quickly forget how much I complained about having no time and being extremely stressed during the surge. So now I try to think of it as the "The Eye of the Storm" ... calm, quiet, but with the promise of a surge to come.
Yes, it's true ... there are those "big gurus" who claim to still surge no matter what time of year it is -- and I don't doubt them -- but for people like you and me, it just doesn't happen no matter how hard you try or how hard you work. I'll admit that my lull isn't as slow as it used to be since my name has gotten out there a bit, but it's still slower than any other time of year.
When I first started experiencing this, I was "mad" with ambition to get my business and traffic back to par. I wasn't going to stand for the lull theory ... no way! I spent literally thousands on marketing, tons of time spitting out new products and services, and basically worked myself to death ...
Did I get more business? Did I get more traffic? Well, yes but not near worth what I spent to get it! I ended up losing a lot of money that year -- something I could have avoided if I would just accept it and leave it be.
It definitely taught me a lesson. For the last few years, I've just accepted it and I cease the flow of any marketing dollars or time spent on launching new products or services. What do I do with my time? I work on improving any existing products and services and I "clean" up. I've found that it's the best time to get things ready for the surge and the best time to take a little time off and enjoy what my success has afforded me. I do what all my potential but non-buying customers are doing ... I spend time with my family and spend my money on Christmas gifts and donations.
If you can't deal with that or you absolutely have to keep making that surge money to make ends meet, find a niche product or service that will do well around this time of year -- like a cookbook, gift site, or similiar service.
I have some "big gurus" as subscribers and if you're one of those that never has a slow season then I'll be honest, I'm jealous! But for the majority of us, it's inevitable and something we will probably never overcome.
So swallow the "jagged pill" and don't try to beat it. Remember that it is not the end of the world or your business -- just the "The Eye of the Storm". Enjoy it and use it as a time for rest, relaxation, and getting your mind, body, and business ready for the upcoming "chaos". :o)
© Diane Hughes, 2003
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