Summer break is here, or at least close, for teachers and that means you get 2 months off! Okay, now that we’ve all had a good laugh…
Summer is a great time to work on your business because, even if you have a full-time job over the break, it’s likely not as intense and draining as teaching, so you’ve got some extra time and energy to work with.
How can you use these 2 months to strengthen your business? There are a couple of ways. You can put the extra time and energy you have toward building your business, and you can use the time to get ahead on side hustle work so you’re prepared when busy times of year crop up.
Go All In
In the summer months, especially if you don’t have to work a job, you can basically make your side hustle a full-time gig. Use this time to dedicate yourself to building your business in ways that you simply can’t do while school is in session. Some of the things I like to do during this time is batch my content,
But one of the most important things I do over the summer is spending time thinking about my business. During the school year I’m often so busy that I spend all my time on all the little things that have to get done that I don’t get to sit back and think about the big picture. I do lots of work in my business, but not necessarily on it.
This is your chance to take stock of how far you’ve come, where you’d like to see your business go in the future, and what you need to do to get there.
Business is relationships, so use the extra time and more relaxed pace of the summer to strengthen existing relationships and create new ones. If you’re in Facebook groups, start interacting more, set up coffee chats so you can make genuine connections with people who are in your niche, or peripheral niches, or who just seem like fun, like-minded folks.
If you’re able to venture out of the house, think about trying a few in-person networking events, too. Your local Chamber of Commerce, and those in surrounding towns, are great places to start and they often have social or other events for non-members. You can also try Meetup.com to see if there are any related group meetings in your area. And you can try more specific groups like Business Among Moms to see if they have a chapter near you.
Use Summer Break to Make a Plan
Just like we do for the school year, summer is the time to take a long view of your business and make a plan. Not just a plan for how much money you want to make – though that can be helpful – but a structure for your year. Having a plan helps you when you are struggling to think of what to do next, and it can prevent shiny object syndrome, where you go chasing after the hottest trend or tool.
Some things I include on my plan are:
- Any product or services I plan to launch
- Any products or services of others I want to promote
- Content brainstorm (great to do in the summer when your mind is fresh and well rested)
- Companies I want to work with, but don’t have a strong relationship with yet
Some questions I ask myself:
- What worked well in my side hustle this year?
- What didn’t work so well?
- Where did my revenue come from?
- What is my 1 thing for next year?
If you write one extra blog post, or record one extra podcast or video each week of summer break you’ll give yourself a vault of at least 8 pieces of content from which to draw throughout the year. You can either plan for specific times of the year when you know you won’t be able to create new content – like parent conference week or when you’re directing the school play – or plan more evergreen content you can pull out as needed.
I try to record my entire fall season of podcast episodes over the summer break so I don’t have to worry about it when school starts.
Every little thing that you can do during the summer to make your life easier in the fall is, in my humble opinion, totally worth it.
Learn New Skills Over Summer Break
I find that in my business, there’s always something new to learn, but not always time to learn it. Whether it’s how to use a new program or new method of doing something, is there something you’d like to learn about? Now’s the time!
Some of the things I’ve dedicated summer breaks to learning have been:
- How to set up my own WordPress website using Divi
- Business accounting and money management from Profit First
- Creating and editing graphics in PicMonkey or Canva
- How to start and grow a membership site
And this summer I’m learning all about teaching on the Outschool platform! If you’re looking for some tools I recommend, or programs to join this summer, check out my resources page for my recommendations!
What’s most important is that, whatever you learn, dream, or decide, you put it into action. Use the summer months to clarify your vision and design a clear path to follow so that when temptations arise – a new business, a new program or tool, or just quitting all together – you have something to go back to and say, “This is my vision. This is my dream, and I’m sticking with it.”
Want to start your own summer hustle, but want a break from anything kid related? Check out this post!
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This challenge mini-course is perfect for you if you:
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- Already have a blog, podcast, or video show and you haven’t been consistent with creating content.