Understanding the seasons of yes and no

It’s 7.21am on a Sunday morning. I’m writing this whilst still in bed. The ideas for this post have been pinging around my head for the last couple of weeks, and the timing feels pretty perfect to share this with you now.

Here’s what I know to be true. For most entrepreneurs, there are seasons of yes and seasons of no.

There are times when it feels absolutely right to say yes. Yes to new collaborations, to new projects, to new clients. Yes to opportunities that sound exciting & fresh. Yes to new ideas & new connections.

And during that time, work feels exciting, energetic and effervescent. It feels like someone has cranked up the dial on your business’s magnetism & new stuff is literally flying your way.

Oh yeah, and it’s pretty good for your self-esteem too.

So what do you do? You say yes of course! To all the things! And for a good stint of time, you’re racing around working on all this new stuff feeling pretty damn invincible.

It reminds me a lot of running events. That somehow, for the period of time before a big event, you have an extended capacity to work. Somehow you’re able to hustle harder, produce more work & still be stoked on it.

But here’s the flip side to it: In order to sustain seasons of yes, you absolutely need to have seasons of no.

Seasons of no are different to burn out — because they are a conscious decision. They’re made from a smart little voice inside that says ‘ok dude, calm it down a little now….. reign it in’ (at least that’s what mine says!).

When you reach the end of a season of yes, there seems to be an understanding that you have reached your maximum bandwidth. That to take on any more new projects, or to add any more to your current workload, would just be plain stupid.

This whole thing reminds me a little of squirrels (yep, seriously). I freaking love squirrels. I’m pretty sure it has something to do with living in Hossegor and having the raddest view out into a pine forest from my apartment, where I would watch them racing around all day…..Anyhows, back to squirrels and seasons.

Squirrels have two seasons… A season for racing around gathering acorns and a season for staying warm & safe at home. And the same goes for us entrepreneurs. There’s a time to be out and about hustling for more business, and there’s a time to slow down a little and really sink into the work.

I was reminded of this the other day when I was sorting through my Evernote notebooks. Over the summer I’ve been crazy busy (season of yes) and so have collected lots of frantically typed notes & excitedly recorded ideas. They’re kinda scrappy and all over the place…. But full of potential.

But if I stayed in a season of yes, then I’d just keep adding to the (digital) stack. None of the ideas would actually get implemented or actioned. And where’s the good in that?

So I’m shifting into a season of no. And it feels rad.

For me, a season of no doesn’t have any negative connotations. It’s not about doing less work or being closed off to anything. It’s just about having a different approach. It’s about slowing the pace a little so I can go deeper. So I can unpack the ideas and really start to implement them. It’s a time to build relationships rather than just collect new business cards. A time to take extra special care of my clients with the knowledge that (because of my season of yes) there’s a sustainable flow of work coming my way.

So I’m curious… are you in a season of yes or a season of no? Or are you, like me, feeling stoked (and kinda relieved) to be in the transition?