Business naturally ebbs and flows. It’s vital, therefore, to recognize the harvest periods in your career and understand their importance. When you think about a farmer, they’re sowing their seeds in the spring and harvesting their crop in the fall, right?
During that harvest season, they’re working long days and investing more energy because they only have a small window of time to get things done. It’s the same in your business; we all have harvest periods where we simply have to put more of ourselves into our work to get everything done.
There are a few natural harvest times in any person’s career trajectory. Let’s break down the most common three.
A Fresh Start
When you start a new job, you enter a harvest period of education. You’ll be investing a lot of time and energy into learning a new product or service, terminology, and organization. It’s as if you have a day job where you’re working all day, and then at night, you’re going to “night school” of sorts to learn your products and services.
Scaling the Summit
There are several studies on when in their lives people peak in their career, and unsurprisingly, it varies by industry. If you’re trying to climb the corporate ladder, you might be doing this in your 20s and 30s. If you’re trying to make a large amount of money, that typically happens in your 40s and 50s. There may be harvest periods of your career where you’re investing more time and energy into hitting that high point.
Crushing Your Goals
Another natural time of harvest is whenever you have big sales numbers to hit. I was talking with a client recently whose fiscal year was ending in July. He said, “Dew, I have to close all the business I’m going to close and make all the money I’m going to make for this fiscal year in the next two months—what should I be doing?”
My recommendation was to continue to do exactly what he had been doing: spending 50 percent of his time looking for new prospects and 50 percent of his time deepening relationships with his current clients. However, if you are at a point where you are launching into the harvest period of your year, and you typically make 50 dials a day, you have to understand that now you may need to make 100 dials a day. If you do 100 normally, you may have to up it to 250! When you’ve got a big goal to hit, you’ve got to dedicate all of your time and energy to it.
Harvest Periods = Seasons of Life
For CPAs, harvest season means tax season. For many salespeople, harvest season comes at the end of the year, when they need to close as much business as possible and make their incentive trip with their sales team.
During these harvest periods when you’re investing so heavily in your work, you might naturally have to cut down other things that you’re doing in your life so that you can pour more into your business. But remember: There is no quick fix in business! There is no “get rich quick” program that actually works.
It’s all about staying consistent with what you’re doing and continuing to follow the process so that it pays off. Play the long game. And go into these harvest periods in your career acknowledging that it’s just a short period or time frame in the life of your business. This isn’t permanent; it’s all temporary. And if you really get in there and do the work, it’s worth it in the end.
Until next time—go sell some stuff!