The Rise and Fall of the Business Year

For most of the past six thousand years (longer in some parts of the world) life was governed by the agricultural year. This tended to be divided into two parts — the growing season through summer, where you worked as hard as you could to maximise your harvest, and the fallow season through winter, when you let the land rest and (if all had gone well) enjoyed the fruits of your harvest.

Understanding and following this annual rise and fall was crucial to societies when a good harvest could be the difference between life and death. Their culture and rituals were all built around it — echoes remain in myths from many parts of the world of a summer king and a winter king alternating, who each may have been sacrificed at the end of their period. Or maybe it was all just symbolic — no-one really knows.


So What’s This Got to Do with Business?

Primitive agricultural cycles and rituals might seem a world away from modern business — but are they really? Although most of us are no longer in touch with natural cycles, the need for the same kind of structure is ingrained.

I was reminded of this while planning for 2022. It occurred to me that I was unconsciously echoing the growing season and and fallow season structure in my plans.

Broadly speaking, my strategy is to go all out from the start of January to the end of June winning new clients, with as many of them as possible ongoing. The aim is to increase my business income to a sustainable level that it allows it to start really working for me.

For the second half of the year, I won’t be actively looking for new clients — though I certainly won’t be turning away anyone knocking on the door. Instead, I’ll be looking at the position I’m in with the new clients and work on transforming the business to reflect this new position.

What will that transformation be like? I don’t know yet, and I won’t till I’m getting closer to being there. Working on the business to enjoy the fruits of the harvest can only be planned when you know what that harvest is.

Of course, my two half-years aren’t going to be the same as the agricultural half-years, but the pattern of a growing season and a fallow season is very much the pattern that goes all the way back to our Neolithic ancestors. Except that no-one has to be sacrificed.

If you’re planning a growing season next year. Get in touch to find out how my writing can help your crops grow — instead of letting the weeds spread.