The HOT List - August 2015

Summertime can be both good and bad for business.
I’ll explain...
In one way, having down time can be great. You get a chance to restock your business reserves, read books (business or otherwise), get ready for the fall pick-up and reconnect with family and friends. Good stuff.
On the other hand, the slow down can result in worry and anxiety as the influx of people, money and ideas slows, and you’re left with (too much) time to think about and question your business. “What am I doing? Did I really think this would work?” Dangerous territory.
If you’re anything like me, you likely pendulum between the two -- one moment you’re reveling in family time and in the next you’re having a minor freak out because you heard (once again), please be in touch again in the fall.
And then something hit me...if everyone else is slowing down, taking time off and letting things “coast” a bit until September, then it’s not a horrible thing if I do that too.
Not saying that I’m gonna sit on the back porch with my feet up all day (though that does sounds appealing). But, if there’s any time of year when there’s a collective slow down, it’s now, so why not enjoy it a little bit more?
For me that means enjoying mid-day walks with my little girl, coffee breaks with my husband on the days he works from home, and the occasional girls’ lunch date with friends.
It means not taking myself or my business so seriously and having more FUN with it. Being playful. Curious. Open-hearted and optimistic. And, engaging with like-minded entrepreneurs who get it -- like you!
It also means working on stuff that truly matters and letting go of the “busy” stuff that makes me feel like I’m doing something, but actually gets nothing much accomplished. Things like checking emails 40x a day or getting sucked down the Google rabbit hole.
Whether you’re feeling the summer slow down in a good or not-so-good way, I’m calling for a collective deep breath to ground you in the here and now so that you can remind yourself why you got started with your business in the first place.
(I’ll wait while you enjoy that. Ahhhhhhhhhhh :-)
I’m feeling better already. You?
Here are some of the things I’ll be enjoying that made the August 2015 HOT List.

On my nightstand.

Dream Year by Ben Arment.

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I’ll admit I’m only about a quarter of the way through at this point, but so far it’s a pretty good read. Arment talks about how each of us, because of our unique background, skills, education, has something that only we can deliver to the world. So, we can either spend our lives working to help someone else achieve their dream, or set out on our own to manifest our own. The one thing I take issue with is the negative tone his copy has at times. He uses words like “frustrations” and “fears” again and again, which are a little depressing for my taste, but the underlying message is a good one.

When I’m feeling like a lonely-preneur.

I’ve been loving the supportive interaction that I’ve found in Facebook Groups lately. It’s a great place to go for community, feedback, answers to business questions and to find some business best friends.
One caution: go with a purpose. Don’t just hop from one group to the next to the next haphazardly, go with a question you need an answer to or to connect with members in a real way -- like setting up a 15min Skype date to mastermind.
A few groups that I particularly like are Dreamers//Doers, Savvy Business Owners and, of course, Purpose-Driven Entrepreneurs.
Feeling like a lonely-preneur? Learn how to find, woo & form real, lasting relationships with some Business BFFs here.

When it’s time for a break.

I go for a walk with Leona (who’s 10 months old now!). Even if it’s just a 15 minute stroll around the neighborhood, I always return to my work refreshed and more focused.
Breaks are essential -- they ARE NOT a luxury. We all need them, so give yourself that gift. Whether it be a quick 10 minute walk, a 30 minute yoga DVD, a cup of tea on the porch or a 90 minute massage (yes, please!).
Tip: If you’re not great about giving yourself down-time, schedule in breaks throughout your day. Try not to stare at your computer screen for more than 60 minutes without giving yourself at least 5 minutes to get up, walk around and look at something other than your laptop.

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I know it’s a bit cliche, but we’ve only got this one life. We can spend it stressed out, rushing around, feeling like we need to do/be more. Or, we can choose to move through life differently. We can slow down, be present, kiss our spouses/kids/pets, take (mini) breaks, do things we like once in a while and live the good life now.
There is only one summer month left til September arrives. Do your very best to enjoy it.
If you enjoy any of this month’s HOT List items, let me know about in the comments below, on Twitter @CailenAscher, or in the Facebook Group.
Have some fun stuff you’re lovin’ on lately? Let me know. I’d love to check it out!
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P.S. Missed last month’s HOT List? There was some booty-shaking goodness & a recipe for a delicious must-try cocktail. (Everyone that I make it for LOVES it!!) Check it HERE.