One of the most significant lessons we can learn about the future of business comes from sports. And that sports might have taken it straight out of Nature's playbook.
Things are changing fast in business. With each new generation and rapidly shifting world events, business models, employee engagement, and dedication seem to get thrust into chaos. If you adapt, you will avoid problems and frustration and likely be left behind.
Most westernized businesses and success mindsets operate from the same paradigm. Set a goal, take action to create the desired results, work harder, get feedback to improve, adjust, and then work more and keep pushing until you hit the desired results. After you do, celebrate for a moment, a night, maybe a day or two, and then start all over and create the next goal and repeat the pattern.
This cycle is commonly demonstrated as each year comes to a close successful people, motivational people, and many coaches encourage people to:
"Do whatever it takes to hit your 4th quarter goals!"
In October, we hear, "There are three months left to accomplish this year's goals!"
In November and December, we hear, "there are only 60 or 30 days left to hit those goals."
And as the 4th quarter starts, we hear, "you also better start planning for the first quarter of next year!"
It's a race that never ends.
We go from one goal to the next. We are expected to push, grind, and hustle for 12 months straight, with maybe a day or two or just a week to relax, reset and enjoy ourselves. In that 12 months, we also need to set our goals and get started on those for the year ahead.
It's bullsh*t, exhausting, and it's not sustainable.
Look at the world and our workers. We are tired, unmotivated, sick, burned out, and constantly distracted. Business owners think nobody wants to work, but nobody wants to do shitty work, repetitive work, soulless work, in mind-numbing conditions!
The Future of Business will mimic Sports, don't fall behind!
Ever notice that sports don't operate, are not structured, or are scheduled like a traditional business? Sports operate more like Nature. Take Football, for example. The pre-season starts in August, goes into the regular season, and ends with the Super Bowl in February. Then the players rest, relax, and recover. Football falls away. And after some time, they amp up training, add in contact, then we get to the pre-season again.
Football, like Nature, has seasons.
I equate the Pre Season to Spring, blooming, warming up, strategy, and revealing itself.
The Regular Season is like Summer, and the playoffs are like Fall, with most teams falling away until all have fallen away after the Superbowl.
And then everyone rolls into a metaphorical winter. A time of rest, recovery, restoration, sleep and slow down.
Most sports follow a similar nature-based model, and they have to. Baseball even calls it "spring training" and the playoffs and World Series "the fall classic." An athlete's body is no different from a plot of land or Nature; it needs time to rest, recover, and be restored before it can bloom again.
If this weren't the schedule, Athletes would burn out physically, their bodies succumbing to exhaustion and injury after a few years. To support athletes to perform their best and enhance longevity, we must follow the cycle or the path of Nature.
But only some businesses follow this model! Possibly because of the desire for profits or simply because we assumed our bodies could endure sitting in desk chairs for months.
Western business models assume doing the same tasks over and over, hustling, grinding, and pushing mentally with just a few days off here and there are sustainable. It's like we accept that the body has a process it must go through, but we ignore that process when it comes to the mind or spirit.
And when you look around, the minds and spirits of Americans and many around the world need an off-season. They need rehab, restoration, recovery, and a break to reboot, refresh, and restore.
While I acknowledge this article will not revamp the western world's organization of work and economies, I want to share with you how you can incorporate the four seasons into the four seasons of business.
Let's start with Fall, as that's where we currently are.
Fall is about letting go and letting older things fall away. Letting old mindsets, projects, and beliefs find a way to completion. Fall is a time for gratitude for what you've accomplished. It isn't the time to do more or take on new or more projects. Fall is when you start wrapping things up, closing things out, and taking your foot off the gas.
Winter is the time of pausing, resting, restoring, rebalancing, and refreshing yourself. Winter is a time for self-care, going slower, being more, and doing less. Winter is the time to feed yourself well, spend time with those you love, to do things that bring you joy and make you feel good. Winter doesn't mean everything has to go away, athletes still train, but maybe they don't take on aggressive tactics or methods during this time.
Spring is when things bloom and when life comes back into things. It's a time when ideas are born, energy and new inspiration flourish, and we start to ramp up the action and do more in preparation for what's to come.
And summer is when we go go go, we grind, and we hustle, we push it as hard as we can. We do more in summer. We challenge ourselves to break records, to be our best, to do what we haven't done before, and to hit our goals. Summer is the time for hard work and achievement.
Without the seasons of business, we could crush it for a bit. Still, like an athlete that never takes a break and doesn't empower their recovery as much as they entrust in their perseverance, success will be short-lived. Maybe it's short-lived through burnout, anxiety, stress, dissatisfaction, or health-related issues. If you want lasting longevity, you need to relate to your mind and team's minds and spirits, like athletes see their bodies.
Lebron James spends between one and one and a half million dollars a year caring for his body. That's what it requires to be the best. That is the price he pays for excellence.
What do you spend annually caring for your mind, body, or spirit? How much do you invest in your employee's mental, physical, or spiritual self-care? Of course, you aren't spending what Lebron does. What he spends is in relation to his goals and revenue. But what do you spend? Is it structured based on your goals?
So how do we do this? How is what we must learn based on you, your goals, and the vision of your life, business, and company? We can create the how just as the NFL did. I'm sure the owners would love seasons without breaks to make more and more money. If they pushed for this, the best players would play shorter and shorter careers, and the talent and competitiveness would quickly dry up, and the money would go with it.
The how is possible if we rethink how we see our goals and value that often less is more.
Please enjoy this fall season, Happy Holidays, and imagine what the seasons of business could be like in your own life and business.
What would it provide or make possible for you personally or your business to incorporate the seasons into your schedule and plan?
What would become available if you let old things, mindsets, tools, and operation styles fall away, making space for new possibilities?
If you or your teams went into a Spring and Summer fully nourished, rested, and recovered, what might they be able to produce or create?
These are just a few of the questions to ponder.
If you'd like to talk to me more about this or how we can implement this into your business or company culture, hit replay, and let's schedule a complimentary strategy call.