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August is a Time for Rest – and Work

August is a Time for Rest – and Work

COVID tension and stress has hit everyone this year, including executives and entrepreneurs. It has also altered the way we work, coupled with the need to hold steady, adjust, or even grow during the pandemic.

As such, August, normally a time for vacations, is being viewed as an opportunity to prepare for the all-important fourth quarter. Here are how some leading professionals are making use of this time.

[Related: Five Ways Entrepreneurs Use August For Business-Building]

Lesley Jane Seymour, the president and founder of CoveyClub, a membership-based online community for professional women ages 40 and up, says:

We go quiet in August and hold off on our classes and events for the month. And because I believe in self-care for everyone, my team takes a break as well. In September, CoveyClub explodes with a full line-up of classes for the fall quarter.

Seymour will be doing some reading, but it won’t be some frothy beach book:

I use the month to dig into my desktop file called ‘research to read’, which I’ve been compiling all year. I like my brain to go fallow for the month and just read instead of ‘do’, as that is when my big ideas are likely to erupt. I have more ideas then than during any other time of the year.

Seymour’s self-care approach is echoed by Sateria Venable, the founder and chief executive officer of The Fibroid Foundation

August is always an opportunity for me to catch my breath, reflect on the year-to-date, and explore creative ideas for our non-profit. I find myself becoming more meditative about where we grow as an organization.

Others blend work and relaxation as the summer season winds down. Says Matthew Mackay, a co-founder of The Mackay Dixon Team at Douglas Elliman in New York. He and his business partner Benjamin Dixon, both of whom are licensed associate real estate brokers, spend August gearing up for the fall buying and selling season when they see a big uptick in activity:

Ben and I also use August to update our business plan and assess what has worked in the first half of the year and what could be improved for the second half of the year.

Mackay does note that:

Once we get our game plan in place, we also try to get a little beach time in for ourselves before the September rush begins.

[Related: Seven Ways to Use the Summer to Advance Your Career]

Game-planning during the late summer is not atypical. Says Sonya Smith-Valentine, the chief executive officer and Financial Impact Strategist at Financially Fierce LLC:

I use August to evaluate where my company is. I take time to review the work we have scheduled for the rest of the year and opportunities where we can take on additional work. I also look at conferences and events that are scheduled for the next year to determine if there are any I should attend and/or speak at for business development purposes.

After more than a year working at home, some business owners are prepping for a return to the office. For Steve Jones, the founder and chief executive officer of pocstock, his team became fully remote in March 2020. He plans to return to the office in September with a hybrid work model. To prepare:

We are using the typical August lull to put our transition plans in motion, preparing our office for this new work dynamic and communicating with team members to make sure their transition to this new model is as seamless as possible.

Stephen A. Hart will be rolling up his sleeves to get his new business rolling. The creator of Brand in Demand, an online-self-paced program for leaders and entrepreneurs, Hart said he will be fully focused on:

Spending August working with my team and following the insights of my coach to enhance the program and courseware for a fall launch.

Regardless of how August is spent, entrepreneurs and executives will use the time as they best see fit for a prosperous future with a mindful combination of self-care and strategic planning at the forefront.

[Related: Saying "Yes" is Keeping You Stuck and Exhausted]

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Jennefer Witter is the CEO/Founder of The Boreland Group Inc, a nationally-recognized boutique public relations agency that focuses on minority-owned and women-led companies. She is an in-demand public speaker, with engagements at The Pentagon, Columbia University, TedX, Bel Brands, and other top-tier venues. The author of “The Little Book of Big PR: 100+ Quick Tips to Get Your Small Business Noticed” (Harper Collins), Jennefer has written for Forbes, Business Insider, and Medium. She has appeared in The Wall Street Journal and on Bloomberg Radio, MTV News and WJLA. Follow her on LinkedIn.


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