Business Blasphemy

EP34: Disrupting the Status Quo: A Blasphemous Approach to Q4

August 29, 2023 Sarah Khan Season 1 Episode 34
Business Blasphemy
EP34: Disrupting the Status Quo: A Blasphemous Approach to Q4
Business Blasphemy+
Become a supporter of the show!
Starting at $3/month
Support
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

As the scent of fresh notebooks fills the fall air and September excitement takes hold, something else takes hold, too.

The Fourth Quarter Push.

You know what I'm talking about. The online business world equivalent of "if your workout doesn't make you want to puke, you aren't doing it right."

You'll start to hear a lot of messaging around pushing harder and how you still have time to meet your 2023 goals in the last 3 months of the year if you "JUST KEEP PUSHING".

And we're here to question that advice. 

Tune into find out why I think the Q4 push is BS...and what you can do instead.

Support the show

Connect with Sarah:

The Business Blasphemy Podcast is sponsored by Corporate Rehab® Strategic Consulting.

Corporate Rehab® is a fierce ally for ambitious ex-corporate moms who refuse to be restricted by outdated work (and social) norms. We challenge the status quo, empowering you to lead from your truth. Forget the empty hustle and build a legacy of success your way. The key? Our distinctive 4-part framework, The Audacity Factor™. It's not just a strategy, it’s a groundbreaking shift in how you approach your goals. Sarah, a seasoned strategist and advisor, not only helps you craft a path to long-lasting success where smart, deliberate actions replace the weary treadmill of hustle and grind — she walks beside you as you do.

Schedule a no stings "Let's Talk Business" call today and find out what small shifts you can make to work less and double your profitability.

...
Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Business Blast for Me podcast, where we question the sacred truths of the online business space and the reverence with which they're held. I'm your host, sarah Kahn speaker, strategic consultant and BS busting badass. Join me each week as we challenge the norms, trends and overall bullshit status quo of entrepreneurship to uncover what it really takes to build the business that you want to build in a way that honors you, your life and your vision for what's possible, and maybe piss off a few gurus along the way. So if you're ready to commit Business Blast for Me, let's do it. Hello, hello, blasphemers. All right, this episode is dropping on August 29th, which means it's the last week of August, which means by the end of this week it's going to be September, which means we are in a very special month, september. Why is it special, you might ask? Well, there's three things that start to happen around this time of year. The first one is obviously back to school. Now, I know there are some places in the US where kids have gone back already. They go back sort of mid-August, but here, where I live, everybody goes back after Labor Day. So next week kids are back to school, which means that our routines go back to how they generally are for the majority of the year and I got to be honest, I'm looking forward to having that routine back. I spent three hours today at the mall back to school shopping, and not the fun kind that we used to get to do when we were kids. We went clothing shopping. I'm not a clothes horse. I'm not a really big fan of clothes shopping. I love school supply shopping. And can I just rant for one moment, just one moment of your time? We don't get to do that anymore. For the last eight or nine years, the kids in our school districts share supplies from the classroom community supply, I guess supply and we just give teachers a check at the beginning of the year. And this is really annoying to me for one major reason, and that is because I absolutely love stationery shopping. If I won the lottery I've often said this I would spend the vast majority of it probably in a stationery store, and I'm not even joking. I love pens, I love notebooks, I love washi tapes and all those kinds of things. I have a monthly battle with myself about going analog because everything right now is digital. I have an iPad and I write all my stuff in there, and I have a digital planner blah, blah blah. But I love stationery and now that my older one is in high school and they do get to buy their own supplies, she's not interested. So September is like when I go out and buy a couple of new supplies for me just to make myself feel good, because that's what September is all about. For me, september is really more the beginning of the year than January is, and I don't know if that's because I was a teacher for so long, but I really, really love September. It feels fresh, because the weather is fresh. It's starting to get a little bit cooler. You know, you get to wear your sweaters and, like I love fall clothes, blah, blah, blah. I just literally said I wasn't a clothes horse and I'm not. I love sweaters, I love big baggy sweaters and fleeces and that's and shawls, like that's my thing. So anyway, September, september is back to school time. So next week a lot of kids going back to school, a lot of parents who are entrepreneurs are going to be, you know, getting back into their routines. It might take a few weeks, it might take the entire month of September to really kind of get back into the groove of things. The other thing that starts to happen around this time is the Black Friday chatter. You're going to start seeing people talking about Black Friday, black Friday sales. Do you have a Black Friday sale product? Do you have an offer for Black Friday? Cool, we're going to talk about that. But the thing I really, really want to talk about the other thing that happens around this time of year, that is super fucking annoying. The fourth quarter push. Now you may be thinking to yourself what the hell is that, sarah? Oh, you know exactly what it is. You know what I'm talking about. Only three months left. Have you hit your targets? Have you hit your goals? Go big this last quarter, push, push. There's more than enough time to make that money. There's more than enough time to meet those goals that you haven't met yet. Marketing would have us believe that this is the quarter coming up Q4. October, november, december To do all the things and launch one last time to hit some arbitrary number that they told you was meaningful and that you set back in January. Now, if you set that goal intentionally and you're like, yeah, that is important to me, cool, I'm not here to decide what is meaningful and what is not, but the vast majority of us set goals based on things like income right, like six figures and I see a lot of people around this time of year start to get a little bit frantic and upset because they haven't quite hit that six-figure threshold. And so now you start to see things like the Black Friday offers pop up, you start to see things like new offers being launched. Now, I'm not saying every offer that's launched in and around this time is like out of desperation and FOMO. If you're missing out, I'm launching a new offer this Friday, but it's something that I've been thinking about for a very, very long time and I'm launching it now because my kids are going back to school. I'm not launching it as some hail Mary to try and you know cross some fictional goal line that I set seven or eight months ago. So let me ask you did you set a goal in January and have you achieved it by now? Are you on track to achieve it by the end of the year? If you haven't, please don't beat yourself up. Okay, I used to subscribe to all of that myself and I would beat myself up the closer I got to the end of the year when I looked back at all the things that I hadn't accomplished yet. Here's the thing Shit happens. I had the best of intentions when I went into 2023. And, month after month, something has come up. Something has happened. We've had bombshells dropped on us, we've had bad news, we've had deaths in the family, we've had illnesses, We've had different diagnoses, we've had friends and family losing their house Like it's been a lot this year Stuff that is outside of our control and that has 100% had an impact on how much I have accomplished. About what I set out to do this year, what I intended to do this year and I don't tend to set ginormous goals. I don't do that anymore. I gave up on the whole January New Year resolution thing years ago because it's bullshit in my opinion and please, I mean that's my opinion. If you set New Year's resolutions, cool, I'm not judging it. It's just not right for me because I know myself I need to have something intentional that I can work towards long term. I don't like to have concrete goals. That's just how I work. So I know where I want to go and I make a plan and I just slowly move towards it. But I used to subscribe to that. I used to get really, really angry when I would get to like October, november, and I'd look back and go I haven't achieved that particular thing yet. I never stopped to ask myself was it me who set that goal, or was it because I was surrounded by all of these people who told me that I was not doing it? That that's the kind of goal I should be setting, like that's a really important distinction that not enough of us make. Did I set that goal because I truly wanted it, because it was an alignment with me and my values and what I wanted, or is it because the people around me said you are only worthy if this is the kind of thing you accomplish by the end of the year? Case in point Black Friday sale. Disclaimer if you are having a Black Friday sale, if you have a Black Friday offer, cool, good for you. This is not about having or not having an offer. It's about whether having an offer is aligned with who you are, what you wanna do and what you're trying to achieve. A couple of years ago, I asked a coach that I was working with, hey, black Friday's coming up, what should I put out for Black Friday? And she very quickly reminded me that I don't need a Black Friday offer in order to be successful. And then she asked me why I thought I did and the truth is I didn't, but everybody else was talking about it, so I very quickly thought I need to have one too. But Black Friday is not again some magical date. People put out Black Friday sales thinking it's gonna be a quick cash infusion. It's not. Not. If it's not thought out properly and intentionally set up. Just like every fucking offer you do all year long, it has to be well thought out. There are a lot of resources that go behind it nurture sequences and sales pages and making sure the product is available and having a mailing list that you can send it out to like. There's so many things that go into it. It's not just about creating the thing and offering it for a Black Friday price. If you are interested in doing a Black Friday offer, by the way, you should start thinking about that now. It's not something you can do two weeks before Black Friday hits, Because and this is a bit of a tangent you have to talk about it for a long time. You can't just start talking about something two weeks before you wanna launch it or drop it and expect people to go nuts for it. You have to talk about it. For a long time. We've talked about this on the podcast before. People are so bombarded with information they're not seeing your shit, so you gotta talk about it way more than most people are talking about it. But that's neither here nor there. Right now, is a Black Friday offer something that you actually wanna do, something that's in alignment with who you are, your business model, your value ladder, your offer suite. Does it make sense? Or are you doing it because everybody else quote, unquote everybody else is doing it and you feel like you need to as well, because that's what's gonna start happening over the next few months. It starts to kinda trickle in in September and then, once October hits, it's like bam. Everybody's talking about the fourth quarter. Push these last three months. You gotta do it, you gotta push, you gotta push. No, fucking no, don't push. Stop. When you focus on everything that you haven't accomplished this year, it takes all of the focus off the enormous amount you did accomplish this year. That's what happened for me. Every time I got to this point of the year I'd be like shit, look at all this crap I didn't do. Look at all these goals I didn't check off and I would overlook all of the incredible wins I had. In fact, that was one of the inspirations for me starting my weekly wins journal. I'm not as regular with it as I really desire to be, especially lately because I've been really stressed out about a lot of things and I tend to forget about it. I put it in my Asana now it's there and I've started to get better at it. But my weekly wins journal is something that I do every Friday. I write down all the great things that have happened this week, because what I learned was I would forget. I would forget all the great things that had happened throughout the year. And whenever I'm having a bad day now I look at my weekly wins journal. I just go through and read them and I remind myself of all the great things that have happened, because it's easy to forget. With all the noise that is about to start happening, you're gonna start to lose all of the wonderful things that did happen this year and all the things that you actually did accomplish. So as we start to get over the whole back to school hubbub which will probably be over in the next few weeks people are gonna start focusing on Q4. So allow me to remind you of this very important thing You've done enough, you are enough, you have time, you have so much time. There is no arbitrary finish line. There is no deadline to succeed. Why is it that we feel like let's just say your goal is six figures, okay, let's just use that, because that's one that I think is pretty common to a lot of people? Is a success like making that six figures any less valid if it happens in February of next year versus December of this year, like if you actually meet the goal that you set for yourself? Does it matter if it happened within the confines of like 2023? Does it make it less of a success Because it happened on January 1st, january 10th or April 7th? There's no fucking magical threshold between December 31st and January 1st that wipes away everything that you've done. There's no clean slate. It's just another day. So go at your own pace and let it happen as it happens. Just keep doing what you're doing, taking step after step, and, instead of getting caught up in the Q4 bullshit, focus on reflection, focus on looking inward, slowing down a little bit, because I used to do that. I used to get really caught up in the Q4 push and, like I said, I get really hung up on arbitrary numbers and I would get really hung up on arbitrary metrics. It didn't really mean anything, but they were goals everybody else told me I had to have and so I would get really bent out of shape about them and I'd beat myself up and I wouldn't enjoy the last quarter of the year, which is sad because when you look at my last quarter, october is the start of, like, family birthday season. We have at least one family birthday from October 1st right through the end of March, and then my husband his is in June. He's an outlier but, like both my girls, they have their birthday in November. My mom's birthday is in November, my birthday is in December, our anniversary is in early January, my dad's birthday is in early January. Like it's a very busy time anyway for us. But I would get so caught up in like I've got to push, I've got to do more, I've got to do more, and now I slow down, I focus on being with my family and being intentional in my business, just keep doing what I'm doing. Now. I focus on planning for next year, because that's another thing you don't need to do in January, right, it's not something you even need to do in December. You can do whatever the fuck you want. Like you know that, right. Like there are no hard fast rules about this. You get to plan whenever you want. So I will sometimes use this last three or four month period to start planning for next year, not making concrete plans, but thinking about it, thinking about the investments that are going to help me set a strong foundation for next year, for the next season of my business, and I focus on how far I've actually come. Please do not let them make you feel like you haven't done enough. There's no benchmark for enough. It's whatever you decide it is. So if you've been listening to the podcast for a while or if you follow me on social, you'll know that I love questions. I love questions that make me think. I like journaling questions. Whenever the seasons change, I like to do a little bit of rumination, and around this time of year, there are three questions I start to ask myself. I don't sit down and journal them out like right away. I just ask myself and I start to think about it. I let my brain do its thing and the first question is what do I wanna achieve next year, not like a concrete goal. That's not my thing. Maybe a concrete goal is something that's important for you, cool, that's great. For me, it's like where do I wanna take my business next in 2024? Over the next few months, right. And once I have some kind of an answer nebulous or not then I start to think do I have the resources and supports in place to make it happen? If I do, cool, I sit down over the next few months and I map out action steps to make it happen. I know it sounds like a long time to say next few months, but life happens. A lot has happened this year, despite my best intentions to stay on track quote unquote, on track and I've talked to a lot of people who have had the same kind of year. Just a lot of shit has happened this year and that has had me moving slower than I intended. And that's okay Because, like I said, a win is still a win, whether it happens now or it happens six months from now. So I ask myself do I have the resources and supports in place to make it happen? If the answer is yes, I map out my action steps. I don't put timelines around them, I just map out the action steps and I know those of you who are timeline driven are thinking what the fuck? And it's okay, I need to put timelines around it, that's totally cool. But if I may make a suggestion, don't make those timelines punishments. Okay, give yourself grace around them. And if the answer is no I don't have the resources and supports that I need then I ask myself okay, cool, where can I get them? That's literally it, and those questions will form the basis of what happens next. Does that look like launching a new offer Now or in the new year? Does that mean creating a new product? Does it mean having a Black Friday offer? Does it mean hiring or firing or bringing on new clients? Like that's how I start to envision the next iteration of my business. So please don't fall for the FOMO inducing hysteria tactics that are alive and well in the fourth quarter marketing push Cause. It isn't about what they think you should do, it's about what you want to do Because, like I always say, you can have success without the BS, and that BS is just getting started. I'll talk to you next week. That's it for this week. Thanks for listening to the Business Blast FOMI podcast. We'll be back next week with a new episode, but in the meantime, help us to throw out by subscribing and, if you're feeling extra sassy, rating this podcast. And don't forget to share the podcast with others. Head over to businessblastfomipodcastcom to connect with us and learn more. Thanks for listening and remember you can have success without the BS.

Questioning Sacred Truths and September Excitement
Planning and Prioritizing for Business Success