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133 – Surviving The Summer Business Slump

Wandering Aimfully Through Our Podcast: What is it all for?

133 – Surviving The Summer Business Slump

What can you do when you notice a drop in email open rates, less website traffic, lower sales, minimal engagement, and declined viewership in the summer?
Jason ZookJason Zook Jason ZookJason Zook

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Jason Zook

Listen to our full episode on Surviving the Summer Business Slump below (with full transcript) or find our podcast by searching What is it all for? in your favorite podcast player.

Five Key Takeaways for Surviving the Summer Business Slump

1. Embrace the summer business slump

Instead of looking at it as something negative, embrace it! We’ve done summer sabbaticals from our newsletter for years now and sometimes take the summer off on our podcast and any other content creation too (especially social media). We think the summer slow-down can be an important opportunity to rest and recharge, which is just as productive as taking action.

2. Trust that things will pick up in the Fall

Whether you have clients or sell products, your engagement WILL go down across the board. Your website visitor numbers will be lower, your social posts will get less interaction, and if you run a community the participation will dwindle. Don’t panic! This isn’t a reflection of your business at all. It’s just people are enjoying the summer months and being less plugged-in. From years of experience, we can guarantee things will pick up again once Fall comes around.

3. Use the summer months to rest OR update old products

If you are an experienced entrepreneur, you may have already noticed your sales, attention, and growth coming to a screeching halt this time of year in years prior. Start to expect this! Use this time to rest, update old products, or get way ahead for your next product ramp-up or content creation schedule. But remember, rest is okay during this time too!

4. Shift your energy into seed-planting mode

For people who need cash now but your audience isn’t responding as actively, answer this question: Is there a fun way to repackage your offer FOR the summer? There’s always a way to get creative and think outside the box to repackage one of your larger offers into a smaller offer that might be more attractive for your customers in the summer. The other option is to completely shift your energy into seed-planting for the future. Think of this time as being in seed-planting mode and focus on marketing bridges you do now that can incrementally move your business forward.

5. Don’t form an opinion about your business during the summer

All the numbers may be down, but your spirits shouldn’t be! Change your mindset around thinking that things slowing down now are a reflection of your business completely failing. Weather the slower summer months and zoom the lens out to see the larger overall picture of your business.

Show Notes for Episode 133: for Surviving the Summer Business Slump

In this week’s episode, we’re talking about surviving the summer business slump. We’ve learned to embrace this season as sales, attention, and growth all comes to a screeching halt. We want to normalize this a bit more so it’s less shocking to you when it happens, and also something you’re preparing for every year.

We’ll share how seasoned business owners can be ready for the summer slow-down and why resting and ENJOYING this time of year is just as helpful as doing a bunch of work.

We’ll also discuss how new biz owners can weather this slower time AND get creative with offers to still nab some sales (or plant seeds for the future)!

The most important takeaway this week: Don’t form an opinion of the entirety of your business based on the inevitable slow-down of the summer months.

🏠 Check out “The Bothy” Airbnb:

✈️ Our travel pramvel shares our additional time in Scotland, including our most favorite adventure day yet with Highland Cattle!

Full Transcript of Episode 133: Surviving the Summer Business Slump

⬇️ You can also download the .TXT file of the transcript

Caroline: Welcome to What is it All For?, a podcast designed to help you grow your online business and pursue a spacious, satisfying life at the same time. We are your hosts, Jason and Caroline Zook, and we run Wandering Aimfully, an UN-boring business coaching program. Every week, we bring you advice and conversations to return you to your most intentional self and to help you examine every aspect of your life and business by asking, What is it all for? Thanks for listening. And now let’s get into the show.

Jason: And I’m here, too.

Caroline: First of all, do not disturb.

Jason: We’re recording a podcast here. This is serious business.

Caroline: I feel very disturbed.

Jason: This is serious business.

Caroline: Oh, yeah. No, our business is serious.

Jason: No, this, specifically right now…

Caroline: Is serious business.

Jason: Is serious podcast business.

Caroline: And everyone listening who’s heard our shows before is like, Oh, yeah, this is a serious podcast.

Jason: Wow, I can’t believe they started the show like that. This is a serious show that I listen to every week as a person. That’s you. That’s what you’re saying.

Caroline: Hey, listener.

Jason: Hello and welcome. This is going to be an episode about summer slumpers different than summer slumbers, which are…

Caroline: Little naps. You’ve been in the pool and you just take little slumber and then nap.

Jason: I was going with slumber parties as a kid.

Caroline: Oh, summer slumbers.

Jason: Yeah, summer slumbers. Why don’t adults do slumber parties? Like, if you just think about it for a second.

Caroline: You’re right.

Jason: Why don’t we just go over to a friend’s house and just sleep over?

Caroline: Because we make everything weird.

Jason: I know.

Caroline: You know. You get older, I know, and everything becomes weird.

Jason: I’m not trying to do a wife swap here. I’m just trying to…

Caroline: When you’re a kid, everything is just so innocent. It’s just like, I want to hang on my friends, more time. More time.

Jason: Why don’t we do adult sleepovers? We should do that.

Caroline: You know, what’s funny? Okay, let’s just talk about sleepovers for a second.

Jason: Okay, sure.

Caroline: I just had a flashback to whenever I would find myself at a sleepover where one of the girls would be like, Let’s all try to stay up all night. First one to fall asleep is a loser. Like, whatever.

Jason: Nice.

Caroline: And of course, A, you know how much I love to sleep.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: And you know how much of a sensitive Sally I am.

Jason: Yeah and also an achiever.

Caroline: I wear it like a badge of honor. But I’m also an achiever. I also am, like, very competitive. And I’m like, Oh, you give me a challenge. And when I tell you that I would fight so hard to stay awake, it was just like, it took all the joy out of the experience for me. So I’m like, Yeah, let’s all try to stay up. Oh, it’s so fun. And I’m like, Goddamn it.

Jason: It’s just terrible.

Caroline: Everything in my body wants to fall asleep right now, but everything also in my brain wants me to win.

Jason: Yeah. For those of you who don’t know the story, one of our earliest interactions together, where you had to really test your own you-ness, was my 24-hour movie marathon.

Caroline: That’s right.

Jason: Where I would host this, and this was obviously a long time ago when I was…

Caroline: You used to do this once a year.

Jason: Yeah, I was in my 20’s. And you could just do these things. But yeah, it was at 6:00 p.m. it started then we would watch 12 to 14 movies straight for 24 hours, and they would just be back to back.

Caroline: Now, knowing this about me. So this is the first year we were dating. So here I am again.

Jason: Did you stay up the whole time?

Caroline: Of course, I did.

Jason: Great job.

Caroline: The brain being like, You have to win, and you have to show this person that you can do this even though this is stupid.

Jason: How terrible was your life in the next couple of days? Do you remember?

Caroline: Oh, awful. But I was like 21, so my body could just bounce back.

Jason: Yeah, just bounce back.

Caroline: Who misses the bounce back factor?

Jason: Oh my god.

Caroline: If you were listening to this, and you’re like, Gen Z, if you have the bounce back right now…

Jason: You think we have any Gen Z listeners?

Caroline: Oh yeah, for sure.

Jason: Oh, wow. I don’t.

Caroline: Oh, if you’re Gen Z-er, email us or Snap us.

Jason: That’s why we don’t have any Gen Z listeners.

Caroline: Okay, we lost them. We lost them.

Jason: No, no. We never had them, just so you’re aware.

Caroline: Is Snapchat still a thing?

Jason: Never had them. I don’t think so.

Caroline: Even if it is, that wasn’t the right thing to say. And I’m aware of that. Anyway, what I meant to say is, if you have the bounce back still, I need you to appreciate that and I need you to be grateful for it.

Jason: This is what old people say.

Caroline: I know. We’re old now. We’re like jazz.

Jason: Yeah, this is what people say. Embrace the time when you have it. And you’re just like, What?

Caroline: Why is your grandpa a Cookie Monster?

Jason: When you can. You never know when you can get more.

Caroline: Are you old or are you a muppet?

Jason: Yes, I’m an older muppet.

Caroline: The answer’s yes.

Jason: I think everyone would say that about me. How would you describe Jason? Older muppet.

Caroline: Just a couple of old muppets.

Jason: That’s us. That actually is very appropriate to us.

Caroline: It is?

Jason: As people.

Caroline: Oh, I thought you meant the episode.

Jason: We’re just like, Pa, pa, pa, pa, pa.

Caroline: We are a little bit like muppets.

Jason: Let’s get into the pramvel of this episode.

Caroline: That was kind of the pramvel to the pramvel.

Jason: Actually, we also have a pramvel to the pramvel, which is just your energy levels right now.

Caroline: Oh, yeah. But I feel like I’m hiding it really well.

Jason: No, you are. But just to be honest with the folks.

Caroline: Yes. We’re going to be honest with folks.

Jason: We’ve had a rough couple of days. Not like really bad, but it’s been hard on you.

Caroline: My eyes are acting up and…

Jason: We’ve been driving a lot.

Caroline: We have been driving a lot, which we’ll share with you in future episodes of where we are and what we’ve been doing. But we’ve been on the road a lot. And so for those of you just, who are newer, I have this eye condition that sounds really fancy. It’s called Binocular Vision Dysfunction, which sounds really serious, but really just means my eyes are vertically misaligned and certain activities cause a lot of strain and cause, like, double vision. I have glasses that corrects this most of the time. But even with my prescription, when you do activities such as driving, it is very exacerbated because your brain is trying to focus on a lot of things and it’s not quite as quick, clear, and it’s trying to match up the picture in your brain. And that’s tough on my little brain and my eyes. And so…

Jason: I have been saying this for years, like…

Caroline: What’s up?

Jason: Let’s just get you horseblinders.

Caroline: I know.

Jason: So you can just drive and you can just look at one spot in the road. You can’t see everything.

Caroline: Right. Well, I even was like, What if I could just close my eyes?

Jason: But that’s a whole different world for you.

Caroline: So long story short, yeah, it’s very uncomfortable because I feel very dizzy and I have these headaches. Anyway.

Jason: Almost didn’t record an episode. So we want you folks to know we’re showing up for you.

Caroline: Yeah, and I wouldn’t have showed up if it was at the detriment to myself because, you know, I’m a believer and you take care of yourself first and foremost. That’s important. But I looked inward and I was like, You know, I think I can muster up a little bit of energy to bring my best to this episode. And that’s why we shared this at the top of the episode so that you kind of know where we are. I also was thinking about this. Sometimes I feel kind of weird and self-conscious about always sharing that because I’m like, Nobody wants to be the person who’s always telling people like I don’t feel my best. But at the same time I was thinking how few content creators like YouTubers or podcasters or anyone, how few people just share honestly about what type of headspace they’re in before they film content.

Jason: I also tell you this all the time, if you’re like, I don’t want to talk about my anxiety and all those stuff and I’m like, no one does. That’s why no one talks about it. If you don’t talk about it, no one talks about it.

Caroline: It’s true.

Jason: I think part of this, not to get too deep here on the pramvel, this is supposed to be stupid and silly, What are we doing? More cookies, is that it’s the truth. And it’s the truth for so many people and the fact that we just kind of like go about this whole charade and podcasts and YouTube and social and all these other places. But look at this cool thing I made and 2 hours before this I was having a mental breakdown and 2 hours later I had to sleep for three days. But it’s like those things don’t get shared because we just want everyone to make sure that they know that look how good we’re doing at something.

Caroline: Totally. But it is such a fine line because, also from my perspective, it’s not as much about like, Oh, I’m self-conscious and I don’t want to share it because I’m afraid of what people think. I mean, it’s a little bit that of course, because I’m a human being, but it’s also for my own self. I like to challenge myself to not fall into this victim story sometimes because it’s true. When I don’t feel my best, it’s not like I’m telling myself a story. I don’t feel my best and I’m creating my own reality in that sense. I know I don’t feel my best. But at the same time, if you keep reinforcing that story in your head, you live there and you just dwell there and you can very easily stay there. And so part of me not always wanting to call attention to it is also trying to rewrite the story in my own head to be like, You know what? I know I don’t feel my best in this moment, but it’s not like I want to fake it. It’s just I want to try to change my state. Does that make sense?

Jason: Definitely.

Caroline: So hopefully those of you who do have certain conditions or mental health challenges can relate to that. That kind of back and forth of like, Do I acknowledge some of these limitations because it makes me feel like I’m being truthful, or do I not acknowledge them because it makes me feel like I’m rewriting the story for myself a little bit?

Jason: You got to make that choice.

Caroline: You got to make that choice. And every situation is different. And today’s choice was I decided to be honest about it.

Jason: Thanks for coming to our Ted Talk. All right, pramvel, the actual pramvel taking you on our travel adventure where we last left you. We were in a very small town outside of Perth and we…

Caroline: Of Scotland.

Jason: Of Scotland. And we were just getting ready to move on to Crieff, Scotland, which was a very short 25-minute drive away.

Caroline: Yes. It’s another small town.

Jason: Yeah. And actually the way that this worked out is we found the first Airbnb and, sorry, we found the second Airbnb, the one that we’re going to talk about, the place that we moved to. And then we were looking for a place before that because the dates weren’t available. So we had this other chunk of time, and this one ended up being so close. We’re like, Well, this is kind of fun. I wish we could have stayed at the second one for the whole time. Obviously, that also had fiber Internet. So let’s just start there.

Caroline: Let’s just start there.

Jason: So where we last left you, we were at this cottage. It was cute. There was nature, but there was no WiFi. There was a bed sandwich that I had to make to live there, and it just was not the most comfortable. It was fine, but it wasn’t the most comfortable.

Caroline: Yes. Cottage is the word.

Jason: Yeah. Fast forward to, we do the 30-minute drive. We get to what is called the Bothy, which we found out is actually a structure that was built in farmlands and things that people could just come to as they were on their way, hiking.

Caroline: Yeah, like a hostel in the woods.

Jason: But a lot of times free.

Caroline: Yes.

Jason: Like, it was just an open space that they would just let people…

Caroline: Hostels are sometimes free.

Jason: Are they?

Caroline: Yeah.

Jason: We don’t know anything about hostels. We don’t travel with one flip flop and we don’t stay in hostels. That’s just our, as old muppets, these are what we don’t do. They actually have signs on the door. They’re like, No old muppet. Don’t come in. So we found the Bothy, and it just really…

Caroline: Oh. So, wait, just, can I…? This is always what happens. Your brain just goes. I fill in the blanks for people. I feel like I’m the Sean Hayes of the Smartless podcast. I’m always like, If you’re in Wisconsin, a Bothy is a… So normally that’s what a Bothy is.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: This is a renovated Bothy. It was not a hostel.

Jason: No one else could come through.

Caroline: Right. So basically, they took this structure. It was on this farm, and that had lots of area around it, and they renovated it in a really cool aesthetic that is definitely up our alley. Lots of, like, poured polished concrete and plywood. And it’s like just this very cool Scandinavian minimal aesthetic that we love with lots of light pouring in.

Jason: Yeah. As usual, we’ll be linking these Airbnb listings in the description in the show notes of these podcast episodes. You can go and check it out and go, Where did these Zooks stay? I want to see. You can see where they slept. Like, that’s what I know, everybody’s going to be…

Caroline: Read our review.

Jason: You Gen Z weirdos. That’s all the Gen Z-ers do. Seriously, if you’re Gen Z, please send an email.

Caroline: Please.

Jason: I know you might be like, I don’t email. Please send one,

Caroline: Google how to email.

Jason: I really want to know if we have any Gen Z-ers.

Caroline: Someone on TikTok will tell you how to email.

Jason: We’re going to get some boomers who are going to send us an email and be like, Ha ha, I know some Gen Z-ers. And like, Come on.

Caroline: Fellow old muppet here.

Jason: Those would be our millennial friends.

Caroline: Yeah.

Jason: So the Bothy was lovely.

Caroline: Loved it.

Jason: The Internet was the fastest we’ve had this entire year, which I know is such a weird thing to even discuss, but I kid you not. Like one of our YouTube videos that we would finish and upload that would take on normal WiFi an hour to upload, like really good normal WiFi, an hour. In the Bothy, it took three minutes.

Caroline: Unbelievable.

Jason: I’ve never seen Internet this fast.

Caroline: It was great.

Jason: But it was a good little experience. Loved the vibes, like you said. And the only problem with it, we did have one problem. I was allergic to something in the Bothy.

Caroline: Yes. And we couldn’t figure out well, I do think we figured out what it was. This is like the third or fourth night, I woke up in the morning and you had another sneezing fit. And I’m like, I’m going to figure out what it is.

Jason: It was just like, 4:00 in the morning.

Caroline: I know. It was so bad. And then I saw this vase of flowers in the bedroom.

Jason: Beautiful flowers.

Caroline: Gorgeous. And in my tired stupor, I pick it up and I go to the trash can. I’m like, I think this is it. You’re like, Okay, cool. Fine. I throw it away. And we’re like, Maybe this will be it. Turns out, I think whatever pollen, I do think that was it, because it was noticeably worse in the bedroom when you’d go in there.

Jason: And this is like an open living space, so there actually was an open area above to get into the bedroom from the living room. But even still, just that slight bit of separation, it was better in the living room.

Caroline: So we tried to wash the sheets. We tried everything, but we think that it kind of got in the drapes. There were some blackout curtains that we actually…

Jason: I think it got everywhere. I think the pollens got everywhere.

Caroline: So poor Jason. We loved this place. The WiFi’s so fast.

Jason: Went through, like, three rolls of toilet paper blowing my nose.

Caroline: It would be so insane. We’re going to tell you about an excursion. Well, two excursions, actually, I think, that we went on during our time in Crieff, and we would, like, spend the whole day out doing an adventure.

Jason: Not a sneeze, not a sniffle.

Caroline: Not a sneeze in sight. Jason would walk through the doors of this Airbnb and he would have his aggressively sharp sneezes.

Jason: Oh, interesting. Now we’re judging people’s sneezes.

Caroline: We are judging people’s sneezes because it gets too much.

Jason: Okay. Fellow relationship havers out there. Those of you with spouses or partners or people that you live with who are listening to this, let us know. Are you offended by your partner’s sneeze?

Caroline: By the sound of your partner’s sneeze?

Jason: Because I think as we’re getting older, we’re coming way out of the honeymoon phase. We’re not even in the standard relationship phase anymore. We’re now in the everything you do just bothers the shit out of me, especially the sharpness of your sneeze.

Caroline: I just think that you are a little aggressive. I think you try to make it louder than it needs to be.

Jason: Let’s get into the good parts of the pramvel, because we actually have two things we want to share that were super fun.

Caroline: We’ve been burying the lead. So we had two of our most fun experiences. Three, actually, but we’ll save one for the next time. The first one is a food experience. We’re not going to get too far into it because we know that you can’t…

Jason: See food on a podcast. But that’s all right. I listen to food podcasts.

Caroline: Or hear food.

Jason: You can if you’re crunching and you’re munching. In another life, I would love to have a snack podcast.

Caroline: Where you hear snacks?

Jason: No, where I just review snacks and tell the stories of snacks. Like, I told you about this. I want to tell the story of Poptarts. Like, how did it come to be?

Caroline: That is a good podcast idea.

Jason: Three different flavors.

Caroline: That is a good podcast isea.

Jason: What are the Nature’s Valley granola bars?

Caroline: Wait.

Jason: Why are they so crumbly? And then talk about the history of that. And are there any of them not crumbly? No, there are not.

Caroline: I forgot to tell you.

Jason: Pringles.

Caroline: I forgot to tell you this the other day. When I was FaceTiming my brother, he actually was eating a strawberry Pop Tart.

Jason: Just straight up.

Caroline: Jason and I got Pop Tarts at the grocery store, like, ironically, like, Look what I found. And like, Oh, let’s bring it home. Let’s have a Pop Tart. We haven’t had a Pop Tart in like, 15 years. I’m FaceTiming my brother and I was like, this reminds me of my brother because my brother was obsessed with strawberry Pop Tarts. My brother is almost a 38 year old man. I’m FaceTiming him and I’m like, What are you eating? And he’s like, A strawberry Pop Tart. And I was like, You have to be shitting me.

Jason: And not toasted either. Just right out of the sleeve.

Caroline: I loved him so much. In that moment, I was like, never changed.

Jason: So, speaking of the food adventures of our lives, not my snack podcast, which coming soon to a podcast near you.

Caroline: Stories of Snacks.

Jason: Is the oldest working distillery in Scotland. And this is called the Glenturret. And we found this place. It was very close by to our Airbnb, like, I think a 15-minute drive. Not even. And didn’t even know this was here. This was just something we started looking like, Oh, this is here.

Caroline: Oh. You know why we found it is because we were looking for good restaurants in the area.

Jason: We were.

Caroline: And we saw the restaurant at the Glenturret Distillery is called Lalique.

Jason: The Lalique.

Caroline: The Lalique restaurant.

Jason: Which had only been around for one year and had already earned a Michelin star. Now, not to say that Michelin stars are the end all be all to a restaurant, but it’s a really good litmus test to know the quality of food.

Caroline: Absolutely. And we were like, Well, let’s get a reservation ASAP.

Jason: I tried and they didn’t have any available. But what they did have available, because we decided we were looking, we still kind of want to go. It would be a good experience. We didn’t want to do like the whiskey distillery tour.

Caroline: Normally we’d be into that, but we’re not that into whiskey.

Jason: Yeah, I think if it’s a tequila distillery tour, we would’ve been all over it.

Caroline: I think it was also like our heart was set on a culinary experience and so we were already kind of had our site set on that, but in the restaurant bookings it’s like, Lunch, dinner, full, full. And then it said Whiskey Flight. That had an opening for the day we were looking for. And we were like, Well, neither of us are really whiskey drinkers but like we can go and have a flight.

Jason: Sure. Let’s try it. Plus they had a little cafe. We can get a bite at the cafe.

Caroline: Get a bite at the cafe because we assume they weren’t going to feed us food, we thought maybe some bar nuts and stuff.

Jason: Bar nuts.

Caroline: You know what I mean, bar nuts.

Jason: Bar nuts. Hey, you want a bar nut? I don’t know what kind of nut that is. It’s a bar nut.

Caroline: It’s a bar nut.

Jason: So we end up going there. Beautiful grounds. We walk the grounds, we go to the cafe, we have a little snack beforehand, we get to the bar, we sit down and we just start this lovely experience.

Caroline: Such a lovely day.

Jason: And I will tell you that if you were to ask us, 9 times out of 10, would the Zooks like to sit at the bar or sit at a table? We would say, “Table.” This time, so glad we sat at the bar.

Caroline: So glad. In fact, maybe I’m biased because that was such a great experience for us, but I would say, do the bar.

Jason: Oh, if you were going to go to Glenturret?

Caroline: Because, honestly, the tables are right there. It’s not like you have some private different experience.

Jason: Depends on what kind of experience you want, right? If you want the tasty menu, we get it. Listen, we’re fancy eaters.

Caroline: Long story short. We get to the bar, we sit at the bar, and my favorite part of the whiskey flight experience is they have all different flights. It’s not just you go, Oh, it’s a flight of three whiskies. And we like, choose them or whatever. It’s like, No, it’s different types of flights. So they have the classic, which is just like their three different aged whiskies that are like, their standard. Then you have the historical, which is what Jason did, and you’re getting older whiskies, even.

Jason: That come from back in the 60s or something.

Caroline: Yeah, the 70’s, bottled in the 80’s. So it’s got this beautiful vintage label and, I’ll let you know, the designer and me is like, I love the label story… And then they also had a flight that was a cocktail flight. So it was different cocktails with different aged whiskies. And that’s the one that I did, because straight whiskey is not my thing, and even cocktails are a little icky.

Jason: It depends on the type. It’s like an old-fashioned, if we’re talking about a whiskey sour, those are not cocktails you order. But Jason from Malta.

Caroline: Jason from Malta.

Jason: Who was our mixologist.

Caroline: Yes.

Jason: His name was Jason. He was from Malta. Made some amazing cocktails.

Caroline: He made me love whiskey, my favorite…

Jason: I mean, he didn’t make you. He didn’t force you to.

Caroline: He didn’t force me to love it. But the thing I loved about this experience, and it’s why we do love tasting experiences, whether it’s wine tasting, and I totally understand if alcohol is not your thing, I get it, for sure. For us, it’s like a culinary experience where I just love the storytelling aspect, and I love the sensory experience of it. To me, it’s like a food tasting. It’s like they’re telling me about what notes I’m getting and the smells and the taste. They’re telling me about where it was bottled, where it was distilled. Why, in the case of the cocktails, I especially love it because they’re telling me, why does certain things pair well with this? And how did you bring out the smokiness flavor? And this simple syrup was made with, like, the pine cones of something or whatever. And I just love it all. I love the storytelling aspect.

Jason: It was fun. As we were drinking, we just assumed that we had our meal before at the little cafe, which wasn’t much of a meal, just kind of like a standard, like, light lunch or whatever. We were going to have the whiskey flight, and then we’re just going to leave. That was going to be it. And we’re just about to start our first drink, and Emilio, who’s like, the front of house manager, comes over and he’s like, So do you guys want some food with this? We’re like, You have an option to get food? We did not know this. So he gives us a menu, and it’s basically like an abridged menu of the restaurant menu. So you have a bunch of different things. We got tempura cod, we got a meat and cheese plate. We got some malt vinegar fries. We wanted to order everything.

Caroline: I know. We really did.

Jason: And it was fantastic. The malt vinegar fries were, I could not get enough of those.

Caroline: They were like sweet…

Jason: But salty and chunky, but also just crunchy. It was delicious, but the whole experience was just great. I think we met every single person that worked there.

Caroline: Yeah. And that was what I was going to say, is my favorite part and why we love sitting at the bar so much is because all of the staff is incredibly diverse across Europe. And I think this is pretty true of the hospitality industry. You tend to attract people from all over, come to different restaurants because they want to get experience or they want to work with certain chefs chefs or anything like that. And we met friends from Spain, we met friends from Malta, we met friends from Germany, we met friends from all over. And it was fun for us, traveling Europe, to be able to share our experiences, get recommendations from. It was just my favorite part of the experience, I think, was the social aspect combined with the tasting experience. It’s an all-in-all wonderful day.

Jason: Now, if you were wondering if there was something that could top that experience, and it is currently sitting, I believe, at the top of all experiences we’ve done so far this year. Well, it is one Scottish Highland cattle tour. My brain got stuck. If you have ever seen one of the long haired cattle, we used to have a print of it in our home.

Caroline: We did.

Jason: And we named him Hercules, and he was lovely. Although now, looking back, I believe he was a she because now I understand how the horns work. The female’s horns go up, the male’s horns go straight out.

Caroline: Correct.

Jason: That’s okay. Hercules could go either way. That’s fine.

Caroline: Yeah.

Jason: But I basically found myself at a certain point when we were in Crieff, I was like, I want to do something, but we don’t want to go so far, or we don’t want to. Like, I just want to do something interesting. We’ve seen castles. Like, we had a castle on the agenda, which we’ll talk about next episode. That was great, but I just want to do something different. And I was like, what’s the thing that I just know that I’m not going to be able to really do anywhere else? I was like, the Scottish Highland cattle.

Caroline: You just wanted to meet some cattle.

Jason: Yeah. So we looked it up and I found an amazing little farm that’s been around for like 20 years. They do these tours and we booked it. It was a two hour drive, which was probably where your eyes started…

Caroline: It’s okay. It was worth it.

Jason: So we get in the car to go and it’s raining and we’re a little bit bummed because we’re like, The weather stinks for the drive, but we’re not going to let this get us down. These cattle want to see us. They are excited. Queenie and John, who run the farm, they have been telling the cattle that we are coming.

Caroline: That’s right.

Jason: And so we drive this farm. We had quite a detour halfway through the drive where we drove on the, I kid you not, the smallest road anyone has ever driven on their entire life. Now, I’m not saying the scariest road. I know there are scarier because there’s like cliff edges and things on other roads. This road, our rental car barely fits.

Caroline: The smallest plus it was the most uneven and the smallest, together in one. And it was for 5 miles.

Jason: It was so far. Honestly, most of these little skinny roads, I can deal with it’s fine because I know at a certain point, like in a mile, it’s going to change to something else. That’s usually how it works. This one, knowing it was 5 miles long, a person who does not have anxiety, that’s me, was like starting to white knuckle the skin.

Caroline: I know. It was really scary. And then the worst part is the whole reason Google took us this way is because it said that there was a road closure on the main road.

Jason: That had lane lines with tons of space.

Caroline: And on the way back, we were like, We’re going to try to do this main road because we cannot do the 5 miles again. And there was not a road closure.

Jason: There were some cones. There was like three cones on the side of the road.

Caroline: There was a cone. Wow. Cool. Glad I avoided those cones.

Jason: Anyway, so we make it through the diversion. Caroline is not feeling great, but she is being a trooper and she’s keeping her excitement up for these cattle, waiting for us.

Caroline: I was like, You are not going to ruin this for me, rain and roads.

Jason: We get to the farm, we pull up. Queenie, who’s just this…

Caroline: Adorable.

Jason: Adorable, tiny woman, she’s very small, is waiting. John is also waiting. He’s just like, if you picture, like, classic Scottish older man…

Caroline: He’s got one of those hats that has…

Jason: Both ways.

Caroline: Yeah, it’s got the like a Sherlock Holmes hat.

Jason: He’s got his rubber boots on already. Like a big trench coat.

Caroline: Great.

Jason: Anyway, we pull up and they’re just lovely and they’re like, Oh, hey, if you want to mill around here, we have a couple of cattle that are up here. These are actually prize winners because I just took them to a show.

Caroline: Yeah. Because my favorite part about this experience, I told Jason, we don’t want to do experiences where these animals are just basically like held in cages for humans to come and pet them.

Jason: Yeah. We love zoos, but we just don’t go anymore.

Caroline: Yeah, we’re not interested in that. But the thing that attracted us to this experience is that these cattle exist on 2,000 acres of land. They get to birth their calves, they get to be out in the fields. Like that is their life. The only times that they bring them into the structures or in the areas where they basically are not free is when they have to administer medicine or they need to be quarantined from other animals for health reasons or whatever. And so the ones that we got to see that were up in the structure, like Jason said, had been somewhere else and they’d won a prize or whatever.

Jason: We also got to congratulate them.

Caroline: Yeah, we were like, You’re beautiful. I see every reason why you would win.

Jason: But from there, we hopped in this, like, offroad golf cart, basically, and we just started going. So we’re just cruising with John and Queenie. They’re in the front, we’re in the back. It’s pouring down rain. Queenie is trying to talk to you. You can’t see her, you can barely hear.

Caroline: That was my favorite thing, is just nodding at Queenie. Queenie will start talking to me and saying something really interesting. And it’s already hard to hear her. She has the thickest accent, Scottish accent, over the motorized sound of the vehicle. And then what she’ll do is she’ll start talking to me by turning to the back seat of the cart. And then she’ll continue talking off the front of the cart.

Jason: You were just like, Uh huh. Uh huh.

Caroline: Mm-hmm. Queenie, I can’t hear you.

Jason: Yeah. So we pull up. As we’re pulling up, we meet our first…

Caroline: Friend.

Jason: Yeah. His name is Magnus.

Caroline: Magnus.

Jason: He was five weeks old. And if you just want to get an idea of the size of him, picture the biggest dog you have ever seen in your entire life. He’s about twice the size of that. Just enormous for a five week old.

Caroline: You’re like, What, you just got born.

Jason: So he was very curious about us, but he didn’t want to be petted yet. He wasn’t that sure. Then we got out and then he got very curious. He kind of like, hopped up this hill and that’s where you got to pet his little mohawk.

Caroline: Because, yeah, Queenie and John weren’t being exactly straightforward about, like, Come over and do…

Jason: It’s like, is every cow friendly? We don’t know.

Caroline: Exactly. So I was just sort of like, following their lead because also, these are huge animals. You don’t want to ever forget that this is an animal that could hurt you if it wanted to. And so I was being very cautious and also, I’m in their place. I don’t want to startle them. And so I’m kind of taking my cues from Queenie. And at one point, she’s like, Come over. You can say Hi, but we’re very respectful of the animals and just kind of like, you don’t want to startle them. You don’t want to approach them too quickly. And so I’m just sort of, like, sidling up, and Magnus is, like, kind of investigating me, and I’m investigating him, and then finally she’s like, You can pet him. And so I’m petting his cute little front of his face.

Jason: He’s got, like, a little Mohawk.

Caroline: And he just starts licking my arm, my coat, which has rainwater on it, and his tongue is so grabby. And it was just this cute little moment where it was kind of like, Yeah, I’m into this. I was saying that to him, and he was saying that to me. It was like, We can do this.

Jason: I got to say Hello to Magnus as well. And then Queenie walked us up to, who is the star of the show, which you just meet right off the bat. And that’s Maggie.

Caroline: Maggie.

Jason: Maggie is a 1,600 pound Highland cow. And we also learned a cow…

Caroline: A cow.

Jason: Is a female cattle who has had at least one baby.

Caroline: Yes.

Jason: A heifer is a female cattle who has not yet had a baby.

Caroline: Correct.

Jason: A calf is just a calf, as you would imagine, and then a bull is the male version of it. So those are all the things. So when you say “Cows,” you’re really only talking about the females who’ve had babies. That’s why they say head of cattle when they’re talking about, like, how many are on a farm.

Caroline: Right.

Jason: Anyway, we meet Maggie. She is so docile. She is so comfortable around people. And since watching about an hour of YouTube videos of other farms with Scottish Highland cattle, I can tell you that they’re not all like her. They’re all docile, but they’re not all as comfortable around people.

Caroline: Right.

Jason: She was so happy we brushed her. I had a good two minute conversation with her about her day. It’s pouring down rain. She has three layers of fur that protect her and insulate her. It doesn’t matter to her whatsoever.

Caroline: She’s also my hair twin.

Jason: She was your hair twin.

Caroline: My favorite thing is the different colors.

Jason: We have a YouTube video coming that will show some of this.

Caroline: All the cows, or all the cattle, are different colors, and they have these beautiful coats.

Jason: Do you remember the colors?

Caroline: Black, brown, fawn.

Jason: You have black. You have ginger.

Caroline: Ginger.

Jason: You have blonde. You have…

Caroline: Fawn?

Jason: You don’t have fawn. You’re trying to… You have black.

Caroline: Brindle.

Jason: Ginger, blonde, and brindle. Those are the four main. Then you have white and dunn.

Caroline: Dunn is the secret one.

Jason: Dunn is the secret one, which is like, charcoal, which is a very interesting color, which they do have a dunn one there. There was a dunn male, I believe.

Caroline: So then what was Maggie?

Jason: Maggie was a ginger.

Caroline: Ginger?

Jason: Yeah. That’s like, the standard color. Yeah, just lovely. You’d think red, they might call them red.

Caroline: Yeah. Where’d you get ginger, red?

Jason: But ginger. They also use ginger as well. But yeah. Maggie, she was so friendly. She just was happy to have us around. She started making some noises and we were like, Queenie, is she okay? She’s like, Oh, yeah, she’s happy.

Caroline: Oh, that’s a good noise. Okay, cool.

Jason: It’s amazing to be around such a large animal and to not feel really worried. I had no sense of worry whatsoever, which I know I probably should have a little bit.

Caroline: You definitely should have. And also, I do think that’s the difference too, in your size, maybe because…

Jason: I’m relatable in size.

Caroline: I think your height, actually, because…

Jason: I’m still bigger than the cow.

Caroline: Exactly. You’re at that perfect height. You’re actually taller than the cow. And I’m sort of like right at their back height. And I’m like, Oh, I could get trapped under here real quick.

Jason: Yeah, and you could, for sure.

Caroline: More people die every year from cows than sharks.

Jason: This is true. You did hear this recently. But not Highland cattle, I can tell you that much. Also, they’re the oldest known breed of cattle in existence.

Caroline: That’s cool.

Jason: Which is cool.

Caroline: Just the overall experience is so magical.

Jason: Yeah. So I was going to say, we got in the offroad golf cart and we drove around to like six different areas.

Caroline: Yeah, they basically took us to like six different, because I’m telling you, 2,000 acres, you have all kinds of different places, like different pastures. One that’s like just hilly, one that has a bank of rocks, one that’s like you have to go over these bridges with all this water underneath you. It was so fun. It was nature’s amusement park.

Jason: Yeah. I will say one of my favorite parts of the tour is they have two spots that are like lookout spots of like, Look at this lock and look at this famous hill and like, we’re inside this mountain. And all I want to say is, I don’t care, give me more cattle. That’s all I want to do is say Hello to more cattle.

Caroline: That part was funny. They’re giving us all these facts about the island and the thing and of course it’s pouring down rain. You can’t even see that much. And I could just tell Jason, Yeah, but can we go see the cow now?

Jason: Yeah, but you said you have like 200 of these cattle. I need to meet all of them. Every single one of them, I need to meet. So we finished this off with a fun little adventure of…

Caroline: What?

Jason: Feeding the lambs.

Caroline: Oh, sorry, I thought you were still going to talk about the tea. That was my favorite part.

Jason: Yeah, we did have a little tea break.

Caroline: Yeah, we got to take a little break. And they poured us some…

Jason: I mean, the break was standing in the rain in our rain jackets having some tea. It was great.

Caroline: And they were like, Oh, our neighbors made these little brownies.

Jason: And the flapjacks.

Caroline: And the flapjacks. So we’re just like, eating…

Jason: Which is like a Scottish, it’s like shortbread cookie. But imagine replace the flour with oats for those of you who are my baker friends. So it’s very delicious. Yeah, it’s like another…

Caroline: And again, just my favorite little social interaction of just talking with new friends and saying, How long have you had the farm? And tell us about the area.

Jason: He said that he was available to Skype at any time. And I went, Skype?

Caroline: Skype?

Jason: Wow.

Caroline: Snap me, bro.

Jason: Okay, so the last thing that we did just to wrap up our pramvel, we got to feed some lamb-ies. One that was born to a mom who didn’t have enough teats for the three babies. So he was a triplet.

Caroline: Right? His mom kind of well, no, we don’t know that for sure.

Jason: So I thought that’s what…

Caroline: No, Queenie said, she said the two of them, one of them, the mom didn’t have enough milk, so it didn’t have enough supply. And then the other one, she said the mom abandoned it.

Jason: Well, I’m just assuming because one of the things we learned is that sheep have twins and triplets a lot.

Caroline: They do. And then she said, And they only have two teats. And she said, Sometimes…

Jason: That’s something I learned.

Caroline: Sometimes a triplet gets left out because…

Jason: Did you know that sheep only has two teats? Like, so many mammals have multiple teats.

Caroline: I don’t keep track in my head of how many teats animals have. I definitely don’t.

Jason: But so many mammals have more than two like us. Did you know we only have two? Okay.

Caroline: Could you help me, Greg?

Jason: I have nipples, Greg. We just watched Meet the Fockers recently. It was a good rewatch. But yeah, we got to feed these two little lambs because they’re just, like, feeding them until they can get strong enough to be out on their own. And that was just a very fun, unexpected part of this adventure that was silly. And just these two little, like…

Caroline: Yeah, they were very different. I loved it. They had different personalities. Like, one of them, I fed the first one, and…

Jason: It was aggressive.

Caroline: Aggressive. I was like, You need to chill out. And then Jason feeds the second one, and the second one is like, Oh, please, Jason.

Jason: I’ll just have some bites. And the other one was, Give me my food!

Caroline: Hey, okay, guys.

Jason: Kind of like the two of us.

Caroline: A little bit.

Jason: When I go to eat, I’m like, I’ll just have, like, a little.

Caroline: And I’m like, Give me my food!

Jason: Okay.

Caroline: That’s the podcast.

Jason: The time we want to share from that part of being in Scotland. And next week, we will continue with some more fun stories.

Caroline: We’ll tell you about our castle.

Jason: Let’s get into the other part of this episode.

Caroline: Not our castle. We went to a castle.

Jason: You probably clicked into because this is the part I want to hear about, which is the summer slumber parties.

Caroline: The summer slump. Let’s talk about it, everyone. I’m actually surprised we haven’t done a podcast episode about this?

Jason: Well, I think because when the summer rolls around, we’re like trying to…

Caroline: That’s a good point. And we’ll talk about that in this episode. So what we’re referring to here is just the inevitable slowdown that happens in the online business world when summer rolls around. I don’t know if this is all businesses, but definitely Jason and I have been doing this for almost, you, more than ten years. Me, almost ten years at this point. It happens every year. Summer rolls around. People go on vacation, people…

Jason: Stop checking emails.

Caroline: The kids are home, maybe, or the kids are at camp or whatever, and there’s more… You got to pay attention to them.

Jason: You can do something.

Caroline: Yeah, of course. I’m just saying, kids are lovely. They’re a blessing.

Jason: Sure.

Caroline: Inevitably, just the pace of business changes. And you were just sharing with me recently that, if you haven’t been doing business as long, you can sometimes read into that slowness as, like, Something’s wrong with my business and I got to change it.

Jason: Yeah. And I think this even is something that comes up for us, even though we’ve been doing this for a long time. I remember a couple of years ago with WAIM, especially with running our community and our Slack channel, I mean, it just slows down to a crawl in the summer. And I was like, Uh oh, is everyone going to leave? And so I started hearing from a couple of our Wandering Aimfully members, like, I’m getting into the summer and things are slowing down. Like, emails aren’t getting open, people aren’t showing up in my community, I’m not seeing sales of things. And now I’m thinking, like, my whole business is going to fail. But most of them basically said some version of, I know that’s not true, but I’m still having these feelings. So we just thought it would be interesting to talk about because I feel like we have overcome that, and maybe there’s some things we can share that are helpful to help you overcome that as you’re listening to this. But maybe it’s also just, again, one of those, like, let’s normalize the conversation of this happens and not just ignore the fact that things get slow in the summer and you got to get really lean with your business, and that’s the thing that you have to do. And I think that there’s also a little bit of this wrapped up just to let everybody know this summer is kind of like the first normal summer in two plus years.

Caroline: Right. And it’s a new normal, right? It’s not even like a normal, so we don’t even know what that looks like.

Jason: Exactly. And I think the other thing is, with all the economic stuff that’s going on too, people are making decisions not to buy things, and this whole looming recession, there’s all of these forces at work. If you’re looking at your business under a microscope right now, you need to understand that this microscope is clicked down a couple two more times than you’re used to. And so just take a second to go, Okay, there’s a lot going on here. Let me not just hinge all of my business on these couple of factors. I understand that you have to make decisions and you have to make money, but also everything is not crumbling to pieces just because we’re in a really tough spot right here.

Caroline: Totally. Yeah. I think that’s the overall advice that I would give is just don’t make any huge, sweeping generalizations about the fate of your business using data from this time period. I think it’s dangerous to just say, well, Sales are down, and so got to totally switch it up. That’s a different conversation from, I need to make money right now, and so what am I going to do? And we can talk about that later on this episode. But just in general, from a mindset perspective, be careful not to make up a story in your head about like, I need to throw everything out and start over based on things that you’re seeing or the energy that you’re feeling. I think a lot of his energy.

Jason: Absolutely.

Caroline: You can tell when you’re getting less replies in your inbox. You can tell when you’re getting less engagement on your social posts. You can tell when you’re getting less pings in the DMs or whatever. You can just feel a vibe of like, Oh, people are not responding to my stuff right now. But that could just be because people are not responding to stuff…

Jason: At all.

Caroline: In general, across the board, they’re out, they’re on vacation, they’re traveling. They’re figuring out, like I said, what’s the pace of life in the summer like? And we know this from doing this for many years. It does inevitably pick back up in the fall. The energy changes. It’s a back-to-school thing.

Jason: And I think the other thing that we’ve really done is we’ve kind of embraced this time.

Caroline: Exactly.

Jason: We’ve turned it from a negative feeling of like, Uh oh, everything is slowing down, to a positive feeling and like, Okay, let’s also slow down. What is it all for? Like, why are we working so hard all these other times of the year to not have some time when the weather is great and we can get out and we can do stuff and whatever that looks like for you? And I think that’s really the thing that turned for us was just to go, Okay, we know it’s going to be slow.

Caroline: Yeah. Our approach is just to embrace it and to now plan for it. And I do think that that’s a smart strategy because if you see a pattern developing, if you see the same energy dip every year, as a smart entrepreneur, you go, Okay, that’s going to happen next year. What am I going to do about it? How am I going to plan for that? And this is partially why we have structured our sales launches, our enrollment periods in this biannual way in the spring and in the fall when the energy is sort of at the peak and then inevitably in the summer we plan for kind of a stepping back. But we do two things actually. We view it as rest. So we do, what do we do? We take a step back from the newsletter. We’ve done that for probably the past three or four years, like an eight week, anywhere from four to eight weeks, we take off from our newsletter.

Jason: Normally we take off from the podcast too.

Caroline: And normally we take off from the podcast.

Jason: Because we’re traveling, A, and because we also took a break earlier in the year from the podcast. We kind of just figured let’s just keep going with the podcast through the summer and if we need to take a break. I don’t know. Maybe we’ll take a break in August just for a couple of weeks. Just to give ourselves some time. But we’ll see how we feel as the weeks go on.

Caroline: Yeah, this year it definitely didn’t feel like we needed to take that break as much. But we kind of view it as two things. So rest because that’s important. And also if the world is going on vacation, go on vacation with them. But then also view that time as seed planting also. So if you are deciding that you want to use that time in a productive way, which isn’t necessary, we don’t have to squeeze every ounce of our time into something productive. But if you are someone who really wants to make good use of that time to make your life easier in the fall, what are the things that are not like maybe sales dependent that are what we call seed planting activities? Like things that you know are not going to bear fruit right away but might bear fruit in the fall. So it’s like is it redoing that old product, that ebook that you know is still really valuable but maybe it’s got some outdated info? Is it redoing a little brand refresh and maybe coming with a fresh new look in the fall? So you’re excited about it? Is it finally getting your business finances in order?

Jason: Yeah, I mean it could also be going through all the things you’ve purchased that you’ve said are going to help you improve your business.

Caroline: Skills building.

Jason: Finally do something with those, like all those courses you’ve done, all those books you’ve purchased, all those trainings, all those workshops. Now is the time to actually pick a couple of them and go, I have the energy for this, I’m going to invest in this now. And I think that that’s a big thing for us in any time of year, not just the summer, but it’s to realize when your energy is leaning you toward, Okay, I’m feeling like I want to do some seed planting. I want to prepare myself for next summer to be able to take the break and to not feel the financial crunch of that. And so if I start doing a bunch of stuff now, then when I do my next sale of my product in the spring of next year, I’m going to actually build up a buffer so I can take some time off and I don’t even have to work through next summer. I can plan to have the cash flow to help me set that up.

Caroline: Yeah. If there’s one big takeaway I hope someone will walk away with from this podcast episode. It’s not just to not panic if you see a summer slowdown. But it’s also to start thinking big picture about your business in these sort of seasonal terms and just look, kind of zoom the lens out and go. Not only what do I think are the ebbs and flows of interest in my stuff as the year goes along. But also what do I want my life to look like as the year goes along? What do I want my focus each season to be? And if you feel like you’re a little bit strapped right now where you didn’t maybe do that long term planning, which is totally fine, by the way, especially when you’re in those early stages, you’re just going week by week trying to figure it out as you go. And that’s totally fine.

Jason: Every day is a new quarter.

Caroline: Exactly. But if you are in that position right now where you’re like, man, I really didn’t see this slowdown coming and I really was counting on that revenue from my launch that I did in spring, but now I did it in the summer and it’s way lower. Like, Oh, no. Definitely take some maybe like 15 to 30 minutes to write down and do some brainstorming for next summer to prevent this from happening again and going, How do I want to structure my year next year differently so that maybe do I want to put more effort towards that spring launch so then I don’t even have to try to do a summer one and I can take the summer off. Really, that’s my one takeaway. Just to maybe zoom the lens out a little bit, think a little bit more seasonal about your business plan a little bit more long term so that when the summer slowdown inevitably happens, you’re not caught by surprise and you are like, I planned for this.

Jason: And I think that’s definitely what we would say for those of you who maybe are a little bit more seasoned, maybe you understand how your business is going. But for those of you who are having maybe one of your first summer slumber parties and your business is just getting started, or it’s a side hustle and things are just getting going, you might be sitting there going, Yeah, but I still need to make money this summer.

Caroline: Right, so what do I do?

Jason: Good luck.

Caroline: No.

Jason: Just kidding. Yeah. One of the things that Caroline came up with when we were writing down some notes for this that I thought was a great one, which I’m just going to steal for a second, is finding a way to repackage some of what you do, some of what you sell, some of what you teach, some of what you create as a summer offering. So really just like, lean into the seasonality of it, lean into the slower pace of it, lean into this time and take your offer. And don’t just go, Hey, here’s the standard thing that I’m selling, and now I’m slapping just a 25% discount code on it because I just need to make some money. And instead, it’s like, be a little bit more creative, put a little bit more effort behind it.

Caroline: And I really want you to think about putting yourself in the shoes of your customer for a second. It’s like, if you’re experiencing the summer slowdown, they are too. So it’s like, don’t try to do your most intensive six week coaching program in the summer. Right. Of course, there are exceptions, and that’s fine if you feel like that’s what your gut is telling you. And you know, like, Oh, well, everyone’s not doing this, I’m going to go that way, like you do you. But I do think for the most part, kind of working with the energy of this instead of against it makes a lot of sense. So think about, okay, especially in terms of messaging, how can I sell if you do have to sell and you’re like, well, I got to make money, I can’t just hold out until fall. Like Jason was saying, how do you repackage one of your offers with some type of messaging around summer? So it’s like, if you’re a brand designer, is it a mini brand refresh package? That’s like a third of what you might do for a full brand. So it’s a third of the price tag and it’s a third of the time investment because you know that your final customer is not interested. They don’t have the time for an eight week intensive, and they’re not that focused on their business. But the messaging around it can be like, Hey, are things slow for the summer? Now is a great time to get a little refresh on your branding for fall. And it’s like, that becomes the messaging point. So it’s like really speaking to where your customers are and acknowledging the seasonality that we’re all in.

Jason: Yeah. And I think even for a product creator, especially like an online course creator, can you create the summer version of your course where you’re like, Hey, you’re not going to do the twelve lesson version? How about just like the three lesson mini summer version of this course? It’s just like you’re on summer break. Just knock out these three things and find a creative way to make it similar. But also give it a little bit of summer branding. Like use that sunglasses emoji. Use all the different suns and flowers and things and make it something that feels like someone could look at that and go. Yeah. You know what. I don’t have time for a twelve lesson course that I’m like, but I could do like a quick three lesson for like $100 or something like that and whatever that price is. I just threw a random number out of my head. But yours could be $20, it doesn’t matter. It’s what you know your customers are willing to pay but just trying to get creative about the seasonality and not look at this as like, I have to force my standard offer down someone’s throat at this point when they’re not paying attention as much. And lean into it and go, Well, how can I grab their attention in a way that feels a little bit more in time with what their energy is doing right now? So I think there’s a couple of different things there that are really helpful. I think the other thing is really just this entire idea like don’t let the negativity around your business slowing down put you in a mindset where you’re not getting things done right. You start to almost like resent your business because it’s not going well. So it’s really about trying to flip that to, What are the things I can do? We talked about all the seed planting stuff, but it’s like, what are the people you can reach out to that you were trying to get as clients? What are the things you can do exactly for your product that it could be put somewhere else where it hasn’t been placed yet, to get a little bit more marketing, to get a little bit more promotion? Who are the people that do similar things to you you can reach out to, to try and do guest podcast interviews with, or a workshop with, or any of those things that can try and build a little bit of that audience building now when maybe you’re not going to get the sales, but you can again be seed planting for the future.

Caroline: Yeah. And I think that goes back to the big mindset shift is in, if you’re someone who’s experiencing negativity around this, like slowing down, it’s probably because you feel like it’s beyond your control, right? You’re like, Okay, I’m not getting, like we said, I’m not getting the replies, I’m not getting the DMs, and that feels very much like the external forces are slowing down and you can’t control it. And so the mindset shift is taking back that control into your own mind and saying, Oh, that’s okay, I’m in seed planting mode and that is intentional on my part. It’s almost like going into like a hibernation, right? Like, I’m in hibernation mode right now. I’m in creation mode or I’m in seed planting mode. Or whatever you need to call it in order to take the power back and say, I’m choosing this. I’m choosing to slow down. And if you are in a financial position where you don’t have to make bills with your business right now, then it’s just about embracing the slowness, right? Like, we don’t always have to be working. Like, what is it all for? If not to enjoy life. And so that’s kind of the way that we have been lucky enough. As we’ve become more profitable over the years, we’ve been able to really embrace the slow down as not even something we’re fighting against anymore, but something that we are choosing.

Jason: Yeah. And I think one of the last things I definitely wanted to mention was just the reality of, like, our podcast listener numbers are down. Our website visitor numbers are down. Our engagement in our Slack community is way down. Our email open rates, I mean, we’ve been on an email sabbatical, but we send out our WAIM members emails. Those open rates are down. All of it is down across the board. Even, like, our new email sign ups, it is just the norm.

Caroline: You know what’s not down?

Jason: What’s that?

Caroline: Out spirits.

Jason: Nice. Our ability to eat some cookies, that’s never down. Also, I have not had a cinnamon roll in so long.

Caroline: Okay, let’s fix it.

Jason: This is a problem that needs solving.

Caroline: Was there a point to wait before the cinnamon roll?

Jason: Oh, there was just a relatability.

Caroline: Oh, just all the numbers being down.

Jason: All the numbers are down. But your spirits aren’t down.

Caroline: Totally.

Jason: So it’s just that thing. And also what helps me, too, is I’ll go back and look at historical data of, like, the previous summer, and I’m like, Oh, yeah, there it is again. There’s the summer slump, and then it picks back up in the fall. And so you’ve got to change your mindset around thinking the things slowing down now are a reflection of your business completely failing. It’s not at all that. It’s just everyone’s taking a break, so prepare for that. All right. I think that’s it for our adult slumber party episode that we want everyone who listens to this to do an adult summer party this summer. And please make this a normal thing.

Caroline: Please invite all your friends and have some snacks.

Jason: I hope one couple listening to this, or one person who’s in a relationship…

Caroline: Has an adult slumber party?

Jason: Takes this to their significant other.

Caroline: I think it’s just called a party. And then I think people sleep there.

Jason: No. You got to frame it as a slumber party. It has to start out that. Don’t start out as a party and then you just fall asleep because you’re drunk. Start it out as a, I’m coming over in jammies, because that’s the whole point of this. I brought Pop Tarts. I bought Three Musketeers on bluray. Like, this is what we’re doing tonight.

Caroline: We’re sleeping on the floor.

Jason: We’re going to play Uno and, like, No, you’re not allowed to sleep in your master bedroom, your primary bedroom. You’re not allowed to do that. You have to sleep on the floor in here in these really uncomfortable sleeping bags that I brought. That’s what has to happen. So summer slumber parties.

Caroline: Do it.

Jason: Okay. I think that’s it for this episode. You did a great job, by the way.

Caroline: Thank you.

Jason: Yeah. You really brought I thought you were just going to nap, honestly. Now I have to do your voice. Now I have to do my voice.

Caroline: Do your best my voice. Don’t do it. Never mind, never mind. I was like, that’s a really soft toss there.

Jason: Yeah. Hey, if you’re a Gen Z-er and you’re listening to this podcast, this is our final request. We need you to email because I need to know if some Gen Z-ers are listening.

Caroline: And also where did you find us? And do we sound old?

Jason: Are we old muppets? And if we are, that’s okay. I’m actually okay with being an old muppet.

Caroline: You are?

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: What’s a muppet?

Jason: All right, that’ll do it for this episode, you silly geese. We’ll talk to you next week.

Caroline: We love you.

Jason: Bye.

Caroline: Bye.

133 – Surviving The Summer Business Slump

(Big Fat Takeaway)

Be ready for the summer business slump and embrace the season of slowing down in life and business. Use this time to get ahead or rest.


This article written by

Jason Zook

I'm all about that Cinnamon Roll life (that just seemed like a "cool" way to say I love baking and eating cinnamon rolls). Also, I co-run this WAIM thing as well as Teachery. Currently, 75ish% completion of Tears of the Kingdom 🧝‍♀️⚔️.

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