You can’t slog all the time, and you can’t be pushing as hard as you can every single minute. Not only will you break, but your team will break. You need to respect the seasons. There are times to grow, and there are times to harvest. You absolutely need to focus on that.
At my last agency, we were maxed out during the Black Friday holiday season. We were stressed because we didn’t have enough people. We had a large client that we were much more successful with than we anticipated being. This client basically sucked up all of our resources, and I didn’t have any bandwidth to hire someone because I couldn’t stop. When the holiday season ended, instead of pushing forward and trying to get a bunch of new business, we took a breath and focused on hiring. We didn’t have anything left in the tank, so instead of charging ahead we had to pull back a little because we discovered a number of weaknesses. We discovered places that fell apart, and we had to slow down in order to get better.
We were paying attention to the weather. The weather was that I was working 14 or 15 hours a day, and my team was working 14 or 15 hours a day. Nobody knew what the difference was between Saturday and Wednesday, so we had to stop and think, “What do we need to fix so that we can continue to move forward?” That’s the essence of paying attention to the seasons. In this world of Internet Marketing, it’s unfettered growth at all times, and it can’t be that way.
It doesn’t matter how good the automation is, or how sophisticated your bid management software is. You have to pay attention to your business. If you’re pushing too hard, and if you don’t have any oil in your engine, you’re going to seize up, and the whole thing’s going to crash. Actually, that happened to my first agency. My first agency crashed because I could not get out of my own way, and I put everything on my shoulders. When it got to the point where I couldn’t think anymore, we fell apart really fast. I didn’t pay attention to the seasons then. Stop wearing your shorts in February. It’s cold out.