That Aperol Spritz might have been a bad idea…

Today I am writing to you, wine in hand, from my brand-spanking-new apartment… that I will be in for about a month before moving into ANOTHER brand-spanking-new apartment.

I kinda love moving house. It gives me this great sense of momentum — like I’m physically moving forward into a new stage of my life. (And this next stage is definitely going to involve a puppy.)

Momentum feels especially good right now because business-wise, I’m still coming out of the ‘summer slump.’  

This slump happens every year. Come August, clients go on holidays, and it’s like some reverse-hibernation comes along. It’s hot, it’s sunny as all get out, and who in their right mind wants to sit inside writing all day?

Uh, no one. No one wants to write in August, because you could be going to the beach, drinking Aperol Spritz and pranking your unsuspecting siblings who have come to visit.

Well… maybe that’s just me.

The point is, August comes and goes, and then September arrives and you remember that you are a grown-ass adult and you had better do some work.

But getting back into gear can be a grind. This year it’s been more of a grind than usual — I feel like it’s taken me the whole month to get back to even semi-normal — and I was feeling pretty rubbish about that the past couple of weeks.

In fact, I was feeling downright bratty.

I’ve been incredibly fortunate the past few years to have work come to me, consistently and easily. The work has, for the vast majority of the time, felt easy and fun and I think I got kind of spoilt (and maybe a bit complacent, just expecting that everything will come together without too much effort).

But then I was reading some draft material this week from a coaching client, and she had included a comment from Michael Jordan that just smacked me over the head:

“The minute you get away from fundamentals — whether its proper technique, work ethic, or mental preparation — the bottom can fall out of your game, your schoolwork, your job, whatever you’re doing.”

MJ. The MVP. The GOAT. What a guy. He single-handedly pulled me out of a funk this week because he reminded me that the work is never done — even when things are going smoothly.

The fundamentals are the work, and sometimes the work demands a lot, but if you keep at it, that’s when the rewards come.

I think we misattribute this (though, again, maybe that’s just me). It’s easy to assume the big wins come from all the fun fancy stuff — the interviews and conferences and networking.

But in reality the rewards come from the fundamentals — the lead gen, the sales calls, the pitches, the actual butt-in-seat-practice-time that makes you good at what you do.

So this week I’ve been going back to the fundamentals. Lead gen every day, writing or editing every day, and a little bit of time imagining the future every day.

What are your fundamentals? What is the work that keeps you moving forward and generating momentum? And what do you when you have a slump and need to get back in the zone?

I’d love to hear your approach, and what you’re going to be applying your fundamentals to for Q4.

Speak soon,

P.S. There have been some killer episodes of the Business of Writing Podcast in the past couple of weeks — Russ Henneberry on customer acquisition, Rob Marsh on building a great career, and Nicole Piper on branding. Check ’em out — even though I did these interviews, I’ve gotten so much value out of each of them listening back the second time around.