Navigating the Slow Season

Guest: Kathryn Langsford

Owner of Photos by Kathryn
Vancouver, Canada

DATE: February 02, 2023

Welcome back to Season 2 of The ReWork Podcast! We’re kicking off the 2023 season with a ReWork favorite guest, Kathryn Langsford of Photos by Kathryn, and we’re talking all about how to navigate the slow seasons in our business. 

Following the hectic holiday season, January and February feel much slower. In the beginning of January, this feels great, but by the time we hit late January or early February, we might find ourselves in a mental tailspin. You know what I mean, the thought that we will never work again. That we might actually have to get a REAL job!


It may or may not help to know that these thoughts are totally normal. But that doesn’t mean they are very helpful thoughts. So in our discussion today, Kathryn and I share our experiences and what we’ve learned to do now during our slower seasons to work on cleaning up, getting prepared for busier times ahead, and to really hone in on our own rest and mental health.

In this episode, you’ll learn how to:

  • Manage the negative thoughts and fears that pop up during the slow season.
  • Use the less busy time to clean up and polish your systems.
  • Avoid making business decisions you’ll regret because you panicked.

Here’s a glance at this episode:

  • [02:42] – For Kathryn, no matter how many years she has been in business, this time of year never gets any easier to deal with.
  • [04:57] – Running a business in an uncertain world is hard, but when is it ever a certain world? There’s always something to navigate.
  • [06:27] – Quantify the negative thoughts when you are scared. When we tell ourselves doom and gloom stories, we make stupid decisions.
  • [08:34] – It’s not about the “how-to”. You have to have a strong “want-to”.
  • [10:18] – Kathryn admits that she is constantly coming from a place of survival as the sole breadwinner in her home.
  • [11:50] – Even with a savings for the first time with her business, Kathryn still gets fearful and negative thoughts during slow seasons.
  • [12:56] – Someone else might be the person that needs to tell you that you are amazing and that things will be okay, but often, we can’t do that for ourselves.
  • [14:34] – While Kathryn shares that she worries when making large purchases, Allison shares that she feels guilty.
  • [15:49] – Slow seasons don’t mean that you’re doing things wrong.
  • [17:20] – When we say that business is slow, what are we comparing that to?
  • [18:09] – The best person to compare yourself to is yourself this time last year.
  • [19:59] – It’s hard to always get out of the workhorse mentality. Working that way will lead to burnout.
  • [21:50] – Kathryn lists the things that you will be better at when you are less busy, regardless of the glorification of being too busy.
  • [23:44] – When she’s less busy, Kathryn takes the time to clean things up that get messy when it’s busy.
  • [26:17] – This time of year is usually not the best time to drive new clients.
  • [27:30] – Allison shares a tip of filming the space because you likely don’t even notice as you walk by them everyday.
  • [31:27] – This time of year, it is a good idea to look through your calendar from last year and reflect on how it went and what you’d like to plan for.
  • [33:32] – Kathryn describes how she blocks out her calendar and strategies she uses to ensure things aren’t overlooked.
  • [36:00] – Kathryn changed her routine to keep a three day shoot schedule and shares her mental shift to make this happen.
  • [40:28] – Underpromise and overdeliver.
  • [42:42] – Allison reflects on 2021 and the lessons she learned about scheduling clients early.
  • [44:37] – Clients appreciate when you give realistic time frames for completion rather than overpromising to make them happy in the moment.
  • [47:01] – Use the slow season to work on your own mental health and rest to build yourself back up after the busy holiday season.

Links and Resources: 
Download a Transcript

Kathryn Langsford
Website | Instagram

Do The ReWork
Website | Instagram

Allison Tyler Jones
Website | Instagram | LinkedIn