Have you heard people blame all their troubles on Mercury retrograde? I used to think it was just a phrase people used until I looked into it a little more and learnt there was some logic to passing blame on Mercury.
But the more I read about it, the more I realised the genius of these timings for creative and fashion businesses.
But let’s start with the basics.
What is Mercury Retrograde?
The term “retrograde” means moving backwards. As an astronomical phenomenon, a planet goes retrograde when it gives the appearance that it is going backwards.
Retrograde happens to all visible planets. As they all travel at different speed, the timing between retrograde periods for some the gaps in between can last years and others are more frequent. Mercury, being the closest planet to the Sun is the most frequent one and goes retrograde three times a year.
This planet is said to be the ruler of communication and relationships and as such it governs the areas of technology, communication, travel, logic, and information.
As the ruler of all types of communication, the following get affected during this phase: listening, speaking, learning, reading, editing, researching, negotiating, selling, and buying.
Mercury also rules all formal contracts and agreements, as well as important documents such as book manuscripts or term papers, agreements, deeds, contracts, leases, wills, and so forth.
Included under this planet’s domain are all types of code, including computer codes, as well as transportation, shipping, and travel.
When this planet retrogrades, these areas tend to get disrupted or spin out of control.
What should you be careful with?
So what it really all this means is that three times a year for approx a month one needs to take care when undertaking activities in the above-mentioned areas.
… if you’re working on team projects, it would be hard to get decisions from others. Even if a decision is made, it will be subject to change, either just after Mercury turns to direct motion or much later.
Anything involving communications, such as the launch of a magazine, a website, or a major launch of an advertising or publicity campaign would also be best to be postponed.
Because all forms of communication are affected during these periods, signing any contracts or even to shake hands on any new agreements is best avoided.
Likewise, verbal agreements are considered the same as written ones. The environment will be quite fluid and changeable, no matter what you are told or what you think.
Technology and travel will also be affected.
Avoid buying expensive technology products, releasing new code software and expect travel delays and complications.
But…..life doesn’t have to stop…!!!
How to make Mercury retrograde work for your creative business?
Let’s be honest, most creatives are not so great nor do they get enthusiastic about dealing with the admin and day to day aspects of running their businesses.
Most solopreneurs and fashionpreneurs are one man bands focused on juggling design, manufacturing, marketing and business. Looking back is never on the agenda. Taking on more than they can manage is the norm.
But what if courtesy to Mercury, three times per year you make this time period in your calendar and make time for “re” activities.
Re-visiting past project or endeavour, re-focusing your attention on something you did in a rush and know SOME-day you mean to fix, review past sales, past collection and bestsellers and disappointments, re-launch something again, re-assess where you are as a business so far in the year, how you’re doing against your goals…. and if you need to re-align with your business and personal objectives….
If travelling (because let’s face it the fashion calendar doesn’t stop just because Mercury is sleeping) allow more time, so if things go slightly awry, you don’t stress out about it.
Instead, you smile knowing you’re a step ahead of the planets.
What better time than during mercury retrograde to get your business back on the right track. Or just take the time to check it is ON the right track.
Here are 5 tips on how you can make Mercury work for you (and not against you).
Attack that huge stack of filing. One of the great things about Mercury in Retrograde is that it affects everyone, not just you. Notice how your customers and clients are also being called to slow down — giving you more space to focus on organizing and creating systems for the future.
2. Re-view & Re-visit
When’s the last time you reviewed your website and if every page, image and copy is still aligned with your business and best represents your brand?
When was the last time you revisited old clients and customers and got in touch with them? Why not set yourself a reminder and during these periods reconnect with old customers and see what their needs are. Reach out with a friendly “Hello” and let those old customers know you were thinking about them. Send them a card to say thank you for their past business and hope they are doing well.
This is THE time to reconnect and make new future sales.
3. Complete Long-Standing Projects
What has taken you way too long? What are you avoiding finishing? What are you procrastinating and making constant excuses about?
STOP! Spend some time on that and get it off your list or completely forget about it for the future.
4. Take Your Time & Double-Check
Re-read. Double/triple-check. We’re talking invoices, agreements, contracts, blogs, marketing emails, new products…
No-one knows your business, product and brand as well as you ( or if that’s not the case – consider this a fair warning that it this responsibility should not be delegated).
Take the time to dot the “i”s and cross the “t”s.
5. Plan for the Future
Spend some time evaluating where you are at this present moment and where you want to be. Getting from here to there requires careful planning. Do it during these times of the year so that once Mercury wakes up and goes straight, you hit your stride.
This year, the three Mercury retrograde timings are perfectly aligned for business.
Almost the whole of March, just in time for Easter when the spring sun makes everyone excited and in the mood for ….buying.
Then the whole of July is the second period – what better way to take much-needed summer break knowing that had you not done so you would have wished you did. What better time when most suppliers have closed anyway, nothing much happens in fashion and taking some time to recharge your batteries and rest will give you the much-needed energy to finish the year on a high.
Lastly – the third and last retrograde period is in November. Again – idea timing just before the silly pre-Christmas time starts. Double check you have all you need to make a killing during the Christmas shopping period.
So, whether you believe this or not – you decide. But either way – keep an eye on what happens at these times and why not use it as a useful reminder to stop and take a breather. A quick look back and a pit stop is always a good idea.
What do you think? Do you believe that Mercury Retrograde can have an impact on your business? Have had experience with it or heard stories? Share in the comments below.