[IMGCAP(1)]This month, I celebrated the one year anniversary of being in business for myself. As I reflected on the year and had some conversations with some trusted people I know, one topic kept coming up: being busy.

It’s a term we use way too often in response to people asking how we are doing. And unfortunately, way too many professionals use it as an excuse to not do something that could further grow their business.

Being busy is expected. After all, that’s why we are in business. If we don’t have clients, we don’t have a business. When we respond with being too busy, we set up the perception that we may not be in a position for more.

I rarely run across the company that won’t take a referral or more business. Even more importantly, I run across so many firms that lose great opportunities because they disappear from the marketing during their most opportune time of the year.

Now, before I get a list of comments telling me “I don’t get it”—I do. I worked inside an accounting firm for almost 7 years. No I wasn’t a CPA, but I did work through every tax season with them, including Saturdays. I have never worked with another profession lucky enough to have such a wealth of opportunity to interact with all of their clients and in the same breath, one that passed on the opportunity to use it more wisely.

Even as a consultant to the profession, I too find that I have times of the year when we have a heavier flow of business than we do in others. However, the difference is, I (and my counterparts) don’t complain (well at least try not to), and I don’t take it as an opportunity to shut down but, rather, ramp up. Yes, sometimes that means making smarter choices about the work we take on. But it rarely means stopping completely.

As you head into the last few weeks of your “busy season” I challenge you to think about it simply as doing business.

Sarah Johnson is the chief growth strategist with Inovautus Consulting, a firm that works with CPA, law and professional service firms to help them grow more effectively, and author of “Practical Ideas for Growth,” a blog dedicated to growing professional firms. Her counsel and strategies have helped move firms to the next level in their marketing and sales efforts. Connect with Sarah at 773-208-7170, sjohnson@inovautus.com, or www.linkedin.com/in/sjjohnson