As a female entrepreneur, I’m always looking for codes to crack to amplify my productivity, enhance my business and most importantly – free up more of my time. One of the biggest hacks I’ve stumbled upon in the last few years was learning how to make my menstrual cycle work for me as a female business owner. While men have a 24-hour hormonal cycle – women have a four-week hormonal cycle. Meaning operating a business as a woman is much different than operating a business as a man. Every woman can benefit from learning how to make your menstrual cycle work for you as a female business owner.
The menstrual cycle is a four-stage cycle of natural changes in hormonal production in a woman’s body. Each of these four stages (menstrual, follicular, ovulatory, and luteal) have different hormonal profiles making different tasks easier or harder to accomplish – depending on the phase that we’re in. While every woman is different, and our phases differ in length – each phase does have traits that can be harnessed to make our menstrual cycles work for us as female business owners.
I like to refer to the menstrual phase as the “introspective phase” and I use this first week of my cycle to find balance between my clients and my own endeavors – going inward to focus on myself and my businesses – setting aside my clients and their work. If you check out my booking calendar you can figure out when my menstruation is because I always block those five or so days off my calendar.
Reminder: Don’t overextend yourself! This time for rest is so important. Avoid “productivity FOMO” and forcing yourself to work through this phase – it will likely lead to burn out during one of the other cycles.
I pressed in my article “13 Lessons I Learned in 13 Years of Entrepreneurship” how there is no self-employment without self-care and how incredibly important rest is. Any business owner that doesn’t make time for rest is sure to burn out. Syncing up our resting phase with our menstrual phase is ideal because our bodies are asking for rest. Allowing for processing and reflection during this time helps me to ensure I’m not getting lost in my clients’ work. It also assists me with regrouping my own goals, shifting the path I’m on if necessary so I don’t find myself blindly traveling down roads not meant for me.
The second week of our cycle is the follicular phase and I see it as the “productive phase”. This is a confident time where our energy is starting to renew, and motivation levels rise. I like to use my follicular phase to harness my creativity and prioritize implementing any changes that I reflected upon during my menstrual cycle. It’s also a great time for me to tap into my ideas – putting together proposals for new projects or clients, outlining blog articles and thinking of new content to create.
Reminder: Slow and steady wins the race! Try not to over-do it in this first phase after menstruation, even with renewed energy. This is a seed planting time – try not to jump the gun on any projects or ideas. Marinate on them. Brainstorm them. Plant the seed and allow nature to run its course.
I love the follicular phase as I find my creativity is supercharged, my enthusiasm is peaking, and inspiration is on over-drive. This is a time where I harness my masculine energy in my business with a “get shit done” attitude but balance it out with my feminine energy of “ease and flow”.
Week three of our cycle is the ovulatory or as I like to think of it: our passionate phase. Syncing our cycle with our business in this phase looks like creating connections, as they come naturally during this phase. The ovulatory phase of our cycle the ideal time to schedule and set up events, negotiate deals and network. Public speaking can come easier to me at this time and it’s a great time to have fun and enjoy the work that you do.
Reminder: Beware of being too eager! I’m extremely guilty of being too eager and saying “yes” to things during my ovulatory phase before the other shoe drops during my luteal phase. This is also a time where we have added energy so make sure you’re not neglecting self-care or forgetting to eat. Be sure to consume some healthy eats packed with minerals and nutrients to support us as we move to the next phase.
I think of the ovulatory phase as the time to show up. Not only do we sometimes feel our best in this phase but scientifically – we also look our best. According to Cambridge University, there’s science to back up women feeling more attractive during our ovulatory phase. In my opinion, this boost of confidence makes it the perfect time to show up and show off in photo or video content for social media.
The last week of our cycle is the luteal or, in my opinion, the starry-eyed phase – due to a natural shift from the conscious to subconscious. This shift assists with becoming more intuitively in tune, helping to recognize synchronicities and channel messages or ideas. It’s a great time to reflect on any product offerings or shifting how I’ve been harnessing my creative skills. I use this time syncing my cycle with my business tasks by wrapping up client’s projects and tying up any loose ends while starting to slow down and tend to any projects that may have fallen to the back-burner over the past few weeks.
Reminder: Our inner critic may begin to rear its ugly head during this phase – its not you it’s your hormones. Tune into your intuition to discern between what actually may be a misalignment for you versus where you’re being harsh and unfair to yourself due to the increase in sensitivity. This is also a good time to avoid making any big decisions as well as confrontation.
Our intuition begins to peak as we shift from conscious to subconscious and identifying blockages becomes easier. We also have a natural low bullshit tolerance during this time so realizing what no longer serves us will become effortless. Choosing to release that which is no longer serving us, in my experience, is the harder part.
How to Work with Your Cycle
Working with your cycle is as easy as knowing your cycle. You can begin to familiarize yourself with your cycle by tracking your emotions and mood, energy levels and physical symptoms during each day of your cycle. The first day of your period is day one of your cycle – so I would suggest getting a notebook or planner and writing out the day of your cycle as well as: “MOOD” “EMOTIONS” “ENERGY LEVELS” “CREATIVITY” “SOCIABILITY” and “PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS”. Create a scale for each category and jot down how each category rates in the morning, afternoon and evening.
Repeat this for each day of your cycle and then begin to plan your calendar for your next cycle based off of your findings. I highly suggest jotting down your levels and symptoms for a few cycles in a row and jot down repeating patterns. Do you notice a peak in energy during certain afternoons? Are you particularly inspired during certain evenings? Do you find that you dread morning phone calls with clients during certain phases of your cycle?
It will likely take a few cycles to really understand how your body responds to each day of your cycle so don’t get discouraged if you don’t get it perfectly straight off the bat! Give yourself some grace, as well, as each month is different – factoring in weather changes, traveling, major life events, etc can really change how our bodies react during our cycles.
Going internally and starting to note how we feel and more importantly when we feel that way can assist us in making our menstrual cycles work for us as female business owners. With an ultimate goal of working smarter – not harder and hoping to free up as much as my time as possible – making our menstrual cycle work for us as female business owners is one big step towards more freedom.