You are a mover and a shaker! A local rain maker! (Hey that rhymed). You are the driving force behind your company. THE motivator! The leader! You – are – important!
So when you are not around things just don’t get done! Right? There is no time for a vacation. You are WAY too busy! Breaking away for a few days would put your world into chaos! The moon would fall from the sky – cats would move in with dogs – bell bottom pants would come back in style – the world as we know it would hit the brakes!
OR…would it? Let me ask you two questions and make one statement. Then I have a challenge for you.
Question 1 – What is your job? If you are a business owner, a decision maker, a leader, or a sales rep…what is your job? Is your job to handle staffing issues? Maybe. Billing, inventory, conflict, vendors? Yes, Yes, Yes, and Yes…and YES to a lot of other important things. However, is that your number one job?
Question 2 – Have you ever used a dull knife? You know the kind that smashes the tomato and doesn’t cut it. Dull…I mean as dull as that guy who sat behind you in English class and always asked you ‘what does that mean?’ - That dull! (And on a related note…sorry to all the folks that sat in front of me.) If you use a knife too much and never take the time to sharpen it…guess what happens. The same can be said for you! If you are constantly using yourself and never taking the time to relax, energize, focus, and prioritize. Guess what happens to you? You become dull! Yep…dull!
Side Note: If you are manager, encourage your employees to keep sharp. You do NOT want dull brains trying to make sharp decisions.
Statement – Your job is to work ‘on’ your business; not just ‘in’ your business! To map out a plan for growth! To ask/answer the big picture questions – Where are we? Where do we want to go? And how do we get there? Your job is to not only make sure things are getting done right, but make sure the right things are getting done. If you don’t do this….who will?
So how do you disconnect? How do you stay sharp? Take the "Vacation Challenge":
· Plan a vacation – Good start!
· Control what you can control:
- Plan your work flow accordingly so you are caught up when you leave and work ahead so your first few days back will not be as difficult.
- Make sure everyone knows you will be out of town and who they can contact.
- Empower people to do what needs to be done while you are gone.
· Accountability: Tell your vendors, your employees, AND those going with you that you are trying to relax and do not want to work as much. Do this and then expect them to hold you to it!
- Turn ringer off and/or leave it behind in hotel or condo during family outings.
- If you MUST…give yourself 15 minutes to check in at the office. Phone call only. Emails will consume you. Have ONE person you will call and set expectations with them before leaving. This will NOT be a ‘Hey where do you keep the staples?’ conversation. This is actually more just for your mental health and to help you relax. Just knowing someone is answering the phones will put you at ease.
· Take something to read: Yes read…trust me it will do you a lot of good!
· Talk: Yes talk! Better yet play games and have things to do with others that will make you laugh and smile and hug and dance and jump and make memories.
· Time alone to think: Get your priorities in order. Trust me…your top priority isn’t your business! If it is; then you need more time doing this.
· Be disciplined: if you truly believe that your mental health is the best things for your family, friends, and your business then hold yourself accountable for the time you have been given to "vacation"
Now, go have fun!
Clint Powell is owner of Connect Marketing, a full service advertising agency in Chattanooga. He is a graduate of Carson-Newman College. He has spent years in radio advertising sales and management, built and sold a billboard company and works on a contract basis with other ad agencies writing ad copy and helping formulate strategies. Clint has worked with hundreds of local and regional companies over the years and helped them develop advertising campaigns. He frequently leads marketing and advertising seminars and meetings for businesses and network groups. He believes that life is all about connections and spends his time connecting businesses and business owners to solutions. He sits on the board of Y-Cap (YMCA Community Action Program) and helps with several other non-profits. Clint currently resides in East Ridge with his wife and three children. He is also host of Marketing Mix Radio, a show designed around business and marketing, that airs Saturdays at 11am on 96.1 The Beat.