Monday, 6 September 2010

Take A Break: Why doing nothing for a day is good for your business

When your an entrepreneur and the founder of a business let’s face it, it can be a hard slog at times. There is so much to be done and you naturally feel the pressure from the responsibility of needing to keep the business moving forward. Sometimes even those mad 80-hour weeks that you willingly do because of your love for your business just don’t seem to be getting you anywhere. What’s the solution you ask? The solution is: It’s time for you to take a break.

Yes, you did read that correctly. The solution is to take a break. Why? Because you need to get off the daily treadmill, recharge your batteries and take time out to think in a calm, unhurried way.

  • Time away from your business is good for you and your health. Get some decent rest. Go out and get some gentle physical exercise walking the dog or going to the gym. Spend some time absorbed in a favourite book or a favourite hobby. Forget the business and do something totally unrelated. That’s good therapy for your body and mind with the bonus that when you do return to your business you’ll feel refreshed and have that exciting entrepreneur buzz once again.
  • Remember too that your business and entrepreneur skills are absolutely the number one most important asset of the business. Your family, business partners, investors and employees rely upon the wealth that your skills are creating, so its a priority to look after yourself. Here’s a quote from American entrepreneur and author Robert Shemin in his book “How Come That Idiot’s Rich & I’m Not?”:  “When you act, act to take care of yourself first. Pay yourself first. Rest yourself first. Reward yourself first. If you don’t take good care of your primary asset - you - you won’t be able to take care of all the other people who will come to depend on you as you become more and more wealthy.”
  • Its not a crime to enjoy the fruits of your success. You had the idea. You got the business up and running. You are entitled to reward yourself with money, gifts or time away from the business. Time is a commodity that you should place a high value on. Once you have enough income to stop worrying about how to pay the household bills, start thinking about using your wealth to pay other people to do tasks for you that save you time. Having quality time for your family, friends and hobbies soon becomes more precious to you than extra wealth. After all, when you worked the 9-5 as an employee for somebody else, wasn’t it always your dream to quit and spend your time doing the things that interested you far more? Start seeing a little time away from the business as a reward not a crime.
  • Finally, stepping away from the business for a short time is good for the business because it gives you precious time to review what’s happened recently. Did the new marketing campaign work or not? Are costs under more control this quarter compared to the last one? Do I know what cash reserves the business had in the bank last week? Is it enough to see the business through a sudden downturn in business, or to fund a sudden increase in output and sales?
  • Plan out what your priority activities need to be for the next two days when you get back to the business and allocate time in your diary to get them done ahead of all other demands on your time. Achieving these priorities will drive the business forward, thereby reducing the pressure you might have been feeling and giving your confidence a great boost also.
  • Finally, finally. Set up your favourite deckchair in the garden and pour yourself a glass of something pleasant and satisfying. Now close your eyes, empty your mind and enjoy some “blue sky time”. Let your mind wander freely over all aspects of your business. Write down all the important stuff that comes into your mind because ideas, challenges and inspirational thoughts will certainly come by the dozen. Place a high value upon blue sky time and don’t just dismiss it as wasteful daydreaming. Trust me, you’ll come up with some really great stuff that will give you and your business a significant boost. That’s why I called this article “Take A Break: Why doing nothing for a day is good for your business”.

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