This holiday season marks my 3-year anniversary in Internet Marketing business. Of course, on such anniversaries we all ask ourselves: Am I better off now then when I started? My enthusiastic answer is: By far :-) That automatically raises another anniversary question: Am I where I want to be? My answer, thoughtful but still enthusiastic, is: Not quite ;-)
Sound familiar? Or maybe you haven't gotten to "better off" part yet. Regardless of how you answer these two introspective questions, my piece of advice to you this holiday season is same: Take some time off. Relax, enjoy your family, regroup your thoughts and goals and decide what is really important to you, your personal life, and lives of those most important to you.
This piece of advice, like most advice I give, comes from personal experience. I have been running around like crazy for past three years growing this Internet business. Granted, it has paid off well, in many visible ways, but at what personal price?
My children miss their mommy, my husband feels pressure of his long hours at work, compared to all work here at home (which I can't always attend to because of my own business time and focus requirements), and I can feel my good health slowly diminishing.
Many organizers and time management specialists will tell you that if your life, as a whole, is not running smoothly then your neglected areas will suffer. And how true that is! If kids ain't happy, nobody in house is going to be happy. If your spouse isn't happy, then how can you truly be happy? If all ongoing work and resultant unhappiness in family cause you to be unhappy, how effectively do you think you will perform your job? Not well at all!
And what do you, as owner-operator of your own web business, think happens when your health fails? Not much! Most jobs in "real world" include someone who is there to take your place while you are out sick. But when you run your own business, nobody is hovering in wings, ready to take up slack and keep operation humming.
I have personally been putting off having my wisdom teeth extracted for over a year. I haven't seen my gynecologist since my daughter was born three years ago, and my once-religious exercise routine has ceased to exist as pounds keep getting measured by my unforgiving, depressingly honest bathroom scale. All in name of entrepreneurship.
Some people would call that extreme dedication, laziness or even a unique late-twentieth century form of mental illness! I'm not even sure what I consider it anymore. What I have realized is that taking time off can be like recharging dead (but rechargeable) batteries. Accomplishing even simplest of tasks with dead batteries can be a chore--nearly impossible. But take time to recognize problem, put in a fresh set and you can get three times work done effortlessly.
This past Thanksgiving weekend I spent a glorious three nights at Wilderness Resort Lodge in Wisconsin Dells. Just my husband and I and our children, enjoying water park, horseback riding and getting away from stress with other activities we found open in off-season. It was great!
Am I totally refreshed? No, not yet. But I plan to be as I am not going to come back fully from vacation until after new year. One thing this mini-vacation made me realize is that I am not happy if I miss out on what I normally view as "important stuff." I say normally view because when I have my entrepreneur mindset on I experience complete tunnel vision. I don't even realize what I'm missing because all I have my eyes on are all opportunities to grow my business on little glowing electronic screen in front of me.