During a small building alteration I had an opportunity to speak with some self-employed subcontractors, one of which was to say something which was to resonate with me for a long time. Luigi was an electrician by profession, and had worked for himself for the past 30 years; a perfectionist who was unable to expand his business through his reluctancy to leave a job in the hands of employees. But, that was not Luigi’s only problem, and on reflecting back over his years in business, he had observed a cycle which had repeated itself many, many times. Not knowing when the next job would come in, Jose never declined a job, nor had he taken a meaningful holiday, for he feared not being able to pay school fees, and all the other costs associated with raising a family.
Luigi took one of the biggest risks of his life when leaving the comfortable nest of employment, and went on his own, some would say one of the most difficult of life’s choices. 30 years later, still living by the code ‘I’ll just take this next job, and then I will give myself a few days off’, and the rest is history. Quite apart from the obvious social impacts, this perpetual quest for survival had displaced the space and time that we all need to reflect on or businesses.
Most entrepreneurs are; hard workers, lateral thinkers, creative minds, sometimes loners, and frankly a little bit odd. These are the characteristics that fuel your existence, and they too need to be nurtured. As we move into the festive season, as hard as it may be, it is important for you to switch off. “Yeah”, I hear you say, “Easier said than done”.
Try this. Pick a day next week, and plan to spend the day with family and or friends, or simply doing something you would not ordinarily do, try and include a bit of exercise during this day. For the purposes of this example, let’s say it will be Wednesday, and now also block the Saturday and Sunday (that will give you 2 days after Wednesday to work out that the sky did in fact not fall). Then do the same for the following Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Back to work on Monday, and then off from Wednesday until Sunday. Now for many of us, this may seem a bridge too far, but you will be surprised by the impact of ‘refuelling’
Give it a go! You and your business deserve it.