Developing and executing a plan to grow your business profitably is an incredible amount of work and can generate considerable stress on you and your team members. One of the lessons I’ve learned from the leaders of high growth firms is to take a break and recharge your collective batteries on a regular basis. Alternatively, if you never take a break or never encourage your team members to do so, you run the risk of burning out and your growth plan will ultimately suffer.
Taking a break and recharging can mean a variety of things to different people. Start with answering some of the following questions:
- What are you passionately interested in besides work?
- What really matters to your immediate family members?
- When was the last time you visited another country?
- Can you list the top five things you’d like to do or places you’d like to visit in the next five years?
- in the past, what has energized you most besides your business?
With your answers in mind, you might consider doing one of the following:
- Volunteer for a week at a school or charitable organization that you have an interest in helping.
- Commit to learn to speak another language, a good one to consider is Spanish if you live in the US. Go on-line and find “immersion” language schools in Mexico that you could attend and then head to the beach for a few days.
- Buy a musical instrument you’re interested in and sign up for weekly lessons for the next year.
- Cash in your frequent flyer miles and go to Europe for a week or two. A great time to go is during the offseason.
- Go to a sports training camp for tennis, golf, squash, soccer, baseball, etc. and learn some new skills.
Developing a significant interest in a hobby, sporting activity, another country or culture or other area other than work is an important step in finding fulfillment as a person. At some point in your life you will sell your business, leave your job or choose to do other things. Having a passionate interest in something other than work could very well lead to your next career and what you will choose to do as you get older. Most of us realize that retirement will be different for most of us than it was for our parents. We are likely to live and work longer than past generations, and the current economic climate will certainly influence our decisions more than we expected.
In the Midwest where I live, winter can be long, grey and cold. I have committed to visit somewhere I’ve never been every year, and typically this means another country with a different culture and language. This year the trip was to South America. Personally, I am incredibly recharged when I return from these annual winter odysseys and am ready to go at it and execute my business growth plan.
This may sound difficult if not impossible to accomplish in today’s difficult economic climate, but consider your options and find a way to recharge, and encourage your team members to do the same. Your business will be the better for it.