September 2, 2011
Are You Hanging on by a Wire?
Let's face it: we live in a wired world, or more recently, a wireless one. In the old days, vacations meant that you could leave the office and never look back. A couple of weeks later, when you come back, you step back into your shoes, and keep going like nothing ever happened. But how many of us have a world like that nowadays? Now, people fall into one of a couple of categories. If you physically need to be present at your job, like a factory worker, a receptionist, or something else, then you can certainly leave without a care in the world and come back a few weeks later. As long as your job is still there, and the company is still solvent, you can walk back into your shoes like nothing ever happened.
But that doesn't describe most of us, at least not the people who read my column. For most of us, we're attached at the hip to our customers, to our clients, to our vendors, to our businesses, and to the sources of our revenue. People expect, like never before, that we'll be there for them, that we'll answer their questions, and that we'll attend to their every need at every hour of the day.
I just came from breakfast with a CPA friend of mine, who just returned from the south of France on a two and a half week vacation. He said it was the best vacation of his life. It was long, it was luxurious, and it was perfect in every way. But he also said that his cell phone was working the entire trip because he paid for some conversion to a European standard. He used his cell phone to communicate with clients during the entire trip, but still came back feeling like he had a real vacation.
It's just a fact of life, there's no way around it. We have to be tethered to our businesses, and there's no going back. I don't think that any of us can imagine a world where we disappear and people don't notice that we're gone.
For me, one of the only vacations where I can really go down deep and disappear is a cruise. Somehow on the open seas, even though ships have satellite Internet reception, I'm able to put the phone in the safe in the room and enjoy the family and the special time that we have together.
Next time you go on vacation, try telling your clients that you'll be gone just for a short while. Try putting off meetings, conferences, and other activities, so you can really enjoy the special time that you don't get very often with your family. People are willing to be more respectful of your private time than you might think. If you have a business partner, trade some of your responsibilities temporarily to them; and be ready to accept those responsibilities when the shoe's on the other foot.
I always say that everything in business is a team sport. The current business climate does not favor the lone wolf. And part of the reason, beside the complexity of governmental regulation and litigation is the expectation from our clients that we'll be there for them 24/7/365. But don't forget that your family also deserves a slice of your energy and time. So cut the proverbial cord (or wire) and be sure to make some time for them at least a few times a year, before your kids are grown and off on their own.
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If you have an opinion or thought on this topic, please write a comment in the form below. Share this blog with your friends. Thank you for being one of our loyal readers. We appreciate you and are rooting for your success. Often dubbed a "Growth Architect" by his clients, Joel Block advises companies on explosive growth strategies by driving revenues and sales. Well known in the capital markets, Joel is a successful entrepreneur, speaker, advisor and is an astute investor.
Joel is CEO of Bullseye Capital , a full-service real estate company supporting owners and buyers of real estate assets with brokerage, leasing, property management, and mortgage services. Joel is also the founder of the Bullseye Capital Real Property Opportunity Fund, LLC which is an investment company that acquires distressed real estate by working with accredited investors.
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