MAR. 2020 (800)-406-7229 SpotlightBranding.com
SO, I TOOK 6 WEEKS OFF ... And the Company Didn’t Burn Down
About two months ago, I realized that my mindset had reached a crisis point. It had been about 10 years since I’d started Spotlight Branding, and in that time, I’d hardly taken any time off. Now, that’s pretty typical of small- business owners. Burning the midnight oil, taking work home with you, skipping family dinners in favor of the office — odds are you’ve done all that, just like me. But another thing happening to me at that point wasn’t normal or healthy: I couldn’t sleep. When I’d get home fromwork and lay down in the quiet of my bedroom, all I could think about was my business. It turns out that if you’re not careful, instead of owning your business, it can end up owning you. So, I took some time off because I realized that I needed to create some mental space, step back, and get myself into a better place. I missed loving my business and had almost forgotten what it was like when Spotlight Branding didn’t feel like a heavy sack of potatoes I was carrying around 24/7. Now that I’m back, I have to say that taking the time off just might be the best thing I’ve done. Not only did the world keep turning, but Spotlight Branding kept killing it even while I was sleeping in, visiting friends, and having long dinners out with my wife. Here are the three most valuable lessons I learned during my six- week sabbatical. 1. DISTANCE CREATES PERSPECTIVE. When I left, I really left. I turned over my email account to a colleague and left strict instructions to not call me unless it was an emergency. Not having to worry about constant calls and emails turned out to be really therapeutic and liberating.
Without emails weighing me down, I was free to think bigger thoughts. 2. IT’S VITAL TO STAY (MENTALLY) FED. Consuming content from other business leaders through podcasts and books motivates me, inspires me, and reminds me of what matters. When I was bogged down in the day-to-day slog of running Spotlight Branding, I lost sight of that big picture. During my time off, I let those positive influences back in and went back to work buzzing with new ideas. 3. THERE’S NOTHING MORE IMPORTANT THAN HAVING A GREAT TEAM. Simply by being there to answer questions and take on the toughest projects, I was holding my team back. When I left, they had free reign, and wow did they run with it! First, December (the month I was pretty much gone for) turned out to be our best sales month of the year. Second, my team implemented a new flex schedule (without even running it by me!) that made everyone happier and more productive. And third, I came back to find that while I was gone, my team had done what I’d meant to do for years: published a book. (Read more about that on Pg. 3.) If your business is well-established and you’re thinking of taking a similar step back, here’s my advice: Start planning it today. If your sabbatical goes anything like mine, it will benefit you, your team, and your business. Trust me: Sometimes, to really act like a business owner, you need to work on your business rather than in it! When you come back full of ideas and goals for taking your firm to the next level, give me a call. –Marc Cerniglia
Dinner with my wife
Visiting friends in Atlanta
Giving grandfather a gift on Christmas
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