Just this morning a client asked me if I was having time off over Christmas and going surfing in Hawaii?
I hadn’t gone to Hawaii surfing through Christmas in a really long time – but that isn’t what surprised me.
What did was that this client was interested enough to ask if I was having time off.
It came across as a considerate gesture more than anything. Why?
Well most business owners are busting their butt everyday setting goals, looking to get ahead and stay in front. We’re all in the daily grind giving it our best shot to make it happen for our families and futures, so why should anyone care who’s doing what over the summer holidays?
My answer was “Unfortunately no, I haven’t gone surfing in Hawaii for a few years now”.
“Well, you should” she said. “You look tired, you work hard, you deserve it”.
The first 2 points are true, I do look tired, I am tired. And I do work hard, that is true. But do I deserve it it?
In 2019 I’ve spent so much time with small business owners, I’m talking over 500 hours worth of time.
And on this journey inside the many small to medium enterprises that I’ve had the pleasure of pulling apart, turning upside down and inside out, seeking answers to what makes them tick and what makes them flop – I’ve realised that being so engaged with other businesses and their brands I’ve become emotionally beat.
My job is to make businesses perform better.
I do this by getting business owners to share what they think their brand looks and feels like to their customers, and what value their business delivers via its products and services to their customers.
Then I audit their brand and business and give them the good, the bad and the ugly. From here we create a strategic plan to connect their brand to their business, together.
The problem here is that I deeply love building great brands that are memorable.
And brands that are memorable are emotional.
Herein lies the problem.
Great brands tap into your emotions. They play with your feelings, stimulate you to take action, and mostly they consume some of your attention and energy.
Sometimes in this fast paced world, especially here on social channels like LinkedIn with all the glorious content and engaging articles, we can forget that humans are emotional too. Like like brands we need management in our professional lives as much as we do in our private lives.
A key responsibility I have is to reaffirm business owners that they can’t be everything to everyone.
As a small business owner you can easily burn out – especially at this time of year. The bags under the eyes don’t lie.
Perhaps the advice my client gave me this morning is some I should listen to. Take that rest, I probably do deserve it.
But it isn’t all about me, far from it. I have a team, and together we work with all types of businesses refining their brands to make them perform better. And they need a rest too.
Traditionally it’s this time of year to think about others.
How’s your team and their energy levels?
2019 has been a big year right?
So when your mind and body tells you to take a rest – listen to it, don’t dismiss it.
Be proud of your achievements in 2019 and celebrate by doing what you love. No doubt you deserve it.
And if a client cares enough to ask what you’re doing this Christmas, share your plans – they obviously care enough to ask.
If you are employed by a small business or crazy enough to own one, hold your head high and take a rest these holidays.
You and your small business account for over 90% of our countries business footprint, and dang the country needs you fit, strong and performing in 2020!
If you’ve stayed for the long read, thanks!