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Meyer Services   /   Business   /  Smelling the Roses and Recharging Our Batteries!


Smelling the Roses and Recharging Our Batteries! by Lisa Schmeckpeper


This holiday season marks my 3-year anniversary in the Internet Marketing business. Of course, on such anniversaries we all ask ourselves: Am I better off now then when I started? My enthusiastic answer is: By far :-) That automatically raises another anniversary question: Am I where I want to be? My answer, thoughtful but still enthusiastic, is: Not quite ;-)

Sound familiar? Or maybe you haven't gotten to the "better off" part yet. Regardless of how you answer these two introspective questions, my piece of advice to you this holiday season is the same: Take some time off. Relax, enjoy your family, regroup your thoughts and goals and decide what is really important to you, your personal life, and the lives of those most important to you.

This piece of advice, like most advice I give, comes from personal experience. I have been running around like crazy for the past three years growing this Internet business. Granted, it has paid off well, in many visible ways, but at what personal price?

My children miss their mommy, my husband feels the pressure of his long hours at work, compared to all the work here at home (which I can't always attend to because of my own business time and focus requirements), and I can feel my good health slowly diminishing.

Many organizers and time management specialists will tell you that if your life, as a whole, is not running smoothly then your neglected areas will suffer. And how true that is! If the kids ain't happy, nobody in the house is going to be happy. If your spouse isn't happy, then how can you truly be happy? If all the ongoing work and resultant unhappiness in the family cause you to be unhappy, how effectively do you think you will perform your job? Not well at all!

And what do you, as owner-operator of your own web business, think happens when your health fails? Not much! Most jobs in the "real world" include someone who is there to take your place while you are out sick. But when you run your own business, nobody is hovering in the wings, ready to take up the slack and keep the operation humming.

I have personally been putting off having my wisdom teeth extracted for over a year. I haven't seen my gynecologist since my daughter was born three years ago, and my once-religious exercise routine has ceased to exist as pounds keep getting measured by my unforgiving, depressingly honest bathroom scale. All in the name of entrepreneurship.

Some people would call that extreme dedication, laziness or even a unique late-twentieth century form of mental illness! I'm not even sure what I consider it anymore. What I have realized is that taking time off can be like recharging dead (but rechargeable) batteries. Accomplishing even the simplest of tasks with dead batteries can be a chore--nearly impossible. But take time to recognize the problem, put in a fresh set and you can get three times the work done effortlessly.

This past Thanksgiving weekend I spent a glorious three nights at the Wilderness Resort Lodge in the Wisconsin Dells. Just my husband and I and our children, enjoying the water park, horseback riding and getting away from the stress with other activities we found open in the off-season. It was great!

Am I totally refreshed? No, not yet. But I plan to be as I am not going to come back fully from vacation until after the new year. One thing this mini-vacation made me realize is that I am not happy if I miss out on what I normally view as the "important stuff." I say normally view because when I have my entrepreneur mindset on I experience complete tunnel vision. I don't even realize what I'm missing because all I have my eyes on are all the opportunities to grow my business on the little glowing electronic screen in front of me.

But I don't want to miss Christmas with the kids this year. I want to truly experience the holidays this season, not just try to plan them around my busy work schedule. I don't even want to miss the upcoming, once in a lifetime "turn of the century".

Now, what does this mean to my business? Does it hurt my growth? Probably in the short run. Revenues won't be up but they certainly won't dip down low enough to really worry me. This, by the way, is one of the nicest things about an Internet business :-)

But how will this reaffirmation that I am something more than a slave to Internet possibilities eventually help my business? Easy... when I do come back to full time work my health will be improved, I'll feel better about myself and my family, and I'll have a clear head. I'll most likely return to accomplish tasks that I have struggled with previously in record time, just because of my recharged, revitalized mental state.

So how can you apply this advice in your own life?

If you have already burnt yourself out and feel that you are spinning your wheels, force yourself to take a break. You don't have to push and push and push yourself in order to prove you can be successful. It will come eventually, and when it finally does march into your life, you should want to be able to handle it. Wouldn't it be a shame if success finally knocked on your door but you were too tired and mentally exhausted to remember your early dreams, and be in a condition to take advantage of that success? Of course it would be.

History is full of sad examples of people who started out with a dream, pursued that dream relentlessly, and used all their talents and time. Somehow, when they arrived at the end of the rainbow, they were either too tired, or too bogged down by worries that they were going to lose it, that they couldn't even enjoy the colors, much less the contents of that allegorical kettle. You probably have worked for people like that. So you know it's not an uncommon phenomenon. Just don't let it happen to you.

If you haven't yet fully launched your Internet business, and you're feeling burnt out just from the pre-launch phase, then I say enjoy this last holiday of the millennium with gusto. There will be plenty of other sacrifices ahead in your first few years of business.

If you haven't already gotten in on this year's Christmas Ecommerce train it is almost too late to do much anyway. Christmas shoppers will be making their online purchases over the next couple of weeks. After that they will turn to the safety of the retail stores for any last-minute gifts. So if you haven't launched by now, chances are the smart thing to do is just relax and enjoy this last 1999 holiday.

We receive mixed messages in many of the publications we regularly read. Some writers say stop procrastinating and make sacrifices or you'll get nowhere. Then you have writers like me who encourage you to stop and smell the roses occasionally. Ultimately, of course, you have to do what you feel is right for you and your particular circumstances.

I just know that for me and a few other well-known marketers I've talked to, taking some time off provides us with a much-needed renewal of our entrepreneurial batteries.


This article written by Lisa Schmeckpeper of LRS Marketing and published in their free newsletter, Website Success Monthly. To receive a free copy of this informative e-zine just send email to subscribe@lrsmarketing.com or visit their website at www.lrsmarketing.com. Copyright 1998 [LRS Marketing]. All rights reserved.


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