In one word: Glorious.  

With the sale of Everywhere Managed, and a partnership with a new call center (stay tuned for that announcement next week), I have spent the last five weeks in and around Puerto Vallarta and Punta Mita, Mexico.  I’ve surfed, taught yoga and fitness classes, explored, relaxed and enjoyed a real vacation – autoresponder and all.  I’m still living in Punta Mita for the next few months, but I’m finally back at my desk at regular intervals during business hours, and while not everyone will have the opportunity to spend that much time unplugged from their businesses, I highly recommend trying it – even if only for a handful of days.   I travel a lot, but I had never genuinely unplugged from the business for more than a day – ever – and even then it was under duress from family, not a willing parting of ways with my cell phone.

What I Learned About My Business:

There are no telemarketing emergencies.  Nothing caught on fire.  Nobody on my client roster needed anything from me that was so essential it couldn’t wait a few weeks or get handled by someone else.  Nobody on my team needed something so badly that I needed to deal with it immediately.  I probably lost a few sales opportunities for not responding immediately to enquiries that came in by phone or email while I was away.

My team is much smaller than it was pre-pandemic and so is my client roster.  That’s not such a bad thing if you want to go walkabout. I thought when I began the Traction process a few years back that I wanted to build and run a large company. Even post-exit, I had planned on getting back to work on new projects and ideas immediately.

Living on the beach is pretty sweet, and I don’t know that I need or want to go back to the high-growth goals I had in 2019.

What I Learned About Myself:

I learned I’m definitely not ready to retire.

I missed working.  I missed checking my social media regularly to see what people were doing.  I missed prospecting for new business.  I missed the days that I spend buried in new ideas and planning.  I even missed the stressful everything is going off the rails crisis moments that I really thrive in.

I always travel and work, and I had planned on doing so again.  Traveling and not working?  That was new, and actually pretty challenging – I failed at it the first few weeks, and had to lock my phone and my laptop in the safe and have someone else choose the combo so that I had to keep the commitment I made to myself until I got into the habit of leaving them alone all day.  I had already weaned myself off social media (more or less) the previous year, but I still struggled not having my phone with me all the time.  For those of you who’ve already figured out that you don’t need your phone to live, kudos!  For me it was like detox all over again.  Now that I’m used to it, I can’t imagine going back to it again.

I learned I need to recharge to be my best self – like actually recharge – no phone, no email, no work, no distractions, no “quick questions”, no “brainstorming new ideas”.  I read fiction books.  I surfed.  I practiced yoga and taught fitness classes to resort guests.

I learned that I could live the life that I wanted right now, instead of waiting until I hit a magic number.

I learned that I was a shitty partner and often a shitty parent while I built my first two businesses – that’s a thing I can’t fix, but definitely a thing I will intentionally change moving forward.

I learned that too much idle time is also not good for me – I need to balance work and life a whole lot better than I did previously.  I can be extraordinarily productive for half a day instead of being moderately engaged for twelve hours, and that’s just fine.  Letting go of the belief that to be good at something I had to be good at it for eight hours every day was freeing.

What I’m Doing Next:

I’m staying in Mexico for the forseeable future.

I’m keeping part-time business hours.

I’m launching a new marketing service for the channel. (I’m excited about that!)

I’ve partnered up with a new calling agency (more on that next week, big announcement).

I’m teaching and taking fitness classes daily to keep my body fit and my social interaction levels high.

I’m learning Spanish and salsa dancing to learn new things that aren’t work-related.

I’m being intentional about my plans for the future, and letting go of the things and relationships that don’t align with those plans, or that might sideline them.

Should You Take Some Time Off?

Yes.  You really should.  The pandemic has been stressful.  For everyone.  Whether you are white-knuckling it through, or your business skyrocketed and thrived during the pandemic, a break is probably in order.

If you don’t want to travel mid-pandemic, you can create space for yourself and leave your phone and your laptop at the office from time to time.

Start with an hour.  Then a day.  Then a weekend.  Then a week.  And if you’re not yet ready to do that, start taking steps in your business that will enable you to do this.  If you don’t trust your team to manage your business for a week without you, you need to fix that.  If your clients won’t honor your need for a day off, you might need to consider what that says about your clients.  My partners and clients were very respectful of my decision to take some time off.  Nobody left us, and nobody called me.  And we’re still standing.

I’m excited for the future.  I’m happy to be back at my desk.  I loved not working.  I hope you try it.

If you’re looking for cold calling advice and support, you can find some great free content on our new events page, here:

https://www.managedsalespros.com/events/on-demand-webinars/

If you’re ready to plan for 2021, I’m open for consulting discussions, and you can book some time with me by emailing hello@managedsalespros.com