Vacation is Good For the Soul…and the Business!

“I can enjoy a vacation as well as the next person, as long as I know it’s a vacation and not a premature retirement.”   Mary Crosby

Every year, the husband and I try to take off for a vacation. Most times, it might not be more than an extended weekend. But it is a vacation none the less. And sometimes, we’re lucky enough to take two shortish vacations.

Now if I had my way, we’d be taking at least two, 10-day vacations or get-aways a year. And yes, if I was really going to go wild, you better believe they’d be completly isolated and totally exotic (and include many cocktails!). But that’s not quite our reality…yet.
I don’t think I realized until this last 3-day away that not everyone likes to vacation the same way. Which also means that not everyone likes to vacation or leave home…period.

Regardless of whether you’re a get-away kind of person, or someone that would rather save their money and stay close to home, you need to take that time off. And just as importantly, you need to let go of any expectations that you might have (I’ve learned this one the hard way).

Some things to keep in mind, whether you’re taking some time off at home or away…

Vacation is Good For the Soul…and the Business!Go with the flow. I think the most important thing to consider when taking time off is to not fight what comes up. Allow yourself to go against the norm…sleep in, eat out, stay up late, cook up a storn, stay in bed, do nothing but read, practice all yoga all the time…whatever. Allow yourself to try something new on for size. Just go with the flow and see what presents itself.

Embrace the Disconnect. For some people (like me), the total disconnect is important. For others (like my husband), they don’t like to be feel isolated and out of the loop. Do what works for you. I like to set up the vacation responder to my email and automate and schedule in advance whatever I can for my business. When I get online, I want to be there to share photos, stories and experiences, not to be bogged down with work. My husband on the other hand, needs to have high speed WiFi wherever we go with his smartphone close at hand. But…he allows himself to skip the daily politics (thank you, thank you, thank you) and makes sure he schedules batches of time away from any work obligations – that’s his version of disconnecting.

Enjoy the creativity. There’s a reason that authors and musicians like to get away from their home to work on new projects. New environments mean new energy and new experiences. Which in turn, means that your creativity is also in a new environment and sparking new ideas. Embrace this. In fact, go with it. Create a space that allows for these creative bursts. Carry a notepad with you at all times so you can jot down new ideas and thoughts as it comes to you. Encourage conversations with others – even total strangers. I find that I get some of my best ideas when I change up my environment and go with the flow.

Be happy. Vacation is Good For the Soul…and the Business!Not in the “don’t worry, be happy” sense of the word. I’m thinking more along the lines of finding something that makes you happy and doing it. You’re on vacation! If drinking wine and chowing down on Mexican food, while watching novellas makes you happy (um…no comment), then go for it. If spending the day at the movies makes you happy, then have at it. If not answering your phone or puttering in the garden, or shopping up a storm is what lights you up and makes you SMILE then do more of that. Do whatever it takes to find some joy and happiness during your time off. Laughter is the best medicine, they say. And a smile looks much healthier (and is more contagious…in a good way) than a tan anyway. ;-)

Practice some of these tips – at home or away – and I promise, you’ll not only feel better (and more relaxed), but your business will benefit as well.

Bon voyage!

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What’s the Power Behind the Mastermind?

While you may be hearing more and more about people getting involved with Mastermind groups, the concept itself has been around since the early 1900′s.  It all started with Napoleon Hill and his classic book, Think and Grow Rich.

In this well known book, he wrote about the Mastermind principle as two or more people working together toward a specific, definite purpose in the “spirit of harmony.”  Accordingly he continues that, “No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind.”

"Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything."I’ve been involved on and off in Mastermind groups since late 2008.  They come in all sorts of variations: live and in person; virtual (usually over the phone, sometimes via the internet); small private groups; larger groups with an open door policy that are always open to new members and much more.

Basically, if you can find a group of like-minded people that are willing to support you and your business through your challenges and your successes  while you offer up the same support, then you can create a Mastermind group.  In fact, in many ways, my Masterminding experience has brought me to my current day love of accountability groups. Continue reading