original photo: Steven Schlagel

original photo: Steven Schlagel

Thank heavens tax time is O-V-E-R!

I’m a CPA/attorney and I just ended the intense tax period that left precious little time for anything else-family, friends, hobbies, or other business opportunities, let alone time for me. Now that this time has passed, it will be crucial for me to take a break and recharge. Not only to help restore my relationships, but also to renew my creative abilities.

We were not meant to function at an extreme pace year round, but many small owners forget this. They are in “survival” mode, not realizing this can create more problems than it solves. To thrive instead of just surviving financially, you must schedule routine time off.

Unplugging is a key componenent of time off. No cell phone, no computer, no television. Americans rarely encounter real silence and, not only does it renew us spiritually (Saint John of the Cross said in the 16th century that “silence is God’s first language”), it also renews the capacity for idea generation.

If you don’t think that creativity impacts business, time to check out Change by Design by Tim Brown, CEO of the nation’s largest design firm that collaborates with all kinds of businesses including the US government. Innovation is crucial to your businesses growth, whether an innovative process, product or image. The world changes faster than ever. It can seem counterintuitive but to keep up, you must wind down.

Incorporating solo, contemplative, silence into your annual vacation plans may confuse those around you, but even two days in a cabin or hotel room alone, unplugged, will renew your calm and creativity. This allows you to lead and innovate more effectively, and improves relationships. So, to all the small business owners out there who believe being chronically on the move is the best way, I challenge you to make time for time off. Talk about it in our forums.


by Steven Schlagel