'Hang Onto Vacation

Hang Onto Vacation

August 31, 2022

It will be Labor Day weekend soon. Summer’s last hurrah.

That final picnic, trip to the lake, lazy afternoon reading a book. Even the last self-indulgent dessert before getting back on track with work, school, and healthy eating.

Or is it?

There’s a reason that all those things that are so wonderful about vacation are part of nearly everyone’s itinerary – they feel good! There’s something about vacation that gives us permission to be a little self-indulgent and allows us to break some of the rules we usually impose on ourselves

So, what’s to say that you have to close the door on those things once the “real world” shows up on the calendar? What if you built in a little “vacation reminder” at various times throughout the year to give you a bit of the boost that you get from the self-care you build into vacation?

Making sure that you replenish yourself, restore your energy, and treat yourself gently is not something that can – or should – wait for those short weeks of summer and then be forgotten. If you spend the rest of the year emptying yourself out until you are depleted, you may not be able to sufficiently fill your tank in a few short weeks in the summer.

That means that you’ll be operating at less than full capacity during the rest of the year. That doesn’t sound like a recipe for success, does it?

Building in some vacation reminders in the form of self-care moments can make all the difference in keeping you engaged, enthusiastic and energetic even through the demands of your typical business schedule.

Try these mini-vacation reminders to keep yourself going, even when the going gets tough:

  • Have one lazy morning – relish the time to silence the alarm and wake when your body wants to
  • Indulge in a decadent dessert…without worrying about counting the calories
  • Read something purely for pleasure
  • Soak in a fragrant tub
  • Go somewhere to just sit and enjoy the natural beauty
  • Get up to see the sunrise
  • Buy yourself that special shampoo or lotion
  • Spend unscheduled time with your family – no agenda, just together time

Vacation is not about the amount of time or money you spend. It’s about the mindset that self-care and personal pleasure is an important part of nurturing you as a whole person – one who is living the best life they can in both their business and at home.

Hang on to those vacation memories. Build a little reminder in every so often, especially if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or depleted or if you start wishing for a get-away, It won’t take much to bring back that lift that you were feeling on your last vacation.

And that’s a good thing – for you and everybody else.




'That One Thing

That One Thing

August 24, 2022

Do you have a summer reading list? A stack of books that you build up through the year to save for those slower, lazier summer days when you can read for several hours uninterrupted by last-minute changes or unexpected crises.

Does your list have a theme or special focus? Is it all over the place…mixed between business and pleasure, escape and education?
Every summer, I try to include at least one book from the Forbes Executive Essentials Summer Reading List. There’s always so much food for thought. This year is no exception.

One book jumped right out at me – The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. What could be more fitting for someone who works to make things easier, simpler (and more profitable)?

I wasn’t disappointed. The authors have compiled considerable research that shows many  highly successful people focus on one single thing at a time and that this extraordinary focus leads to extraordinary results.

According to Keller and Papasan, asking yourself this one critical question can offer a world of insight and set you the road to greater success.

Here’s the question: “What’s the one thing that when I do it, everything else becomes either easier or unnecessary?”

Sounds simple, right? Think again. They didn’t ask for a list. Or one thing for business and one thing for your personal life. Ask yourself one more time.

It’s a great time to think about this as we wind down the summer and wind up the push toward the last quarter of the year. Set the stage with this one thing and see how much farther you’ll go.be

It took some time, but when I landed on my answer it felt absolutely true, without question.

My one thing is start the day with gratitude.

If you’re shaking your head and saying it sounds too simple, maybe,  that’s not your one thing. That’s part of the magic. Your one thing is the thing that works for you, that make everything easier and simpler for you.

You’ll know you’re onto something if on some random day you give your one thing attention than it deserves or neglect it altogether. Things will seem harder, amore complicated. Yes, there it is. Your one thing.

There’s a holiday weekend coming up soon. Spend a little time exploring what The One Thing might be for you. Commit to doing it every day and see how much easier and simpler your life becomes.

I’m willing to bet your business becomes more profitable, too.



'Critical First Hour

Critical First Hour

August 17, 2022

Can you feel the shift?

Traffic is picking up as people return from vacation. School has started, the days are just the slightest bit cooler and suddenly there is less of this year in front of us than behind us.

Do you know what that means?

We have reached that point where you are going to either step on the gas to make this year be what you want, or you’re going to keep doing what you’re doing—which is fine…if it’s working.

But I don’t want to see you just doing “stuff.”  That’s called busy work.  A big, old waste of time might be more accurate.

More doing is not the order of the day. That just piles on more “stuff,” adds stress and probably produces nothing of great significance.

Planning, strategy is the ticket.

You know, that “working on your business” thing.  The thing you talk about but never have the time to do.

We’ve figured out how to find you some time to work on your business.  We have been doing it for years, and it works…painlessly.

The first hour of your day is devoted to strategy and planning, to working on rather than working in.

Before you get sucked into business fires, customer issues or the abyss of Facebook, work on your business plan.  Then decide what’s one big-ish thing you can accomplish right now.

Here are some thoughts about how you make that happen.

First, no email.  It kills me to say this because I love email.  Love it.  But tackling your email first means you’re marching to someone else’s agenda.

Second, put the overview of your business/marketing plan on one or two pages (one goal, four strategies and a couple of action items each) and tape them up in your work area.  It will remind you everyday where you want to head.  When the bright, shiny object arrives—and it will—you’ll know whether the shine is a distraction or improves your plan.

Next, spend some of that time doing nothing.  10 minutes. 15 minutes.  Yep, that’s what I said.  Few of us give our right brain–our creative, reflective inward focused side–a chance to breathe, think and contribute.  We’re too busy with that left brain imperative to do-do-do.

Finally, tackle one big thing…something important to your business that moves the ball forward. Even on your most taxing, over-booked days you’ll end the day knowing you tackled something truly important to your business.

The success of your business is built on action every day.  The right action.  And if you can’t see where you’re going, the odds are pretty good you’ll get somewhere… but will it be the right somewhere?


Chris Williams