Entrepreneurs work all the time. In doing so, it’s easy to lose yourself in the day to day. Breaking out of your habits and seeing the big(ger) picture, while often talked about, can truly be a struggle to achieve.
Everyone has their own style in running their own life, but at least for me, I’ve found that I can’t take half a vacation. It’s either work 24/7 and 110% and give it your all, or then step out and invest all your time into the longer term, flipping the ‘off’ switch. Even a few days every six months, does marvels for me personally, but it does require that I really hit the kill switch. Here’s three of my reasons why you need a break, and a real break at that;
10 000 feet
In your day to day, jack-of-all-trades type of role, execution is key. All that execution will make it harder to see the bigger picture, as strategy and operational work are like water and oil. You simply cannot mix them in one role at the same time, without getting cluttered in your judgment. Advisory boards and mentors are great, but to live and breath your own venture, you need the right perspective as well. Ultimately, it’s not your advisors or your mentors that are responsible for your success. It’s all you.
While executing one thing after the other, it’s easy to miss a signal here and there. This all starts to register as you drown the noise and get away from the distractions, to notice those weaker signals you might have been ignoring, consciously or unconsciously. There is a reason why new ideas tend to pop up in unorthodox situations and while there is a degree of serendipity, opening up your mind is definitely a way to increase your receptiveness to your next ‘heureka’ moment.
Among the most scarce resources in any company, is mental bandwidth. While depleted, this can cause clouded thoughts, bad judgment and lead to bad decision-making with potential repercussions. You can only include so many things in your own head, and despite spilling them all into online repositories, you will need to process quite a few things in your changing venture, environment and what not.
While you can’t exactly buy this bandwidth, stepping out of the mental office and hanging a closed sign on your forehead can give you the capacity you need to process things that might not otherwise be possible. Seeing issues and cracks with team members, future collaboration possibilities, new markets and trends – all things that you might already notice, but you need more bandwidth to actually see.
Mental bandwidth and perspective are essential in seeing the direction to go. But when it comes to execution, done is done and faster is faster. Taking a breather and seeing all these pieces of the puzzle become more apparent, makes it so much easier to prioritize actions, get motivated and follow through on the bits and pieces that take you closer to where you want to be. Running faster, but in the wrong direction will not only be foolish, it will waste valuable time for both you and your venture.
When building disruptive, world-changing company, you have to accept that it won’t be achieved in 18 months and you should prepare for putting in the work for the big opportunity. It’s never a slam dunk and it will take a long time to achieve with the impact you started out seeking.
After all, you don’t run a marathon by running multiple 100 yard dashes.
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This entry was posted on Thursday, July 19th, 2012 at 1:18 pm and is filed under Entrepreneur Inspiration. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.