Arriving to sunny skies in Cabo San Lucas, Sara and her husband marked the moment as an omen of good things to come. It’d been a long rainy winter in Seattle, and they looked forward to a break from their day to day life. They looked forward to snorkeling, tours and time on the beach soaking in the sun. This would be a very special trip, but not for the reasons Sara expected.
Nearly four years ago Sara started a business. She worked 60 to 70 hours a week –often more – to turn her dream of serving clients into a successful startup. 2016 was a good year, and her fledgling business had a steady stream of quality clients Sara enjoyed. Her income paid business expenses, provided a salary that surpassed her corporate career, supported growing the business and reduced the debt she incurred in the early days. She felt good about having stashed away money for this getaway to Mexico. As she and her husband settled into their room with nothing on their agenda but to go to the veranda for an appetizer, Sara’s smile warmed her through and through.
The next day, with sun streaming through the window, Sara and her husband grabbed a few things to take to the beach. Accustomed to thinking about her business all day and nearly every day, Sara picked up a book on leadership that she had packed. She hoped that lying in the sun would inspire a breakthrough on an issue that had come up with her staff. It wasn’t meant to be. Kicked back in a beach lounge chair with a towel, tanning lotion and a cool beverage, she opened her book and discovered she couldn’t focus on the words. She closed the book, looked at her handsome husband in the neighboring chair, shut her eyes and steadied her thoughts. A few minutes later, she opened the book again, but still couldn’t focus. In that moment, it hit her. She really did need a vacation, and she put her book down. For the next six days, she and her husband went snorkeling, soaked up the sun, enjoyed the sights and their time together.
The last day in Cabo, her husband looked at her across their table and said, “Before our vacation, I didn’t know if I wanted to spend an entire week alone with you, because I didn’t know which Sara would show up – the playful woman I married or the business woman I see nearly every day. I’m glad you showed up.”
Sara was fortunate. She put down her book to be present to her life just in time. She recognized her husband’s words as a wakeup call, and they talked about the changes they’d make when they returned to their Seattle home. Sara adjusted her schedule to set time aside with her husband to do the things they both enjoy. Just as important, she set time aside to cultivate her playful and creative nature, trusting her efforts to serve her marriage, her personal interests, and her business. In fact, as she makes these changes, she’s committed to having it all.
Sara’s story can be summed up with a question to entrepreneurs, professionals and business owners everywhere.
“Are you running your business or is your business running you?”
Running a business requires focus and hard work, but no matter what business you own, you don’t have to put your personal life on hold. With the proper mindset, productivity skills to manage the digital world we live in today and leadership skills that begin with you, you can grow your business as big as you like while living the life you love.