By Casey Grey
Is it unrealistic to expect not to work on vacation as a business owner? I understand that if it's a new business it would be unrealistic. But when can it become a reality?
In thinking about it, the larger the company, the busier we get, the harder it will be to be away for an extended period of time.
I guess the question becomes, do I want to be able to disconnect from the company for an extended period of time? If so, how long?
I like my work. I don't feel I need an extended break. A day here and a few days there is good for me. Just enough to reset and reconnect and hit the ground running again.
So perhaps it's not that it's unrealistic. Perhaps, deep down, I'm just not ready to let go.
There may be something else I need to work on here... Or is it just who I am?
On that note, what is "work" anyways?
Being a carpenter, I'm a fan of working with wood.
Framing a house with wood. Wood siding. Wood trim work. Wood cabinetry. Wood flooring. Wood railings and so forth.
Wood, if used and treated properly, can last well beyond our lifetime on this earth.
But now there are all sorts of other "faux" wood products out there.
Personally, I'm not a fan of fakes. Wood represents so much more than just a look from a distance. There's a texture to it. There's a story behind it. It evokes a feeling.
Am I against other products? Absolutely not. As long as they're not trying to be something they're not.
Sometimes you can "fake it till you make it" but you'll never be able to go against your nature.
I remember saying this often when I was a kid. To the point that all my older siblings would make fun of me.
Today, there is always something to do. There's always something to do for work. There's always emails to check. There's always social posts I could do. There's always phone calls I could make. There's movies to watch, books to read and podcasts to listen to. There's stuff to get done around the house. There's stuff I could work on for the van. I could exercise, stretch or play the piano. This list goes on...
Now, it's not a matter of being bored. It's figuring out what is most important right now.
What's interesting, though, is that I normally work on the important stuff when I start to get "bored".
Give yourself nothing to do and see what happens.
Sometimes you need to turn everything off and focus on what's in front of you.
You won't miss anything.
In fact, it's quite the opposite.
You will receive much more.
You will learn more about what or who is in front of you.
You will learn more about yourself.
You will be more productive.
You will realize that the people reaching out to you can often solve their own problems.
You will feel lighter.
You will be more creative.
You will find new opportunities.
The possibilities are endless.
We often need to disconnect in order to reconnect.
When is time considered "wasted"?
Is sitting and reading a book wasting time? What if that book is fiction?
Is watching a movie wasting time? What if that movie is a documentary?
Is spending time with your kids wasting time? What if you're not present?
Is doing research on a large purchase you're thinking of making wasting time? What if you've been doing the research for 2 years?
Is driving 45 minutes to work every day wasting time? What if you listen to education podcasts while driving?
Is cutting your grass and working on the garden wasting time? What if you enjoy being outside and working on your property?
Is spending time on Facebook wasting time? What if you're connecting with family and friends on the other side of the world?
Wasting time is just a matter of opinion.
As long as you are doing what fulfills you, then it's time well "wasted".
When I'm getting out of a parallel parking spot, there's usually two ways to go about it. I can wait for the car in front of me to move or I can go backwards to give myself the space I need to manoeuvre out.
Life is similar.
Sometimes in order to move forwards, you need to go backwards.
Sometimes you need to borrow money in order to make money.
Sometimes you need to give your body a break in order to get stronger.
Sometimes you need to clear your mind in order to think better.
Sometimes you need to give in order to get.
Sometimes you need to let your kid make a mistake so that they can learn for themselves.
Whether you are going backwards or going forwards, you are still moving.
I don't believe in a balanced life.
Is it possible? Yes, I think so. But I don't think it should be the goal.
Being balanced is boring. It's settling.
Sure, I know how to balance on my feet no problem but now I want to learn how to balance on my hands.
To get there, it will take time. The majority of the time I will not be balanced.
And once I get there, I'm going to want to learn how to balance on one hand and the process will start all over.
Life is more like a rollercoaster. It's full of ups and downs.
Sometimes you cry, sometimes you scream and sometimes you're speechless...
If you feel your life is balanced right now, I have one question for you...
Are you fulfilled?
I just spent a good chunk of time sorting out Junk Filter issues for my emails.
It's one of those things that takes time but is required to maximize impact and efficiency.
Every moment we're filtering things in our lives.
We decide what we want to read, what we want to hear, what we want to see, what we want to eat, what we want to drink and so forth.
Like the junk filters for our inbox, most of the decisions happen automatically.
But, just like the filter in a pool, every once in awhile you need to change it or clean it out.
When was the last time you changed or cleaned the filters in your life?
Yesterday, I had another eye opening day thanks to Tarek Mounib of the newly released documentary, Free Trip to Egypt.
Tarek and I had a great conversation and then I made it out to see his documentary last night at the ByTowne Cinema, which I highly recommend if you have time before the last screening here in Ottawa. If you can't make it out this week, it's also playing at the Mayfair Theatre next week.
What Tarek brought to light for me is how often we spend time trying to convince other people of our own views and beliefs that we fail to see theirs.
We're quick to judge and slow to accept.
When I stop and think about my life and who I am, I realize that it would be impossible for anybody to be the same as me. Where I was born, when I was born, the family I was born into, the experiences I have had growing up, the experiences I have had in business and so forth. They are all different.
There is nobody who has been through exactly what I have been through.
There is nobody who has been through exactly what you have been through.
Part of the joy in life is the fact that we're all different. (Personally, I would go nuts if everything was just like me.)
What if we took that energy of trying to change people and instead put it towards accepting people?
How would your life change?
How would you change?
How would the world change?
I look forward to finding out.
"How much does it cost to build a custom home?"
I get this question all the time.
That's like asking how much does it cost to go on vacation.
It depends what kind of vacation you want to go on.
Questions like this set up both sides for disappointment. One of two things will happen.
When you're going to make big decisions, get clear on what you want, what you absolutely need and what you can do without.
Our eyes are often bigger than our stomach.