Take a Break. Get Out for a While. Do Something for Yourself.

I really like Anita Campbell’s How to Put the Life Back Into Your Company post yesterday on the American Express OPEN Forum. She starts:

After the past two years of the recession – watching expenses like a hawk and keeping a close eye on receivables – it wouldn’t be surprising if you ended up with a bunker mentality.

That certainly hit home for me.

Anita goes from there to some very good suggestions taken not from the standard small business cliches we’re all tired of, but rather, from real experience, related to real people. Like get out of the office for a while, for example; and do something just for you. This is good advice.

Here’s Anita’s list. My advice is that you read the original post for her full suggestions.

  1. Remind yourself why you started or entered the business.
  2. Reflect on those who rely on your business.
  3. Get out of the office.
  4. Find something to celebrate.
  5. Do something just for you.

For that last point, I can’t resist finishing this one with her explanation:

Getting burned out won’t help a thing. It saps your energy. Do something just for you… a family vacation, some golf, reading a book, visiting an attraction. Find time to recharge your body and soul and you’ll bring more enthusiasm to your business when you get back to work. Encourage your staff to do the same.

And I’m glad to report that this post today catches me practicing what Anita suggested: I’m on vacation in the San Juan Islands. I took the picture below yesterday, from cliffs where we were sitting and watching when a group of Orca whales swam by, diving and blowing and jumping, as close as 50 yards away. This impromptu iPhone picture isn’t great, but the moment was. The picture includes two Orca whales, four of my grandsons, two of my daughters, my son-in-law, and my wife. Life is good.

whale watching

(Image credit: me and my iPhone)


  • JayTurn says:

    That truly is something special Tim. In the office/workplace, we pass by the roses without as much as a second glance. It is times like those in your photo that we actually stop to smell them. Great advice from Anita.

  • Berislav Lopac says:

    An excellent advice, but one that unfortunately cannot be taken until you’ve at least made your business float, if not sailing gracefully…

  • Chelle Parmele says:

    Wow, Tim. Talk about your close encounters with wildlife! Was the whale spotting a fluke or are they known to frequent that area?

    • Tim Berry says:

      Hi Chelle. Yes, the whale spotting is quite common this time of the year. In fact, the locals say the west coast of San Juan Island (which is where we were) is the best place in the U.S. to watch whales from on land.

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