Balancing career and family becomes increasingly difficult this time of year. The decision to focus on family and taking a break from business is made by many. But is that wise? Are your competitors taking a break? Can work wait until the New Year? Are you delegating work but not working yourself? Hasn’t the social media prism allow you to stay connected?
I’ve heard other franchise executives make the statement that they “will shut down at the end of the year” or “it’s time to take a break and focus on just my family”. Most entrepreneurs will admit that taking time off whether it’s a well deserved vacation or just a few hours out of the office is almost impossible. It’s impossible because entrepreneurs are workaholics and don’t know how to turn work off. They live their passion and enthusiasm for their work.
This year I have more major family events happening the last three weeks of 2009 than I had the entire year. I have one son graduating from Air Force Officer Training and the other son graduating from College and then getting married! My daughter and other family members and friends arrive for the holidays that has me making six trips to the airport. There is also the cleaning, shopping and cooking required.
So what is an entrepreneur/franchise leader to do? Officially I will be taking 11 vacation days. Before leaving the office I left a holiday message indicating that I will be out of the office until the New year but invited callers to send me an email which will immediately appear on my blackberry. I have attended three end of the year staff meetings with franchisees and their team virtually using video Skype. One meeting was a 20 year celebration for Jen Morack as a COMPUTER EXPLORERS New Jersey franchisee! I have responded to franchisees who needed to discuss important issues regarding their business and corresponded with business brokers and their clients.
As I officially take vacation days my focus and attention is my family and their needs. We have a lot to celebrate and I want the end of 2009 to be an unforgetable event. At the same time I am keeping both eyes on business. I spoke to one franchisee from the grocery store parking lot. Windows were closed, radio turned off and my complete focus was on our conversation and her needs. When I did the video Skype with Jen I had a banana cake in the oven. Jen and her team were showing me all of their baked goodies for the meeting and the aroma of my cake put me completely in the moment of their meeting!
I just finished reading Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk. Gary writes about the importance of personal branding and transparency. He believes in combining business and passion and how you should love what you do. I totally agree! The internet and social media has changed how we can conduct business today. It has opened doors for me to always be connected to my team, my franchisees and our customers. Attending franchisee meetings via video allows me thank them individually for their hard work and express my appreciation. All of this takes very little time away from my family.
In my opinion franchise executives, business leaders, entrepreneurs, etc can enjoy the season without taking a complete break from business. The last thing I want is the someone else to get the competitive edge.
COMPUTER EXPLORERS Team enjoyed putting the following holiday message for you. Please have a safe and holiday season. Happy New Year!