A wonderful thing occurs when you are working for someone else... vacation days! Some are given by the employer- some federal holidays-- some "mental health". No matter the source if you are in a corporate position then you likely have at least 5 days of "vacation time". Often entrepreneurs don't allocate any down time for themselves. This is a mistake! Everyone needs a break, including entrepreneurs. In case you, needed to hear the words: IT IS OK TO GO ON VACATION.
There is a tremendous amount of clarity and perspective that you get when you take time away. We are about to cross over into Q3 and now is the time to pause and take stock. I challenge everyone to ask themselves these questions:
Take a day or two off. I mean really off. Read a book for fun (not a business book). Lay on the beach (or the couch). Take lots of naps and long meandering walks. Then on your first day back answer these questions, You may be surprised with the results.
Please take this advice: DO NOT CONFUSE YOUR GOOGLING SKILLS WITH A TRAINED PROFESSIONAL! I have many clients that come to me only after the sky has fallen. As a business adviser and strategist I often find that entrepreneurs chose to complete critical tasks themselves to be scrappy and "practical". This is often a mistake.
Two of the most overlooked team members is a proper Accountant and a licensed Attorney. There is a misconception that these professionals are very expensive. So, instead of paying for an hour or two of their time we make a mad dash to Google's home page. There is only one problem with the contract or template that you downloaded; it may not be suitable for your needs. How will you know? You won't until you are in a jam. Non-professionals can not spot the errors or deficiencies.
When I am deciding whether to engage a professional I first ask myself two questions:
Do not save a few hundred dollars today only to pay thousands later!
Calling with small questions will always be cheaper than unraveling a complex issue.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Friday Story Time!
I was asked what my next career steps were and I responded like I typically do: I would love to become and expert correspondent and be like the Oprah for all topics Medical and Scientific. I received a very quizzical look from the person who asked the question. He says, “hmmm that’s interesting, who did Oprah look up to”?
This question set off a cascade of thoughts… Who did Oprah or Steve Jobs look up to? Should I add those people to my list etc. But then I immediately began to recognize that I was missing the point. Most people that others aspire to be were only aspiring to be themselves!
This thought runs counter to most of the guidance that we see as entrepreneurial advice. We are constantly told to find a comparable or an example and look at what they did to be successful.
Well its nice to look for inspiration but when it comes to defining what you want to be when you grow up I think we should all take a bit of advice: “Live your best life”!!!
So over the next 7 days I am challenging myself to define my aspirations without limiting the possibilities to what others have done before.
Dr. Shante Williams is a serial entrepreneur who started slow and in the shallow end of the business pool. She has worked in Biotech, Big Pharma, Green Energy, and Academia