There’s something that’s true about you, when you’re an entrepreneur: you’re passionate about what you do. If you’re not passionate about it, you’re just not going to be an entrepreneur for long. Because you’re the one that makes it happen. You may have a team that helps you, you may have some incredible talent that does the stuff you can’t do; but when push comes to shove, it’s you. Your passion is the driver for your business. [bctt tweet=”Your passion is the driver for your business.”]
The Truth About Passion
And that’s the tightrope you have to learn to walk: the passion tightrope. If you’re going to remain passionate enough to drive the business, you’ve also got to take time off to recharge your passion. [bctt tweet=”To remain passionate enough to drive the business, you’ve got to take time off to recharge.”]
It sounds like a contradiction: your passion has to be present to drive the business and you have to take some time off to remain passionate. Keeping your passion charged is similar to gardening. You just can’t put the same plant in the same soil, season after season, without either giving the soil a break or adding some nutrients back into it, so that it can continue to nourish the same type of plants that have already leached what that type needs from the soil.
Why Your Passion Needs a Vacation
Stepping out of “go mode” the first few times is going to be rough. But you not only should do it, you truly need to do it—for your loved ones, for your business and for your team, if not for yourself. There are a couple of key things you need to remember that will make you more comfortable taking that time to recharge your passion:
- You need to take time off for your loved ones. They want something more than the money you’re bringing home and the success you’re creating. They want you. And the last thing you want is to train your loved ones to not want you. And if you’re absent, mentally or physically, long enough, that’s exactly what you’ll do; train them that they can do just fine without you. I spent quite a bit of time neck deep in my work, but I tried not to lose sight of the fact that I was working to give Loveanne and my boys a good life. And they wouldn’t consider their lives “good” unless they actually got to spend time with me.
- Your business needs you to recharge. Your passion finds the solutions, makes the innovations and keeps it relevant to the market place. If you let your passion drain away, then your solutions will be weak and your innovations… well, they won’t exist.
- Your team needs you to recharge your passion. These folks are looking to you for inspiration, but they’re at least third on the totem pole for receiving what you have to give. You likely put your loved ones and the tasks you perform in your business ahead of them. So your team will to be the first to notice when you need to recharge. Are any of your team members noticing that you “aren’t yourself” lately, or that you seem tired or stressed? That’s a sure sign you’re past the point of needing to recharge your passion.
- Of course, you need to take time off for yourself. Over the years I’ve noticed that you usually have to be older and wiser before you realize this. A man or woman is usually a few years into their middle-age before noticing that no one ever lays on their death bed and says, “I wish I had worked longer hours.” [bctt tweet=”No one ever lays on their death bed and says, “I wish I had worked longer hours.””]
How to Plan Your Passion Getaway
So you know you’ve got to take some time off to do this recharging thing, but how?
- Recognize that one day, one way or another, this business is going to have to do without you. Unless your business is figuring out a way to keep people healthy for eternity, the odds of you not being here forever are pretty much 100 percent. For that matter, if your business has figured out a way to keep you healthy for eternity, does an eternity with no relaxation sound like one you want to hang around for?
- Determine what key functions can be scheduled so you can take time off. You’re going to have to either discipline yourself to say “later” to clients, which might mean telling an important client they have to wait. That’s ok.
- Take a look at the potential in the team you’ve surrounded yourself with and find out what functions can be delegated. What key strengths do they have that match well to the tasks that need to be delegated? You may need to split some tasks up among a couple of people, rather than assigning something to a person with only part of the required skill sets. Then empower them to make the decisions they’ll need to make, whether that’s authorizing a set dollar amount or moving forward on a contract that meets pre-determined criteria.
In order to win, you must be fully charged. To be fully charged, you must have gas in your tank. When you are frazzled, frantic and tired, you aren’t going to move your business and your team forward. Give your passion the time off it needs and deserves.
Go out and live the stories you want to tell,
This post originally appeared on MariaShriver.com.