As a business owner, there are so many demands on our time….staff, clients, marketing, office admin, accounting….the lists are endless. We’ve all read from numerous sources how fundamental it is to work on our business, instead of in our business. But the often missed topic and question is when do we work on ourselves?
As one of the owners of AIS Solutions, I’m always trying to balance the needs of my team members – to ensure that they are motivated, engaged and excited about coming to work every day. But who does that for us? Who rejuvenates our energy, and ensures that we are staying at the top of our game? That responsibility also rests solely upon our shoulders. For those of you who know me, you’ll understand how difficult it is for me to take 2 days off in a row. And two days off in a row during tax season?? Unheard of! But that is just what I’ve done. Today was my first day of a 2 day conference I attended called Women in Leadership and Business. Thanks very much to Ildy Wilie, who organized the event, and filled the need for an event like this. The event was held in Niagara-on-the-lake at the White Oaks Conference Resort & Spa, which is a fabulous venue. But honestly, the conference could have been held in the back of an alley, but as long as the speakers were the same, it still would have been inspiring. The keynote speaker this morning, was Arlene Dickinson of Dragons’ Den. As her background is marketing, I was expecting to come away with some strategic marketing tips that could be employed in my business, but what I walked away with instead, was an awe-inspiring story of a woman’s struggles to make it on her own, and the humour she was able to find in what otherwise would be difficult life lessons. After Arlene was done speaking, I felt as though she had shared a very personal part of herself, and her journey, in order to help us all feel that we were not alone.
Arlene set the tone for the day, and it was one speaker after another that left me inspired. Although I didn’t arrive home until 7:30 pm, and had left the house this morning, 12 hours earlier, I felt more energized than I have in months. My husband and my daughter listened to me tell them about my day and all of the things I learned all through dinner, that I’m not sure anyone else got a word in edgewise
It certainly reminded me how important it is that as business owners, we don’t forget about ourselves. The businesses are our babies and our heart and soul gets poured into its activities, day after day….but we need to remember to step away every so often, spend some time on ourselves, and you’ll be amazed at what a difference it will make when you return to the office.
I’m back at the conference tomorrow morning and am excited to see what the day has in store for me. What new thoughts and ideas will come to fruition? What will I accomplish by spending another day focusing just on me? I’m sure that I will leave tomorrow a better visionary, manager, partner and leader to take my business to the next level it can achieve.