Saturday, August 18, 2018

5 lessons I learned while running a business on vacation

Photo Credit: Nate Evans

Welcome back! 

It feels SO GOOD to be reconnected with you! If you are subscribed to my email list then you know that I went on vacation to Jamaica to slow down and recharge. Yes, hunny! I needed time to rest. However, I went with the WHOLE FAMILY which means my goal to kick my feet up and relax only lasted for about 5 minutes! Lol as most of you parents probably know, traveling with kids means that you've actually signed up to work nonstop for your entire trip. You will be chasing your kids around the beach, the store, and the dining hall as well as telling them to "get over here" a thousand times a day. As parents, we hold the sole responsibility of keeping them entertained throughout the entire journey including the flight. Believe me when I tell you my kids showed NO MERCY in holding me accountable to this! Lol, thankfully our resort had a "kids club" and a nanny service so my husband and I had options *wink*.

Photo Credit: Nate Evans

If you don't know I have 2 girls under 2 years old. My oldest is turning 3 in October so you can IMAGINE what this vacation was like. Sometimes during dinner in the dining hall when it was past their bedtime my 1-year-old would cry for me to hold her and rock her to sleep while my older daughter attempted to make music by banging her fork as loud as she could on a glass plate and bobbing her head along to the beat she created. Lol, can you imagine!? My husband and I would glance at each other and laugh. It was hilarious! Overall my kids are pretty well behaved and it's easy to make them happy so I enjoyed every minute with them (even the challenging ones).

Photo Credit: Valrie Francis

While on vacation the entrepreneur in me was naturally brainstorming and looking for creative problems to solve. My brain was rapidly designing and reconstructing projects that I'm currently working on. It was as if being away from my city, culture, natural environment, social media, and friends gave me a fresh perspective and a blank page to be innovative. It was liberating! I encourage you, whenever you get the chance to spend time away, out of your house, city/country, and away from friends, GET SOME SOLITUDE.

Solitude is pretty much withdrawing from all of the noise around you and realigning your focus, beliefs, and mindset. You will find fresh inspiration, create a vivid vision for your life, and design a unique blueprint to follow. I'm telling you the results you get are worth the time spent. You can do this in long or short periods, but I suggest doing it for a few hours a day when you're just starting out.

As mentioned above I was managing multiple projects at the same time prior to my vacation. A few of these projects had deadlines that were VERY close to my departure date. I had a lot going on and I thought I could complete some of these tasks during my vacation before the deadline, but I WAS WRONG! I experienced some unforeseen challenges (like having no wifi), dropped the ball and almost MISSED A DEADLINE (I wish you could see my facial expression right now)! I was so disappointed in myself, but it taught me a major lesson. Can you guess what it is?

I am not superhuman

As a wife, mom, and entrepreneur I've been able to accomplish more than I thought I could in a short amount of time and produce some incredible results through developing my project management skills, but this time I failed. Am I proud of this? No. Am I glad that I got to experience this? Yes! 

"We learn from failure not from success."
- Bram Stoker

As much as I wish that things had worked out differently I now hold a sober and clear understanding on:

1. The Importance Of Delegating Tasks

I thought about asking for help and delegating this important task over and over before I left, but after a few days I talked myself out of it by saying "girl, don't worry, you will get it done first thing in the morning on your second day of the trip." and "This is easy, routine work you can do with your eyes closed. You will not miss the deadline." Now in foresight, I know that I should have communicated with my team prior to take off and prepared them for things that could go wrong while I was away. I'm happy that we didn't miss the deadline and things could have been a lot worst, however, the pressure I put on myself could've been avoided if I had delegated the important tasks.

2. Being Better Equipped 


Working with deadlines means every minute counts. I should have been equipped to get the job done with or without an internet connection. I know working without internet almost seems impossible because our world is so dependent on it, but there are ways to get things done without it if you are prepared. Now when I travel (except on vacation. Read point number 5) I will always have a backup plan (my own travel wifi stick haha) and all of the necessary resources to ensure that the job gets done no matter how far away from home I am.

3. Trust Your Intuition (Life Lesson)

I had so many internal signals going off trying to get my attention to prepare for potential disruptions but I ignored them. I thought I was being overly cautious and didn't need to enforce new measures. This mistake taught me to trust my judgment and follow my intuition. In following your intuition you might get it wrong, but what happens if you're right? It's better to be over prepared than to ignore the warning signs and have to suffer the consequences (can I get an amen?!). The more you develop this skill, the better you become, and the wiser you will be. Get a head start by starting today.

4. Enjoy Your Failures

"Always remember 
that failure is not the end, 
it's the beginning of a new you."
- Tee Forever 

Instead of beating myself over the head, feeling discouraged and full of self-pity I accepted that my method was wrong. I failed and now I'm a more efficient businesswoman. As leaders, openly sharing your mistake with your team (or people in general) can make you feel vulnerable and insecure, but in truth, your team will see you as trustworthy and you will gain more respect. Honesty and humility always lead to new opportunities. Instead of hiding behind your mistakes expose them, find valuable lessons and learn from the experience and keep going.

"The race is not always to the swift 
but to those that keep on running."
- unknown

5. Greatness Requires Rest

Like I mentioned above, I am not superhuman. Although I knew that I needed rest I didn't take it seriously and still wanted to work during my vacation. I know that some of you share this belief so I have to tell you, YOU ARE NOT SUPERHUMAN either. Yes, you are extremely gifted and full of amazing idea's. Yes, you will create incredible opportunities for yourself but you will need rest to climb your mountain to greatness. Trust me, I had to learn the hard way so let me save you some time. Rest and solitude is not an option. If you want to be great it is a requirement.

All in all my vacation was time well spent. I am looking forward to creating a lifestyle that maintains high levels of working hard and challenging myself while also adapting quiet times of rest and solitude. If you want to join me subscribe to be apart of the Tee Forever Goal Getters community and let's do this together! Until next time!

Theresa Forever
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