This week I will be spending two-plus days without my laptop, locked in a room with eleven others. No, it is not a punishment; it’s an opportunity. It is a chance to step away from the day-to-day activity of working in my business to spend a couple of days working on my business and myself. It is an investment in personal and professional growth.
These mastermind retreats never come at a good time. I have the same internal narrative in my head before each one. “I don’t have the time. I can’t afford to be away from our brands and my team right now.” It is total bullshit. All of us can make and should make the time to step away from the transactional aspects of our businesses to work on the bigger picture.
As entrepreneurs, we are the designers of our futures. The market and other factors have some say in that, but we get to decide the route. What I am attempting to share is that we create the place where we want to work. That is a significant benefit of entrepreneurship. It helps offset the stress, long hours and moments of terror that come with being a founder. We forget that benefit, or at least I do.
The risk of not stepping away from the day-to-day on a routine basis is that we fail to repeatedly ask and attempt to answer the question, “What is it I want to create?” We are driven, goal-oriented folk who will always charge forward. Doing so without answering the above could result in a successful company that we hate.
What I am about to share may sound immodest but is true. A key, if not the key growth factor of any of our businesses is us. If we are not creating and working in an environment that we love, one that excites us and challenges us, then we are not at our best. Failing to bring the best version of ourselves to the party everyday hurts our chances of success.
So, despite my internal narrative and the corresponding stress that it spins off, I am excited to head to this mastermind retreat this week. I know how important it is to ask and attempt to answer that fundamental question of what it is I am trying to create. I recognize that there is no better way to serve our brands and our team than to have clarity about what it is that we want to do and can do well. Further, the eleven other people in that room are my teachers. I learn a ton at every retreat. I come out better both personally and professionally.
This investment in time, effort, and energy ensures two critical things. The first is that I am building a company that I want to work for and the second is that I am bringing the best version of myself to work every day. Give yourself the gift of stepping away from your business. Ask and answer this fundamental question and invest in your growth. Do this, and you and your company will benefit.