Big visionaries behind small businesses share their insights and experiences in this series. Learn how to share your brand story here.
When I hung my first shingle and struck out on my own as a website designer, I sat in the office of my day job and vowed to be able to go on many vacations and drive to Ohio with my then future husband to visit our families whenever we wanted. I didn't want to be restricted to a 2-week vacation.
Fast forward 10 years, and I have hung 3 shingles, Tin Shingle being the third one, and I do take quite a few drives to visit family. Just this summer, I took 10 road trips to account for 1 vacation to Maine and 2 weddings in Chicago (those involved stops both ways in Ohio to stay with family). This would have been impossible with a traditional 9-5 job.
What I did for the first time this year was to unplug on my vacation to Maine, and make it a real vacation, instead of working outside on the porch from 9am-12pm while staring at the most beautiful ocean I've ever seen. What I didn't consider when I was striking out on my own, was that the buck stops with me. Responsibility-wise, that's fine. But the buck actually stopped coming in when I wasn't working. And that's no fun! So I really never took vacations.
There's a lot of talk from different brands that sounds like this: "Look at me! I'm working from the beach!" And for a minute, that's appealing. And I've worked from the beach too. Poolside even. The parking lot of Panera at midnight just to hop onto Panera's wireless when my in-laws wireless went out.
And actually, I prefer lying on a beach. Just lying there. Soaking up the sun. Feeling warm. Taking in a lot of rays Vitamin E, and not wireless rays.
I love working. I love my job as an entrepreneur because I created it with people I get inspired by. But I also love relaxing and dreaming.
So one of my resolutions for 2014 is to maintain the system we have in place so that I can go to a beach and vacation from there, not work from there.