Big visionaries behind small businesses share their insights and experiences in this series. Learn how to share your brand story here.
Sometimes I forget what season it is. No lie. You know how sometimes as a small business owner you forget what day it is because they all blend into each other and you're always working? Well I recently discovered that I'd fallen into an even worse place: I was spending so much time on my phone when outside and away from my desk (reading, tweeting, checking news feeds) that I wasn't stopping to smell the roses, let alone notice the seasons.
If we're being totally honest, I'll just admit that I would often make my walks to the train or local coffee shop with my head so buried in technology I'd only stop to look up at intersections, then get buried in it again. I didn't look around, didn't make eye contact enough with my neighbors, didn't look up at the sky or trees...all of which meant my surroundings had become a total blur to me.
Then last week something miraculous happened: I left my iPhone at home while en route to the gym and decided it would be a waste of time to go back and get it. All of a sudden I was forced to look around, look up, notice local businesses, notice the park was in bloom...I'll admit there were a few mental minutes in the beginning of my phone-less walk when I pondered "what urgent thing am I missing on email and Twitter at this very second?" but eventually I admitted to myself the answer was probably, well, nothing.
Since then I've made an effort to put my phone in my pocket or bag when I'm walking. I haven't left it at home completely, but hey, babysteps. That said, I'm loving the change. I realized that the park I live across the street from is STUNNING during my midday walks. I've noticed new small businesses popping up on the blocks surrounding my home and even met a few cute Brussels Griffons on my coffee trip this morning. Even more exciting? I'm fully realizing it's spring! My senses are rejoicing in it! I'm not only stopping to smell the roses, I'm seeing them, and all the other beautiful, interesting and non-electronic things around me. It's not always easy, but it's getting easier to keep my phone out of sight, and the reward is worth it.
PS - I included a photo I snapped (yes I took my phone out for it) today while on my walk, a walk where I fully paid attention to and appreciated my surroundings.