Home Back Issues August 2009 Give yourself permission to play

Give yourself permission to play

| Print |  Email
Archives - August 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
SmallBiz_Permission

This wonderful time of year is when we remember that a small business can be both a blessing and a curse.

The curse, needless to say, has to do with the demanding nature of the gig; owning, running and working in a small business can be incredibly time consuming and often overwhelming. And worse, given the current state of the economy here in Oregon, small business owners are now doing more with less: less money, fewer employees, fewer resources. As such, the demand on our time is greater than ever.

But it is equally true that our glorious Oregon summers call out to us, making sure that we take notice of the blessing, namely, the freedom to call your own shots and do it your way. If the kids want you to steal away for a day to take them rafting down the river, you can. If your pals want to kidnap you for an afternoon round of golf, there you go.

And even so, it is important to remember that not all business is done at business.

Indeed, some of the best opportunities and connections arise when you let go and say yes to the new experiences that can be yours in the summertime, even if there is still work to finish back at the office.

This is the time of year when everyone is a little more relaxed and the chance to socialize is at its peak. That backyard barbecue, those drinks after work, that walk down the riverbank not only serve to recharge your batteries, but just may lead to business opportunities and relationships to which you otherwise would not be exposed.

Example: When I moved here almost a decade ago, I met a great guy who kept inviting me to a yearly event called “Men’s Camp.” Many of the Jewish guys here in Portland have a longstanding tradition of taking over the local B’Nai B’rith camp on the Coast for a week every summer and spend it golfing, playing poker, smoking cigars, kibitzing and having fun. Even better: The event is an annual fundraiser for the camp and raises a lot of money to send needy kids to the camp, improve the facilities and so on.

And every year I said no. I was too busy with my business. I couldn’t get away from the family for that long, blah, blah, blah. (I should have read this column.)

Finally, one year I said yes, and everything changed. First of all, I met a great group of guys. Second, it was a blast. And it was all for a good cause; we did it for the kids. Moreover, from a business perspective, quite a few of the guys ended up doing business with one another.

The point is, summers offer you a unique opportunity to take advantage of the blessings in your small business and curse the curse. So what if there is work to do, isn’t there always work to do? That too-full inbox can wait one more day.

So go on, get out of the office — today, right now! Organize a get-together. Accept an invitation. Just say yes.

Because as we all know, before long we will be hibernating again, the moment will have passed, and that is the real curse.

steve-BLOG
Steve Strauss is the small business columnist for USATODAY.com and the author of The Small Business Bible. He lives in Portland and can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Join the discussion on his blog at OregonBusiness.com/steve.
 

Comments   

 
Tara Reed | www.ArtLicensingInfo.com
0 #1 Permission accepted!Tara Reed | www.ArtLicensingInfo.com 2009-07-29 19:19:51
Steve -

Thank you for the timely reminder to stop and smell the Rose Garden... as you so eloquently put it, there is always more to do and owning a business could keep you going 24/7.

But part of the beauty of owning the business is the flexibility that can come with it... if you allow it. I admit to forgetting this from time to time so the nudge is appreciated and will be acted upon!
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

Constant Contact

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

To prevent burnout, companies are banning email and after-hours communications. But is the 24-hour workday here to stay?


Read more...

Podcast: Turn Things Around with David Marquet

Contributed Blogs
Friday, October 17, 2014
davidmarquet thumbBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

How can you move from a command-and-control leadership model to one of true empowerment and accountability? David Marquet did, and he took notes along the way.


Read more...

Grape Expectations

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY HANNAH WALLACE

Well-financed outsiders from France and California are buying up vineyards and wineries in the Willamette Valley.


Read more...

Podcast: Interview with Pete Friedes

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

082714-thumb friedesbookTom Cox interviews Pete Friedes, author of "The 2R Manager," about becoming a Best Boss.


Read more...

Fast Food Slows Down

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

The ubiquitous fast-food restaurant may be on the decline.


Read more...

November/December Preview: Revenge Forestry

News
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
BY JONATHAN FROCHTZWAJG

Seneca AW46A flare-up in the Elliott Forest raises questions about détente in Oregon’s timber wars.


Read more...

The Backstory

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014

In our cover story this month, Wendy Collie, CEO of New Seasons Market, and Kim Malek, owner of Salt & Straw, discuss their rapidly growing businesses and Portland’s red hot food scene. The conversation provides an interesting lens through which to explore trends in the grocery store and restaurant sectors.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS