Last week I took two mind-blowing days off to find me. I finished up some projects and emailed clients telling them I’d be MIA for a couple of days and joined my husband and a couple of friends on a trip to find that cool, fun girl I was before the chains of responsibility so maliciously clamped down on me.
We checked in at a serene little historic inn and headed out to see one of my favorite 80s rock bands. I even rushed to the front row when one of my favorite songs played. The next morning I had earned that hangover and the morning rewarded me with cotton candy blue sunny skies and a warm 72 degrees. I checked my email and discovered that a prospective client had accepted my proposal but wanted to Skype within an hour because of the time difference. I agreed, quickly dressed and packed and met my husband and friends by the pool to enjoy a morning coffee.
As they chatted I dipped my feet in the pool and negotiated a new project with a guy in the U.K. and it was THAT moment. The one where you realize what is going on and think “This is actually happening.” In my case, I was sitting poolside, drinking coffee and talking to my new client somewhere on the other side of the world. My husband was giddy about it, my friend in awe and I was smiling like the Cheshire Cat.
Not that I haven’t worked or closed deals while traveling before, it was just the combination of everything great in the world converging at that moment. We had a babysitter for two days, we were proudly sporting a few hangovers like Olympic gold medals, (we drank hard to get those hangovers damn it), we were hanging by the pool with good friends and I was still making money. Yeah, that moment.
That’s the thing about going after your dream. If you want your business to grow you need to hold on to the vision of what you are working for. And I’ll tell ya, it isn’t money. It’s THAT moment. Like the one I had. Only your version of it. You only want money because you believe that money will get your THAT experience. What you really want is the experiences that money can help you achieve. That’s why focusing on money won’t get you closer to what you want. It won’t keep you dedicated to sticking it out when business is slow. Focusing on the experiences money can get you will.
- The freedom to pick up and go on vacation with friends
- The time to lounge around and relive the night’s events
- The permission to nurse that next day hangover with rest, or coffee, or hair of the dog
- Pride in knowing you’ve accomplished your goal of becoming a successful business person, even though what you really are is a burn out who absolutely with all her soul does not want to work a 9 to 5. (Oh, that’s me)
I didn’t work the rest of that day (or part of the next) but instead we found a great bar with an outdoor patio where we talked and drank pitcher after pitcher of beer for hours. Then we headed to the beach and when my husband suggested I go for a swim. I did. Fully clothed, despite the fact that my bikini was in the trunk of the car. And I pulled everyone else in with me as well.
I’m definitely not the first person to spontaneously take a dip fully clothed, and I’m a regular fixture at the beach and in the water so taking a swim in the Pacific isn’t new to me either. But there is no other freedom like just going for it in the moment, combining all those things you love–for me it was my new outfit, my husband and friends, the sand and the ocean–and experiencing them with total fling-your-arms-back-not-worried-about-fat-rolls-or-if-your-nipples-are-beaming blind abandon. It’s like an orgasm for the soul.
And right now my soul needs a cigarette.