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Ethics

Go Away!

(Note: this is off-topic, but something I wanted to share)

Seriously.

As you read this, I’m either travelling to, or sitting on, a beautiful beach in Zihuatanejo, Mexico (yes, as in The Shawshank Redemption).  So I thought I’d remind you that it’s good to get off the grid.  Seriously.  Not only is it good, it’s a necessity.

12,474

I learned this lesson from my father.  Seven years ago he announced his retirement to his agents by saying “after 12,474 days in the real estate business, it’s time for me to retire”.  Yes, I am proud to say I am the daughter of a career Real Estate Broker.  He was diligent about his vacation time, and took one week each quarter to refresh, relax and enjoy life.  This included during tough market cycles.  Throughout his 34 years in the business he experienced a number of them.  I clearly remember those times.     

No cell phone, no laptop, no internet? 

The whole idea of vacation is to BE on vacation.  Completely.  Life, and all its ups and downs will still be there upon my return.  If my house burns down, or a client has a problem I don’t need to know about it immediately.  Losing my few precious days away can’t change those things, plus my business partner is there to pick up the slack (although I don’t think she can do anything about a house fire).

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Perhaps seeing that our business survived despite our absence means we don’t have to work quite as hard as we think. 

What if it all falls apart?

But what if you come back from vacation, look around and feel that you never should have left?  If so, the problem may not be the time you took off.  Forgoing a vacation won’t make a company more successful. And, if you work 15 hours a day and think the company’s survival is hinged on your putting in that many hours, you may be substituting time for intelligence.  Not only that but you put yourself at risk for burnout and will lose creativity and focus.   

Get.  Off.  The.  Grid.

A friendly reminder, your time off isn’t a luxury.  It’s necessary to thrive.  Your family will thank you.  Your co-workers/colleagues will thank you.  Your clients will thank you.  Most important, you will have something more memorable than the money you get from a close on escrow: memories.

Hasta la vista!

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Written By

Brandie is an unapologetically candid marketing professional who was recently mentioned on BusinessWeek as a Top Young Female Entrepreneur. She recently co-founded consulting firm MarketingTBD. She's held senior level positions with GE and Fidelity, as well as with entrepreneurial start-ups. Raised by a real estate Broker, Brandie is passionate about real estate and is an avid investor. Follow her on Twitter.

14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Vicki Lloyd

    February 12, 2009 at 10:34 am

    I was in Zihuatanejo last spring where my daughter got married. Great place – beautiful beaches, friendly people, fantastic food! Have fun and enjoy your vacation!

  2. Brian Block

    February 12, 2009 at 10:39 am

    Getting away regularly is very important for health, sanity, and business. Enjoy your time in Mexico. I was just in Puerto Vallarta last month.

    It seems you’ve learned well from your father.

  3. Bob

    February 12, 2009 at 10:48 am

    I’m sure more than a few read this and think “Yea, right”. Vacation isn’t in the cards for a lot of people these days, but you can still get off the grid without needing a passport.

    For me, it’s coaching my two daughters. Once I show up on the field, my blackberry goes into hibernation. This time is ours, and unless there is something I know I have to deal with in advance that, if ignored, will lead to liability, then the BB doesn’t come out until the last out is made or practice is over.

    It is my release for stress, a time to spend with my kids that are memories they’ll have forever, and its fun.

    Getting off the grid need not be expensive nor even long term. But it does need to be done, especially if you have a family.

  4. Missy Caulk

    February 12, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    Good for me to read, as I am heading out for a long weekend with my husband to see our son in Norfolk. He is leaving on a 6 month tour.

    Thanks!

  5. Paula Henry

    February 13, 2009 at 9:22 am

    Brandi – Sage advice I should take. I have never compleetly left my businesss behind and I can say the idea sounds great about now! Enjoy your vacation

  6. Brian Requarth

    February 15, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    Brandi, You couldn’t be more right. Taking time off, even if it is just for a short time is so important. Whether it’s spending time with the family or losing yourself on the beach in Mexico, we all need to recharge our battery once in awhile. I have noticed that when I take time off I always come back refreshed with new ideas. It breaths life back into you. Que tengas un buen viaje en Mexico!

    Brian

  7. Danilo Bogdanovic

    February 16, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    You’re right on target! Once upon a time, I used to think I had to work all the time – sometimes 7 days a week. I was a grumpy, stressed out person (just ask my wife).

    Now, I take two 10 day vacations and several 3 to 5 day vacations every year. It keeps me feeling refreshed and sane and I’m more successful because of it. (And my wife is much happier with me)

  8. Lisa Sanderson

    February 16, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    I agree. It’s good to try for quarterly. I’ve been lax about this during the past year but will try to do better. Thx for the reminder.

  9. Brandie Young

    February 22, 2009 at 2:04 am

    Vicki – Thanks. I’m sure the wedding was spectacular! I did have fun. Thanks.

    Brian – good to hear from you. Thanks.

    Bob – Great points. Getting away can be in your own backyard – if you can stay away from the computer! It sounds like you have some great perspective. Thanks for sharing.

    Hi Missy – hope you enjoy your time with your son. I’m assuming by a “6 month tour” (and since the visit is in Norfolk) you mean he is a member of our Armed Forces. If so, I’m a fan, and am grateful for all he is doing for our country. I’m sure you are so proud.

    Paula – thank you. I hope you can take the leap and try it. Even if only for a few days. It works wonders.

    Brian – Gracias! Tuve un tiempo maravilloso en México!!!

    Danillo – Hola. Thanks for weighing in. Good point. Keeping your relationship at home healthy probably makes everything better.

    Lisa – Hi. I hope to hear about your vacation plans soon! Even if it’s a local weekend!

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