In the Biblical creation story, it says that God looked at everything he had made and was pleased so on the seventh day he rested. In the top ten list of rules He later gave to Moses, number 4 was to honor a day of rest every week. If the God of the universe thought rest was so important and even rested Himself then why do we look at it as a dreaded four letter word? One of the hardest lessons for me to learn as a beginner athlete and as a small virtual tour business owner is that REST is a requirement – not an option.
When we first started our hotel photography business, we got a job photographing behavioral healthcare virtual tours for a large hospital chain. We photographed psychiatric hospital virtual tours and residential treatment center virtual tours across 10,000 miles plus I picked up bed and breakfast virtual tours for our nights on the road. We were shooting all day, driving all evening. We did 54 tours in 53 days and about halfway through the trip, we crashed. We both had worn ourselves down so badly that we ended up sick in bed for three days. Work was not an option at that point.
The same thing happened a couple of years ago after my first triathlon. I really didn’t train for the first triathlon but I was so pumped up from finishing the race that I wanted to see what else I could do. I set all kinds of lofty goals and right away started training like a crazy woman with the intention of running a half marathon. After all, I was now a triathlete! Not long after I started, I ended up with an IT band injury – one of the most common and painful injuries among new runners. The treatment for IT band strain is rest and the pain was so severe that I had no other option. I ended up sidelined from my training and lost all enthusiasm for running until much later.
Yesterday was Labor Day – a day that has been designated to celebrate the achievements of working men and women. It is a day that is celebrated with picnics, barbecues, parades…and REST. Our definition of rest yesterday was to have 25 people over for a cookout which meant we spent the day working in the yard and cleaning the house but the one thing we did not do was anything virtual tour related. I went for a run early in the day and turned off my email to save my battery and I forgot to turn it off until this morning. We got to spend quality time with family and friends that we love. We both have got so much work we need to do for our virtual tour business but taking that day off means that today we are refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to get to work.
Learning to walk away from business for a period is a hard lesson to learn for many business owners. It is especially difficult to find balance when you work from home because you never leave your office. We operate our national virtual tour company out of our home and our car so we are always at the office! But we have definitely learned that we are better off when we find balance. Either I will choose to rest or my body will make that decision for me so we now schedule rest time right on our calendar. The busier I am, the more important it is to dedicate time to all the important activities of my day including cold calling, answering emails, blogging, exercising and of course NAPS!