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Edition 151 – Rest Up

By Friday afternoon this week, I’d guess that most of Australia will be shutting down. For a lot of family businesses, there is little use heading in on Monday the 24th, unless of course your business is providing an essential service.

At this time of year, it’s a great opportunity to stop and take stock of:

  1. What you set out to achieve in January 2018.
  2. What you actually achieved sitting right here, right now, in December 2018
  3. Why you achieved what you achieved – and why you didn’t achieve what you didn’t.

The beauty of this time of year is that we virtually force ourselves to take time off, which allows us to top up the tank. However, in my opinion, too many people wait all year to do that and in the process, spend from Melbourne Cup day onwards almost limping to the finish line.

The greatest reward you can give to yourself and your family as a family business owner is to set aside time in your 2019 diary, right now, to take time out of the business. Don’t do it next year. Do it now, whilst the diary is empty and your body and mind are weary.

I’ve long encouraged my family business clients to take at least 6 weeks annual leave each year. In my opinion, you can’t perform at the top of your game if you:

  1. Don’t take at least the standard 4 weeks; and,
  2. Take it all in a single lump at the end of the year.

I’ve often argued for my clients to have two longer breaks (Christmas and June/July) and two shorter breaks (Easter and October). Part of that is borne out of the time when our two sons were school age, and we weaved our holidays around their schedule. Even today, though they’ve both now left school, I stick with that pattern as a means of recharging the batteries.
2019 is already planned out for leave for me, for the most part. 
In April, Trish and I are heading to the USA – partly for a conference in Washington, partly for some R&R in Florida. 
In May, we’re heading to Beechworth in Northern Victoria for a long weekend – part of it motor racing related, part of it an opportunity to indulge in a beautiful part of Australia known for great history, good wine and fabulous eating. 
July we’re heading to Noosa to bask in the sun in the middle of winter. 
October – well those of you that know me well understand that’s occasion to take in a big motor racing event at Bathurst in Central West New South Wales.
You see, by dialling this into my diary early, I can create pockets of reflection time, as well as plan my other commitments so that the talk of a holiday is actually actioned – not just talk that fizzles away.
The greatest gift that family business owners and managers can give themselves and their families at this time of year is the gift of time together. Take the opportunity to do it now, so that you can enjoy that precious time.

This Week’s Tip

From my family to your’s, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous 2019.