I'm probably a failure at Marketing. Oh well: A few words for the performer types.
This is a confession. It’s not a deep dark secret. It’s not steamy or shocking. But oddly, what I have to share nags on me as if I were breaking the law. Sometimes we have to stop and ask ourselves why we are experiencing guilt over something not guilt-worthy.
Here it is: I took a "vacation" last week.
After a few months of working, being trapped in the house, and the warm weather moving in, I bet all of us are feeling a vacation ache in our bones. After my husband’s brand new kidney stone calmed down (no joke), we packed up and drove on 81 North to see family in PA. We were one clan under quarantine joining another clan under quarantine. A change of pace, a change of scenery, and some company. It was much needed.
A few days in, my neck got tight with the dilemma every American faces with time off: disconnecting from work. A few weeks ago I began a 7-week mini-video series for parents of teenagers. You may know about it, you may have even signed up to receive the updates on it. You may be mad you haven’t gotten the third video yet. Hence, my dilemma.
The goal was to do a short video each week. Last week, while on “vacation” the third video was scheduled to fly to your inbox. The plan was to film it and post it while at my sister's house. However, much like vacation is supposed to go, the time OFF and time with family massaged my soul into a state of total relaxation. It had been over 5 months since seeing my sister's family. And yet, in our workaholic society, there is rarely permission to push the pause button. But I did. I shouted at my conscience, "This can wait." Articles, videos, snippets of advice on Instagram, and TV specials have overloaded the lock down. I figured people wouldn’t notice. Here’s where the experts grit their teeth. Marketing directors would call a meeting. Those who specialize in saturating Instagram and LinkedIn with ongoing feeds for small businesses adds would be in a panic,
"You’ll lose followers!"
"People have to see your face at some point every day!"
"Potential customers will move on to someone else!”
I bet it may be true. I may lose a few people along the way. And all the while I wonder if this is part of the reason we have no idea how to stop. The constant grasping and sweating over the deadlines, the fury to get people’s attention and hold on to it feels a lot like the perfectionism I am helping so many teenagers reverse. We are raising workaholics and calling it a “work ethic.” The lack of boundaries between work and rest is considered good business practice. To be sure, I am not completely accurate in how I view this modern age of marketing. This isn't my area of strength. Truth be told, I need to up my game. BUT I am correct about the trends of burn-out, health crises related to stress, and people having no idea who they are outside of their performance level.
I needed a vacation, and I knew everyone was going to be ok if I took it. Simple as that.
In my business I coach people on life/work balance; I coach people on healthy self-care, and yet I often fail at it. When I do take time off, I suffer with guilt. Most people do. The best thing for me to do while I was away enjoying my family was to push pause. I think I did the right thing.
For those of you who have subscribed to my website, sorry to make you wait. Keep your eye out, the next video is on its way. More importantly, while you wait, ask yourself if you need to push pause. The demands of work may have a tight grip on your throat.