Easy to say, easier to preach, but to do it requires a discipline most owners don’t possess. Most great owners and managers (the ones I work with) are some of the best at making sure their employees are taken care of, my Team included! What makes them great with their employees is that they truly care about them and as such they encourage weekends away and full on vacations, “down time”! And the “day here, day there” use of vacations does not really work for this type of time off! They may not realize it as they work on their employees to take this time off, but they/we ALL need this time to recharge, rejuvenate and let our bodies rest.
That being said, this is not about anyone’s employees, this is about the owners and managers who, not through any real fault of their own, but instead because they have what I call the “owner/manager gene” which causes them/us to think about everyone else before them/ourselves. This is about the owners/mangers that don’t take the time off they sometimes preach others to do! You know these kinds of people and you’ve seen them do just that, they make sure their employees are taken care of before themselves! You’ve probably also seen the end result of what happens when not enough down time is taken for their minds and bodies to rest, either their mind, body or both fail! The failure that I write of here may be something as simple as becoming forgetful or as major as a stroke or cardiac arrest. Think about that statement for a minute…….do you know anyone who has experienced any of these or the probably hundreds of other symptoms caused by internal exhaustion (body or mind)?
We have probably all heard of these owner/manager failures in our industry, someone who, should by most accounts live to a ripe old age, but suddenly is afflicted with a traumatic event? When you consider the stress, the smoking, drinking or even prescription (or other) drug abuse that also runs rampant in our industry, it becomes increasingly hard to realize that ripe old age to which I refer. And when you combine all of this, well it is simply a recipe for disaster. Anyone watch the show “Deadliest Catch”? Last season Sig Hanson had a major heart attack and the 2 biggest contributors to this was stress and his smoking. So why would we expect anything to be any different? Are we simply stronger, more mentally astute than Sig was? Probably not but it seems that our industry has similar, LARGE ego’s and in many cases that is where or what cause our failures or demises…..maybe!
Let me back up for a second here, and let’s talk about the “owner/manager gene or OMG” because this is where a lot of this comes from. The OMG does not have to be present for owners to think of themselves as Super Man, but it helps. This is the gene that makes every owner believe their employees think like they do. I am here to tell you without question, they don’t because if they did, they would also be owners and managers instead of employees. Don’t misunderstand here, every industry needs all three to function properly and when one side becomes too heavy we end up with, too many chiefs, or the employees running the show (the tail wagging the dog!). In my experiences as a Coach & Trainer many of the owners that have this gene also seem to care more about their employees than themselves. The end result of this is that in most cases they forget about taking care of themselves like they try to take care of their employees, and……well……they are Super Men, right? NO! As much as most of us at some point believe this, the bottom line is that none of us are! So stop thinking you are, stop believing bad things only happen to bad people because they happen to the best of us and when it does you are almost forced back to a reality that isn’t as fun as, “being Super Man”!
I know owners/managers right now that are visually the essence of good health, they work out EVERY day, they swim, they ride bikes, they participate in Triathlons and one in particular has had 3 major incidents that left him dead!! Had it not been for somebody being close to him when each occurred, he would not be here today! Startle You, Scare You? It should because it means that being in the best health in the world may not be enough. Now let’s take a minute and ask you, do you work out, not over-weight, not smoke, not drink, no drugs? Odds are that at least one of these items is an issue for you, at least one! So, are we saying that it doesn’t matter because even the healthiest can have issues, ABSOLUTELY NOT! What we are saying here is that being healthy cuts the risks, but there will always be the chance for body/mind failure and it can happen to any of us!
So, what is the answer? Well there is no definitive answer, but what I can tell you from personal experience is that doing everything you can to be as healthy as possible will help, and that includes time off to unwind and relax. My doctors told me that my body, like every one’s bodies require good sleep time AND down time (vacation or get away time!) to stay healthy. When these stop happening regularly, your body reacts, sometimes VERY adversely! Again, sometimes through more minor issues like forgetfulness, but other times with far more dire consequences!
My experience: I have sleep apnea (as do many, many people I am now finding out) and as a result my mind doesn’t get the rest it should, couple that with average day-to-day stress of owning a business and the mind starts to create complications for the body. In my case this resulted in what is comely called “A-Fib” which (short version) means that my heart occasionally beats erratically which causes blood clots to be pushed into the brain (again, this is a very short version of what/why), but the bottom line is that this causes strokes and worse! AND strokes take people out, maybe for only days as was the case for me, but far more normally, for the long term and sometimes permanently!
Short version here:
Take Time Off As Often As Possible! Make It A Priority In Your Life! Get And Stay As Healthy As Possible or Life As You Know It May Change Dramatically For Good!
If you need help with your business and want to see and feel the successes you expected when you opened your doors, give us a call at: The ACT Group, 805-444-2598 or visit our website for more information www.automotivecoachingandtraining.com