Recently I sent a business contact an email.
I immediately received his automatic response which informed me that he would be on vacation until January 5th.
I thought to myself, “That must be awesome to take that much vacation. I wish I could do that!”
Then I remembered I can.
I work for myself now.
There’s no approval process for me to take days off. I’m an entrepreneur. I can take as much vacation as I want!
But that’s a bit of a myth, because when you work for yourself, you tend to take less vacation, not more. If you’re not careful, you end up working constantly. There’s no downtime because it’s not work time and home time, it’s just time. Add the phone in the mix and everyone is always available for work, not just entrepreneurs. Our phones make all of us on call like doctors only we don’t get paid like doctors. (And be honest, no one dies if you don’t answer a call.)
If you work for yourself, if you work for a big company, or if you’re out of work I know exactly what everyone in your life wants for Christmas this year – your presence.
Your husband? He wants your presence.
Your wife? She wants your presence.
Your kids? They want your presence.
Your girlfriend, your boyfriend, your father, your mother, your friend, your neighbor? They all want your presence.
Every day this gift becomes rarer and rarer. Can you remember the last time you had a full conversation with someone’s face, not just their forehead as they stared at their phone? Can you remember the last time someone was “all there” not just partially there because interacting with you wasn’t enough to hold their full attention? I have to leave my phone in the car when we go to dinner parties or I will be physically present but absent in every other way possible as I engage with the phone instead of anyone else.
Don’t miss Christmas because you’re working or you’re lost in your phone.
This year, give someone that rarest gift of all, your presence. No one else can give them that.
It costs nothing, but it’s worth everything.