Jul 5, 2012
Get Far Enough AwayBy pmihalek

After you give this July issue of Lawn & Garden Retailer a good read, I’m sure you’ll have noticed a considerable chunk of its content was either written by or in connection with someone or something related to an upcoming industry trade show.

And that makes sense. We’ve got some humdingers coming up — OFA Short Course, the IGC Show and Farwest — and these events are some of the best places to find out what’s new, learn how to get better and also rub elbows and commiserate with peers.

We’re right in that limbo time of year when the gradual slow down of foot traffic sets in, making the dog days of summer the perfect time, if any, to make a break for it.

business travel

In wearing my responsible editor pants, my recommendation for you to “make a break for it” clearly implies I think it’s in your best interest to get out this summer and attend an industry event.

It’s one of the best ways to keep your finger on the pulse of the IGC world.

With that said, there is a second and equally important part to making a break for it that can’t go without a mention.

Let’s talk vacations.

getting away … for real

A few days ago, a blog entry from the Washington Post’s online business section ended up in my Google Alerts. I clicked on it.

The author of the post, a small-business owner named Cynthia Kay, wrote about her struggles in trying to distance her work from her personal time — more specifically, personal time in the form of an actual vacation.

For years she matched her “time off” with slow work periods. Then her business downsized a bit, which meant, like the rest of her team, she was working more. And when she did eke out time away, she still found herself too worried to completely unplug from her business.

Maybe this sounds like a page out of your own book. Cynthia’s more demanding work situation is a present-day reality for many of us. In her post, she noted a few tips she’ll keep in mind the next time days off might do her some good.

For starters, consider a couple three- or four-day retreats rather than one huge getaway. And schedule those retreats around the slowest days of the work week.

Also, keep your vacation within driving distance — maybe a one-tank trip. This way you’ve traveled far enough to create a buffer, but not too far should the unlikely arise back at your store. This may cut down on the reluctance planning for a trip halfway around the world might bring you.

Lastly, allow yourself one call back to the store when you’re away. One. After all, going cold turkey (for anything) rarely works.

Listen. You’re just like a professional athlete. You prime yourself for a demanding season that’s stressful and draining — emotionally, physically and psychologically. Once the demand loosens its grip, you owe it to yourself to recoup.

At the very least, make sure you carve out time for a getaway … one that gets you far enough away.



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