As the curtain closed on 2023, I found myself at the brink of burnout, navigating the challenges that the past year had thrown my way. Business had been undeniably tough, prompting me to reassess and explore new avenues. Amidst this transformative period, chaos reigned.
By the time December rolled around, I was on the verge of leaving it all behind. The last three months had bombarded me with curveballs, both professionally and personally. An unexpected opportunity arose to visit my son living abroad, offering a much-needed break in the middle of the month. With the holiday season looming, I made a bold decision.
I set up an auto-reply, declaring a hiatus until January 3, 2024. For a little over three weeks, I silenced the constant buzz of calls, responded only to urgent emails, and detached from the social media platforms that usually demanded my attention.
Lessons from the Break
1. A Change is as Good as a Rest
As a business owner, the work is never truly left behind. However, the space I granted myself allowed ideas to flourish, with some taking root and others discarded. Though I only jotted notes, they serve as the foundation for future projects.
2. Appreciating My Client Base
Over a decade in the industry can lead to taking a client base for granted. The competitive world of photography, videography, and animation demands constant reinvention. I learned the importance of reminding people of my expertise, how I can assist them, and why my services matter.
3. Fresh Perspectives
While on leave, I immersed myself in business books, approaching them with a newfound perspective. Taking notes and actively considering implementation led to a refreshed mindset for the year ahead.
4. The World Still Turns Without You
Contrary to our self-importance, life continues even in our absence. Returning to a positive reception reinforced the notion that the world carries on, unmarred by our temporary exit.
Embracing the Break
Instead of a brief Christmas respite, I opted for a month-long hiatus. Soaking in the sunshine, cherishing family time, and relinquishing control allowed me to recharge. As a self-professed workaholic, it was a challenging but necessary step.
Now, as January dawns, I approach the new year with revitalized energy and hope. Excitement bubbles within me as I contemplate new offerings and ideas. So, here's to taking a breath, walking the dog, and savoring that well-deserved coffee!
I'm eager to hear about your plans for the new year or the lessons you've learned during the holidays. Drop a comment, and let's kick off a conversation about the exciting times ahead!