Anti-Social: Why I'm Not Returning Your Phone Calls

Jan 2012
Photo Credit: @mstiaradean

In just a few minutes, I will sign my name to this blog post, link it to an update on my Facebook wall, and close my computer.

The next time I will login to Facebook or Twitter, check my email, or listen to my voicemail will be one week from today.

As business owners, we all play so many roles in our companies. Answer the phone, meet with perspective clients, send proposals, follow up on proposals, check in with existing clients, send invoices, track down invoices, answer emails, return phone calls, do some marketing, keep the books, make appointments…. oh yeah, and somewhere in there, DO the work! And now, because we are all using social media so dutifully to grow our businesses, add to that: update Facebook, update Twitter, connect on Linked In, write the blog, check in on FourSquare, solicit reviews on Yelp, upload videos on YouTube, participate in Linked In Groups, respond to Facebook comments, retweet someone on Twitter, shoot new videos on YouTube… the list is never-ending. Sometimes I dream in a Facebook newsfeed. I swear I do.

One of the by-products of all this day-to-day busyness, is that most of us are killer-productive, uber-powerful, got-it-all-together, kicking-ass-and-taking-names business owner types, right? Who’s with me! Nobody? No, sadly, the truth is that most of us are working so hard to get through each day that even when we’re doing it well, we don’t have time to think about tomorrow.

I appreciated this Facebook status from a friend today:

“Which ball should I drop?!?”

We know that to build successful, sustainable business, we have to plan ahead. The one-day-at-a-time approach doesn’t lend itself to my plan: grow the business. So, I’m breaking the cycle. For the next week, I’m going to let go of the day-to-day operations (gulp.) and I’m going to focus on the future. How will I grow the business this year?

Sounds like a good idea, right? Haven’t most of us read The E-Myth? We know we’re supposed to be visionaries and not technicians; we understand that if we don’t provide for the future of our business, no one else is going to do it for us. So, why is it so damn difficult? Why do I feel guilty that I won’t be in the office for a week? And why doesn’t dreaming about organizational charts and ideal clients  – imagining a business that will provide for my family and my team for years to come – seem somehow less important than scrambling to return voicemails, and rushing to meetings, and frantically typing on my Facebook wall in between?

We’re so used to being connected all the time – cell phone, email, Facebook – that the idea of dropping ‘off the grid’ seems somehow like an insult. But it’s a necessary one. Sometimes we all need to close up the MAC and look around. I started this business so that I could do what I love, and work with my husband, and have dogs in the office, and help clients who wanted to grow their businesses, and create jobs – both at KWSM and through my client’s growing enterprises – in an economy where they were hard to come by. KWSM is a year old now, and although we are achieving those goals, I rarely take time to think about or appreciate them.

So this week, I won’t return your phone calls or your emails. I won’t update you on my status. This week, I will appreciate how far we’ve come… and dare to imagine how much more is possible.

Photo credit: @emmemarie

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