A founder is perpetually exhausted. Or at least that has been my experience. There are always decisions to make, problems to solve, and bugs to fix. It's constant-24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The business is on your mind and is vying for your attention, trying to push all the other things that need to get done (family, friends) to the side. I've reached the breaking point; so has the team. The behavior that is usually rewarded is to power through it all and muster-up the super-human strength to persevere. I've decided it's time to step away.
If you Google 'taking time off work' you should get about 300 million results (no joke) filled with articles, research studies, and posts about how taking time off is the key to your professional and personal productivity, happiness, and overall physical and mental health. But taking time off is an illusion in today's environment of 'always-on' where at 2 a.m. you can skim personal and corporate feeds to find timely, 'live' nuggets of must-have information, pithy quotes, and fun factoids. Why are we so afraid of taking time off?
According to the U.S. Travel Association, four out of ten Americans do not use their vacation days because they dread the work that they will have to come back to. It's called a 'martyr' complex and it goes something like this: no one else can do the work but you, so you can't leave because you are the only one who can do it. On average, we leave 9.2 days of vacation unused at the end of every year because we think we can't step away.
At the heart of why Talentedly exists as a company is our belief that there is a better way to work. We believe the time has come to stop talking about the things we believe and it's time to create the conditions that will see those beliefs come to life. We will end this year with the gift of time off to each other, to our customers, and to our community. There will be no posts, there will be no Tweets, there will be no emails with special offers and discounts. There will simply be blissful, respectful, and rejuvenating silence for five glorious days from December 24th through the 29th.
I am not going to lie, the decision to step away was hard. Should we program the Tweets and Facebook posts while we are out? How do we handle customer support? What will our Advisors say? In a world where 24/7 is the rule, not the exception, professional silence is incredibly frightening. In the end, we found answers to each of our concerns (the answers were, in order: no, through email, and excellent idea) and we are confident in our choice to step away.
The next few days are about friends, family, and personal pursuits. So, from the Talentedly team, have a wonderful break and we'll see you next week.