As I sit in the shade of a Palm tree in sunny Varadero, I’m completely thrown off. It’s strange, nothing to discuss, no problems to resolve, no customers to call upon. It’s our last day here and we’ve made some friends, we’ve lived the Cuban nightlife, we’ve had a really great time. Nonetheless, I’ll be the first to admit that my mind has wandered, more than once to home, to our team, to the company. I can’t say that I’m surprised. I do however know that there are definitive benefits to the “turning it off mode” that I’m currently experiencing and here are the top 5:
1. Self-Care: I represent an amazing company. The one question I keep reminding myself of as I do my best to relax is: what good are you to a fast moving and growing company like StaffStat if you’re tired? If I lack energy, so do my conversations with customers. If I lack motivation, so does my team. It boils down to this: how I feel affects everything; customer service, sales and operations. Feeling “tired” isn’t an option and this time away has provided me with the much needed rest my body’s been craving!
2. Reconnecting: It’s been a long time since I’ve just sat there with my husband and talked about ‘nothing’. It usually always comes back to business, the kids or the household. Just walking around Varedero, holding hands and talking about the weather was a nice and welcome change of pace for both of us.
3. Being in the moment: I mentioned in my previous blog that we’re part of a society that spends more time looking down at our phones than we do looking at the person sitting across from us at the table. During our short stay in Cuba, I’ve opted to leave my phone in the safe. Other than Spotify playing music for us every now and again, it’s been powered off. It made for an albeit different week but a great one. We had our GoPro and that was the only thing we brought along. We went to clubs, saw some live bands and we had a posh dinner in town. I’ll admit that I thought to myself on each of those occasions that “this would look amazing on Instagram”. I shut that down and admired the view, the presentation of the food and the bands without a phone in my hands AND I survived!
4. It’s worth it: I don’t give myself many opportunities to turn it off. Weekends, after hours… I’m always thinking, strategizing and plotting the next call. In this case, I forced myself to not think of the one thing that’s always on my mind. It was hard but it felt good. Scratch that… it felt strange but in the end, I know that it’s what I needed.
5. It was necessary: April, for our Team, is a month that requires tons of energy. We attend 2 conferences where we lay eyes on every single customer and prospect we’ve been connecting with over the course of the year. When I say we need to “bring it”, that’s an understatement. It’s essential for each one of us to feel great and have the energy to have clever and meaningful conversations. That’s hard to do when you’re running on empty. The timing of this trip was purposeful. It was meant to allow me to power off because I know that in 3 short weeks I’ll be required to power on in a huge way!
When you represent a company, it’s easy to trade in your well being for growth and success. Of course, you want nothing more than to see your product or service thrive. If this past week in Cuba has taught me anything it’s that it’s possible to have the best of both worlds and that unplugging every now and again is actually an investment, in me and that translates to an investment in the company I represent.