Profit From Recharging Your Batteries

Nicki Weiss

Visitors: 122

Here we are at the end of summer, and I've had a fine time. My summer has been a great balance of work and play. When I planned my three-week vacation, my work calendar looked rather empty and I was a little worried. Now I see that I protected a lot of time to have fun (summer is so-o-o short in Canada ), and in doing so, gave myself the time and space to recharge, to think, and to create.

The result: my work dance card has filled up quickly. I have a brand-new sa1es training program called Selling With Integrity (and two new clients), three new coaching workshops on team effectiveness (and three new clients), and some great stories that will last a lifetime.

Here are some lessons from my summer vacations that I hope I remember and continue to live, because they led to an incredibly productive and happy period.

Mind the Company You Keep My first vacation was two weeks at a family summer camp. This place is not for everyone, since the cottages are very rustic and only have cold running water. Despite, or because of, the lack of amenities, it also soars with a spirit of good will, camaraderie, interesting and physically challenging activities, beautiful surroundings, and wonderful people who appreciate the place. In a heartbeat, I found companions with whom to walk 10K; go crashing through forests on our bikes; watch each other’s kids; share meals; go kayaking; learn improvisational techniques and laugh.

As soon as we got home, I went on a camping adventure with some women in my book club. We had one misadventure after another (unexpected seven-hour, 12 km portages, lost tent poles, a relentless thunderstorm) and we laughed ourselves silly. If any of us had been sour, negative or lazy the trip would have been a disaster. Instead, we have all committed to next year’s adventure.

In business and in life, the people you hang out with will make or break your spirit. May as well hang out with those who feed your soul. If your soul is fed, it’s easy to feed your bank account.

Break A Few Rules

Breaking a few rules that don’t hurt anyone is a wonderful adrenaline rush. It can also greatly reduce red tape. Some examples:

On the ill-fated canoe trip, we just couldn’t face the long portage with one heavy canoe loaded with all our clothes, tent, and food, so we also “borrowed” one of the park’s 18 canoes stacked near the parking lot. We left a note on our windshield, and fellow paddler Cindy, a criminal lawyer and judge, promised to get all of us out of jail.

A few weekends ago, my husband and I joined new friends for a civilized wine-tasting bike trip to various vineyards and wineries, and then mountain-biked through a crazy route in extreme heat. For the mountain-biking part, we parked our car in a fancy country-club parking lot. At the end of the ride, we were incredibly hot, and there was no close place to go for a swim. Gary scoped out the country club, gave us four sorry-looking, middle-aged bikers a quick lesson on how to dive and dash, and covered for us with some story of how we were meeting a local doctor.

In business, sometimes reducing red tape can speed up a process. Look for the opportunities, and live a little…

Scare Yourself on a Regular Basis

While I am not advocating putting yourself in harm’s way, I urge you to try spicing up your life by doing things that you are tempted to duck. You will stretch your limits and learn that you can handle more than you think. More stories:

I am a very cautious bike rider. At the family camp, we took a mind-blowing bike ride where some parts were straight down, and in others you couldn’t see where you were going. Sign me up again.

Stuff doesn’t get lighter the longer you carry it. Au contraire. When we Princesses of the Book Club looked at that portage, and back at all the junk in our cars, we didn’t think carrying all our stuff was possible. We did it.

When Cindy took a wrong turn on the lake and got lost, Merrilee and I paddled like crazy. We found her.

The lack of tent poles was a good challenge. Anny and I strung the tent up with miles of rope and I casually mentioned that the tent should hold up, except maybe in a thunderstorm. At

The lack of tent poles was a good challenge. Anny and I strung the tent up with miles of rope and I casually mentioned that the tent should hold up, except maybe in a thunderstorm. At 5 a. m. , as the storm had already raged for six hours, rain made a lake at the bottom of the tent, and trees cracked all around us, we heard Cindy quietly saying the shma (an ancient prayer that you’re supposed to say just before you die) and Anny crying that we’d ne/ver get off the island. We survived. We got off the island.

What I learned was that I/we can take care of ourselves. While I don’t get scared physically at work, I often get scared emotionally. “What if this speech bombs?” “What if the group I’m training hates me?” “If I speak up at this meeting, I’ll look like an idiot. ”

Frankly, compared to my canoe trip, business is a piece of cake.

Talk Back: I’d love to hear your stories on how you recharge, and the business results you experience.

Nicki Weiss is an internationally recognized Certified Professional Coach, Master Trainer, and workshop leader. She brings to her work 25 years of experience with corporate sa1es executives, small to medium size entrepreneurial business leaders, and sa1es teams of all shapes and sizes.

Sign up for her award winning ezine - Sa1esWise - for great tips on finding, retaining, and developing ideal clients and sales teams at


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