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January 4, 2010

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

So I have officially started my “no shopping experiment” and I am finding it is a lot like experiencing a break up. Which of course has got me thinking how this is really relevant to running your own business but I will get back to that connection in a minute.

Why is it like a break up? First, I spent a few hours online cleaning out my inbox of past emails from stores or email lists and creating rules for all of the emails I receive that are related to shopping (arrive into folder called NO-SHOPPING EXPERIMENT – to be reviewed after April 8th). So there’s the purging exercise of anything related to shopping and when you break up, you often eliminate any traces of your ex (or put them in a box if you are old school or delete their face book profile if you are a citizen of any generation starting after x).

Another similarity are those montage moments that play in your head as the day goes on – seeing the two of you happy together, laughing over dinner, or in my case, finding a pair of shoes that upon laying my eyes on them, I can certainly not live without. Or the fleeting moments where you wonder what your ex is up to, how that individual must be missing you or in my case, thinking about all of the sales I am missing and wondering how stores will survive without me shopping there.

And finally, I am finding other hobbies to pursue – giving out fashion advice to friends (not a new habit but a way to stay connected) and baking. See above picture of attached delicious salted caramel cookies baked last night (recipe here). After a break up, we often find a new way to spend all of our newly discovered time – insert yours here (running, reading, working, etc).

Which leads me to the connection of running your own business and how a deliberate change in your behavior can alter how you think about and run your business. For example, you can see how much email you allow as a distraction. You can rethink the “I never have enough time in the day” statement and really own it that you may not spend your time wisely. And you may also find that your behavior contributes to your business – perhaps it makes you a more creative thinker, perhaps it allows you to really focus when you need to and unwind easily.

We are more than just our businesses, that’s for sure. But sometimes it is easy to blend the two, to see the business as more than just an extension of you. Perhaps there is a behavior that you want to experiment with and see how it affects your business.

Try it!

1 comment:

karl said...

breaking up is hard to do, but cake helps .... but, if you are not shoppping how are you getting the ingredients? ... doubtless you will move on to how baking a cake is like running a business soon too ... muffins v fruitcakes telling us something significant about the difference between a limited company and a not for profit ... inour business we have used cake days to help us network with businesses sharing a building, but on each occasion moved offices quite soon after the events and so did not get to see if it helped ... but, that's the way the cookie crumbles (don't rise to the punning bait, you won't win). happy New year from your English reader.