I am currently on a 2+ week working vacation. I have learned multiple lessons during this trip, some of which have surprised me!
My wife and I started with a long weekend in Galveston, TX. Galveston has become a regular place for us to rest and relax.
New Orleans was the next stop. It was there that I attended the Birkman Conference for 3 days.
Our next destination was Destin, Florida. We’ll stay 5 days before meandering back to Austin.
This is the first extended vacation we have taken since I started Career Pivot in 2012. Enjoying more than a few days off at a time has been a tough lesson for me to learn—working for yourself is complicated.
Working Vacation – Setting Boundaries
The first lesson I learned was that I could set boundaries. Typically, I have about 25 clients in various phases of career transition. I meet with my clients at different intervals—some weekly, some semi-regularly, and others, as-needed.
During my vacation, I offered my clients the option to meet either once during this time off or not at all. Well, I do have a couple of clients who are going through stressful times so I met with them weekly.
I am a guy! Asking for directions in unnatural. This time, I set boundaries and it worked!
My boss is still a jerk, but not as much as before!
I have written about my boss—me—before. My boss is a real jerk! If you have not read my previous post, My Boss is a Jerk …wait a minute I am my own boss!, I suggest you read it now. I wrote this post in 2012 when I had been in business less than a year.
The second lesson I learned was that I am actually becoming a better boss. When I managed people in previous corporate positions, I like to think that I was pretty good at managing. But myself? Well, that is another story.
I am not perfect, and I still push myself a bit too hard, but I am a whole lot nicer to myself now than I was back in the early days of Career Pivot.
My clients have good hearts!
I’ve been amazed at the respect my clients have demonstrated regarding my boundaries. Some have even imposed them on me by insisting we skip our regular meetings for several weeks.
This week, I met with a client who had an important interview opportunity present itself, so he wanted to discuss his positioning. He hesitated about reaching out to me but asked if I could take a short phone call, which I did.
I am not sure why, but I have been surprised at how respectful everyone has been about my vacation.
It may be a Working Vacation, but I can work from anywhere.
During our vacation, I have responded to new client inquiries and even booked a speaking gig. The speaking job is a group of hospital CEOs. I will present information on the multi-generational workplace.
I have given 3 interviews for various online publications throughout the week. When reporters contact me, I make time for them—quickly. Most reporters work on very tight deadlines and, as an entrepreneur, you can never get quoted too frequently.
Another thing I do is have client introductory calls every few days.
I am writing this post on a balcony overlooking the beach in Destin, Florida. If I chose to, I can work from anywhere as long as I have my trusty iPhone, laptop, and an internet connection. In the picture above, I am taking a client call in front of Pleasure Pier in Galveston, Texas.
This trip has been a trial run on what it would take to become a digital nomad. One option my wife and I are considering is selling our condo in Austin and becoming permanent nomads…similar to what Lynne and Tim Martin describe in their book, Home Sweet Anywhere: How We Sold Our House, Created a New Life and Saw the World. Check out their website at Home Free Adventures.
I have learned a lot during these past few weeks, and maybe—just maybe—I can learn to be a better boss.Marc Miller
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