September 7, 2021
Dave WrightI hope you took a moment this summer to take a break. I have written in the past about the crazy year our industry has experienced. In my nearly 20 years in business and more than 35 years in the industry, I have never seen such demand for our services, products or talent. Nor have I seen customers that were better educated about our industry and what we sell. When we are at our busiest, it is all the more important to take some time to ourselves, to recharge and screw our heads on straight again.  

Coming into this season, I told my team I wanted to take August off. I was in the midst of one of my best-selling seasons ever and I could see we would be booked up a bit earlier than usual, with higher margins and more exciting projects. I was half joking when I said it, knowing I had never done it before and would likely never get the courage or self-discipline to do it. I hired a new office manager in the spring and she was there when I said it. She asked me several times through June and July what my plan was for my month off. She was concerned about how the executive tasks were going to get done in my absence. I told her we would just have to play it by ear as I had never done anything like this before.   

 My wife and I bought a new house and moved in July, and the honey-do list was a mile long. As August approached, I realized my design workload would not allow me to take the whole month off, but I did try a new thing I am definitely going to keep doing — I delegated everything that did not specifically require my attention to my team and blocked off my mornings for design and quoting from home.

 Time blocking is a powerful tool. By limiting my home office time to just four hours, I was forced to prioritize. With only four hours to get a day’s work done, there wasn’t a minute of time that could be wasted. My family respected my time block if I did not cheat them on their time. It was not perfect, but I am planning to continue doing this. I enjoyed the freedom of working from home and creating new experiences with my family, while still maintaining an eye on what was happening at the office.   

 As business owners, we all know we can never shut it off completely. Having a team that can be trusted to run with it in our absence is key. Giving the team the opportunity to prove themselves is an important part of their growth. So, I didn’t take the whole month off, but I learned I can take time off whenever I need to recharge and still keep things moving forward.   

 I challenge you to build a team that tells you, “It’s okay, we’ve got this!” so that you can spend a little time on yourself and your family.
Dave Wright
LO President