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Corporate and Commercial calendar    Nov 14, 2023

Thursday Thoughts for SMEs: Rest. Why it’s often overlooked as a prerequisite for success.

Thursday thoughts for SME: Rest. Why it's a prerequisite to success and why it is personal.

I have a confession to make. I am a bad rester. 

Whilst I have been diagnosed with a form of adult ADD (high functioning inattentiveness), this is not usually the issue. The issue is I love work. I love helping people, solving problems and getting those wins. I love the adrenaline rush when that new bit of work comes in or the lead hits the inbox. It is a rush like none other. 

But just like eating cheesecake or drinking whisky, if that is all you eat or drink you will soon be horribly ill or worse. 

Enter rest. 

Rest is not a word or a thing that entrepreneurs or founders often say or acknowledge. It is often seen as taboo to actively rest. To actively say that you are resting is not done or at least not done in practice unless it’s the type of “rest” or “self care” that is pushed all over LinkedIn. 

You know the “rest” and “self care” that can only be achieved through smoothies, hot yoga and a boutique 5 star retreat in Byron. 

I don’t think this self care or rest is the type of rest that is a prerequisite for success and this is why: rest has a purpose and is personal. 

Rest is about ‘filling the cup’, rejuvenating the mind and body so that it can tackle the next big problem. It is about leaving space and allowing the mind to escape from the day to day problems and unlock the subconscious. 

We see glimpses of this in everyday life. The ‘shower’ moments or the ‘exercise’ moments where your mind is so consumed by the thing you are doing that your subconscious solves that big problem or has that big idea. 

Rest for me is individual. What fills my cup or rejuvenates my body is not hot yoga or smoothies. It’s family, friends, food (solid food) that I love. It’s fellowship not solitary retreats and it’s doing what I love to do but seldom have time for like ocean swims. 

I suggest that rest is a prerequisite for success because without it we burn out. There is no way that humans can go flat out at the required intensity to build a successful business without resting and refueling. 

Look at the Bathurst 1000 as an example. Those drivers and teams push their vehicles to the absolute limits but each team has 2 drivers which enables rest. It is not possible to limit risk and push the boundaries without rest. 

In my mind rest is a prerequisite for success. The challenge for founders is to make the time to rest and recognise that success is much more difficult without rest. 

In practice I am terrible at this but in 2024 I have already set the date and marked the calendar as to when I will be resting. 

Rest is critical. I find that when I rest well I come back with more energy and focus. My business needs me to rest and needs me to prioritise rest. 

Whether rest for you looks like cheeseburgers and beers, a yoga session or a 3 day overland adventure, put it in the diary. Prioritise rest so that you can operate at your best. Your family, friends and business will thank you for it.

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