Between the months of April and May, my husband and I traveled to Berlin for 15 days. We stayed in Kreuzberg. Yes...we had fun. Yes...we had some unexpected stuff happen (terrible sickness).
But do you know what came out of that trip, more than anything else, for me?
Clarity and structure.
How Berlin Changed My Life and My Business
1. I am now working to live, rather than living to work.
The backstory: While out to dinner in Berlin, I noticed that no one was rushing us out of the restaurants. We sat there drinking wine, eating dinner, conversing with friends, and enjoying the calm atmosphere for almost 2.5 hours each night. The European culture embraces communication and enjoying the company of one another. (You must ask for your meal check in order to get it and make payment!)
The lesson: I came home and immediately restructured my time to live more, and work less. I made myself a 4 day work week, and got super clear on the type of clients I wanted to spend my time with each week, and how many of each.
2. I've added more adventure to my life.
The backstory: I don't speak a lick of German, so this trip was quite the experience! No matter where I went, people thought I was German, and began talking to me in their native language, asking me directions around town, and how to use the laundry machines. It was as if I had fit right in! I also got on my bike and cycled anywhere and everywhere, and went out to dance parties that started at 1AM. (I even considered dying my hair blue-green, but my husband talked me out of it!)
The lesson: Life is too short to be boring. I want adventure! I want to try new stuff. I thrive on experiences that allow me to grow in all facets of my life. Next month I will be zip lining, paddle boarding, and taking a road trip out to the midwest.
3. I decided I would only hang out with those people who inspire me, love me, and challenge me to grow.
The backstory: After spending 17 days straight with my husband, I am happy to announce that we are still in love. I fully realize that 17 days could make or break a relationship--and I am grateful this trip brought us closer together. We had time to connect once again, talk about our future, and discuss our dreams and goals in life.
The lesson: My time is valuable. And how I spend my time, and who I spend it with, matters to me. One-way relationships drain me--you know those relationships where you are always the one to reach out, plan the get-together, and follow-up? Yeah, that was me--but not anymore. I want to spend my time with people who are just as committed to the relationship as I am--both in work and leisure.
As a business owner, there are tons of things that demand my time. I can get lost in social media, absorbed in content writing, and time slips away when I sit down to answer the slew of emails that come in on any given day.
If you are a business owner, I know you must be able to relate: It's easy to be consumed by the business...only to "wake-up" and realize that the business has taken over the rest of your life. It't important that we set boundaries around our time, remember to live the life we've been given, and build meaningful relationships with those that matter most to us.
Is it time you recommitted to the core values and principles that will bring you ultimate happiness and balance in both life and business?