Last weekend I spent a captivating two days in the recording studio at Studio 301 in Sydney laying down the tracks for my second CD a Christmas Album.

When I say “my” CD that might be a slight exaggeration.  It is actually the second CD for me and a little less than sixty other delightful people who perform with Soulfood.

Soulfood began as an auditioned community choir ten years ago and it has been my privilege to have been involved since the beginning assisting the Music Director by looking after the administration of the Choir.  Currently I am Chairman of the Board.

It’s such a buzz just using that little phrase “laying down some track for my latest album” particularly when you’re an accountant by profession and have about as much chance of being in a recording studio on your own as the proverbial pig does at flying.

I realised at the end of the weekend how important Soulfood is to my mental and emotional health. Particularly as a small business owner.

As a business owner you will recognise the unique pressure that comes from this role. It’s a bit akin to being a parent for the first time to a child who is quite unpredictable.

As a business owner you are NEVER OFF DUTY, there is no down time, there is no time off  as such because your business is always on your mind.

It’s even worse when you run your business from your home. Sure there are benefits to that but there is a big downside in that you never get away physically, intellectually or emotionally from your business.

When you have something like your own business which is ever present it is vital that you find a way to switch off. You can go to the movies, go out to dinner or even try a holiday all of which may help but you still might not get the respite you need to recharge your batteries.

What I have found in more than a decade running my own business is that the only way to escape from an ever present pressure like that is to dive deep into something else that requires 110% of your concentration or effort. And that is exactly what I experienced over the weekend.

You see when we were not in the studio, headsets on and straining to sing every note perfectly we were rushing to grab some food or cramming for the next song that was coming up. It was a very intense experience. Two ten hour days later I was completely spent and blissfully happy. I had accquited myself much better than I thought I would and more importantly had not thought about my business at all over the weekend.

I went back to my desk the next day with renewed energy and a freshness I had not felt in a long time.

So what are the lessons to be taken from this

  1. Find something you love doing and make sure you do it every week
  2. The absence of work does not necessarily mean you will relax. Sometimes you need to find something else to do that will completely absorb your concentration
  3. You need regular time away from your business physically but also emotionally and mentally if you are in it for the long haul

AND don’t forget to head over to iTunes and purchase a copy of the CD it’s a cracker even if I do say so myself!

Photo courtesy of Giddy Design & Photography www.giddy.net.au

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