Business or Pleasure?
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
You’ve seen this before:
Why is this explicitly an either-or question? For us, how we answer that question depends on the day. When we took off recently to visit Turks & Caicos, we presumed it was mostly for pleasure. Obviously, we knew we’d have to keep an eye on incoming orders and respond to customer inquiries. And sure, we knew we’d be tweeting about our adventures, a natural output of the breath-taking photo ops that only the islands can offer. We even knew we’d be ‘exposure testing’ some new bikini styles, which amounts to snokeling and tanning in the bikini to see how it wears. Perhaps we’d also be searching for a little bit of inspiration to instill in our products or brainstorming how our marketing strategy might be improved. Parts of that sound a lot like work, but not overlooking the fact that at least half of those activities can be done from a beach chair, it would be an overstatement to describe these as a rough few days at the office.
For a lot of us, work often does have a way of creeping into our everyday lives. And in fact, we personally often find there is a very thin line between where our personal lives end and the business begins. We’re always chatting about what’s next, or how to handle a certain situation, or how much something costs to execute. Don’t mistake it for a second, that’s business as usual. People often ask us how we find the time to run the business and make time for each other, and the answer is quite simple: flexibility. The business weaves it way in and out of our personal lives and our daily conversations. As bad as it sounds, there is no real line… or if there is one it constantly moves by the moment and the day. That doesn’t mean we don’t have time off, it just means we manage it different that your typical 9-5 job would allow for. Case in point: our recent impromptu meeting with Turks & Caicos Magazine. The editor of the magazine got word from our Twitter feed that we were in Turks & Caicos, so she shot us an email to see if we were interested in meeting with her for a drink. So we called her up to organize it. We could have said no, enforcing the separation between the business and our personal lives… but that didn’t cross our minds for a second. We wound up spending a wonderful evening together with the editor and her husband, enjoying the opportunity of getting to know two interesting people and discussing, amongst other things, the businesses that we [collectively] run.
Perhaps we would have an entirely different approach with another type of business. But we love what we do. One could argue, quite convincingly I would bet, that after a point it is healthy to establish that clear line between work and personal life. But when love and passion exist for what you do, that hard line seems like less of a necessity. For now, we believe that we can grow, both in personal experiences and as a business, by blending the two at least to a certain extent. Rich experiences make for a rich life… and we’re open that they may initially take any form. It often seems that the experiences you suspect the least will surprise you the most. And that’s the best part of the journey.
As for our answer: