I recently did something I haven’t done in a few years, I took a few days off, booked a ticket to a place I had never been and turned business off (almost.)  Was it amazing for my brain – absolutely, but it also was a chance to let ideas start to roam free with no real purpose – yet.  I started to think about how alive my senses felt on the Southern tip of Florida and I realized that there are three key factors to making a vacation work after it relaxes.

  1. Bring the Visuals Back to Your Business – new places means new looks and feels of how businesses are doing things.  If it catches your eye, make a mental note of why it made you feel the way it did. Remember how you perceived it, as a total stranger, and did it draw you in.  Take that fresh perspective when you get home and look at your own brand.  Does it make you feel the same way?  If it doesn’t, then it is time to make your brand a client and treat it the way you treat other clients.  If you don’t love what you have built, no one else will either.
  2. Linger A Little Bit Longer – when I was away from the office, nothing was in a hurry.  I walked slower, sat longer, slept later.  It was what we all do when we go on vacation, but there is a lesson to be learned in this behavior.  We live on deadline.  Believe me, our business is about making deadlines every single day.  However, a few more seconds before hitting the send button could make things that much better.  It means a stronger sentence that really means what you say.  It could mean a more flushed out idea that gets a “yes” that much quicker.  It might mean the start of a real business relationship instead of surface acquaintance.  I realized how quick I am to end a phone call, leave a meting or send an email.  A few more minutes of thought or time with someone else could make all the difference and make our brand even more people centered than we have tried to build it out to be.
  3. People Watch – every place I went on my time off, I found myself watching the interactions of the people around me.  Their expressions, interactions, inflections all said something.  We don’t see that in the business world.  We measure it all in likes, retweets and follows.  Those are important, but so is humanity.  I think my point here, is technology still has to be used by people and if we aren’t measuring the organic reality of a brand as well as the social reality, then we are failing our clients.  As our world becomes more and more focused on computer algorithms, user spikes and trend lines, we have to also measure how that translates into the living reality as well.  People are still at the heart of EVERY brand and people watching is still the greatest measurement tool there is.

There you go, three thoughts from a quick three days away – visualize, linger and people watch.  Now if I can just figure out to get a mojito delivered to my office…

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