Her name was Molly.
She was a confident, cool entrepreneur. A stunningly beautiful event manager who supported a former employer of mine with huge product launches and global press events.
The way she spoke. The way she laughed. Even the way she sat said ...
I was a young corporate kid. At that point in my career, ithadn't occurred to me that I could be as successful as Molly, certainly not as a entrepreneur.
But let me tell you, I was nearly mesmerized by her. (And, I'm pretty certain she's integral to why I'm an entrepreneur today.)
Molly's job was clearly rugged. The stakes were high. The hours, at times? Hideously long.
Even so, you never ... and I mean, did not EVER ... saw Molly sweat. She always looked rested, eager and alert.
She killed it at her job, and everyone loved her for it.
I'd spend hours on the topic of: What was her secret? How in the hell did Molly pull all of this off with such grand style?
I didn't know the answer to those questions until very recently. But, as one who is now nearly a decade into entrepreneurship, I think I finally understand the true secret to Molly's success:
Don't get me wrong, this woman was (and, I'm certain, still is) meticulous, resourceful and as articulate as they come. A flipping dynamo, if you will.
But as I reflect more on the key variables to career success, I honestly think the clinching factor ... for Molly and for all of us ... comes down to rest.
Molly would work like mad, pull off amazing things, and then she'd retreat to care for herself.
She'd shut off the alarm clock, turn off the phone, take long walks, catch her breath. After any big project or event, she'd raise up her hand and gracefully, yet defiantly, call a timeout.
I recall Molly telling me how she had a standing weekly appointment with her masseuse. At the time, I thought, "Holy hell, that's just plain decadence." Today? I realize it wasn't decadence at all; it was brilliant self-preservation.
Something we all probably need to do much more of. Something we all need to realize we're worthy of.
We live in a society that honors machine-like performance. We wear our busy-ness like stupid little badges of honor. We get brownie points and atta boys from managers when we put in a gazilion extra hours.
Our customers are surprised when we don't answer their emails within 22 minutes ... because we're always SO good at being so on top of everything, all of the time.
The pressure to keep going, keep giving, keep burning the candle at every end is always everywhere around us. It lives within us, and it's a siren-like message everywhere we go.
But the problem is that we are not machines, we are people. And people need rest. All people.
The most successful people seem to understand this.
The most successful people seem to raise up their hands, at the exact right moments, and call a timeout.
I have realized something about myself as I think about Molly the incredible entrepreneur.
I don't call timeout often enough. I actually almost never call timeout.
And that's not, in any way, the formula for lasting success.
I will be calling a timeout in a little over a week.
I'm heading to Central America for a much overdue respite and to explore a mighty exciting business opportunity.
For an entire week, I will be reading a pile of magazines, sleeping in, lolling around on a fishing boat and spending as many hours as I feel like in long conversation with my pal Ash.
Insert me here:
You may view it as decadence, for sure. I'm viewing it as
And I intend to come back ready to light the world on fire.
How about you? Are you buried under the pressure of stress and exhaustion? Do you see successful people around you who make EVERYTHING look easy?
I bet you all kinds of money that these same people know how, and when, to rest.
I bet they realize that they're worth it.
Right here, right now, I am proclaiming that we are all worth it. Not only are we worth it, our success depends on it.
And so I challenge everyone, just as I'm challenging myself in a week ...
If you need to rest? Rest.
It could be exactly what you need to catapult forward to greatness.
Photos by: Morgan Day Photography, Ashley Ambirge