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The Power Of Switching Off To Get You Switched On

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, we have our Broadband back. We moved 5 weeks ago and not having wi-fi was troublesome, then to top it all off, our phones could barely get 3G, let alone 4G. First world problems!

Broadband is a vital utility and while providers continue to dig up roads to put in place the necessary infrastructure, these providers just didn’t deliver… internet provision we had believed would be delivered for a September date now shifted to February. Some might say that this is the price you pay for living in the country, but I can’t help thinking in 2022 that it just isn’t good enough.

I was aware of Satellite broadband as a technology but turning your home into mission command seemed ‘over-egging’ it, until I remembered Elon Musk and StarLink. Now, as of today, we are fully back online!

The struggle of the past five weeks has reminded me of being in a world of working without connection. It reminded me of life before the noise, notifications and networks (tech networks, not people). It inspired me to think that maybe switching off occasionally is a good thing, although switching off for a whole five weeks might do more to raise the stress levels!

Switching off, though frustrating, has brought with it a number of benefits:

It has certainly made me read more:

I’ve talked before about the time during lockdown when one of the only shops open (aside from food shops) was WH Smith, and how I created a ritual of buying a business book each week. Many of those books have since sat, resting on my shelf and I’ve not got through them all yet. These past five weeks I’ve read two blinders: “Legacy” by James Kerr and “High Performance” with Jake Humphrey and Prof Damian Hughes. They both reminded me that “world class” starts with attention to the small things.

It has made us all look up:

A connected, busy family can end up living life separately, albeit in the same room. Friday nights became a film and family night – and are we keeping to that tradition. We actually watched a movie together rather than scrolling with one eye on the small screen. For those who haven’t seen it and for PlayStation fans, I wholeheartedly recommend Uncharted with Tom Holland and Mark Wahlburg – it’s really fun.

It made us appreciate the new surroundings:

We explored and went walking. One of the reasons we love being in the country is that there is something special about being in nature that you’ll only discover when you get out of the city. Climbing hills, running from cows, discovering new views and perspectives and listening to a silence punctuated only by animal noises. As we hit my favourite time of year, autumn, it’s now time to layer up and walking has become part of our after dinner routine.

It made me rely on the team:

As my team continues to grow, so do the people in it and their level of responsibility. Sometimes my absence from the day to day has helped craft new conversations and allowed me to get back to the core of my journey as an entrepreneur. Not being able to be there is a great way of handing things over and then you realise certain management tasks shouldn’t have been in your hands in the first place. Thankfully, everyone has stepped up and stepped in when our situation has been far from ideal.

It made me more thankful:

Taking the time to soak in what we have – our faith, family and friends. Spending more time being less distracted has been a bonus. My morning routine has simplified, our family has become more connected with each other, rather than just ‘connected’ and our friends have literally had to come round and visit! Being present in the present as a futurist is something I have to learn and practice and this break from tech has allowed me to press the reset button.

It focussed my attention on the ‘must haves’:

Our Podcast is key to our ongoing strategy and we finally got to film our first three episodes and have already scheduled in another four. Once we got going, we realised we were in our zone and Nathan is a great presenter/interviewer! The demand to be on the podcast has taken me aback but we know Purpose is what people love to talk around and learn more about. How to find it, how to live it and how to enjoy the process.

It removed some pressure:

Being always on isn’t healthy. When I was younger I would think I was missing out on opportunity if I slowed down. I now realise, however, that knowing the opportunities I should be chasing, and doubling down on those will take time. The great thing with unplugging is removing comparison. As an entrepreneur I have marvelled at the number of people who are making 7,8,9 figures in 60 days and as unbelievable as most of it is, sometimes you compare with others, become downhearted and think you’re miles from where you want to be. The only pressure we should feel is being better than we were yesterday and as long as you live life on purpose that is where you’re supposed to be. Knowing and fulfilling purpose is the only concern you should have on your professional life. The rest should take care of itself and honestly, if 7,8,9 figures were really true, social media is the last place I’d be!

It reset my perspective:

The power behind the twelve companies we are building is the exceptional people in my life. I need to invest my time and effort in leaders to lead. That is where my focus is and the people I’m working with are exceptional and creating incredible things. Purpose makes room for others and creates the conversations for collaborations. Too much of modern online business is focussed on conversions and the numbers game, when investing in relationships makes for conversations that change courses and open new doors. The level of impact your life can have on others is exciting, and your own life can always be impacted by the insights and wisdom of others.

So let me challenge you: As much as everyone wants to be switched on, building some time in to switching off will help you in the silence to rediscover what matters most, and what you really should be doing!

As an afterthought, we are intending to make hundreds of podcasts! So, if you want to be on our show, The Purpose Podcast, reach out to us and we’ll make it happen.

You can subscribe to our podcast here.

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