I find it interesting that when you think about the word retreat, two vastly different ideas come to mind. Since I live in an area surrounded by five military bases, it’s no wonder many in this area think of the word retreat as withdrawing, moving back, giving up. It’s almost a sense of failure, a plan that didn’t work out, even giving up because there is no use to move on.
As an entrepreneur, I like to use the word retreat in a whole different way. I still think of the definition as withdrawing, moving back, giving up; however, with completely different connotations.
Consider the idea of withdrawing. When we withdraw from the hustle and bustle of the busy world and focus our thoughts and ideas in a more intentional way, our withdrawing becomes a positive and productive action. There are times when it is advisable to not only withdrawal from unnecessary busy work, but to also separate yourself from the demands on your time outside of your work. When you withdraw from the “noise” of the everyday, you cause a neurological opportunity for your brain to rest and rejuvenate. When your brain is rested, it is then able to function at a higher level when you re-engage with your work.
There are times when an entrepreneur seems moving and producing at the speed of light. We get it, if you want to get your message out to the public, begin selling to consumers, and build your business, you must move, and move fast. That’s all and good, until you’ve moved so fast you’ve jeopardized your business by not spending enough time crafting a well thought out message, your website looks unprofessional, and your work is less than high quality. When this happens, and it does to every entrepreneur at some time, you need to move back a bit. Choose the most important message your target audience will see and “fix it” before moving on. Don’t be tempted to put everything out there when you don’t have time to give it adequate attention. A little information presented in a professional manner goes a lot further than a lot of information that looks like it came from an amateur.
When do you give up? Before you ever give up in the traditional sense of giving-up, make sure you have done everything possible to succeed. Talk to someone who can give you good advice, and maybe even engage a business coach to help you through the next stage of business development. Make sure you ask for help before it’s too late!
Instead of giving up your business, I want to challenge you to give up some of your responsibilities. Entrepreneurial failure often happens when the business owner is unwilling to let go of business tasks others can do as well as or better than they can do the task. When business owners assign tasks to others, it frees up more time for them to do what only they can and need to do as the owner.
Is it time for you to retreat? If so, do it in the best sense of the word. Give yourself space by giving up responsibilities others can do better than you; move back a bit to provide high quality professional work, and withdraw to refresh your mind, body, and soul.