If any of you reading this follow me on Twitter you may have heard that the morning after I delivered the "Tweeting for Business Success" in WestportWoods Hotel, Co. Mayo I had the pleasure of horse riding on the beach.
Michael Lennon, owner & manager of the Westportwoods Hotel also owns a riding stable & kindly arranged for me to have a beach ride at the foot of Croagh Patrick. Croagh Patrick is a well known pilgrimage destination in Ireland, in July thousands of people walk up to it's summit- many barefoot. It is a specatular mountain over looking the sea, and the strand where I rode. You can see it in the background in some of the pictures. (below)
I have been riding since I was 9, and when I left school I worked full time with horses- in a riding school, and on a stud farm. Horses are a passion of mine, they are beautiful, and extremely intelligent. What I love most about horses, is not just the exhilaration of cantering along a beach but the relationship that is formed between the horse & rider.
When a horse actually trusts you, listens to you, works with you it is one of the greatest honours I have had the priviledge to enjoy.
Why on earth am I writing about this on a business blog? I know some of you may be asking this. The answer is simple, those of us in business know how to WORK. We work hard on our businesses, in our businesses, but do we know how to stop & enjoy life too?
The saying all work & no play makes Jack a very dull boy is very true. Taking time out for those things we love, our friends, family, music, exercise, hobbies is what brings us back to our businesses more refreshed, and revitalised than we left them.
A lot of business owners fear loosing the time- time they could be spent working. In my experience those who take time out for fun are a lot more productive. Without down time we become stale. Our fresh ideas run dry, our energy pales.
Richard Branson is a shining example of how to be a successful business man- he never stops enjoying himself. I know in the past I have often said "Business IS fun for me" and that remains true. However, taking myself outside of business to have different kinds of fun brings a freshness back into my stride, and that really does benefit my business.
The photo's below show the story of how I managed to destroy my mobile phone in the process....
(I'm the one in the white jacket- which I won at an event organised my Meet For Real in Dublin in August- came in very handy thanks!)
Yes there I was, happily cantering through the relatively shallow water towards Michael who was camera man for the morning.
When suddenly the water became very deep, and just as suddenly Katie (my horse) decided sensibly to slow down, and just as suddenly I found myself taking an unexpected dip!
We went for another little canter up the beach to help me dry off, but really the ride home was still rather squishy!
Unfortunately my dipping cost me a mobile phone & made me late for a radio interview. On the plus side I had great fun, got cooled down by my dip (cantering on a horse is not easy work!)
And had a great story to tell. Plus I've been invited back to the radio station for an extended interview :)
When was the last time you had time out for fun? When is the next time you are going to schedule time out for you?