Michael: So, welcome to HaBO Village Podcast. This is Michael Redman, and this is-
Kathryn: Kathryn Redman.
Michael: And we, right now, are on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii. We've had a really busy, busy travel schedule, and a lot of things we've had to do, and be on a lot of airplanes and a lot of hotels in the last few months just for work, going from clients to conferences to events that we have with software partners, and different things like that.
Michael: And then in the middle of it all, we have some friends in Hawaii who have been here for about 10 years, 12 years, and they just have been asking us to come visit. And in the midst of it, they said, "Will you please come this Fall?" And we were like, "Ah, we don't even have time." Did we?
Kathryn: No, seriously. I really, really tried to talk you out of taking any vacation. I wasn't up for it. Too many planes, too much time away from the office, did not sound like fun.
Michael: It didn't sound like fun at all. And yet, I wanted to see our friends, and they have asked forever and ever, and they said, "Come, we've got some brand new places that we're using with Air B&B, and we want to give you one, and spend some time with you." And it just seemed like it was the time where you just don't say no. You just say yes, and you go. And it's been an interesting experiment for us, because we think about rest.
Michael: Today's podcast is about rest, and how important rest is to entrepreneurs and leaders, to everybody in general, but entrepreneurs and leaders in companies even more, because we tend to be driven people. We have a lot of things that are on demand for our time, that are calling us, and it's just tough. How would you describe how hard it is, and why it's hard to take time out and rest?
Kathryn: Well, I think for me, especially in the midst of such a busy, busy season, I think that the first thing is that I feel guilty for stopping, and I had to remind myself yesterday that I have this amazing staff that continues to serve our clients. It's not like our company ceases to function just because we're gone. But, when we've been gone as much as we have, it just feels like I shouldn't be here. Like, and I think that's the hardest thing, is that sense of at what point have you earned a rest, and why do you have to earn a rest. I'm not sure. But, I just wrestle with that piece, and have, even here, in this incredibly beautiful setting, I've wrestled with feeling like I shouldn't be here, like I should be working.
Kathryn: It's hard to just let go of that, and settle into the beauty and the wonder of what is around us.
Michael: Well, and yesterday, you were talking about feeling guilty, is really what you're describing right now.
Kathryn: Yeah. That's exactly what it is.
Michael: And you were miserable because you were wrestling with feeling guilty.
Kathryn: And then in the middle of that, my computer died as if to say you really are not allowed to work. It's just pretty much you're not allowed. You're just done, just done.
Michael: That was-
Kathryn: That was-
Michael: Awful and funny all at the same time.
Kathryn: Yeah, it was more awful than funny, but it was kind of funny.
Michael: Well, after a good night's sleep. So, let's talk about ... that kind of explains the concept of why it's ... a little bit, it speaks to some of the reasons why it's hard. I think some of the other reasons it's hard is there's always something to do, and as leaders and founders of companies and entrepreneurs, we're continuing to try and grow a company. And for people like me, I'm really even more drawn to the entrepreneur visionary role in our company, and in our marriage even to some extent.
Michael: But, I think for me, it's even harder. It's never done. It's really hard to say, "Well, we've achieved that goal. Now I can imagine what can be next." And there have been moments where it's been really hard to find out that you've hit this moment where you're like, "I don't know what else to go next." But, I'm 48 years old, and I've learned that eventually, and it doesn't usually take too long, I find a vision for the next place, and there's usually five or six things that I want to see accomplished. And so, that's really hard because you're not done. You're never done. And that alone is frustrating.
Michael: And it's easy to work seven days a week.
Kathryn: Well, I think too, depending on your personality. So for me, one of the things that going on vacation does is it reveals where I have failed to delegate. It reveals where I still need to respond to emails, and I need to keep things moving along. But, had I paused long enough to think about it, I could easily pass along, but I don't do that well always. I hold on, and then, even when I'm on vacation, my clients, they kind of know that they're still going to hear from me. And that if they need something, I'm probably going to respond.
Michael: So, why do you think it's hard to delegate for you?
Kathryn: I think because it takes more time to tell someone how to do something than to do it myself. And I, as a spontaneous, my personality, my Myers Briggs makeup, I just want to get it done. I just want to get stuff done now, and move on to the next thing. So, then I probably don't mind feeling needed at some level, even though I wish I did mind it. So, you know, leaders of companies have their own neuroses and those are some of mine.
Michael: So, those of you that are listening right now, some of you actually relate to what Kathryn's saying. You can totally relate to it's easier to get it done now, and just get stuff done, and it takes longer to tell somebody to do it. Why tell somebody to do it? Why train them? Why pass along when you could just do it, get it done, and move it on?
Michael: And one of the reasons to not do that is, what do you think, Kathryn?
Kathryn: So, you can unplug.
Michael: Why is it important to unplug? That's one of the reasons we wanted to talk about that today. Why is it important to unplug?
Kathryn: I think that the human body is not designed to just go seven days a week. And when we don't take time off, when we don't breathe, and we don't reflect and process life, we burn out. It's really simple.
Kathryn: There's been hundreds of thousands of books written on the subject of just running yourself ragged, and ultimately, while it may serve a short-term goal, there are busy seasons, it's not sustainable, and it's not life giving to not slow down. So.
Michael: So, you want to drive. You want to work on a regular basis. You feel like it's imperative to. What do you say to the person, the entrepreneur, who's running one organization, and working a job, and working 90 hours a week?
Kathryn: Do we know someone like that?
Michael: Maybe a couple.
Kathryn: I just would say to that person, figure out, start planning for how to adjust that, because that's not sustainable. So depending on your age, if you're in your late 20s, early 30s, you can probably do that for a while, and get away with it. But ultimately, it's going to take a toll, and ultimately, nobody gets your best. And if you're married and doing that, then it's going to take a toll on your relationships, on your marriage, on your friendships. Certainly no space for children in that kind of-
Kathryn: World, and that's a hard place to be. So, I think that, again, it's not a condemnation. There are seasons where you just push and push and push, but it cannot be sustainable long-term. So, there has to be a breaking point where you say, "You know what? I have to learn to build rest in." And not just vacation, coming away and watching the waves roll, which is pretty stunning right now. But, just weekly, to be able to take a day, and to just take a day off once a week and really stop and not engage in work, and give your brain and your mind and your body a chance to rest and recuperate.
Michael: Yeah. I think there's a lot of talk about, and a lot of different books and magazines and different places, where one day a week should be set apart just for resting, and actually just taking it off and taking time, and it's pretty built into Christianity. It's talked about in the Bible.
Michael: Sabbath. And a lot of people ... I have met a lot of people in a lot of different places, where they just don't take a day off a week. Kathryn and I used to do this a lot, as you guys are listening to the podcast. We've done that a lot in our life, and we continue to try and, especially early on, continue to try and discipline where do you find a day a week, where you just really ... you don't work.
Michael: And one of the things that we found is that in the weeks that we say we have one day a week where we're going to just, we're not going to respond to email, we're not going to push to get a things done. We're just going to let things go. The world does not fall apart. We have discovered that. It turns out that what doesn't get done oftentimes either doesn't matter, or it's amazing how much stuff gets done in six days. Sometimes you're forced to be a little bit more effective and efficient. But, more often that not, it's amazing. Like, wow that got done, and the world didn't fall apart because we took a day off.
Michael: And part of what we're doing on the Hubble Village Podcast is talking about passion and provision companies. It's all about passion provision companies for us, because we want to do two things. A, we want to have a sustainable life, a sustainable lifestyle. In passion and provision companies, we're not looking to do a quick build a company, burn ourselves out, flip it, and then, hopefully walk away with millions of dollars, and then never have to work again. Kathryn and I, we live in Northern California, we're a little bit outside of the Bay Area, but we're still impacted by that Silicon Valley dream, the Gold Rush mindset that started in the mid-1800s, where it was I'm going to forsake everything to get rich quick.
Michael: And first of all, statistically, you guys all know this, people don't get rich quick. It is so rare. So, what happens, even the venture capitalists, the wise venture capitalists that have been around a long time, there's some of them that are now starting to write books about the last 40 years of venture capitalism. And there is one that was written. I don't quite remember the author, and we'll get it on the Notes page for you. But, it was written by a guy who was there before the internet. He was there investing money in Silicon Valley.
Michael: And he talks about a couple of different factors, one, that all these folks that are coming in to trying to be venture capitalists, they don't understand what it really takes, and how long it takes to make money. And he says out of 100 companies, one time when he was being interviewed in the San Francisco Chronicle, he said something about they interview 100 companies and pick 4, and 2-3 of those fail, and the one that lasts doesn't flip in the 3-5 years that they usually want to. It usually wraps up your money for a good 10 years.
Michael: So, in the midst of it, even if you want to make money as a venture capitalist or an entrepreneur, the idea that you're going to be able to do it and do it fast is ... the idea to say well, somebody did it, is really ludicrous at this point in our life, because we've seen so many people try and fail. And with the business failure rate, one of the core things we talk about at the HaBO Village, in the HaBO Village mindset in passion and provision, is the business failure rate is like 90% for first time businesses, and second time businesses, it's not always a whole lot better.
Michael: So, you've got to be really careful what you're doing and how you're doing it, and realize that even if you're going to be successful, it's going to take longer. So, how is that impacted by rest? Sustainability.
Kathryn: Yeah. Sustainability to go the long haul, not just short term.
Kathryn: Well, and again, to say it, it's one thing to have a successful company. It's another thing to have a successful life.
Michael: Oh yeah. That's good.
Kathryn: And there are a lot of folks out there who have successful companies, but they have broken relationships because they've put the making of money and the success of that company ahead of everything else. And while there is some fulfillment in that, ultimately the only thing that matters in life is people. So, if you break your relationships and you don't have those relationships, and you haven't lived a life that allows you to build and sustain friendship, marriage, relationship with kids, whatever, then you might have a lot of money, but you're going to be left a bit empty.
Kathryn: And that's a tragedy, and that happens to a lot of people. A lot of people. A lot of folks who get into business and think this is what defines me. And so, we have to be able to stop. And I think what rest does is it allows you to stop long enough to ask yourself questions about motivation, and where am I, and why am I doing this, and who am I, and does this job or company define me, or am I defined by something different. If it went away tomorrow, how would I be? Just the ability to reflect. If you don't rest, you don't reflect. You don't think and process and learn more about who you are, and that can get dangerous.
Michael: Yeah. Some of you right now that are listening are saying yeah, it's fine, I've got it under control. It's not affecting us or anything else. And there's a couple things I just want you to think about for a moment. One is that the research says that continual work without rest, and we're talking evening rest, and there's a whole bunch of work right now on just getting 8 hours of sleep, and then we're talking about one day a week, and then we're talking about taking periods of time during the year where you literally take multiple days off, maybe a week, maybe two weeks.
Michael: For some of you, you can't unwind in 3 or 4 or 5 days. You need two weeks to unwind. And to really start to experience it, and what happens is, is the research is saying that it's killing your system. The stress is causing all kinds of health problems. It's causing all kinds of decrease in your mental activity. And if you think you're doing really well and working really hard, I have seen it. If you start to learn how to rest, because it will take you a while to learn how to rest, but if you start to learn how to rest and get good sleep and everything else, you're going to have more emotional reserves for situations and changes in business, because they'll just come out of nowhere.
Michael: Today, we're recording this. When we woke up in Hawaii, spent a great time in the morning out on the beach watching the sun come up and everything else, had a cup of coffee, and then we found out that there had been the massive cyber attack on the East Coast. And while recording that, this podcast today on that day, where our staff is watching the details and everything, and how does it affect our clients. And it does affect some of our clients, and it affects some of our clients directly, and most of our clients indirectly, if it's not directly.
Michael: And those surprises come up. What do you do? Are you ready for it? And can you handle something that could be difficult, challenging, or throw you into a state of readiness? And rest can really help. Rest is restorative. It sounds silly to say that. But, it can really bring inspiration back. It can help you see new possibilities. If you're saying, "I don't think I have a problem with this," I just want you to ask some of those questions. How much time do you get for those important events and the loved ones around you?
Michael: We have several friends that have actually had nervous breakdowns in their lives because of how much they worked, and they spent time thinking, "How do I be successful at work?" And if I'm successful there, whatever my work is, A, I'm doing the right thing in life. I'm leaving a legacy. And B, I will then be able to have more for my family. And that's male or female, folks. That's not just about men. But, we have several friends.
Michael: Kathryn, it seems to me right now that we're thinking one of the things that happens for us, is you and I, we talk to a lot of people, and we hear them say, "Oh no, I'm fine." But then, we get to have dinner with them, and we get to sit in long conversations with clients in social settings where we just all get to hang out and enjoy a nice glass of wine or something and sit down. And over those conversations, we start hearing a different story, don't we?
Kathryn: Yes we do. Yes we do. And I think most of us are pretty good at putting on a veneer on the outside of just sort of, "Oh yeah, I'm great. Everything's great." And we almost feel obligated to do that, but then the reality is, when you sit down, you really get face-to-face with people, the exhaustion, the tension, the wear, then they find a safe place to say, "This is how it really is." It is not all fun and games. And it's-
Michael: Do you think they're intentionally putting on a veneer?
Kathryn: Well, no. I think that we have to wear, in some senses, we have to present ourselves as okay most of the time for the world. It's not safe for me to just say to anyone, "I'm on the edge of falling apart." That would be foolish. So, I don't mean it that it's a think thing. It's just we tend to present the best version of ourselves to the world out there, and it isn't until we get to a safe place and we can really let down, that we are able to own, "Yeah, I'm really exhausted," or, "I'm really not feeling fulfilled," or just really struggling, or whatever that is.
Michael: What's the most restful vacation do you think we've ever taken?
Kathryn: I think three weeks in the UK in Ireland, but it took until week two for me to settle into it.
Michael: Yeah. And why was it so ... what was so restful and rejuvenating for you on that trip?
Kathryn: I think for me it was ... well, first of all, it's my homeland. That's always a good gift. But, everything was so other than my normal. It was such a removal from the norm, even the fact that we were there during a period of time where the sun didn't go down until 10:00 at night. So, there was such a radical reminder all the time of Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore. Just, a sense of wow, this is a different place. And even when we were in Ireland out in the farmland and you could have been in the middle of nowhere, it was so clear that we weren't home.
Kathryn: So, that was restful. And we pretty much unplugged.
Kathryn: Didn't ... I think I checked my email once every couple or three days, and even during that season, we had a client that was on the brink of walking away, and I think actually did while we were gone, and so an account ended. Life just continued to go on. But, I was able to disconnect, and that seems to be the art form at this point, is when it comes to be these longer-term vacations, how do you actually disconnect. And I'm still in the process of learning that based on my experience this week.
Michael: Yeah. It's an ongoing period of time for us. It's an ongoing lesson for us. One of the things that we did for the earlier, is we chose to make some decisions in business that were different. So, as I said earlier, I am 48. We're in the mid-life phase. Our daughter is in college. We don't have any kids at home. But, we made some decisions to pace our business, knowing a couple of different things. One, knowing that we were building a passionate and provision company, and our goal wasn't to get to 50 and retire. And for us, our goal wasn't just to say, "Let's get rid of this business. Let's make a bunch of money, and then we'll go on and do something that we really like."
Michael: We realized the value of work, and the value of labor, and enjoying it. And there's so many benefits to that that we've talked about in the past podcasts, and we'll talk about in the future. But, we chose to not be on the road a lot, and we said no to a lot of opportunities. Now that our daughter is in college and she's in her senior year, we are seeing our travel schedule pick up, and it's a different pace and rhythm for us, isn't it?
Kathryn: Totally different pace and rhythm.
Michael: Do you think that it's appropriate to say, or realistic to say that while we've done a good job of continuing to learn rest and implement rest over our life, that we're learning a new way to do it in this new season and rhythm?
Kathryn: Yeah. I think that's very appropriate. Just when Jenna left to go to college, just there was no one forcing us to come home at 5:30 or 6:00.
Kathryn: And so, I remember even in those first couple of years she was in college, just learning to actually, and still, times when we're not walking out of the office until 7, 7:30 at night, and partly because there's nothing forcing it, especially because they work together, which makes it really ... there's no one being like, "When are you going to be home for dinner?"
Kathryn: So, [inaudible 00:23:52] we have a dog. So-
Michael: But, she's at the office with us too.
Kathryn: And she's at the office with us. So, until she starts whining at me. So, I think that that was a whole adjustment. And now with her gone again and the travel picking up again, your rhythms get really out of sync. So, it's a whole ... life is a constant learning curve.
Kathryn: And so, I think we just continue to have to move through these seasons, and yeah. It's exciting stuff.
Michael: Well, one of the things I'm learning this Fall is I'm realizing that as much as you dial things in, first of all, growth takes energy, resources, money. If you don't know that to grow your company that you need money, and it's actually less expensive to stay where you are, you will learn that. Growth takes resources, and one of those resources is our own personal mental and emotional and physical energy.
Michael: And what I'm realizing is that you don't ... you can get things to where they're much easier to manage in your schedule and everything else, but they still require managing. And I think one of the things I'm realizing this Fall is, we're moving into a season where I have to be extra diligent to watch our schedule and make sure that the opportunities that are presenting themselves don't let us ... we don't run away with taking advantage of all of the opportunities. Just because there's an opportunity doesn't mean that we should be taking it. Matter of fact, I've said it before, I'll say it again, I learned it when I was young from some very wise people. As you get older and more successful in life, in all the areas of life, the decisions, the difficult decisions, are not between good and bad, because those become the easy ones.
Michael: We choose to avoid the bad, and choose good. It's because the difficult decisions become between good and good, or good and better.
Kathryn: Better. Yeah.
Michael: And it's not always easy to understand what is actually the best decision, the better decision, and what you have to say no to. But, you have to say no to some things. I think that's a pretty good discussion about rest. I know that this week has been difficult to transition into. I know that halfway through it now, I am finally starting to find some breath, and maybe even this morning, waking up and going, "Okay. I feel a little better."
Michael: There are a couple of things that I think come out of this that I will leave you with a list of things that are possibly helpful. One, if you're thinking that things are hard and rugged and going crazy, there's some very practical things on your rest. First of all, get some exercise, even if you're just walking. Kathryn and I are not great at this, but it is incredibly important. When I start to exercise a little bit, it's amazing how much I just get a spurt of less stress and more creativity.
Kathryn: We took a really good long slugging walk down a beach this morning.
Michael: Well, it was really nice, because I got to do some of my exercises upstairs in the gym here, and that was kind of fun. And it's amazing. But, doing that, getting just some light exercise, even if it's just standing up every hour and walking around for five minutes, you can get a massive increase in blood to your brain and creativity.
Michael: Getting a good night's sleep. That's number two. Get a good night's sleep as often as you can. Do not think that there's not enough work, or not enough time. There's always enough time, and you've got to prioritize. And if there's ... there are multiple reasons that we can talk about in other podcasts of why you would say, "I don't have enough time to sleep. I don't have enough time to take care of myself." So, a good night's sleep is incredibly important. One day a week, shut down, refocus your vision, refocus your time, pay attention to the relationships around you. Get off and do something different. Get away from the office, or something like that.
Michael: And for some people, it's just sitting and being quiet. For some people, and just being contemplative. For some people, it's going out and doing something completely different. If you work at a desk, going out and doing yard work. Whatever that is for you, shift gears, and do something that's restorative, and say, "I'm not going to work for one day a week." And then you get some time away.
Michael: And for those of you that are the leaders and entrepreneurs, you're going to have to plan and find time where you can get away for more than a couple of days. Figure out how to start planning. I believe that one of the problems that entrepreneurs have is they do not plan well enough, and they don't find people to help them to be strategic so that they can actually plan ahead for these times when they're going to take [inaudible 00:29:08].
Michael: The three week trips that we've taken over the past five years, six years, have been the most incredible that I think we've ever had.
Kathryn: Have we taken more than one?
Michael: We have taken a couple, yes. Ask our staff. And in the midst of that, that's really not always possible for everybody, especially when you're in a small business. But, just, if nothing else, see if you can put two weeks together. It's really, really, really important, and I guarantee that you will experience a sense of rest. And even if you have to do a little bit of work a day from your computer or something before everybody gets up. We have one friend that is just so full of energy and stir-crazy that he has to, but then he puts it away.
Michael: Rest is not an easy thing. For some people, you'll say, "I'm not built to rest." And I would say, "You've learned habits to not rest." There's ways to rest in the midst of it. And sometimes it's just going out and doing a lot of great exercise, fun activities. And for some of you, it's being able to just stop and do something. Different people have different ways they do rest and recover and restore.
Michael: I know that for Kathryn, one of the things that's really important for her is when she gets time to do journaling. It's incredibly important. For me, one of the things that's really restorative, actually two things that I do that are incredibly restorative, one is I study and read subjects that have nothing directly to do with work. I like reading psychology. I like reading about physics. I like reading non-fiction type things, and I find that incredibly interesting. I love to watch films, and fiction stories, because I have such a love of film and film-making.
Michael: Those places allow me to separate. But, one of the things that is incredibly interesting is I love photography, and I am never at rest as much as when I'm just sitting there with my camera and my tripod waiting for a shot, looking for something, because I'm being intentional. But for some reason, I'm just not doing anything. I'm just hanging out, and it lets my mind clear from all these other things, and focus on one particular thing.
Michael: And today, it was a 100% full rainbow coming from the ocean to land.
Kathryn: Yeah. It was pretty spectacular. And to have you already down there set up not realizing what was about to happen was even more spectacular.
Michael: Yeah. Because you can't plan those things. I was just there, and it was a cup of coffee and my camera, and that was good for me. What is it for you? I'm going to ask that question. What is it for you? How do you rest? And are you willing to discipline yourself? Because the history, annals of history, are full of stories, present and in past, where leaders have pushed and pushed and pushed, and then they crack. We have multiple friends who come out the other side, and they would say, "Take care of yourself. You don't want to go through that phase where you can't focus on anything, you can't think about anything, you can't get anything done, because your body said I'm done running at this level." And it does not happen bit by bit. It happens all at once.
Michael: And there is way too much research, and way too many stories of people. And because we work and consult with a lot of leaders in the world, we've seen it. We've heard the stories of those that have gone before us, and those of our peers that have hit those walls, and it's not fun. We don't want you to do that.
Michael: So, we want to just encourage you today, from the lovely Pacific Ocean and the North coast of Oahu, thank you for joining us. This is ... wow. This is a place to take a rest, if you can get out here soon. Hawaii, we totally recommend it. But, we also love England and Europe, and even places like Northern California and Tahoe. These are some of the places we go to get away. Some, we can do in a car. Some, we have to get on an airplane. Some, we can do with a little bit of money for the day and gas. Some, we have to invest a little bit more in ourselves and people around us.
Michael: So, thanks for joining us today on HaBO Village Podcast. Check out the Notes page on our website to get the information on that book for venture capitalism, and a list of ideas that are going to help you with rest, and some things to think about. And I'm hoping that today, we've given you a little bit of pause for thought, and for those of you who know this is to be true, I hope we've just encouraged you a little bit more, reminded you of something that you already know, and that you'll ... maybe if you've drifted away from proper rest, or you're in one of those seasons that's just the harvest is coming in, then make sure to take the time to breathe and stop, and catch your breath.
Michael: Thanks a lot for joining us.
Kathryn: Thanks for being here.
Michael: We'll see you later.