Five months in a beautiful, remote mountain getaway, with no interruptions and no responsibilities while you focus on developing your big project. Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it? Or it would, if we were less familiar with the events of The Shining. Unfortunately, isolation can be more damaging than productive if you overdo it. Without a balanced social life or opportunities to take your mind off your work, even the most driven entrepreneur has the potential to go a little Jack Torrance.
We could list a few questionable decisions that lead to the collapse of Jack’s big ambitions, but to be honest we’d hope you already know better than to play hide and seek in a blizzard or mix bottled spirits with the kind from beyond the grave. No, the big pitfall for entrepreneurs is the one he spells out himself – ‘all work and no play make Jack a dull boy’. Instead of taking a walk with Wendy or setting aside time to play with his son, he forces himself to work until he snaps.
Don’t be Jack! Remember family and friends are there to support you, and part of that is helping you find a healthy balance. A little leisure time can do wonders to give you a new perspective when you do get back to work, and they can help you stay aligned with your original values too – like maintaining an old building through the winter instead of taking it apart with an axe.
Take care of your mental health, and don’t confuse isolation for productivity. It always helps to talk your ideas out – with one of SIE’s senior business advisors, for instance. Or, if you need a little extra material support through the five-month Scottish winter, enter the Fresh Ideas Competition for a chance at monthly cash prizes!