We kicked off the new year with a break from the usual. We needed it. Our hearts needed it and our business needed it. We rested, but we worked. We allowed ourselves to plan big and to think about the coming year as a whole, because we’re often focused on being present and invested in the immediate future, and it’s been too long since we’ve peeked up from the tasks immediately at hand long enough to look into the distance. So, for four days, beginning January 1, we were shut-ins, practically hermits. Showers weren’t a priority, and we only left the house to run small errands and grab a quick bite to eat. This isolated, productive, and maybe a little stinky time is what we like to call the Eric & Jamie 2016 Pajama Summit. Can we trademark that?
A good portion of those four days were spent the old fashioned way (Jamie loves a pen and paper, Eric loves a keyboard and the cloud. Jamie won this battle), and we did three things. We zoomed in, looked at where we are right now and how we got here. What worked and what didn’t. We zoomed out to determine where we want to be on December 31, 2016. Finally, but most importantly, we created a plan of action for each goal. Friends, it was scary and a bit overwhelming. Sure, big dreaming is fun and exciting and it definitely got our adrenaline pumping, but it made us step out of our comfort zone in a big, terrifying, wonderful way.
Another thing that made us uncomfortable and squirmy was being vulnerable. We disassembled our business and played the role of devil’s advocate a lot. Business owners are fickle people, aren’t we? Our business is our baby, born from pure sweat and elbow grease, but sometimes we can’t see holes in our business, even when they might be staring us in the face. Chances are, if you’re in the same boat as us, you’re nodding your head right about now and maybe giving us an internet “amen.” So, we tweaked, took a step back and looked at the situation, and tweaked again until we were comfortable. It’s like hanging a picture frame on the wall. A little to the left…nope…a little to the right…almost…yep, perfect. We say all this because we feel that it’s so important to not get wrapped up in ourselves or to not become so prideful about Eric & Jamie Photography that we’re doing our couples a disservice. The two most important people in our business aren’t Eric & Jamie, they’re Jordan & Zack, they’re Abby & Trevor, they’re Cassie & Seth, they’re each bride and groom that we get the honor of working with.
A lot of companies take their teams to cabins or resorts for a meeting of the minds, breakout groups, and working lunches where team members brainstorm and collect ideas for the new year. They analyze strengths and weaknesses, and create game plans for propelling the organization to a new level of growth, bigger and better than the previous year. Companies have corporate summits. Eric & Jamie have The Pajama Summit, and we’re pretty sure it will be an annual event.
No matter where you are in your business or life, we encourage you to take the time to dream big. Let those butterfly’s flutter around in your stomach for a while. Then, take the time to organize, analyze and plan. Step out of the box and figure out where you want to be, and plot out your steps and do it!
Carpe the freakin’ diem, you guys! Cheers to 2016!