The Seven-Year-Itch: Are You Bored With Your Business?

Taking A Break For A Fresh Perspective

Paulette Ensign has felt the itch several times since launching her homebased publishing company, Tips Products International, in 1982. Writer's block, stalled motivation, whatever you call it, Ensign has found one common solution: travel. She even relocated from Westchester County, New York, to San Diego to find a warm climate and enlightened community--two factors she believed would help spur her creativity and motivation. They have. Now she'll take quick overnight trips every six to eight weeks to Los Angeles, Phoenix or a nearby resort to help clear her mind. The trips aren't expensive; just relaxing and invigorating, she says.

In fact, Ensign says if she waits too long to take a break, her internal clock will chime in. She'll feel stressed and burned-out and start to feel the need to hit the road. Her telltale signs: to-do and project lists that don't get done, awaking in the morning and not being excited about work, being abrupt with people on the phone, and lacking enthusiasm and motivation for the business. "When going to the post office is the highlight of my day, I know something's wrong," she muses.

While she doesn't take work with her on her weekend jaunts, Ensign does comes back brimming with new ideas, she boasts. Whether it's a new tips booklet, new distribution channels or new marketing messages, she says, "all that energy just comes back."

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