Any dude that’s a real skier will talk about powder days as their best days ever after major life events like their wedding, birth of their children and graduations.
As a Skier myself, I have faced many situations caused by powder days, some extremely satisfying and some that test the core parts of my life such as my marriage and my job. I recall vividly an incredible Thursday powder day at Vail a few years ago with my brother, as we rolled into the Village I turned on my phone to see 10 voicemails, our servers were down and I was no where to be found, uh oh.
Over the years powder days have been harder and harder to swing. My heart is in it, but my schedule says that meeting is too important to miss or that look in my wife’s eye tells me it’s time for me to watch the baby while she sleeps in.
All of this got me thinking about powder days as a gauge to the control you have over your life and business. If I called you right now and said “Dude, A-Basin is getting dumped on, let’s hit it tomorrow!” Could you?
I think getting to the point in your life where you have this freedom is an amazing goal. You used to have it, but now responsibility has crept up on you. Work-Life Balance is all about being an incredibly responsible, hard working, successfully, total Bad-Ass that can sneak away and grab a powder day.
Here are 3 suggestions for helping you ditch work and ski pow:
1. Have you put process in place to help you manage fires in your daily life? Hopefully Yes, you need to be in a situation where the big decisions that cause tons of stress are made thoughtfully and slowly. Don’t be the guy that has to react to every single thing throughout the day. There is always a punching bag like this in every company, no matter how big or small, you need to work hard to not be that guy.
2. Does your company culture thrive on who is in the office when? I just heard Jason Fried of 37 Signals talk about this in a recent podcast about Remake, “Every office has the asshole that waits until everyone leaves then leaves 5 minutes later.” Work very hard and never let face time bother you, it has no value to your career and you just have to let it go.
3. Talk to your Boss with total transparency about this. “You know I love to ski, and this winter I would like to take a few days off, only when it is dumping snow in the mountains, to ski for the day. I will never let this affect my work and have worked hard so that everyone has me covered. I will always email the night before to key team members and check my phone throughout the day.” I have learned in my professional and personal relationships that sometimes if you want something you just have to ask, and be ready to work hard for it. When your boss says “Thanks for being so transparent with me, I think that’s a great idea.” it also means “I am granting you this freedom and you have to work really hard and not screw up to keep it.” Asking your Boss to take powder days can only be asked once, no second chances.
I write this post mainly as a motivation to myself. I am just as guilty of being sucked into responsibility as the next guy.
Good Luck, and Bon Hiver.