In an effort to get a bit of exercise, Melissa and I take frequent walks through our neighborhood. It is a great neighborhood for walking and we have several routine routes. I’ll share a secret, because of these walks, our arrival at the office is later than our official start time of 9:00 a.m. I’m not too worried about this, as long as there is nothing time sensitive pending because, as I realized recently, we usually spend almost 100% of our walking time talking about Magnus, including client issues, administrative or financial issues, plans for upcoming work, projects, and the like. The 45 to 60 minutes we spend on these “walking talks” is very productive and beneficial in that it gives us focus and direction while minimizing the need to have sometimes intense discussions in the presence of staff. On the one hand, this is another indication of how one can’t get away from work when operating a “mom & pop” business. But, the plus side is that the fresh air and the scenery make these discussions more tolerable than if they were held in the office. Today, the concept of “office” is more flexible than ever. The morning walk is another example of that!
As David and I have written on numerous occasions, owning a small business requires working more than 40 hours a week. In fact, David and I are rarely completely off work. On the other hand, we have almost complete control over our schedules and the flexibility to work from home, from a hotel room, or while we walk through our lovely neighborhood. Our morning walks afford us the opportunity to discuss things we prefer to keep between us, as well as our ideas for the future of Magnus, in ways that are not possible once we arrive at the office, which is full of distractions. Walking and talking have been a wonderful shared experience for David and me. It is a relatively new experience due to the fact that, for most of the time we have owned and operated Magnus, we lived in a neighborhood that was not pedestrian friendly. Since we moved to a new neighborhood several years ago, we discovered our new way of doing business, which is preferable to the discussions we used to have at our dining room table prior to coming to the office. As David mentioned, we have several routes for walking within our community, some of which are reserved for cooler weather due to their absence of shade. We enjoy seeing our neighbors, often with their dogs and children, walking at the same time as us and we always wave, smile, and say hello. It is a wonderful beginning to the work day and I am delighted to take advantage of this unique way of working.