I’m prepping to head over to Hong Kong to join the wife and family and take a couple days off with the family. I remember when I was actively trading in stocks, I was like a crack addict, constantly checking the value of my portfolio, hitting the refresh button every 15 seconds to bring up updated prices, or waking up at 3am to check how mid-afternoon trading was going on the Singapore stock exchange. Sure I made a couple of thousand dollars during my vacation, but on hindsight, it sure lowered the quality of the vacation (or quasi-work trip/vacation).
But hand on a second. If you’re constantly checking in on your business, you’re missing the one element that separates a business owner, from a sole proprietor: freedom of time.
If you’re constantly tethered to the office via your cell phone, crackberry or laptop, you don’t have much more freedom than the investment banker or management consultant camping in their office.
The only difference is that you’re probably sitting in front of your computer in your boxers, or catching the occasional movie at 3 in the afternoon.
What you need to have a successful business is its ability to operate without you.
If you’re newer at this, the business can probably run a day or two without you. If you’re more seasoned like some of the business owners I know, you could go off on 6 month cruises and check in every week for a status update.
I’ve not hit that stage yet, though I’ll be headed to Hong Kong for about 5 days for some vacation time.
Unfortunately, to nearly the rest of the world, clocking in 36 straight hours of Warcraft 3 doesn’t exactly constitute a vacation.
Entrenching yourself in the Internet Marketer lifestyle also changes your perception of the world too.
Working with direct response copywriting typically found on sales pages and landing pages, can you imagine my frustration at navigating through the pages of the Hong Kong Tourism board?
Pages of fluff, fluff and more fluff. No clear call to action. A series of pretty slideshow pictures.
I bet if they swapped over to a “You’re in Hong Kong for a) business? b) pleasure?” [Then using flash technology to present a customized list of options: “While you’re in Hong Kong for business, would like like to stay in the city center? Close to your meetings?” and so on, it’d significantly bump their “conversions”
One immediate improvement for an information site such as the tourist boards would be the inclusion of a search engine box. For those note clued in to heading to Google and doing a “site:discoverhongkong.com disneyland” search, it could be as frustrating as navigating through the IVRS (interactive voice response system) prompts on a PABX.
But back to Hong Kong. I’ll be headed for the Hong Kong Shopping Festival:
And headed to Hong Kong Disneyland.
If I’m lucky, I might get a chance to see a Chinese Snow White.
That’ll certainly be worth taking a picture of.