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Outside Interests and Your Business

February 1, 2010
by Scott Levitt ·  

Scott’s Thoughts: Passion for Your Leisure
Outside interests are important for your business…
“For a list of all the ways technology has failed to improve the quality of life, please press three.” –Alice Kahn, author

I’m an avid cyclist. Give me an uninterrupted stretch of free time, and there’s nothing I’d rather do than get on my road bike and go for hours. It doesn’t matter if I’m on a recovery ride, or pulling like a mad man on with the Sunday morning pack, cycling is a personal passion.

Pursuing your passion outside of work can actually be tremendously powerful for your business. In fact, if you’re all work and no play, the thing that may be holding you back is a lack of a personal passion beyond your real estate career.

I credit my passion for cycling with a lot of the business success I’ve enjoyed in my life. For example:

A passion allows you to meet people who have similar interests. You form strong bonds with people through a shared passion, and often that passion isn’t directly related to work. It’s a natural networking environment outside of your work circle.

A passion is better than a vacation–it lives with you in real-time as a part of your life, not a break from it. It occupies your mind. How many times have you been sitting on a beach on a much-deserved vacation only to spend the time concentrating on your work stresses?

A passion helps you avoid burn-out. You have activities to look forward to, conversations that don’t center on work, and personal goals which aren’t tied directly to your business.

A passion actually helps you process problems “in the background.” Concentrating directly on a dilemma isn’t always the best way for your brain to work on a problem. Have you ever had a bolt of insight from the blue while brushing your teeth, day dreaming, or sitting in traffic? A little distraction (especially positive distraction) can free up mental resources required to find indirect solutions.

In the end, it’s about balance. Don’t wait for retirement to cultivate your leisure activities… practicing them now might help you reach retirement sooner!

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