What would you define as the best asset in your business? Would it be your equipment? Your products? Your team? Or the premises in which your business resides? According to Wikipedia, the work asset is defined as the following:
Anything, tangible or intangible, which is capable of being owned or controlled to produce value, and is perceived to have positive economic value, is considered an asset. Wikipedia
Most companies nowadays pronounce that their team is the most valuable asset in the company. All other assets are secondary, merely facilitating the ‘added value’ the people bring to the organisation. If we agree that the team is the greatest asset, do you know who within the team is the most valuable? The person who contributes the most value to the organisation as an individual:
You are the best asset!
As the business owner, you are considered the most valuable asset in the organisation. You may regard your team highly, but if you look at the value add at an individual level, no one comes close to the impact you have on the entire company. You alone have developed and built the company to the extent where it leverages off a team in order to provide the best services and products.
However, when it comes to optimising and taking care of the greatest resource in the company, we tend to fall short of the mark. There are many ways in which you can improve an individual’s productive value, but I would like to share with you one area which tends to give the best return on investment:
There are times in the business cycle when you are literally overloaded with work and you do not have the time for rest. This is especially true when resources are stretched and you are unable to hire anyone to help. While this may appear productive in the short term, if you were to exhaust any other loyal employee, you would expect their productivity to drop with time. In Jonah Lehrer’s book, Imagine: How Creativity Works, the highly controversial author states the following:
While it’s commonly assumed that the best way to solve a difficult problem is to relentlessly focus, this clenched state of mind comes with a hidden cost: it inhibits the sort of creative connections that lead to breakthroughs. We suppress the very type of brain activity that should be encouraged.
There have been many times when I have forced myself to stop work and take time away from the business, yet at the same time I have felt guilty. In my mind, there are always jobs to be done, research to undertake, or changes to be made to improve operations. But, as I have discovered personally, the greatest thoughts, that add the most value and benefit to businesses, occur when you are not focused on work. By forcing yourself to take a short vacation, or even going on a long walk without distractions, will allow your subconscious time to process information and become creative with solutions to any problems you had. This, in turn, will improve your own productivity turning you into the best asset.
By solely focusing on your business to the point of exhaustion, you will actually spend more time achieving something than if you had taken adequate rest and tackled it afresh. Of course, many of you reading this will be able to appreciate that a rest can improve productivity, but how many of you will actually make the effort to take a break? I believe not many. What if you thought that having adequate rest might double your productivity and add 20% in annual value to your company? Would you do it then? I know I would.
Time for a break…