In May 2017, I made the decision to close down on Sundays so we could take a breath, push the reset button, and focus on things other than work…at least for the one day per week. In November, after 6 months of being closed on Sundays, I began feeling a sense of counter-productiveness as it related to time management. I found myself cramming 60 hour weeks into 6 days instead of 7. I found myself bored on Sundays and utterly exhausted the other 6 days. I found my mind being in overdrive every hour of every day…analyzing ways to grow the business, strategizing how to compete with the hot new attractions in town, and striving to be the best indoor kart track in the world. I found myself putting unrealistic expectations on my team to continue exceeding goals like we did the first 6 years in business. I gradually realized it’s less about the number of days you work, but much more about being intentional with your time. My burnout wasn’t a result of working sometimes 7 days per week, it was a result of the time I wasted on the unimportant things in life and trying to control things I simply cannot control.
We’ve all heard the saying: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” I had reached a point a year ago of being burned out and even a bit complacent, and had to do something different to readjust. The burnout was a result of my inability to trust others with running my business, my unwillingness to fully empower those around me who were more than capable, and my refusal to say “NO” to the unimportant things in life (specifically in business). Over the course of the past 9 months, I’ve grown to be able to do these things more and more. Instead of being reactive to every situation, I was able to reestablish goal-setting and implementing plans to reach them. I rediscovered this is a much more fun way of doing business; a principle I knew from starting the business almost 7 years ago, but one I’d lost sight of in the day-to-day fight over the course of 6 years.
Let me be clear: I don’t regret any part of my decision to close on Sundays and I view it as a highly successful chapter in the life of Bluegrass Karting. I had lost the critical abilities to reflect on our past successes and envision a brighter future. As a result of our changes, we were able to refocus and achieve some great things. We refocused on hiring better people, training them better, paying them better, and holding them to higher standards of service. We scored a 4.8/5.0 in online review scores in 2017, a new company record! We developed a strategy for the next 5 years, and kicked it off with a rebranding to help focus on our Events business and our ability to help other companies reach their goals through strengthened relationships with customers and employees. We have actively pursued customer feedback to improve the participant experience as well as the spectator experience. We completely restructured our League formats. We were able to pursue some very exciting expansion plans, some of which we hope to unveil in the coming months. None of this would have been possible without the ability to slow down and view things through a different perspective. None of it would have happened had we just continued down the same path.
I heard a saying once as it relates to business, “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.” I think this saying applies to us personally as well. We constantly need to strive to learn new things, meet new people, and see new places…life without goals is not life at all. But I’ve also heard the saying, “Life is a grind. Learn to enjoy the grind.” But my favorite saying is from Reinhold Niebuhr, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Everything in life requires a balance and we are continuing to find ours. Thanks for continuing on the journey with us!
See you soon.
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