Thoughts on starting and running a small business

email vacations etc

My last 3 posts were on how to get a real break when you are a small business owner; my thoughts on women only events; and limiting expectations of others so we don’t get all stressed out.

I have updates.

On getting a real vacation, I actually did it – I put an out-of-office note on my email account and asked Andrew to turn off emails on my phone so they simply weren’t there all during our trip to Italy.


There was something about simply not even seeing subject lines that was wonderfully refreshing. I slept so well and we had so much fun. And guess what? The management team did absolutely fine, as they always do, and in fact at the end of last week we were named #1 in Toronto cupcake stores! Go team!!

This tip is a definite do-again in the quest to get down time.

Regarding women-only events, the universe read my post, laughed and promptly invited me to speak at an Ontario Bar Association event for women lawyers thinking about leaving law. They said, “We would be delighted if you are able to join us and share your experiences as a woman lawyer who has successfully pursued a career outside of traditional practice.”

Oh boy. Do I stay on my soapbox and say no, maybe even  throw in a few gratuitous comments on how I feel about such events? Or do I put myself out there a tiny little bit and maybe help someone who is dithering about her career?

I said yes. And I am looking forward to it. And my view on excluding men from events is unchanged. (Andrew says he admires my “flexibility”. Ok!)

On not getting in a knot if others let us down, I heard a quote this morning on a podcast that kind of relates to the topic.  Here it is (unclear where the original quote came from):

Don’t ascribe to malice what can be plainly explained by incompetence.


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  1. Megan

    I love that quote and remind myself of it all the time!!! Great posts Jean, I literally laughed out loud when I read about the OBA event. And, I’m really happy you accepted the opportunity to inspire even more people with your actions and example! 🙂 On the topic of controlling technology: 80% of the time, I put my phone on a DND mode where only calls come through (no notifications for texts/ whatsapp / emails). I instruct everyone to call me if there’s anything urgent. I find it so much easier to concentrate when I can go call up texts and emails myself instead of having those pushed to me!

    • Jean Blacklock
      Jean Blacklock09-28-2017

      Thanks Megan. It’s a good point that DND on a phone facilitates better focus on a work project equally as well as it helps a person to enjoy a holiday.

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