Coming Back to Business

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2014Vacations are great. I just spent the last two and a half weeks in Oklahoma City. I visited my folks, rode our horses, stacked hay, and spent time with my nephews and sister-in-law. I worked most every day from my phone and computer. But instead of being in the office, I worked while I was carting my nephew on my hip, or while I sat next to my parent’s pond and looked at the Koi; work was done outside in the open… the humidity thick and the sun beaming. Going from day to day doing what you want, making the time your own can ruin a person in business. It can also clarify what the past year meant and what the upcoming year may turn out to be.

The transition from vacation to home was not horrible. It is always good to come home. But, coming back to work and all the pressures and stress that comes with the transition is never easy. I drove to and from Oklahoma and the trip back, a lot of the time was used thinking about the company… my role in the company, the future of the company, what the next couple of months will mean, what affects the economy will have on the company… Time, silence, the company Bean only in a vehicle for 20 hours was time well spent. If there is nothing else that this business has taught me, it has helped me appreciate my own company. Business and its demands have that effect on its participants. It will eventually teach them to pace their thoughts. Business has made me think and re-think the choices that I have made, the choices I will need to potentially make, and the reason behind the decisions. I often think about the long days I spend in my office working for the company. I don’t regret a moment of being a part of the company, nor do I believe, given the choice, would I change choosing to work for the company nine years ago. I just turned 35 and while that isn’t old, it is old enough to start looking ahead to the future and figuring out what it will hold for me as a person and as an employee of Aspect Tree Service. Then I start to think about the time I spend at work and how it is filled with wonderful friends, co-workers, and my husband. Even the familiarity of my office… I missed it while I away. I have taken for granted what that private space has meant to my sanity… still does. As I sit here and think about my participation in the company I am thrilled to know that I have been a part of it. Hopefully the best years are still before us.

I had well over 800 emails in my inbox when I started my computer back up this past week. Is that a lot? It took me a day and a half to get everything sorted out and from there I was off and running again. The last couple of weeks away have not left my mind for one second. The open land of Oklahoma, the sunsets, the storms… it is a different life from the one I lead in Virginia. It isn’t better or worse, it is just different. It is also unforgettable.

Last modified: January 20, 2014
Nikki Hall
Nikki is the co-owner of Aspect Tree Service in Alexandria, VA. Learn about her business at

This story is part of our Small Business Corner, a peek into the life and trials of small business owners.

Category: Insider's perspective, Small Business, Small Business Corner, small business owners