by Keith Seiz

2 March, 2012

I’m writing this blog from 31,000 feet in the air. It’s late, I’m tired and I’m questioning whether or not I’m going to get a second gin and tonic before landing in St. Louis.

I’m also wondering if my mom is going to have to wait long for me to arrive. Yes, my mom still occasionally picks me up from the airport. I know I’m 34, run a successful agency and said agency would have no problem footing the bill for long-term airport parking. But, it’s good seeing mom, and the $144 I save in parking fees can go to keeping our overhead low and rates reasonable.

I’m flying home from Spokane, Washington. Most business trips I take are in and out. I see the airport, the rental car, the client and my hotel room. This trip, however, I have an outstanding traveling partner in our creative director and my friend, Jonathan. So instead of airport, meeting, hotel, airport, we extended the trip a couple days and headed into the isolation of Northern Idaho to be creative.

We did everything we could to remove ourselves from the business of our business.

We talked a lot, laughed a lot, argued a bit, had a few cocktails and even went skiing. Most importantly, we were creative without forcing it. No set times to dedicate to a specific project.  No squeezing in an hour of design work between conference calls.

We just lived life outside of The Arland Group while talking on and off about four major branding projects we are working on and the type of creative we would need to make them amazing.

And you know what, we killed it. We’re talking award winning ideas.

The lesson: isolate yourself from your business to produce exceptional work. It doesn’t matter if you toil in the creative field like we do or crunch numbers for an accounting firm. Get away. Shut your door. Turn off your computer and cell phone. If you can, don’t go into work and go somewhere else instead where no one can reach you.

Pick up a pencil and a pad of paper, think and start working. You’ll be amazed at what you accomplish.