Do you have plans this summer? Whether you have kids who are out of school, plan to go camping, hang at the beach, or travel overseas it’s always more difficult to shift out of work mode and into vacation time when you’re managing a business.
Today I want to share 3 reasons why it’s hard for entrepreneurs to get a break and 4 reasons you’ve gotta book time off ASAP!
1. Build it up, knock it down
After years of building a business, it can often feel like everything you’ve created is a lego house on shaky foundations. For the same reasons I would’t leave something fragile and sensitive in a room of non-verbal toddlers, we’re also afraid of leaving our business in the hands of someone (anyone) else.
What if they screw up? What if this invoice or that employee doesn’t get paid? The opportunities for mistakes feel endless, and we’re not just judging the potential pain of fixing the problem but the somewhat irrational belief that everything we’ve built will be knocked down all for a week at the beach.
Nevermind, I’ll just “staycation” and keep working. Who needs a tan anyway?
2. “If I slow down, I’ll stop” mentality
There’s a constant stream of stories around up-and-comers, that company making a resurgence, the newest software trends, and all the strategies you MUST implement if you’re going to survive.
You’re so far behind, don’t even think about sleeping this month; after all, if you slow down, those competitors and threats are going to surpass you. It’s easier to just keep going and not risk the time it’ll take to rebuild your momentum.
And stop entirely? No way! This hammock has room for my laptop and as long as I have a wireless signal then nothing can pass me by!
3. 99 problems but a beach ain’t one
Honestly, I’d love to take a break or have a conversation with my loved ones that isn’t interrupted mid-sentence by a cell phone. But I couldn’t possibly until we re-launch the membership site this year. If I leave before that’s done, the whole project will go off the rails. Oh and the e-commerce site has too many bugs, I just know we’ll get a rush in sales when I’m not here to debug it.
And it seems kinda wasteful to go away for a week when we should be conserving cash for that new sales position… or to repay the bank loan… or even the housekeeper I’ve been meaning to hire for months now.
Anyway, if I take a break, all I’m going to do is worry about all these things in my business that aren’t perfect yet.
Sound familiar? We all have these fears and whether we take them to the most extreme or not, they stop us from enjoying a break and do incredible harm to our business, lives, mindset and bodies. Here are 4 ways to break out of the excuses, book that time off and ENJOY it!
1. Remember that even the President gets vacation
Is your country perfect with zero economic, security or health concerns? Nope! Does your country’s leader take vacation time anyway? Yep!
Listen, you’re no more important than the man or woman leading a nation and they usually have much bigger problems. But you can’t face those challenges with a clear perspective, fresh eyes and healthy mental state if you’re at work 24/7/365.
Well, it’s a leap year so 366.
Refusing to take time off is not a sign of importance; it’s a sign of delusion.
2. Acknowledge that self care isn’t selfish
No matter how much you might agree, there’s a tiny part of you that believes that it’s selfish to take care of your own physical or mental health when there are a) problems in your company or b) problems in the world to solve.
But it’s not.
Taking care of yourself is putting on the oxygen mask before helping others around you, and you’ll be able to serve longer and more effectively when you’re in the best shape to do so.
3. Perfection is a mirage
Just like water in the desert, chasing perfection in your business before you take a break is a recipe for disaster. It’s the blessing and curse of an entrepreneur to see improvements everywhere and never be content. Don’t place this condition on your ability to step away or you’ll effectively shackle yourself to the company that will never be perfect. And you’ll likely just resent imperfection as a result.
4. Everyone thinks you’re annoying.
All work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy.
You might not be in the Shining but omg, the entrepreneur who can’t shut up about SEO tactics or is “on” all the time is BORING. Your family is probably sick of you being at work all the time and your friends, remember them, want a day when you’re not face first in your tablet the whole time.
Having hobbies and taking vacation and, god forbid, FUN in your life, does not make you a less dedicated entrepreneur. It makes you well rounded, interesting, less annoying and human. Get out there. Stop talking about business and see how a sunset on the lake looks, what it’s like to hike a mountain, learn to ski, take a pottery class, nap in the middle of the day, rescue endangered turtles – anything!
It’s pretty easy to talk about time off, so your action step today is to book at least one day off in the next month with zero work commitments or email access. Just one. No email.
Tell me in the comments when and where you’re taking your next day off!