As business owners we have plenty of excuses why we won’t allow ourselves to take a vacation for any extended length of time. Perhaps you fall into one of these categories of business ownership:
- The Indispensable Owner: The work won’t get done without me.
- The Pleaser Person: Clients will be upset if I go away.
- The Essential Owner: Opportunities to pick up new business will be missed.
- The Simple Owner: I am just too busy.
- And the Classic Paranoid Owner: What would happen if there is a crisis?
More likely there’s multiple type that applies. I confess that all of them have applied to me at one time or another in my professional career. It’s too common for owners to get absorbed by their business ventures and not get away. I challenge you to incorporate vacations into your business plans. The payoff will be tremendous for you and the other stakeholders in your business.
Here is my top-ten list of reasons why owners should make taking a vacation a mission for 2013:
#10 Avoid Burnout. If your gas tank is running on empty your business will eventually pay the price. Vacations give you a chance to fill your tank.
#9A Give your Staff Room to Grow. Are your managers and staff members comfortable making decisions? Taking time off, not being accessible to make decisions remotely, and requiring managers to follow your lead for their teams will develop confidence at all levels of your organization.
#9B Lead by Example. If you don’t take a vacation what example are you setting for your team?
#8 Enhance Creativity. Down time fosters new thinking and creativity. Vacations set the stage for letting ideas flow while you’re away and after you return to your business.
#7 Learn from Others. Vacations give you time to speak to new people, see new things or curl up with a new book. Stepping away from the daily routine gives you all sorts of new possibilities to gain perspective.
#6 Family Time is Quality Time. A planned vacation enables an owner to spend quality time away from the daily grind and focus on the family. My sons and I always bring our baseball gloves on vacation and we find time to throw. It is a good way for me to see how big and strong they are getting (or how much older and less athletic I’ve become).
#5 Alone Time or a Date-Night is a Must. Make time to take a walk alone, with your earphones on, listening to your favorite music. A trip to the spa is also a great way to recharge the batteries. Earlier this summer, my family vacationed in Cancun and my wife and I treated ourselves to a couples’ massage. It was wonderful.
#4 Gain Perspective on Your Business — and Appreciation for Your Life. Getting away enables you to step back, think about what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and what really matters to you and your business.
#3 No Regrets. The late Paul Tsongas who was a Senator from Massachusetts once said “Nobody on his deathbed ever said ‘I wish I had spent more time at the office’. We all deserve to live the life we love. Vacations allow you to think about what makes you happy and what constitutes meaningful work.
#2 Do it for Your Health. It has been proven that taking time to relax is good for your health. What better way to relax than going on a vacation.
And perhaps the biggest residual benefit for an owner who gets away,
#1 Increase the Value of Your Company. If you’re contemplating a sale of your business at some point in your life, ask yourself if your company could run just as efficiently without you there. Then go on vacation for a longer period of time and get the real answer. Taking a vacation gives you a real opportunity to see how your operation runs without you there cracking the whip.
Are you planning on taking a summer vacation? Will you allow yourself to take a real opportunity to recharge your batteries or will this year’s vacation be more like temporarily moving your “office” to a remote location? It is your choice and the decision you make will have a resounding impact on your business.