When so much is dependent on you, and when you are juggling multiple balls in the air at once and not only that, but you are totally convinced that the big deal will come through at any moment, why do you need a vacation? A vacation, time off when it’s near impossible even to have a cup of coffee with a friend? And you’ve been doing just fine (you think), going without even a short holiday since you started your company or business.
This is a dilemma many small business owners and entrepreneurs have. They are convinced that their business will fall apart, customers will migrate to the competition, and all new deals will evaporate if they head out to enjoy a vacation.
Good friend and mega-entrepreneur, Bill, 2nd generation CEO of a successful family company, was quite beside himself about taking a vacation. Juggling multiple balls at once, totally convinced that the next big deal will come through at any moment, near impossible to snatch a cup of coffee with old friends; you know this guy….
Finally he told me he was taking two weeks and doing a tour in a newly restored private antique railcar with a friend. This very custom rail car would hook up to several different scheduled passenger trains around the country! And this was in the dark days before cellphones and the internet, so it was going to be a real break from company routine.
So what prompted Bill to change his mind about taking a vacation? Think about this, it could change your mind also: Bill’s doctor said to him, if you take a 2 week vacation, when you return you might be two weeks behind with your work, but you will be able to catch up; and in the overall scheme of things what really is two weeks behind? If you drop dead, you’ll never have the opportunity to catch up, put things right, or do new deals for the company! You will be behind forever!
Bill took his rail car tour, and had the most amazing time inviting people on board for segments of the trip, getting reacquainted with old friends and meeting new friends (with the time to listen to others), expanding his horizons and perspectives (embracing new dimensions) by what he saw along the way and people he talked to. When he returned he said he had new clarity, more energy, and he felt the benefits of the time away were far greater than the aggravation caused by being behind two weeks; and best of all, he was still alive!
Ask yourself the following key questions, and if your answer is “a long time ago”, take a vacation!
1.When was the last time I had an all night conversation (with anyone) about the meaning of life?
2 When was the last time I built ‘castles in the air’ (for no reason)?
3 When was the last time I had a 3 hour lunch, for the food & the experience, not for doing business?
4 When was the last time I read an actual book, in bed, until noon? No electronic devices in sight….
5 When was the last time I did nothing, and enjoyed it?
There are many helpful and fun messages you can leave on your email auto-reply, your store front, or your social footprint, to keep customers, clients, and even employees gainfully engaged, while you take time to vacation; and in fact you’ll find many people are more receptive to make deals when you return in your newly relaxed, de-stressed state of well being!
It’s not a coincidence how often that deal you have been waiting for will happen precisely when you get back to your office; and don’t you wonder sometimes if it would have happened if you had not gone on vacation?