I’m just back from vacation, and I highly recommend it. I took two weeks and went camping with friends and family. I did not pack a microphone, nor did not check my email (I set an out of office auto-reply, thanks Gmail.) I treated the situation exactly as I would if I worked for a large corporation that wouldn’t miss me. And it worked. I feel great; relaxed and refocused. My business didn’t burn down without me. My clients haven’t fled en masse to another voiceover actor. All is well.
I’m not alone.
Earlier today I read a note from a colleague saying, “The most difficult thing I have done this year is take myself on vacation.” Too often we entrepreneurs don’t feel like we can take any time off. Some of that is cost (you’ll note I went camping, not to Fiji), but mostly it’s about trusting our business can afford to not have us pushing it 24/7. We fear that we’ll lose all our forward momentum if we rest for a moment. And this just isn’t true. Our business is more than ourselves and our efforts. It’s our relationships with the world, and as such, we’re not alone it. And, as with any relationship, communication is key. I made a point of warning all my active clients of my plans to shut the factory down, so no one was shocked or left short-handed. In fact, I used the scheduling as an excuse to reach out to a couple of clients that have gone quiet; looking out for their businesses and reminding them that I’m here.
Don’t Believe me? Try the Harvard Business Review!
And taking a vacation is important. Vacations are good for business! “We also found that if you plan ahead, create social connections on the trip, go far from your work, and feel safe, 94% of vacations have a good ROI in terms of your energy and outlook upon returning to work.” Entrepreneurs, like everyone else, need time away from the everyday stresses to recharge; to allow healthy perspective to form. And in a case like mine, where you are the entire office of one, it’s of paramount importance to keep good mental health. As the above linked HBR article concludes, “Go on vacation. If you take all your vacation days and plan ahead for trips, you will increase your happiness, success rate, and likelihood of promotion, and you’ll lower your stress level to boot.”
Worked for me!