I just returned from a great vacation with my family and I’m excited to be back in the saddle. As I wrapped up this trip, I spent some time thinking about the topic of vacations and business ownership.
For many years, I’ve used vacation time as one of the measures of an entrepreneur’s success. The thinking goes that if you’re able to take vacations, your business can run, to some extent, without you. In other words, you have the freedom to leave if and when you need to or want to. And we all know that freedom is a big reason why we started our business in the first place. So, if you can’t take a vacation, you probably don’t have the success (freedom/time/money) you were seeking when you started the business.
Unfortunately, most business owners don’t find the freedom they were looking for when they started their business. I’ve observed business owners who can’t leave the business for an hour, let alone a week or two, for fear the business will collapse in their absence. Sadly, this is more the rule than the exception among business owners.
The irony is that most business owners can get away from their business, but they don’t feel like they can. They worry about the problems, the customers, the bills, and the vendors. They worry so much while they’re away that they’d rather not go in the first place.
I remember all too well this stage of our business. At first, we didn’t have the money to go on vacations. Then, we started to have the money for modest vacations, but I found myself not wanting to take them. Finally, after about three years of business ownership, I began intentionally planning trips, including three-day weekend getaways for my wife and me. The intentionality and commitment to vacation time made all the difference. Over time, our vacations have become epic. I love getting away and I completely disconnect from the business while I’m gone.
I urge you to design your business so that you can get away. Through strategy, leadership, and automation—which I refer to as the three pillars of small business success—you can absolutely take vacations. And your business will actually prosper in your absence.
If you’re not taking vacations the way you’d like, either due to time, money, or the sense that you just can’t leave, I urge you to examine the business you’ve built. Explore the three pillars of SBS so that you can find your freedom and achieve the success you desire.
SBS Idea of the Day: First, block at least a week-long vacation at some point in the next year and begin planning it. Second, study the pillars of small business success by listening to the SBS Podcast, learning about our automation software, or exploring the Elite Forum.