“Taking time for vacations is an impossible dream. It’s one of the many sacrifices I made when I started my own business. It’s just part of being an entrepreneur.”
Is this how you feel?
You’re not alone. Most entrepreneurs may not admit it, but they feel it inside — especially if they spend more time working in their business than working on their business.
Countless business owners are terrified that if they leave, their business and everything they’ve worked so hard to build will fall apart.
The hard truth is, these entrepreneurs do it to themselves. It’s not the client’s fault. It’s not the business’s fault. They’ve developed a system that’s completely dependent on them to run and direct. And part of them loves the feeling of significance that brings, but part of them hates the feeling of dependence.
Every business owner’s been there, but there’s something really interesting that happens in us. While we may feel trapped in our business and want nothing more than to take a vacation, we also experience a subconscious emotional satisfaction that our business depends on us.
This feeds our egos just enough to keep us from making changes that lead to freedom to take a vacation whenever we want.
I believe one of the main reasons we don’t work towards that freedom is because we don’t understand the value of taking vacations. Further, I’ve found it can actually boost my creative energy and productivity, and have huge positive effects on my business because I’m more energized and renewed. For more on energy, read this blog post.
The idea of vacation has been reduced to simply ‘hitting the pause button’ of normal life in many of our minds. Vacation can’t help us with our lives and businesses — it just delays us from dealing with them.
I couldn’t disagree more.
When we see how vacation can genuinely impact our lives and businesses, we begin to work towards freedom.
We stop being business operators and start becoming business owners.
We stop developing systems that completely depend on us and start creating systems that thrive in our absence.
So, here are the 8 key reasons taking vacations improves your life and business.
1. Renew Energy
When done properly, vacations are energy-renewing experiences. They renew our physical, emotional, and spiritual energy, and most importantly, vacations act as mental buffers.
When we create moments of space between our normal thought patterns, we can come back to difficult situations with a new perspective.
2. Break up Patterns
We love following routines because they give us a feeling of safety and accomplishment. Morning rituals, daily commutes, meals, evening decompression — they all come together to form a pattern for our lives.
Without occasionally breaking up these patterns though, our way of thinking can become restricted. Our thought processes can become limited by the routines we follow.
Traveling for vacation pulls us out of our normal patterns, and when we’re ripped out of our routines, we open our minds to discover new ideas and think creatively.
3. Reminder of Purpose
Vacation can remind us of why we work so hard. We’re able to experience life in a more visceral way than we can at home.
For me, I’m reminded that I’m a human-being, not a human-doing.
4. Have Fun!
Vacation should be fun — plain and simple! It’s fun the explore and discover the world.
5. Reminder of Our Vision
Vacation should remind us that the world is much, much bigger than our little microcosms. When we think more expansively — beyond our business — we’re reinvigorated with vision for our business.
6. Strengthen Leadership
As business owners, we’re also leaders. There’s no way around it. Our teams look to us to fill them with vision, direction, and decision making.
Vacation lets us renew our energy so we can lead, be present, and engage with our teams.
7. Meet Interesting People
Traveling also gives us the opportunity to meet some interesting characters.
8. Helps Us Identify Holes
When things fall apart because of dependency, that shows me where I need to grow my team and business.
When we’re in an exciting new place, spending time with sharp people can expand our thought processes in life and business.
What are your 4 action steps now? Here are some suggestions:
- Schedule a vacation.
- Make a list of key activities to hand off.
- Identify who can handle operations while you’re away.
- Set up auto responders. For more information on auto responses, read this blog by Tim Farriss.