Small business owners need regular vacations
This week I’m doing something that I haven’t done since September 2019 — I’m going on a vacation! For the last ten years (with a hiatus due to covid), I’ve made an annual trip to Amish country in Pennsylvania for quilt fabric shopping and antiquing. I did the best I could during covid by scheduling a staycation but it definitely wasn’t the same. My husband and daughter are on dogsitting duty while I travel solo to the Lancaster, PA area and then drive to visit my family in Ontario, Canada.
How small business owners benefit from a vacation
There are many advantages of a vacation that go beyond a rest from work. These include:
- It is a true break. I can’t overstate the value of being in a different environment, especially when you work from home. There’s no need to look at the piles of unopened mail, dirty laundry or unfinished projects. It is truly freeing to enter an empty hotel room with only the contents of your suitcase.
- Vacations force you to develop systems. I have written about this in other blog posts, but it deserves repeating. I always make sure that I leave for vacation with my home and business in order, so I’m coming home to a clean and organized environment. Technology allows you to put many parts of your business on auto-pilot. It is very empowering to know that your business can continue in your absence.
- Your clients can learn more about you. I don’t always post to Facebook when I’m on vacation, but visiting antique stores was very visually interesting. In past trips, I’ve posted a couple dozen photos every day on my personal page. This helps build the “know, like and trust” factor that is so important in business today. In addition, you become a great role model for other entrepreneurs who need a vacation.
- It’s time to think. I get some of my best ideas while I’m driving, especially when I’m listening to podcasts. The physical and emotional distance from my business gives me time to think and dream. I also have a “no TV” rule when I travel, so I deliberately create a quiet environment by reading in the hotel room. I make sure to have a notebook on hand (also low technology!) to record my ideas.
- You’ll find usable content. One of the things I noticed was that the more crowded an antique store booth or fabric store, the less I bought. In other words, if there were too many choices, I bought nothing. This was a good reminder for me that simple is best when we write content and an analogy I can use when creating content.
- You can get inspired. I’m someone who loves fabric and, until a neck injury a few years ago, did a lot of quilting. In recent years, visiting quilt fabric stores inspired me to buy some fabric and begin making quilts again. The time reading and listening to podcasts also inspired me to spend less time watching TV. You can plan a vacation based on your interests that can reignite a passion and add balance to your life.
- It puts your business in perspective. It’s not hard to make business a 24/7 endeavor, especially if you have a home office. Taking a vacation reminds you that there is an interesting (or relaxing) world that you can participate in. This adds perspective, especially if you’re having a bad day, because you can remember your positive experience and recognize that it is possible to take a break.
- How entrepreneurs can increase productivity with relaxation and recovery
- How to take a vacation if you’re a home-based business
- How entrepreneurs can cope with business travel fatigue