Yes, Small Business Owners Can Take a Vacation

I’m writing this post from a gazebo at Acres of Wildlife Campground.  Yes, I’m working from a campground in the Maine woods. I’ve been sleeping in a tent for the past three nights, working only from 9am to 12pm each day.  Starting tomorrow I will be putting the laptop away to enjoy four work free days of camping with my family.  As a solo entrepreneur, I think that makes me totally qualified to tell the rest of the solo entrepreneurs and small business owners out there that they not only can take a vacation, they should.

Here are a few reasons why and a couple of tips to help you get away:

  1. You need vacation time. Whether you think so or not, chances are you are experiencing some form of burnout.  Those blog posts not coming quite so easily?  Getting distracted when you didn’t before?  Dreading Mondays or procrastinating?  All signs of burnout.
  2. It’s why you wanted to work for yourself, wasn’t it? For many of us, one of the things we really desired was the ability to do things we couldn’t do as someone else’s employee. Things like more vacation time, travel and spending time with family.  But too often we forget that in the day to day struggle to build a successful business.  In fact, many small business owners find themselves with fewer vacations and less family time.    Make time to relax, travel and enjoy your family. You’ll be surprised how finding that balance can increase your productivity in shorter hours and fewer days per year.
  3. You need to be good to yourself. Taking a vacation is one of the ways you take care of yourself.  You need time to relax and refresh away from the stresses of your business.  Trust me, I’ve been on both sides of this coin and taking a vacation makes you healthier both emotionally and physically.  And a healthier business owner is a better business owner.

A few tips for disconnecting from your business:

  • Let your clients know well in advance about your upcoming vacation. It will give them time to plan around your vacation and get any time sensitive projects completed before you leave.
  • Yes, it is possible to work while on vacation, but be sure you limit your availability. It’s not refreshing or relaxing to work the same hours in a different location no matter where you may be.  Be sure you actually take some days off and the days you work, only work a few hours.
  • If you absolutely can’t leave your work unattended consider working with a virtual assistant to cover for you in your absence.

I could probably write more, but my time is up for today. I’m heading off to my campsite to get ready for some fun, which will probably include relaxing on a beach, swimming with my granddaughter and sitting around a campfire.