Congratulations! You’ve worked hard, set up your own business and now you are your own boss. You’re enjoying the rewards of a great income as fruitage of all your well-spent time, energy, and money. There’s just one thing missing. What about time off? Not just a day here or a day there. What about a real vacation? How can a solopreneur like yourself actually take a vacation away from business.
Here are some important thoughts to consider before deciding whether you should or should not step away from the demands of your business, whether it’s online, offline, or a mix of both.
Running your own business on your own is fulfilling, but it is also a lot of hard work. Many one-man business owners feel like they are on the clock 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Working overly long hours can leave you feeling drained, overwhelmed, and in a negative frame of mind. If this situation is ongoing, not only your physical health, but the health of your business will inevitably suffer. Think of this: if you aren’t working up to par, how can you keep your business running smoothly? Like a car with proper care and maintenance, you want your business to run like a well-oiled machine. And that involves proper care and maintenance of your mind and body, because you are your business.
Proper work/life balance can be a real challenge, and spending vacation time away is a great way to reboot yourself and help you gain a fresh perspective on both your personal life and your professional one. Consider the results of time away as an investment. This investment can generate an increase in productivity which can lead to new strides in the development of your solo-career. The possible lost revenue from a few days away are dwarfed by what you stand to gain, and maybe more importantly, what you stand to lose, if you allow your passion for your business to wane to a point where you no longer want to continue.
Leaving behind your business concerns for even a short time can be scary. Like many solopreneurs, you may fear catastrophe will ensue as soon as you step away for a little rest and relaxation. What happens if a customer service issue comes up? Or what about an unanswered query that may cost you a potential new client? With possible issues like these looming in your mind, you may make the choice either consciously or subconsciously to “stay in control” of your business by staying present.
You do not have to make an either-or choice, though. With today’s available technology, keeping tabs on your business while away on vacation has never been easier. You don’t have to be completely absent for the entire length of your vacation. Checking in a couple of times via phone or web hotspots can do much to ease your mind. Smart phones, tablets, and laptops are indispensable business assets, and they’re easy to take along whether you travel by car or plane.
If possible, have a trusted contact in place who can let you know if any major issues arise. Be sure to leave up-to-date contact information, particularly if you will be in more than one location during your trip. Working with a virtual assistant ahead of time, instead, to take care of any ongoing needs if you don’t have an available personal contact is an equally good option.
Getting away from it all, including the daily workload of your own business, benefits you personally and professionally. The de-stressing from even a short vacation will provide a positive outcome that’s sure to be long-lasting, as you come back with renewed vigor and a fresh mindset. It’s all possible with proper planning. Begin by setting a definite date. Work to tie up all loose ends. Finish any open projects. Let your clients and customers know you’ll be out of the office for a specified period. Have in place any means of communication you’ll need to check in with your virtual assistant or other trusted contact. Now that you know why solo entrepreneurs need vacations too, it’s time to start planning and then start packing!
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