For most of you who have any kind of entrepreneurial spirit, you are a driven individual. You are driven by your dream, your goals, your heart’s desire, perhaps by proving yourself to yourself or to someone else, and moved by what you will be able to provide for those you care about. As you have worked your way through this series, you have uncovered new tips and tricks of how to boost your small business in 2013.
But I am here to push you in a slightly different, albeit just as important direction. It’s how to make sure you take a vacation in 2013.
Why do you need a vacation? As you pour all of your heart, soul, spirit and time into your business, you must keep at the forefront of your mind the safeguarding and protection of your most important business asset. You!
You must give yourself some down-time. This can be a short break for a day or two, or a real vacation (at least 5 business days).
The reasons why you need this are pretty simple. You must have down-time to anticipate so that you can:
- Keep your drive alive, avoiding burnout.
- Preserve your sanity. You cannot stay “on” and “up” all of the time and continue to succeed.
- Allow your mind time to renew and refresh. Time to freshen and sharpen ideas, goals, perspective. Time to “stumble” across new ones.
- Solidify relationships with family and friends. These are the people you are working for. Don’t neglect them. Time is precious, and you can’t get it back.
How do I make sure that I get a vacation? Delegation, Systems, Preparation. So, you ask, “How?” The approach to getting a vacation is already instilled deep within your entrepreneurial spirit.
How did you get where you are in life and in business? The way that you get your vacations is by delegation, systems and appointment.
As you begin to learn ways to manage your business better and more efficiently, you will begin to delegate duties.
Delegation and systems. Some of the duties you will delegate because there are people who can do them much better than you. Examples are your tax accountant, lawyer, collections, etc. These professionals will help you set and keep a schedule for when important items are due.
Some duties you will delegate because you don’t really have to or want to continue to do them yourself.
Pay your entrepreneurial children to do your snail-mailing. This is a great way to get them involved and to teach them the value of money (earning and spending), time management, commitment and character.
Some duties you will find are cheaper in terms of money, time and mental energy to hire out to someone else so that you can concentrate all of your efforts on getting clients or more business. A virtual assistant or (VA) can help with emailing, scheduling, tweeting, and many more tasks.
So, get some systems and people in place to use your time efficiently and effectively.
Preparation. The most important phase of how to get your vacation lies in preparation. Again, how do you get everything else done that needs to get done? You schedule it!
Make an unbreakable appointment with yourself. Put it on all of your calendars and then get to work planning around it.
Yes, you will have to work extra hard right before and right after, but aren’t you worth it? Don’t you deserve, if not require, renewal?
Once you have a firm date, stick to it!
Make a list of the incredible few things that you will break this appointment for. Things like an unexpected invitation to speak at TED or Blogworld, or whatever is comparable in your business.
Start preparing people before. Get their assignments and duties mapped out in advance.
Limit your accessibility! Appoint one person (assistant, partner, VA, etc.) who knows how to reach you with vitally important things that they cannot take care of themselves, and that absolutely cannot wait.
Plan your activities. What are you going to do?
Traveling? Make your flight and hotel arrangements well in advance. This will not only help you lock in the dates, but will probably save you some money.
Reading? Get your book.
Movies? You get the gist…
If you do not take care of your physical and mental health, you will burn out. Then you will become a liability to yourself and your business. You are the most important and valuable asset in your small business. Act like it!
About the author: Martina G. McGowan, MD is a Gynecologist who works a regular workweek, just like many of you. Martina has been teaching, mentoring, supporting and coaching individuals for over thirty years to transform their lives; some physically, many mentally. She is a physician of the mind and body. Martina writes throughout the week at http://martinamcgowan.com and is featured at BasicsMatter.com
This article is from the SmallBizLady special blog series: 31 Ways to Boost Your Small Business in 2013. #Boost2013
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Kareen Cox says
Gosh you are so right. Taking time out from your business is important to recharge your batteries. Thanks for the tips.
We forget that we are the most important element of our business structure and plan. It is important that we treat ourselves like the valuable asset that we are if we wish the business to thrive in the long-term.