When you're self-employed, it's easy to tell yourself that you don't deserve a vacation. Here are five reasons why entrepreneurs should take a vacation.
This week my parents are spending the week at an all-inclusive, basking in the sun and enjoying delicious food and drinks. Normally, we'd be with them. Once a year, normally in Winter, the four of us jet off to someplace tropical for a week and forget all about our responsibilities. Not this year though. We knew going into 2016 that this wasn't going to be our year with me being pregnant. And honestly, I'm 100% okay with that. But that doesn't make me miss the sand between my toes any less!
Now I used to be under the impression that A) I didn't deserve it and B) I didn't have the time to take a vacation when I became self-employed. Focus on the business, I thought. You'll disrupt your income flow, I told myself. Vacations will come some day. And they did. But my work suffered before that. I couldn't concentrate, I neglected certain aspects of the business, I regretted being self-employed at times, and I asked myself (more times than I would like to admit) “Is this really the right path for me?”
Now I know it is the right path for me, but when I couldn't step away from what was right in front of me – it was really flippin' hard to get unbiased perspective on that. So even though our big vacation is on hiatus until next year, we're filling this year with some mini-vacations. To prevent burn out. To prevent that question from coming up again. And to make sure we have zero regrets.
Your reasons may not be the same as mine for not taking one, but here are five awesome reasons why entrepreneurs should take a vacation.
spend time with friends + family
One of the things I find myself guilty of some days is telling loved ones I can't do something because I have to do X, Y, or Z for the business. It's not an excuse and sometimes I'm able to move things around so I can do something with them, but other days? It's just a part of being an entrepreneur. Not only that, but I find myself talking shop a lot when we do go out. Friends and family deserve some time with non-business you and you deserve it, too! You'll both appreciate being able to spend quality time together and doing something new or even just getting away from it all for a couple days together. It's a great way to strengthen a friendship or relationship in general!
give your body a break
When I worked in the corporate world, I clocked in and clocked out. Most days, I left my work at my desk and carried on my way. Self-employment? That's a whole different story! I have never hustled so hard in my life than when we needed to get things down for Hello Nature or The Gnarly Whale. Between pulled muscles, late hours meeting deadlines, long days spent at the computer, etc – my body takes a beating. I practice self-care as much as possible, but there's nothing quite like the reprieve of a vacation. Your body deserves a break, even if it's just a change in motion to prevent repetitive strain injuries or if it's just to lounge on the beach all day.
give your brain a break
Even more than my body, my brain needs a total reset on a regular basis. My appreciation for what I do and the opportunities we've been given, my job satisfaction, my general state of mind and mood suffer greatly when I'm in all work and no play mode. Long busy days don't seem so bad when you've got something to look forward to though. The boring or tedious day-to-day activities related to your business don't seem to drag on as long either. Taking a mental break allows you to refocus and come back with a clean slate.
get some new inspiration
Doing the same thing over and over doesn't lead to new, innovative ideas. Seeing the world, stepping away from the office and engaging yourself in something completely unrelated to work though? New inspiration galore! Even if you opt for a staycation for budget or time constraints, “locking yourself out of your office” can do wonders for new ideas. And even if you don't come up with a breakthrough idea, you'll be able to assess what you're currently doing since you're able to actually get more perspective. Time after time, we've come up with better ways to do things or realized we were doing something that wasn't very relevant/needed to do something more important even when we weren't trying to on a trip.
you deserve it
Like I mentioned above, early entrepreneur me had a pretty lame mental state. “Nope. Vacations are a thing of the past. Your time will come – some day.” There's too much to do, not enough hours in the day to get everything done and no one else to do it. It took me a bit, but I realized something: it will always feel that way. Doesn't matter if I work 40 or 80 hours. Doesn't matter if I cross of my entire to-do list for this week AND next week. I'm always going to have a lot to do. But the beauty of being an entrepreneur is that you get to decide if you can take time off. Whether it's a day or a week, you make that choice. Henry Ford once said:
And he's right. If you tell yourself you can't afford to take a vacation for whatever reason, you can't. But if you tell yourself you can? You can! If you go – you'll be happier, healthier, and you'll bring the best version of yourself to your work, your loved ones, and yourself back when you do.
[Tweet “Self-employment stress is no joke. Here are 5 why reasons entrepreneurs should take a vacation”]
what are your top reasons why entrepreneurs should take a vacation?
when is the last time you went on a trip or unplugged so you could get some R&R?
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