I Need a Vacation!
Is “I need a vacation” something you say often? When is the last time you actually took a break? From 2005 to 2008 I traveled to about 60 countries on 5 continents. I had a small business, felt freedom like never before, and I was happy and fulfilled most of the time. I didn’t think life could get much better.
In 2008, one of my major goals was to focus on building a successful company and growing this blog. To really focus I decided to put my globetrotting on hold indefinitely and for the last two years I have been committed to building a world class company with a great team.
I am extremely happy with the growth of our company, the projects we’re developing (the last one is nominated for an Emmy!), and the people I get to work with like my awesome business partner. But something has been missing. I fell into a trap that 97% of entrepreneurs do: Work, work, and work without taking a vacation.
Last year ended on a high note and was a year of rapid growth. This year started off well too but by the beginning of February the voice in my head telling me to take a break just couldn’t be ignored any longer. That prompted this tweet on February 15th:
Responses started coming in with some really great suggestions:
I was thinking Peru but there were other places on my list too. Then I got this tweet from the Aranwa Hotel in Sacred Valley, along the Incan trail en route to Machu Picchu:
That decided it and I contacted Aranwa immediately. I love the power of social media! So as I write this I’m getting ready to go to the airport to fly to Peru.
Take a Guilt-Free Break from Your Business
To be honest, I have a bit of anxiety around leaving my daily routine like I used to do so easily. My business partner and I have systems in place so that we can work on our business, not in our business. I trust these systems to take care of everything while I’m away! This is the key to drastically reducing the number of entrepreneurs who don’t take vacation.
These are some tips and tools I have for you so that you can take a guilt-free break from your business and relax, knowing that things can run smoothly without you:
Outsource your weaknesses
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses yet most entrepreneurs wear too many hats rather than focusing on the tasks that play to their strengths. It is important to learn how to delegate and work with a team who can compensate for your weaknesses. A virtual team is ideal and you can find contractors for hire on Elance, oDesk, and PeoplePerHour.com.
Get a virtual assistant
A VA can take care of the tedious things that you don’t have time to do or don’t enjoy doing on a day-to-day basis. Once you’ve trained a VA, they become a huge asset to your business and allow you peace of mind when you’re away. You can find a VA using the same websites I mentioned in the previous section.
Get your head in the clouds
Cloud computing has changed the way we work and run a business. Leaving a brick and mortar store or physical office leaves you with more to worry about than a completely virtual business but all businesses can take advantage of internet based tools and software to run more efficiently. It’s easier than ever before to have peace of mind knowing that if you are required to solve a problem or deal with an emergency you can do so from pretty much anywhere.
For more tips and tools that will ensure you can take a vacation without having to worry about your business, read the awesome article “10 Online Tools and Tips for the Budding Entrepreneur” on Mashable that I was featured in alongside other Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) members.
Next time you say “I need a vacation,” plan on doing something about it. As hardworking women entrepreneurs, we all need to take vacations once in awhile for our overall health, well being, and sanity. I look forward to sharing my experience in Peru and at Aranwa with you over the next few weeks!