Entrepreneurs and small business owners are known for being some of the hardest working people in the world—after all, when your livelihood and your life are intertwined, it can be hard to ever truly “leave work at work.” Many small business owners struggle to give themselves permission to take vacation and truly take a break from their business—when they go on vacation they often check email and their phones constantly.
But even if you’re a hard-charging, ambitious business leader who loves to work and is passionate about making your business better, there are a few compelling reasons why you should take a real vacation sometime soon. Taking a break from work might turn out to be the best thing you can do for yourself and for your company.
Here are a few reasons why entrepreneurs need to let themselves relax and take a real vacation more often:
Vacation makes you feel refreshed and energized. Simply changing up your everyday routine and getting several nights of truly restful sleep can give you a new sense of vigor to look at your challenges with a fresh perspective and return to the office ready to make big strides toward your goals.
No matter how hard you work, everyone needs to take time off now and then to “sharpen the saw,” as Stephen Covey writes in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. By taking time off and reenergizing, you are maximizing your productive capacity and sharpening your strategic thinking and leadership abilities for the long term.
- The 15 Best Business Quotes from Steve Jobs
- The Biggest Mistake I Made in My Business—And What I Learned From It
- 40 Must-Have Business Apps to Run Your Company
Vacation helps you see new places, meet new people, and have new experiences. And all of these moments can help inspire new opportunities and also bring new ideas from unexpected places.
Depending on what kind of business you own, you might find unusual bits of inspiration from almost anywhere. If you’re in the restaurant business, you might get a new idea for your menu from one of the restaurants you visit during vacation; you might get the inspiration for a new product name or color combination for a logo design, or get some sort of bigger-picture inspiration for something to do totally differently at your business.
Most important, you can try to bring back some of the positive energy and exploratory spirit that you find on vacation and put it to work at your business. What did you like about how you felt on vacation? Did you feel differently or “better” than usual? How can you make changes in your daily routine so you can feel that way more often?
Helps You Refocus
In addition to getting new ideas for things “to do” for your business, vacation can also give you inspiration of what “not to do.” Vacation can help clarify your thinking and focus your mind in a way that resolves long-simmering problems and indecisions.
After a short vacation you might discover you no longer want to offer a certain product or compete in a certain market; or maybe you finally realize that you no longer want to keep battling with an uncooperative client. You might also decide it’s finally time to fire an underperforming employee. Vacation can help you realize which fights are worth fighting and which things need to be let go.
As you add to your list of strategic goals for your business, be sure to include some regular vacation time. Even the busiest entrepreneurs—ESPECIALLY the busiest entrepreneurs—need to take time to renew, reenergize, refocus, and return to work with a heightened sense of clarity, contentment, and purpose.
About Gregg Schwartz
Gregg Schwartz is the director of sales at Strategic Sales & Marketing, a leader among appointment setting companies, providing lead generation consulting to hundreds of businesses. To follow the latest discussions in best-practices for lead generation, join Gregg’s Linkedin Group with over 6,500 sales professionals and business owners, Manage Your Leads.