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As a business leader or small-business owner, taking a vacation might seem like an impossible dream. What will happen if you leave? Will clients or customers walk? Will business fall? Will life as you know it ever be the same?
If you feel this way, you are not alone. According to a 2011 survey of small-business owners, only 46% said they will take a vacation this year. The majority, the poll said, are too concerned about losing a client or business while they are gone. A vacation from a vacation is the norm.
But it doesn't have to be this way! With a bit of planning, you can avoid potential disasters and be on the beach before your family can say, “Surf's up!” Here are a few tips how:
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Just Say Yes
Begin by admitting a break is good for you. Studies show that women who took a vacation less than once every six years were eight times more likely to develop coronary heart disease. Research also shows men who missed out on annual breaks were 32% more likely to die of heart attacks and were at 21% higher risk of death from all causes. So what we're saying is, not taking the occasional break can kill you!
Vacation time is also great for your business. Some of the most successful ideas of all time were born outside the office. The windshield wiper, for example, was invented when vacationer Mary Anderson realized streetcar drivers in New York had to look out their side windows when it rained. It probably didn't rain inside Mary's office that often, so it was a good thing she was taking some time off! Time away allows your brain to re-engage and creativity and passion to flow.
Some of Dave's best ideas happen away from the office. When he travels to his lake house, a yellow pad and pen are as much a part of his gear as his tackle box. If creativity busts loose, he's always ready to jot down his thoughts.
Set Your Goal
In order to win, an EntreLeader should establish business and personal goals—and that includes taking some time off. So whether you want to go grand and take your family to Tuscany for two weeks or simply plan a few long weekends to a nearby lake, set your vacation goal. Be sure it:
- Is specific
- Is measurable
- Has a time limit
- Is yours
- Is in writing
Don't Hesitate to Delegate
Dave says the best way to build a business bigger than you is to delegate, and that especially holds true if you ever plan to take a break. You have to be able to trust your team members' integrity and competency to hold down the fort.
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Before you go, make a list of tasks your team needs to accomplish while you're gone, and meet with team members to make sure your instructions are clear. Appoint one staffer to be your “go-to person” who will handle any problems, and lay out exactly how and when that person should contact you in case of an emergency.
Don't Worry, Be Happy
Your vacation will be wasted if you spend the majority of your time working or worrying about the business. If you have to call, schedule times in advance and limit conversations to about 10 minutes.
Bottom line for your vacation time: Have fun. If you've planned ahead and have hired good people, the only worry should be whether or not you have enough sunscreen!
No leader should lead without these principles. It’s what your team members need to see in you, and what you want to see in them. Learn more about the EntreLeadership Live Events, and put Dave's 20 years of proven business principles to work for you.
In 20 years, Dave has grown his company to a national winning brand with more than 300 team members who have impacted millions of lives. His company has been named one of the “Best Places to Work in Nashville” four years in a row. EntreLeadership is how he’s done it and how you can do it too. Get your copy of the new book now!