Management January 27, 2010 Last updated January 27th, 2010 1,301 Reads share

A Holiday? Are You Mad?

Image Credit:

Those of us in business, particularly when its our own, often lose sight of the fact that there is a world outside waiting to be enjoyed. Even when we remember it, we don’t feel like we can take a holiday of any description otherwise the business will collapse.

While the first couple of years may be hard, if we are still struggling in year 3 to get some of our time back, its probably time to sit down and have a re-think!

So why don’t we take time out?

  • We are often poor time managers (usually because there is so much on!).
  • We forget why we got into business in the first place. I’d be surprised if those entrepeneurs out there did not include improved work/life balance as one of the reasons why they started out on their own. Certainly for me, establishing my own business was partly based out of a desire to gain some independance and me-time back from the corporate existance.
  • We don’t trust anyone else to do the job on our behalf as well as we can. This says more about our ability to train and mentor people to take over from us, along with our ability to make sure we find the right person, than it does about our own ability to perform the role.
  • Some in bigger businesses are fearful that they won’t be needed/missed. In my own business, if I take a break and the world doesn’t collapse because someone in the organisation stepped up – happy days.
    It now means that I have someone else in the management team that I can rely on to take more responsibility so that I can focus on other aspects of the business. They are happy with the extra responsibilty and I’m happy that I can trust the business to be run correctly without having the hand on the tiller all of the time. How can this be a bad thing?
  • We have forgotten how to relax. As a society, we think committing our lives to our businesses is what is expected. This is true – but only because we have made it this way.

There are probably a million and one other reasons; this project is late and I need to stay with it, we have a crisis to deal with ya-de-ya-de-ya. Most tie back to the “business will fail without me” ideology that many of us have.

Holidays/vacations are important. They help us re-charge, re-connect with the fact that the world outside of business exists and is there to be enjoyed, relax with friends or on our own and to take stock of where we are now. The business will be better off because you will give it the necessary attention but with a refreshed viewpoint.

If you can’t take two weeks, take a succession of mini-breaks instead – they can be just as powerful. As the saying goes, no-one on their death bed says they wish they’d spent more time in the office. Its true to us all – even those who won’t admit it is.

So plan your business to allow you to get that breather – it and you will be better off! Enjoy your break!

Barney Austen

Barney Austen

Budding entrepeneur working on software product solutions for business. My background is mainly operational and senior management roles in mobile telecoms and software houses. Areas of expertise include professional services, out-sourcing, team management and general operations management. I've made the conscious decision to create my own company having spent the last 20 years learning in the corporate world. In my contributions to this forum, I will share some insights and learnings that I've picked up along the way and hopefully they will be useful to some or all!

Read Full Bio