Think you’re too busy to take a vacation? Think again.

Too often I hear entrepreneurs talk about how long they went without taking any kind of break. One year, 5 years, even 10 years without dedicating any time to recharging their energy and reconnecting with their loved ones.

Despite what your entrepreneurial peers may have you believe, your success does not depend on you becoming a slave to your business. Being a stressed-out, burnt out, vacationless martyr is not a badge of honor you should wear with pride. There is no prize, despite what you may have been told.

The excuses range from the business is at a critical growth stage to there isn’t anyone who can handle things in your absence. The reality is that even though it may not be the best time to take a break, your business needs you to take a vacation. Like many things that matter, it’s never the exact right time, but you need to do it anyway.

This belief system starts from a scarcity mentality around time. You believe that you have no time for anything else. Women, you are especially guilty of this habit, always talking about how you don’t have even an hour to spare for things you really need and want.

What you are doing by putting yourself at the bottom of your list is you are telling others that it’s okay for them to do the same to you. This feeling of lack reflects how you value yourself and your time. From this place of lack and scarcity, you have less to give others.

Let’s talk about the opposite place: the place of abundance. In this place, you value your time, your own health, and your well being above all else. You can give more because you have more. Taking a vacation is merely an extension of this mindset, a necessity for maintaining the feeling of abundance.

What happens when you take a vacation is it forces you to build a business that can function without you, alleviating some of the day-to-day operational stress for yourself. While recharging your energy, you create space to step back from the business and gain a little perspective. And trust me, perspective is everything!

A vacation looks a little different for everyone. Depending on your financial situation, family needs or the growth stage of the business, you may only be able to get away for extended long weekends. That doesn’t matter. What matters is getting in the habit of taking a break from the business.

The key is changing your environment. You have to change your environment in order to shift your mindset, quite the noise and access your creativity. While it’s tempting to take a good old-fashioned staycation, you have to be honest with yourself. Are you really allowing yourself a break, or will you be tempted to continue checking emails and popping back into work mode?

Tips on How to Prepare for Taking a Vacation:

Plan Ahead – Pick a date, buy the tickets, book the hotel, and mark your calendar! Solidifying plans will force you to take action on changing whatever needs to be changed within your business so it can continue to function in your absence.

Hand-Off – Start delegating tasks and training your team to handle the business operations in your absence. Empower them to take over the entire function and make decisions without consulting you. Otherwise, you will get pulled back into work mode while away. This might also mean training your clients if you have them attached to your hip!

Mental Preparation – Shift your mindset from the idea that you will be “out of the office” to you will be unavailable. That removes the temptation to give your team the option of defaulting back to you if they run into trouble.

Leave Buffer – Don’t just make sure things are handled up to the very second you return. Instead, remove the stress of returning by building in buffer time. Those few extra days without looming deadlines will allow you to ease back into it. Otherwise you set up a situation where you need a vacation from taking a vacation (you know what I mean!!)

Technology Logistics – Put auto responders on your e-mail so people know you are not available on specific dates, and who to contact in an emergency. Forward your work phone to your assistant or someone capable of handling your calls. Or, change your voice mail message to alert callers you won’t be checking or returning calls until after you return.

Need a little extra support, call me to get started. Here’s to you finding your awesome!