Go take a vacation, now!

By Andrew J. Birol, President, Birol Growth Consulting, Inc.
As entrepreneurs and business executives, the mere thought of taking a vacation away from our responsibilities can stress many of us out. What between preparing to leave, worrying while away and facing unknown disasters upon our return, is really it worth going? Of course it is, but just as much for business reasons as for personal reasons. Time away breaks up your routine and can offer you a fresh chance to practice more control over both your professional and your personal life. If you make taking time away a priority, you can:

  1. See all the different ways that others solve their problems. You will see new approaches and likely learn that your ways are not all that bad.
  2. Tell customers and employees in advance when you will be gone and let them know you are available for urgent problems. Soon, people will respect your boundaries and rarely violate them unless there is a legitimate emergency that you would need to know about.
  3. Bulk up on technology. Cell phones and Internet connections (complete with voice recordings asking for emergency messages only and providing automatic responses on who to call in lieu of you) are terrific.
  4. Take more vacations! We can help ourselves, as well as our customers, employees and vendors all to become more self-sufficient. No one is irreplaceable -- not even we sole proprietors, who can even outsource ourselves through others.

So don’t just look at vacations as a chance to disconnect, but also as an opportunity to practice taking back more of your time. While on vacation explore ways to focus on more of what you want to do and empower others to do what needs to get done. John Rockefeller, the richest man of his day, said he tried to get other people to do as much of his work as possible so he could spend all of his time figuring out new ways to make more money.

As an owner and virtual executive I love my business and just don’t believe in setting up walls between the personal and work life of an entrepreneur.

By rejecting the "new-age-guru-imposed" duty of keeping work and play separate I gain valuable time in bundling my chores, family, work and learning. When rigid boundaries are placed between work and play we can often waste valuable leisure time obsessing about work problems and vice versa. My suggestion is to solve the work or personal problem at hand, be done with it, and free your mind for the next issue at hand -- relaxation.

With all his other faults Bill Clinton was the king of real-time multi-tasking. He played when he worked and worked when he played. As business owners and executives I suggest there is a constructive lesson and valuable skill to be learned though Clinton’s bad example. If our work and play, responsibilities and distractions, all converge we can actually have more control over our lives then less. Then truly we may be doing more of what we want on our own terms. Here’s hoping you enjoy your time away.

Articles by Birol Growth Consulting are © copyrighted and all rights are reserved. However, articles may be reprinted with prior written consent if attribution is included as follows:

© Copyrighted by Andrew J. Birol, President of Birol Growth Consulting, who helps owners grow their businesses by growing their Best and Highest Use ®. Andy can be reached at (412) 973-2080, by email at abirol@andybirol.com, or on the web at www.andybirol.com.

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