What’s the real reason you need a vacation as a business owner? It’s to step away from the daily process, and to gain a new perspective on why you are doing what you do.
After a two and a half week break, I would also recommend more than seven days every once in awhile. When seven days was over, it was nice knowing we had more than a week left at a time when most people are ready to head home.
If you truly want to improve the way you look at your business, and the way you shoot your photography, take a break.
7. Limit your business time while on vacation. If you own your own business, you know you can never completely stay away for any length of time without checking in. Yet if you leave your cell phone on, you are defeating the purpose of getting away. Instead, set up a time every day to check in, and leave business after that. We would limit it to about an hour every day or two, either early morning or late at night after we finished a day of playing.
6. Tell your clients you’ll be away. If you think about the majority of your phone calls, it’s probably from your clients. With last minute questions, or questions about orders, they may be calling you several times a week. Eliminate that with a simple email, and let them know you’ll be out of town. Include the dates, and let them know you’ll be happy to answer any questions when you return. By doing this simple task, we eliminate all of our client contact for the time we’re away – they do listen and respect your time off.
5. Don’t announce your vacation to the world. We live in a social society, and everybody from Facebook to Twitter and beyond know you’re away. So don’t tell them until after you return. Telling the world you’re on a two-week vacation also opens you up to a variety of issues, including security risks both online and off. It’s much easier to talk about your vacation after you return, and relate it to your business from that point forward.
4. Don’t spend time on problems. Unless a problem is life or business threatening, the problem can usually wait until you return to the office. Don’t get caught up in trying to solve an issue when you are out of town. Send an email stating you’re out of town, and don’t have access to all the information you need to solve the issue, and will get back to them upon your return.
3. Think about long term goals, not short term problems. While you’re out playing and having fun, chances are business will creep into your thoughts. As a business owner, I know that all too well. But instead of thinking about your to-do list, or things you need to catch up on, put all that aside and think about the big picture. Where would you like to be in a year? Five years? What would you like your business to do in the future? Now is the time to dream. Make sure you take notes along the way with some of your great ideas. My best ideas always come when I’m away, so I keep notebooks in the car for writing things down, and now with my iPad, I have another way of recording my ideas.
2. Bring your most important documents along. Yes, I travel with a small technical arsenal. Between my mobile, iPod, iPad, and laptop, I could set up shop just about anywhere. But because most of my work is still on my desktop, I made sure I had my most important documents with me. Just in case I needed to login to a clients file, or send out a document to a potential client, everything was a click away.
1. Spend the first day cleaning up, not working. I love what I do, so returning to my desk isn’t a job for me. But what I do like about it is the new motivation I come back with. I started out by completely cleaning my desk, filing and throwing piles of paper away, and deleting emails and other things I don’t need anymore. Then I organize my to-do list for the coming week. Finally I set aside some time to plan for the future. With all of your new ideas in place, you need to dedicate time to making sure they are implemented, and have the chance to help you and your business grow.