This year I was fortunate enough to travel to Europe for one of my best friend’s wedding.
My friends and I locked in 6 weeks of travel around the wedding and it was shaping up to be one of our best holidays yet.
But as the holiday came closer, I became more and more anxious about taking time off from work.
I have been running my influencer marketing agency, The Exposure Co. for the last 4 years and have taken holidays in the past. But in these instances, the holidays were much shorter, closer to home and I was able to take my laptop and work when need be.
This time was different. I was travelling with others and not on my own schedule. Plus the time difference between Europe and Australia meant I wouldn’t be able to jump online during normal work hours.
I’m sure that many business owners can relate when I say that I was nervous to take such a holiday.
To be honest, I wasn’t so worried about how the business was going to run while I was away. I have a great team that can manage daily responsibilities.
I was more worried about how I was going to react. How was I going to feel about not being across everything while I was away? Would I be able to switch off?
The holiday was going to be a waste of time if I was stressed about work the whole time, so I knuckled down and put some plans into place. With the help of these three steps, I was able to enjoy myself and have a fantastic break.
1) Plan ahead and prioritise.
A business owner is always going to have a never-ending task list. But with the limited time before your holiday, it’s important to prioritise the important things and forget about the rest. Everything else can be delegated or wait until your return.
It’s also important to plan ahead and block your holiday time off on your calendar so there’s no way you can lock in meetings or other appointments while you are away.
2) Budget in advance.
Before your holiday, do up a spreadsheet and include all your upcoming expenses during your time away (both business and personal).
Put money aside to cover these expenses (and a bit more if you can as a buffer). Being able to put this money aside, means you can spend your allocated holiday money free of guilt, plus you know you have enough budgeted to cover all the business expenses in your absence.
3) Be kind to yourself and remember – you are entitled to take time off!
For some reason, we are often programmed to think that taking a holiday means we are lazy. If you are working for someone else, it’s can be easier to take a guilt-free trip, but when you are the owner, it’s sometimes harder to indulge. This is where you need to change your mindset and make the most of the opportunity. Everyone needs a holiday.
So, what did my business gain from my holiday? A lot. Not only did I come back refreshed and ready to work harder than ever, but I am also confident that when it needs to be, it will keep powering along. I can take a sick day when I need knowing my business can exist without me.
I would love to challenge all business owners to stop and think – how would the business run without them? If something was to occur and they were unable to work, what would happen? It’s an excellent exercise that should be carried out by all owners – regardless of an upcoming trip or not.
All I can say now is, where to next?!