The challenge is a psychological one: You have to get your mind ready to go. To do that, consider these techniques:
- Give yourself "permission" to leave the business. If you truly understand you must take care of yourself to take better care of your business, you'll more easily allow yourself to leave. One seemingly silly but helpful trick is to write yourself a permission slip, says Hiyaguha Cohen, a career consultant in Shirley, Massachusetts. "Once you put your plan down on paper," she explains, "it seems more important, and you tend to take action on it."
- Block out the time well in advance . . . or it will slip away. For Barry Schneider, president of Pram Advertising Co. Inc. in New York City, that means tracking sales to determine the slowest times of the year, then coordinating plans with his wife, who works for an architectural firm. With advanced planning, the Schneiders are able to take a month-long vacation and at least one long weekend every year.
- Simplify things by asking your travel agent, spouse or traveling companion to do most of the legwork. Have someone else plan the trip and book airline, hotel and rental car reservations. Planning to get away shouldn't be stressful; otherwise, the trip won't seem worth it.
- Start small. "Anyone who's nervous about leaving their business should start by taking a short trip--perhaps a three-day weekend," suggests Brice. A successful three-day break can be stretched to five days the next time.
- Get mentally ready by getting physically ready. Just before you go, get a haircut or some new clothes. "By changing your look," says Cohen, "you subconsciously know you're about to embark on something new and important."
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