Like most entrepreneurs, I wear a million different hats. Managing advertising campaigns and search-engine optimization are just a few of the daily tasks involved in running a digital-marketing agency.
I deal with the alarm going off on the weekend, sending out client invoices, shoveling the snow in front of our office during the winter and making late-night runs to FedEx Office for last-minute binding presentations.
When I go on vacation, it can actually be more stressful to be away from the office. There is a feeling of hopelessness in not being able to tend to pressing issues.
When you run a business, you take such great pride in your immediate response time and the quality of work in your projects that it’s hard to sit on the sidelines.
This is something that I’m constantly trying to improve, but it’s not easy. It took a while for my girlfriend to understand why I’m not crazy about vacations; luckily, she is very flexible and doesn’t mind me waking up at six in the morning to check in on a project!
I have a great team that I completely trust when I’m away from the office. I don’t have any kids, but I’m guessing my feeling while on vacation is comparable to leaving your child home alone for the first time. Rationally, you know your son or daughter will be perfectly fine when you step out to pick up chips and salsa from the grocery store. Despite your trust in your child, you still call them from the frozen food section to make sure everything is good.
What I realized is that in order to truly enjoy your time off and get refreshed, you need visit a place where work distractions are limited.
I was recently in Miami for a wedding, and my girlfriend and I extended the trip by an extra day. In typical fashion, on Monday morning, I was feverishly checking emails and calling into the office to get status updates on projects.
I was selfishly hoping that my girlfriend would decide on a pool day so I could bring my laptop and continue to get work done.
Instead, she planned lunch and an afternoon of sightseeing in the Wynwood Arts District, which brings some of the world's greatest graffiti artists to a part of town that is just off the beaten path from downtown Miami.
Getting away from my computer for the rest of the day was actually refreshing and inspiring. I turned off all notifications on my phone and truly enjoyed an afternoon of good food and awesome local artwork.
I was interested to observe what pieces of graffiti captured the attention of tourists, families and locals. In a striking similarity to an effective advertisement, the graffiti murals that had unique personalities generated the most attention. (You can check out my blog to see my favorite pictures from the day.)
I’m sure there are plenty of other business owners in the same boat as I am. My advice to all you entrepreneurs is when you are on vacation or out of the office, actually enjoy your time off.
Our afternoon in Wynwood was a step in the right direction for me – it made me feel refreshed and reenergized heading back to the office. Some time off can actually help inspire great ideas and creativity into your business, just like the afternoon in Wynwood did for me.