Every Entrepreneur Needs These 3 Vacations
Free Book Preview: Unstoppable
Most entrepreneurs never want to take a break. There is always another goal, another number to hit, another partnership to build. It can feel like a mistake to unplug from your business and take a vacation. But, all business leaders need to take time to rest and recharge -- for their own health and for the health of their companies.
Unfortunately, too many people wait around for the perfect time to take their dream trip. The truth is, timing is almost never perfect, and no one knows how much time he or she has left on this earth. You have to make time.
This is not a sign of weakness. In fact, many successful people I know see work as what they do in between their vacations.
In 2017, I stopped waiting for the perfect time and took two bucket-list vacations with my family. That year of family leisure travel changed my perspective, brought my family closer together and made me a better leader and entrepreneur.
Landon Ray, CEO of Ontraport put it best, "Entrepreneurs who lead fulfilling lives are the best leaders, period. They allow themselves the freedom to vacation and garner new ideas and perspectives while reducing stress. My advice? Take a trip that centers around something you’re passionate about."
Being your best self means taking time to recharge, but that doesn’t mean you can’t also broaden your capabilities. To give yourself different types of fulfillment and a wider perspective, my advice is -- don’t just take one vacation each year, take these three.
1. One for yourself.
It’s important to take time off to personally recharge without any responsibility for others. I am an avid skier and have been taking a ski trip to Salt Lake City for the past 15 years. This trip allows me to reconnect with friends and personally recharge.
While I like to travel with friends, this type of trip can also be a solo adventure. Going alone will give you plenty of time to reflect without distractions. You can use the time to replenish your mental capacity, or as an opportunity for deep introspection about your personal vision and values.
Whether you go it alone or with a group of friends, make sure you take a vacation where you get to do exactly what you want to do.
Related: When It's Time For a Break, Take One
2. One with your spouse or partner.
Healthy relationships are built, in part, on shared experiences and one-on-one connection. Taking a vacation with just your partner is a great way to reconnect as adults and appreciate each other away from the pressures of daily life.
This is especially important for families with young children. Parenting transforms any relationship, and while becoming parents is a fulfilling experience, it also upends the comfortable pattern of your relationship with your spouse or partner. A trip for two provides an opportunity for both of you to have quiet time together to talk and to plan what you want as a couple and how you envision your future together.
If you don’t actively work to take a trip like this, my experience is that such vacations just will not happen. You need to pick a time, pick a place and go -- even if you are only able to get away for a weekend.
3. One with your family.
One of the most sobering posts I’ve ever read was on Tim Urban’s blog Wait but Why. Urban calculated that by the time he graduated from high school, he had already spent 92 percent of his life’s time with his parents. Because 18 years is less than a quarter of the average person’s life, it is easy to miscalculate how many opportunities any of us have for quality time with family.
That’s why a family vacation is perhaps the most important trip you can take. While you don’t need to do anything lavish, changing your environment and experiencing something new with your family is a chance to create lifelong memories with the people who matter most.
In 2017, I spent 10 days traveling through Yellowstone National Park in an RV with my family. It gave me an important reason to completely unplug from my business for over a week and create a once-in-a-lifetime trip with my loved ones. There is nothing I could have possibly done in my business over those 10 days that could have been more impactful than the time we spent together. But, as a bonus, I came back relaxed and rested for my company’s busy fall season.
It’s not easy to give yourself a vacation, much less three. There is always something else to do, another client, another project, another goal to hit. But you owe it to yourself, and to the people around you, to take time away from your everyday life, to rejuvenate yourself, reconnect with your partner or get special quality time with your family.
Time away from work will make you a better leader and set an important precedent for your team -- showing colleagues that you trust them to carry on without you and demonstrating that you value taking time to think, relax and recharge.