I Took 2 Weeks Off and My Business Grew. Here's How You Can Also Take a Successful Break Business owners should take time to get away and be refreshed. Here's how to take a break from your business and ensure your business thrives.
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I recently took two weeks away from my business to volunteer for my annual church convention. Prior to that, I spent several days in Europe. What's ironic? My business GREW during my time away.
Before this, I never thought I could take what I thought was an extended time away and still have a successful business. I was wrong. As an entrepreneur, stepping away from your business can feel impossible without fear of everything falling apart. However, taking a break is crucial for your mental health, family relationships and overall productivity.
Although I've started five companies and sold 3 of them, I always get some tension and anxiety when I'm not in front of a computer for too long, working on my business.
So, how can you step away from your business and enjoy life?
Vacation time is important
Vacation time is crucial for allowing you to relax, recharge and come back refreshed. It's important to remember that you can't work all the time, and the world won't end if you take some downtime. Studies show that taking breaks increases productivity, creativity, and job satisfaction.
Build systems and processes
Building systems and processes are essential for ensuring your business can run smoothly even when you're not there. Start by creating an operations manual that outlines your business processes, including notes on daily tasks, customer service guidelines and communication methods. Don't forget to include a list of all the software and tools you use daily, along with access information. This will ensure that your team can easily pick up where you left off.
Train your team
To ensure that your team can maintain productivity while you're away, they should be well-trained and capable of working autonomously. Schedule training sessions to teach your team members how to handle the different aspects of your business. This could include financial management, customer service, marketing or operations. Ensure everyone is familiar with the business processes outlined in your manual so they know exactly what to do and how to do it.
Have the right team
Just like having a good system and training your team, having the right people on your team is essential to running a successful business. Hiring qualified and capable individuals will allow you to feel confident stepping away from your business. Make sure you have a team of individuals who are not only qualified but also share your business values and vision.
Once you have your systems and team in place, it's time to plan ahead for your time away. Create a list of tasks that need to be completed before you leave and establish deadlines for each team member. Make sure to schedule a team meeting before you leave to discuss any questions or concerns and clarify any expectations.
Leverage the power of technology
Leverage the power of technology to enable you to take time off. There are plenty of tools out there that can help automate processes and make it easier to keep track of projects. For example, you could use project management software to monitor progress on tasks or customer service platforms to handle customer inquiries while you're away. Automation can be a massive help in enabling you to serve customers while you're away and help your team do more in less time.
It's fine to think about business while you're away
While you're away, don't think you can't think about your business. Carving out time to ponder new ideas, read books to inspire you or get you thinking, listening to podcasts is a great idea. Sure, you can get away to 100% unplug, but you can also use some of that time to plan and ponder the future of your business.
Integrate business and fun while away
Some of my best "times away" have been integrating business and "pleasure." I'm an in-demand motivational speaker and event emcee, so I often serve others on stage. However, I also enjoy investing in my own education and attending events where I sit in the audience and learn. There are many big (or intimate) events in some great locations where you can attend and learn. After the event, or between sessions, you can enjoy the local area and have some "fun."
Why are you in business?
Remember, you're not living so you can run your business. You're running your business so you can enjoy life — however, you define it. Why did you start your business? What mark do you want to make on the world? What legacy do you want to leave? Who can you spend more time with and help along the way? A thriving business can help you do this.
Taking a break is essential for your overall well-being and your business. It's not only "ok" but also highly encouraged to take time away from your business — without fear of things falling apart. Build systems and processes, train your team, have the right team, plan and don't forget the importance of a well-earned vacation. By doing so, you'll come back more refreshed and ready to take on new challenges.