Working for yourself comes with a wide range of perks. You get to set your own start and finish times, choose the people you work with, and go on as many holidays as you like.
Well, that’s the theory.
Back in the real world, many sole traders and small business owners (like me) find it hard to take time off at all.
We’re not employees, so we haven’t got a paid allocation of leave to use up, and there’s no team of willing – or even not so willing – colleagues, waiting to take over our work while we’re out enjoying the sun.
Then, as soon as we return, we’ve got backed-up emails, missed phone calls, and lost business opportunities to contend with… so really, why bother going away?
Your business won’t be healthy if you aren’t
Being responsible for everything comes with a certain amount of built-in stress. If you want to avoid negative effects on your mental health, such as burnout, it’s vital that you give yourself regular opportunities to recharge.
You could look at it this way: if you don’t get some rest every now and again, your business will suffer, which means taking a holiday is a wise commercial decision!
I know from experience that taking time away from my business means my clients get a sharper, happier, and more refreshed ‘me’, so everybody wins.
It’s even been known for me to miss my work when I’m on holiday, which is a great feeling because it’s a reminder that I chose to focus on the right kind of business for me.
It’s all in the preparation
Getting the best out of your holiday time means preparing for it in advance. The idea is to eliminate any potential sources of stress while you’re busy enjoying your time off.
For example, tell your clients that you’ll be going away at least a month beforehand. That way, you’ll have the chance to finish any urgent work before you go, and it’ll be easier to say “no” to any last-minute requests.
Set up an ‘out of office’ reply on your work email, and record an answer message on your phone, so people know they can expect to hear from you once you get back (and they won’t pester you while you’re away.)
Focus on getting your admin up to date, too – nothing dampens that relaxed post-holiday feeling quite as much as returning to the same old messy piles of paperwork!
Lean on trusted experts
You’re likely to enjoy your holiday that much more, if you know that key aspects of your business are in safe hands.
This could include calling on the services of a virtual assistant to check your inbox while you’re on the beach… or working with a friendly accountant (hint, hint!) to make sure your finances are nicely in check.
To find out more about how I could help you make some room for that well-deserved holiday, please book a complimentary call.
(I’ll be happy to share my top travel tips, too!)