My family didn't go on extravagant vacations when I was growing up. We took a ski trip once a year, and we went to Walt Disney World when I was in Grade 8.
When I graduated from the Richard Ivey School of Business in London, Ontario, my parents offered me a trip to Europe. Instead, I asked for cash to start my first company. Then I made the mistake of taking a grand total of zero vacations during my first five years in business.
So my New Year's resolution for 2012 was to go on a five-day vacation every two months. Minimum. (And yes, I've managed to pull it off.)
Here are four reasons to fit vacations into your schedule:
- They make you better appreciate all the hard work you put in.
- They force you to take a break from day-to-day operations, allowing you to think more broadly about how to grow your business. When I'm on vacation, I spend an hour in the morning and another hour in the evening jotting down notes on how to take things to the next level. I don't deal with anything else until I return.
- They train your staff to work independently, giving them more autonomy. If you plan to sell your business at some point, you want to make sure you can demonstrate its ability to chug along without you.
- They give you a fresh perspective: stepping back to look at how the competition operates can help you improve your business.