E-News - Three Reasons to Take a Vacation

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Three Reasons to Take a Vacation

As I’m writing this, I’m looking over a balcony in a vacation rental home in Fort Myers Beach, Florida. One of my favorite ways to relax is get up early, grab a steamy cuppajo, and write newsletters such as this one. I’m surrounded by tall palm trees, whispering in the warm breeze, the water is like blue, rippling glass, and the sun is just starting to tickle the patio table with its shiny reflection. It’s even easier to appreciate these perfectly sublime moments because I just left fifteen-degree temperatures and five inches of snow, and the mercury is supposed to climb to a blissful eighty-six here today. Before we dive into the big three reasons, I would caution you to be careful how you take this advice. I’ve coached a few business owners who take too much time off way too early in business, but I surprisingly meet even more who rarely take any time off. Extremes are rarely wise in life, and this is no exception. You must exercise wisdom as to how much time off is good and valuable and how much can be harmful to you, your work ethic, and the business you’ve worked so hard to build. It’s also essential to make sure your priorities are in order. As I recall, during my first few years in business, a colleague asked if I could run his calls for him while he went on a five-day hunting trip. Even back then, I found it somewhat odd that he’d ask a “competitor” to do that for him, but what really baffled me was that he was willing to take so much time off; it might have been hunting season for him, but for his company, it was prime business season. Needless to say, he is no longer in business today and hasn’t been since only a few years after that untimely excursion. Nevertheless, I have learned in my twenty-five years with McAfee that vacations and breaks can strengthen families and grow businesses by keeping the business owner healthy and happy, inside and out. Even our Creator rested, but only after the work was done. 1. Vacations allow you to enjoy your family and the people you care about. A successful small business must be overseen by a well-balanced owner. Thus, your quality time must be spent with loved ones as well as the business. If you designate more time to one, the other will suffer. It’s easy to be pulled both ways at times, but you must ask yourself which takes priority in each given situation. Is success truly worth losing your relationship with your family? This does not mean you have to spend large chunks of time away from your office several times a year. In fact, I’ve personally found that it’s easier and just as beneficial to step away for smaller increments of time. This might mean making time for the day-to-day activities of your children, such as practices, games, plays, recitals, and concerts, or perhaps you can schedule a quiet, uninterrupted dinner alone with your spouse, a family day trip to an amusement park, a long hike, a game of golf, or just enjoying a cup of coffee together. Your moments are yours, and while you have to divvy them up in a way that is fair to your business as well as your loved ones, learning to make both a priority will make you a healthier, happier business owner and person. 2. Vacations allow you to rest. Whether your R&R comes in the form of a full week or a three-day getaway, you need to expand your world by exposing yourself to different scenery, and you need rest for your mind, body, and soul. Not only does rejuvenating rest help you to be a sharper thinker, but it will also improve your physical health and strengthen your body’s immune system. Getting away from work and relaxing has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety. When I was still running all my own service calls, I once encountered a problem that no amount of troubleshooting could solve. When I finally gave up and decided to sleep on it, I woke up with a clear answer in mind. If a four-hour nap can produce that kind of clarity, imagine what three to ten days can do. 3. A vacation will energize you. Some suggest that a vacation requires a complete mental getaway and that you should make a concerted effort to not even think about your business while you’re away. Really? That’s like trying to not think of your spouse when you’re apart for a week. Should work consume you while you are hiking through the woods, having ice cream with your kids, riding that jet-ski, or sitting on a Florida patio just after sunrise? Absolutely not! Should you have your office on speed-dial and check in every fifteen minutes? No way! You should, however, take advantage of the energy and clarity that rest will provide. Think on important things that will make things better in your company when you get back: Why am I in business? What do I want to happen this year? How can I improve as an owner? What are my personal and business goals? Vacations can be as energizing for mind and body as they are relaxing, so put that energy to good use by reflecting on what’s important and how you can make improvements in your business and personal life. If we make and take the time to enjoy our family, rest, and energize our minds the by-product will be a much smoother business. Carry On! Sincerely, gregmcafee-sig2 Greg McAfee HVAC Business Consultant