How do I take a vacation when I am essentially a one-person operation?
I think a vacation would really help re-energize me, but I can never seem to completely check out. For quite some time, I have always had jobs where I have flexibility, but need to be tuned in all the time. It definitely gets draining. Now that I have my own business, it is even harder to get a break. How have others handled this challenge?
Whatever you do on your own or you can work for someone, your work pressure is for you. You need to relax refresh your mind, you need to get a vacation.
You need to think and plan for it. Important is time dates financial ability.
Even every day you can have a relax. That's you have to decide your closing time if you have that everyone knows you are not available. Just find a good time within this and just relax, with your family, friends, alone or the way you want.
One person's operation is not an easy task. Even it is not possible for all to handle a business organization without a partner. Yes, you are absolutely right vacation helps in re-energizing.
India is one of the best destinations to visit for a vacation. And if you don't have enough time to travel to India in public transport. You can hire self-drive as well as a chauffeur-driven car from Avis.
A break from work fades our mind stress and recharge one's mind to do work with more ability. The best way to handle this situation is to go for a vacation and sit on work for 30 minutes to 1 hour in the evening or night to check the necessary calls and emails.
Running a one-person business has its benefits like choosing your own hours, but it makes the idea of taking a vacation seem impossible.
The Business.com team recently published an article that offers tips to solopreneurs wanting to plan a vacation. You can read it here: Vacationing from Your One-Person Business: 4 Tips to Unwind Without Worry.
It is important to take some R&R for yourself but unfortunately, as a one-person business, you won't be able to unplug entirely. Set up an automated away from the office message to emails that come in during your vacation days. This will help reduce follow up emails and voicemails from clients that don't hear back from you right away.
Then, set aside a small amount of time each day to check in with your clients or respond to urgent emails (30 minutes per each vacation day). Most clients will respect that you are taking time away and you will reply in more detail when you return to work.
Sounds like you have a problem similar to many CEOs, the business is running you and not you running your business. Usually a time management analysis can help you to fix the problem. Can you tell us more about your time schedule?
Not knowing your product it will be difficult to exactly give you the idea but generally a company even in case of an individual running the business needs complete empathy from its customers and suppliers.
This will not worsen your relationship in fact it will improve your bond and give a long term understanding.
First of all, there is no harm in having one or two days break and getting completely out of reach and get yourself into a re-energizing mode. Set your email response according to your availability after one or two days .You have to do it forcefully and letting everyone know that you are on a break.This will give you an idea of the actual impact of your non availability on the business. At the same time create a space between you and other stakeholders which is very healthy for the business and your relationships.
Secondly, longer breaks are also possible by informing people that you will be only accessible through emails and you will only read emails during a specific time of the day. So they will send the mails keeping in mind your access to emails. Again this is extremely healthy for your business . This will help you prioritize your other tasks,self development, future strategy making, reflection of the previous achievements and failures,identifying what additional resources in such circumstances you need in terms of manpower etc.
Last but not the least , in all these situations your communication and relationship skills come into play for your own benefit and also for the benefit of your customer because they would also require you to be at your best when you are available.
The businesses should always coordinate to work on one healthy constraint and that is a human resource is after all a human being who should be given the required personal space for his or her well being and for the well being of the relationships as a whole.
Best of luck,
That is tough answer, because I been in that same position for many year forgot what Vacation means, and I really need it for that same reason to re energize my being. But one approach just pick a spot that has a event taken place one related to your business service/product, of course a place you wanted to always visit I can promise you every country has a event, I have to trick my mind into believing this is a business trip, but I bring all vacation geer. And what a experience has been Trust me it really works, Our mind becomes so ingrained in our business we build barriers queues that so easily keep us from taking sometime, and is self inflicted. Just do it take the time, because you needed. Global truth you will surely burn yourself out if you don't I know I been their, not a good state to be when making business decisions
Richard Branson operators all his businesses without an office. He used technology to handle most things. Since I do not know what kind of business you're in I cannot provide suggestions. What kind of business are you in?
I am a sole proprietor service business. For the first time in 3 years I took a two vacation this year. It was out of the USA with my spouse. I contacted all of my primary customers about two months ahead of time by email and then again a week before I went on vacation. The week before I went on vacation a number of clients wanted to work with me since I was going to be gone.
I also set my email to state I was unavailable via email or by phone until 1 full day after I returned. That gave me a day to catch up before customers started contacting me again.
It all worked out. Of course I lost two weeks of revenue, but customers actually applauded me for taking the two week vacation and I felt great too.
Everyone here has said exactly what I was going to say: tell your clients you'll be away, set limits, etc. When DH and I go away, he knows the exact point where I finally relax, and comments on it. (Our fave vacation destination is a 4-5 hour drive.) Clients with an active project (a brochure going on press) know how to get in touch with me; those are the ONLY people with my cell phone number, and I trust them not to call me unless something catches fire. LOL
Without time off you won't be able to run your business effectively. Take time off, let the nagging voice in your head stop talking, take some long walks. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Be open with your clients and give them plenty of advanced notice of your vacation planning. I think it can be done as your clients may have down time as well. Again, it all depends on what kind of business you have