Starting your own business is never easy – in fact it could just be the hardest thing you ever do in life. At first you’ll probably not want to spend a minute away from your new venture – and you’ll be thinking of new ideas and areas for improvement all the time.
Getting away from your startup may seem like a crazy idea – but sometimes we just have to for our own sanity, and for the good of our business. Running your own business is all about finding the balance.
Back when my first business was in its infancy I never wanted to leave it – I wanted to be there tending to it every day, 24/7. My partner told me it was time for a holiday, but I refused to book one. In the end my partner got her way and a holiday was booked – the day to day operations of my business were run by me at that time, as I had no staff. Flicking the “off button” on my startup was not an option – so I had to draft in a temp worker and brief her on everything she’d need to know to keep the business going in my absence. In the end, it took me two weeks to train the temp – I was only on holiday for five days.
That five day holiday came and went, but it was extremely relaxing, and after a year with nothing but weekends and bank holidays off, it was well deserved. It gave me important time to take a step back from my business, time to think about what I was doing well – and what could be improved. A holiday that I had been reluctant to book turned out to be the making of my business – I gathered a plan together in my head, and immediately upon my return I executed it. I cut lots of product lines that were making me a loss, I diversified into markets I hadn’t dabbled in before, and I also started to invest money into my own website – something I hadn’t done since I’d paid to have it developed.
Before I went on my holiday I didn’t realize my business was stagnating, slowly. Sometimes it takes a little time away to help you gather your thoughts and regain some focus – it also works wonders in revitalizing your energy levels! I felt great after my holiday – and I didn’t even leave the country. It was the first five days I’d spent away from my startup in over a year – but it was very important.
The moral of the story is that everyone needs a holiday – even if you are the center pin on which your startup depends. There is always someone out there – a friend, relative or even a worker from a temp agency who can keep things ticking over nicely in your absence in the short term just so you can take that hard earned break. I came back from my vacation bigger, better, stronger and with more great new ideas than ever – you could too! It’s important you make time for yourself, it sounds silly but it really does pay in the long run.