The life of an entrepreneur is a roller coaster of emotions and financial stability. One moment you’re on top of the world with a major business success. The next moment you are scraping the bottom, wondering how you will ever reach stability.
I started my own business in 2013. I can now empathize – not just sympathize – with the daily struggles entrepreneurs face. I have lived that roller coaster. But more importantly than the work itself, I find it hard to take time off. I want to. But, when I have time, I don’t have money. And when I have money, I can’t spare the time. Most entrepreneurs feel this frustration.
Work-life balance continues to be a buzzword. It is an admirable goal, but balance means different things for each individual. At the end of the day though, taking time off to rejuvenate is not negotiable.
Every entrepreneur must schedule time away from work.
Work is essential in life. The benefits of work include:
- It provides income for you and your family
- It provides physical and/or intellectual stimulation
- It gives you a “tribe” to be part of
However, work can easily become a consuming monster. You end up chasing more money, and spending too much time with colleagues. It’s easy for entrepreneurs to work to the point of burnout. This is why it’s critical to take time off to rejuvenate.
Warning! If you don’t plan it and schedule it, you will not take time off.
Here are some practical tips to make taking time off a little easier:
- Begin with scheduling an extra day off around public holidays. This is the quickest and easiest way to get started. It won’t cost much, and your clients will not notice.
- Evaluate your business cycle to identify the busy and quiet times.
- If your cash flow allows it, take a week or two off in your quiet time.
- An alternative would be to take time off during your busy time. This takes some planning, but is a great way to show trust in your staff. And, you’ll be taking a break when your cash flow is strong, meaning less stress while you’re away.
- Inform your clients that you will be taking time off. Many entrepreneurs are afraid that their clients will find a new supplier if they’re not available. The truth is that your clients also take time off. With open and honest communication about your need for rejuvenation, your clients will understand and appreciate you taking time off.
- Start accruing vacation pay for yourself, just like an employee. Put this accrued amount in a separate bank account, so your vacation is fully funded.
- Don’t make excuses not to take time off. Without rest and rejuvenation, your ability to serve your clients will diminish. You also increase your risk of burnout, which affects everyone around you.
Come back next week to read about my most recent trip away from the office.
How often do you schedule time off? What strategies have you used to take time off?