I just read this interesting article about the difficulty entrepreneurs have in taking time off http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/small-business/start/business-planning/summer-vacation-eludes-many-entrepreneurs/article2052152/. Coincidentally, I just returned from a week of Boy Scout camp with my son's troop.
Taking a week off means my business is closed for a week. As an entrepreneur I don't get paid vacation time. But since I am in the business of encouraging people to have balance in their lives - and time off is part of that balance - it's important to me to "walk the talk." There are several reasons why I feel little or no hesitation in taking time off.
My time off was in agreement with my priorities. I spent time with my son and his fellow scout buddies. Hopefully I was able to help them learn some scouting and leadership skills in the process of having fun.
I was able to spend some time with adults I respect and admire. The leaders in my son's troop are successful, intelligent and creative people. I learned a lot about leadership, perseverance and life from them. We laughed so hard our sides hurt - humor is a necessary ingredient when working with teens.
Doing something out of my usual routine afforded me a new perspective. New perspectives are fuel for creativity and change. Keeping things fresh helps keep things fun.
I made peace with missed opportunities. It's a bit of a faith walk but I believe that if I missed an opportunity it wasn't meant for me. My outgoing out of the office message actually referred people to my local NAPO chapter if they were in immediate need of an organizer.
I recharged my "batteries." Truth be told, I enjoy camping. I love being outside, seeing the stars at night and hearing the whippoorwills. The simplicity is energizing.
A week away was an investment in myself, my family and my community. When I weigh any loss that may have resulted from a week off against what I gained, I find it was totally worth it.