If you’re like most entrepreneurs, the idea of taking a vacation can seem overwhelming. From juggling emails in between sightseeing, or having to sneak away from your family to take a business call, vacation time is often more business time than time actually spent relaxing.
I know because that’s how all of my vacations were as an entrepreneur.
I scheduled a relaxing time around my work.
We all have to find the right time to take time off. But for the entrepreneur, it never seems like the right time.
So, you often feel stuck in trying to juggle work during your vacation which literally sucks the energy out of you.
I’d (slyly) schedule my family’s vacation outings to coincide with when I knew I could go an hour or two without checking emails. Over time, it became that my vacations weren’t really vacation time. Instead, it was me desperately trying to fit in work in chunks, whenever and wherever I could – even on the beach or in the car.
My personal relationships were suffering.
My work-life balance was out of control and me having to manage everything in my business was starting to take its toll on my family life too.
I was missing important moments and events in my daughter’s life.
Not to mention, I was tied to my phone and my computer everywhere I went trying to be there for my family, but also trying to be responsive to my clients.
I was burning out at record pace.
With no real vacation or off time on my schedule, the 14+ hour days were taking a toll on me physically.
The more I worked, the less productive I was starting to become. And, the more mistakes I was making and my overall feelings about my business were waning. I never had the time or the space I needed to truly reset and tap back into my passion for why I started my business.
Simply put…I felt like I was running on a hamster wheel, stuck on a vicious cycle of work, work, and more work.
But, then I started outsourcing.
I couldn’t continue on this self-destructive trajectory. I needed to have more time to myself, more space from my business so I could strategically think about my business, and, more importantly, I deserved to have the peace of mind knowing I could actually enjoy my vacations.
So, I made one of the best decisions of my life. I took the plunge and hired an experienced virtual assistant (VA). For literally $5 per hour, I finally got the help I needed to get more done.
Now, I know my business is operating like a well-oiled machine and, in fact, growing – all without me having to hide to check an email or take a client call.
I leave my phone in the hotel room.
On a recent vacation, I accidentally left my phone on the charger, in the hotel room. I didn’t realize my “error” until we were already 50 minutes into a day-long excursion.
Normally, I would have dropped everything, turned the car around and rearranged our entire vacation schedule to go back to the hotel to get my phone. Before I hired a VA, there was no way I could have gone an entire day without checking emails or otherwise remotely running my business.
But, knowing I had a VA who was handling everything, I didn’t even flinch and we had one of the best vacations we’ve ever had.
I’m more organized and efficient.
When you’re traveling and trying to manage your business, you have lots of things competing for your brain space.
You’ll naturally forget notes, write them in random places, or otherwise misplace important things with the shuffle of vacationing. I don’t worry about this anymore. My VA handles all the calls, scheduling, emails, and even manages my other virtual freelancers when I’m on vacation.
When I come back, I don’t have to tackle the dreaded mountain of unanswered emails and can get to work faster and be more efficient on my first days back than ever before.
I go where I want, when I want.
I would strategically suggest certain vacation spots to my wife based on their WiFi coverage or their proximity to our house.
If we had to travel too far from our Atlanta home, I would have to make sure we had consistent internet so I could still run everything for my business remotely.
Naturally, this eliminated international travel options and many beautiful destination spots in rural areas that my wife was dying to go to.
But, now, I choose our vacation spots based solely on where we want to go – with no consideration of WiFi access.
When’s the last time you were able to go on vacation and not have to be tied to running your business?