Taking a holiday

By: Tim Haggard

Date: 17 September 2009

In a recent FT article, there was a discussion about how some business owners have taken a holiday this summer for the first time in years.

Are they mad?

I understand the compulsive nature of many entrepreneurs, but I do not understand why they don’t take breaks – like I’ve said in previous posts, yes business owners are super-busy but breaks are essential to recharge the batteries and to keep the mind fresh.

That said, I am not suggesting that you shut up shop and head off to a remote beach for two weeks. That would be too much for the average business owner to bear (even though the business will probably survive better without you that you would like to admit to).

So, here are a few ideas for making the concept of a holiday work:

  1. Focus the holiday around something you love doing (even if it is lying by the pool!). It will mean that you relax and therefore recover more quickly.
  2. Research your destination well and make sure that the modern tools of the trade – phone reception/ wifi internet access/ printer etc – are available and work to the standard you require. If they are not and you know you’ll struggle, go somewhere else.
  3. Think about the benefits of time difference. I have not long been back from Italy which is one hour ahead of the UK. This meant an extra hour in the morning before the UK gets going.
  4. Let all the people that might be affected by you going away know well in advance – staff, contractors, customers, suppliers – so that they too have the chance to plan around you being away.
  5. Make the most of being your own boss and travel on weekdays. Cheaper, less crowded, faster and less stressful...
  6. Ration the times when you engage on business matters. I always try and take the first 3 days off completely and then schedule working into pre-planned parts of the day. Partners and families can plan activities around this too.
  7. If you are that worried - just stay within easy reach.

In overview, use the internet/ mobile phone technology available to you. In the last 5-10 years, it has become immeasurably easier to get away and keep in touch with your business at the same time...to me it is a marvellous opportunity to enjoy life that little bit more!


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