You need vacation time. You know that already.
But when is the best time for you to take vacation?
You might think one of these is the right answer:
(A) When things are slow or you have no demanding
projects demanding your full attention
(B) Once you’ve saved some extra money
(C) When your child’s/children’s school is on
break (if you have kids)
(D) When your spouse/partner wants to take a break
(if you have a significant other)
(E) All of the above
(F) Other [this is a trick question]
But, actually (F) Other is the correct answer.
This is a trick question! [This is my post, so
I get to make the rules.]
To be more specific, the correct answer
(G) Before you need a break
You are your business.
If you’re stressed out, tired, and struggling to
keep things together, consider what effects this
is having on your business, your clients, your
I was reminded of this last week, when I hit the
(Yes, even I have my limits. My often too-high
expectations of what I can accomplish within a
certain time frame push me to those limits. I am
often reminded of who I used to be in my
consulting days – as my dear friend Julia once
said “you can take the girl out of corporate, but
you can’t take the corporate out of the girl.”)
These past few weeks, I’ve been pushing pushing
pushing to get all the supplemental resources for
my new book finished and put up online. And even
though I was getting many signs that I needed to
let go of my own internally-imposed deadline… the
video editors were behind schedule, my assistant
was on her own vacation and could not help me
until she returned, and my Word program
mysteriously seemed to have a break-down each time
I tried to launch it… it wasn’t until my own coach
said: “you know, it probably doesn’t make sense to
talk about what’s next for your business until you
take a day off – you sound exhausted.”
And there it was. Everything laid out before me to
support me in taking this day off. I’d already
asked my sons’ former babysitter to do some work
for me the next day – and she was more than happy
to step back into the nanny role for a day. I had
no other fixed commitments other than drop-off and
pick-up for my older son. An unread fiction book
called my name from the bookshelf in my living
room. And one of my go-to massage therapists
texted me back to say “yes, I have an opening at
Building on last week’s post about
what makes expert entrepreneurs so successful,
it’s important to ASK for this time off – ideally
before you need it – in the following ways:
(1) First and foremost, give yourself permission
to take a break regularly – a personal day, a
vacation day, a mental health day, whatever you
call it – ideally once a month or more if you can
[In fact, I’m building one of these into
my new Fall schedule twice monthly and I can’t
wait to enjoy the fun and freedom on those
(2) Take these breaks before you need it – or if
you’re already past that point, then right away.
Remember: one of the benefits of having your own
business is that you make your own hours!
(3) Be open with those around you – let them
know you’re exhausted, mentally depleted, have no
creative juice left, etc, and that you’d love
their support. Be a role model to your clients,
customers, colleagues, and children.
What kind of person is going to say no to you
taking better care of yourself?
(4) When you do take time off, turn off your smart
phone and leave your laptop/tablet at the office.
Unplug fully to melt stress, have fun, and
recharge. Do something fun. Go somewhere you’ve
always wanted to go. Read a book you’ve been
thinking of for months.
Then, return to work with more energy, vitality,
and fresh ideas to reinvigorate your business and
those who work with you.
(5) Take note of all the benefits that come from
you taking a physical and mental break. Ask others
what they notice is different about you upon your
return. Write down all these observations.
And, refer back to that list next time you’re wondering
if you can “afford” to take a break from your busy
(6) Read the third chapter “Own Your Calendar So
It Doesn’t Own You” in my soon-to-be-released book
to learn more about how to build vacation time
into your schedule and invite others to support
you in doing so.
Recharge, Refuel, and Re-energize: Your Guide to
Taking Back Control of Your
Time and Energy will be released within days –
I can’t wait to share it with you!
If you’re still saying it’s “not the right time,”
“can’t justify the expense,” “next year,” or “my
[……. fill in the blank …..] are counting on me,”
then consider this…
Do you invest as much in YOU, your well-being, and
your development as you do in your office equipment?
your telecom expenses? your accountant? your vehicles?
You can’t run your business without them, and you
certain can’t run your business without you.
For you – and by extension your business – to be
successful, you need to perform at your optimal
level. And if you’re expecting better results from
operating in the same old way, then it might just
be time for a change in your thinking and your
“same ol’ way of doing business.”
I invite you to join me for the ultimate vacation
– one that can be written off as professional
development for your business – to Bali. This
year’s performance breakthrough retreat is October
26 through November 5, and only one month remains
until registration closes.
• Completely unplug and relax to a deeper level
than you’ve experienced in years – maybe decades
• Wipe clean your slate and let go of the bad
habits and thought patterns that are holding you
• Further clarify and recommit to your vision –
for your life and your business
• Discover the Eastern practices that will get you
back on track and keep you there, and
• Come back fully recharged and ready to take
your performance and your business to the next