"Every time I talked to anyone about the trip, I included the disclaimer 'it’s only my third break since Amicus was founded'. Every time," he writes. "It was only once I was lying on a beach that I realized what I was doing: I was making excuses for taking a break because I felt guilty." But, relaxing in the sun, Bannon had some time to reflect and come up with a new and healthier model for thinking about vacations -- one other guilt-ridden business owners might benefit from.
You’re a Long-Distance Athlete
Rather than think of vacations as time away from responsibilities, think of them as an essential for long-term success. Bannon suggests you use professional athletes as your template. They all take an off-season, he reminds entrepreneurs.
"Professional runners take long breaks between marathons. They make no excuses for this, and no one judges them for it, because everyone knows that rest and recuperation is an essential part of being a pro athlete. The same is true for entrepreneurs (and everyone, really). Preventing burnout is part of your job. Staying well rested is part of your job," he insists.
Recharging isn’t an indulgence or extra, in other words, it’s an essential -- just like customer service, proper leadership and tidy bookkeeping. Stop making excuses. Stop feeling weak.
If you agree with Bannon and Yeh that going full on all the time isn’t just unhealthy but also bad business, there is still the less than minor matter of actually banishing the guilt you feel when you switch off. Tips are available to help you rethink vacations as a benefit for your business in other ways as well, including as a laboratory for delegating, a way to examine priorities, and a chance to experiment with remote work tools if you need to connect while away.
JESSICA STILLMAN is a freelance writer based in London with interests in unconventional career paths, generational differences, and the future of work. She has blogged for CBS MoneyWatch, GigaOM, and Brazen Careerist. @EntryLevelRebel