Last week, I suggested that if you work for a company that demands unpaid overtime, you shouldn't waste your vacation days over the holiday break and instead go into the office and get paid to pretend to work. (Cookies in the break-room everyone!)
That advice, however, left out entrepreneurs who are actively running and growing a startup. Since they're working for themselves (and have investors to satisfy), true entrepreneurs must get more creative than merely goldbricking on the company dime.
To find out how the creme-de-la-creme of the entrepreneurial world spend their holiday break, I asked three Founder/CEOs in three very different industry segments how they plan to spend the break. Role models, anyone?
1. Pip Jamieson, CEO and Founder, The Dots
The Dots bills itself as "a professional network for the people and teams that don't wear suits to work."
"Since The Dots is a professional network, it's always a mad rush at this time of year to get ready for the tsunami of traffic that hits the platform from Jan 1st, as people make New Year's resolutions to revamp their careers. That said, I LOVE Christmas - so crazy busy days are punctuated with lots of festive team outings; always a happy time for the team. I've found the trick is to spread festivities throughout December (Christmas decorations go up in November!), so I don't get burnt out with back-to-back late nights. Drinking white wine spritzers at events keeps the hangovers at bay, and my wonderful EA is a godsend in managing my life, and really helps take the pressure off."
2. James Dean, CEO and Founder, SenSat
According to its website, SenSat "turns complex visual and spatial data into a real time simulated reality that helps computers solve real world problems."
"The end of the year for me is a good time to take a breath and collect my thoughts ahead of the new year. Perhaps it is psychological (or practical), but I think it is important for the team to have a strong start to the new year, so since mid-November, I've been focussing on this. December in London is always hectic. I joke that it's the only month of the year that Londoners speak to one another, and we sure have a jolly time! For the business, this means several strains culminating at the same time that all need to be carefully managed. Firstly staff are trying to close business, complete projects and get the house in order for the new year. The last point is potentially the most important - we want to ensure everything is left in the best possible state so we can gain quick momentum in the new year."
3. Ronni Zehavi, CEO and Founder, HiBob
HiBob is a "people management platform that helps forward thinking businesses bring out the best in their employees."
"As a people platform we obviously make sure that we practice what we preach, and so we care a lot about work-life balance; as most of our people are "Millennials", they take time off seriously and they are planning their annual vacations during the year. On a daily basis, we encourage people to leave the office early enough to spend quality time with their families, focus on their hobbies and balancing their life (Yoga, Pilates). Burnout that leads to turnover is something companies should be proactive and prevent as much as possible. As for the end of the year - sales teams are educated to plan their vacation after the year closes (just before Christmas), while the development team, product G&A tend to take time off towards the end of the year."