The etymology of Vacation hints at its true purpose: The Latin vacare literally means "empty." Alas, that is a highly unnatural state for an entrepreneur's brain. So how can you experience the psychic and restorative benefits of vacation while remaining true to your nature? We asked Randy Warren and Michael Gross, co-CEOs of Global Travel International, a travel agency in Maitland, Fla., with $14 million in sales, for advice. Warren had just returned from a vacation when we spoke. Gross was packing for one."If you've done your job as a CEO, the company shouldn't need you every day," said Warren. His last time out of the office, he was proud to say, he had been rafting and hiking for six days before calling in.
"He's a sneaky devil," Gross interjected. "He goes on the company network and checks the financials."
"I don't like to have surprises when I walk back into the office," Warren said defensively. "But if I see hiccups, I've learned to wait to address them." In other words, he keeps up but he stops short of problem-solving while on vacation.
The winning formula: Keep mind and body engaged with stimulating new pursuits that take you far away from the world of work (try mountain biking, Gross says, which forces you to focus on staying alive). But give yourself permission to think about your company once in a while. "I don't think you can ever quite turn off work," says Warren. "But you have to learn how to compartmentalize it and move it over to the side. You want to be able to access it -- just in case you come up with a great idea."