Ideally, every entrepreneur would take at least one vacation per year. While far from the ideal, business owners are slowing coming around to realize the importance of an annual escape. But there's a catch.
Up from 35% in 2010, 52% of small business owners now feel comfortable taking a vacation. The caveat is they'll do it only because they can stay in touch via mobile device.
If the ability to remain in the loop with clients and employees is what it takes to pull yourself away, that's okay, just don't over do it. Your body and mind need more time off than weekends can offer-that means reducing (or eliminating) your correspondence with the office during vacations.
There's an art to enjoying a truly relaxing, fulfilling vacation. Make the best of it with a few tips from my personal vacation success formula.
1. Enjoy a bit of adventure.
Basking in the sun on a white beach may be just what you need, but after a day or so you may find yourself feeling quite restless. Entrepreneurs, being adventurers at heart, often find that activities offering a bit of excitement, even risk, will best renew their spirit. Take a few hours away from the beach and try something new and exciting to satisfy the thrill seeker in you.
2. Create a morning routine that inspires gratitude.
Vacation or business travel, my gratitude journal is never left behind. Being away from your day-to-day environment will heighten your awareness of all that is good in life. Spend time over a morning coffee giving voice to your appreciation by writing your thoughts in a journal. Time for reflection is one of the many benefits of any vacation.
3. Be present and aware.
You may be traveling with your spouse and children; this precious time is meant to be experienced and savored. Create great memories. Let go of the tendencies to obsess over work and instead notice every nuance of your loved ones' facial expressions, laughter, and the words they speak.
4. Immerse yourself in the local culture.
Innovation is at the heart of every successful business. That's because visionaries have a way of capturing the unique aspects of their environment to find inspiration and form new ways of approaching life. Does your vacation spot offer a unique culture? What can you learn from it? What knowledge or understanding can you gain from its people? Get to know a few of the locals; immerse yourself in the culture, and let your imagination loose.
5. Don't commit to many (if any)obligations.
A vacation won't serve you well if you return exhausted and tapped out so don't overburden yourself with too many scheduled activities. For every full day of activity schedule a day of rest and relaxation in between.
6. Avoid any need for the hair of the dog.
I love sitting poolside with a refreshing mojito in hand, but it only took one over-indulgence to realize it can ruin a good chunk of precious vacation time. To fully capture and enjoy each moment of your escape avoid excessiveness in ways you'll later regret.
So, where are you going? More importantly, when are you going? Share your vacation tips and stories here!