Entrepreneurs have a reputation for keeping their noses to the grindstone, and with good reason--it takes a lot of time, energy and other resources to make sure great ideas get off the ground and grow into something worthwhile. If you're thinking about skipping your vacation, though, reconsider. A break actually could mean a whole lot of improvement in your business life.
Your employees learn to be leaders.
Simply put, if you are always around to lean on, your employees never really get a chance to stand on their own two feet. They won't get to practice taking all-in initiative or taking more supervisorial roles, which might mean a stagnation of their confidence. With you out of the picture for a few days or weeks, however, your workers can take the driver's seat, possibly bringing a host of new ideas to the business table. If immediate innovation and subsequent profits aren't convincing enough, remember, too, that you'll probably want to move on to other ventures or retire eventually. Your vacations are your chance to see who has the gumption, intelligence, social skills and creativity to protect what you've built long after you're gone.
Your employees learn to trust you.
When you duck out for a vacation, it'll probably be pretty difficult not to think about work at least a little. That's normal, considering the personal and financial investment you have in your company. Still, getting away says that you believe in your employees, that you know they are smart and skilled enough to deal with your temporary absence. This demonstration of trust strengthens the relationship between you and your workers. They likely will end up having a more favorable opinion of you and open up more, which is essential to efficient task/project completion, conflict resolution and retention.
You'll rest your brain and stay healthy and satisfied.
The human brain, similar to other organs in the body, is not designed to go full throttle 100% of the time. It needs rest to recoup and continue to function. In this context, a vacation allows you to avoid burnout, turning your mind away from business problems and to activities you enjoy. The resulting boost of "feel good" brain chemicals, such as serotonin, can have a big effect on the mood you have when you get back to the office. You also might experience other physiological benefits from the reduction in stress, such as lowered blood pressure. When you feel better both emotionally and physically, you'll be able to tackle work issues or come up with new ideas with much more positivity and energy. You'll likely be able to maintain your interest in your business better, too.
You'll set the tone for your employees and the work environment.
Even though there might be occasional employees who are naturally combative and clash with a company's leader, typically, most employees are eager to follow a good boss. They want to do a good job and are looking for clear direction about what to do. By taking a vacation, you send the message that it's okay to step back and relax, to have something aside from work in their lives. You tell them it is okay to say yes to balance, fun and health. When this message is clear and employees use vacations to keep themselves from pushing too hard, they'll likely end up more productive and efficient. They probably will enjoy their jobs more, have fewer conflicts due to improved mood and, over time, become more loyal to the business.
Being an entrepreneur requires significant dedication, but that doesn't mean you're not entitled to a break. In fact, taking some time off is one of the best things you can do for yourself, your workers, your friends and family and, of course, your business. Whether it's a short weekend getaway or a few weeks of deep retreat, going on vacation needs to be on your calendar. The only question now is, where to?