With the end of summer approaching, many entrepreneurs find themselves in the difficult position of deciding between taking a few days off to recharge and relax with friends and family or grinding through. Rich Lochner, a business coach and president and CEO of RPC Leadership Associates Inc., says entrepreneurs are doing themselves a disservice by not taking a break.
Entrepreneurs are notoriously bad at taking time off. According to the 2013 Sage Reinvention of Small Business Study, 43 percent of small business owners are taking less vacation time than five years ago. But the benefits of taking a break far outweigh the seeming benefits of slogging it out.
Although entrepreneurs often gloat about their long hours, burning the candle at both ends without taking a break can be harmful to your business. Taking a vacation doesn’t have to mean a 10-day cruise or a week on the beach with a book. Even a short break like a long weekend may be all you need to reap these rewards:
Recharging your batteries is good for your body and brain.
Slogging away at your business day after day can leave you mentally blocked. “The best way to get unstuck mentally is to step away from the business,” says Lochner. Stepping away from your business and your normal daily routine is like giving your body and brain a re-boot, allowing you to return to the business refreshed and with a renewed energy and focus.
“It’s control-alt-delete on a personal level,” says Lochner.
Recharging your batteries is also crucial to the success of your business. “If you let yourself get mentally and physically lethargic, then you’re delivering a poor quality to your customers,” says Lochner.
Find your inspiration.
The best way to unlock your creativity and innovate is to step out of your normal day-to-day activities. Trying a different sport, talking to a stranger (not about your business) and stretching the mind by learning something new are all things we tend to do when on holidays.
“When you take that time for yourself, you’d be amazed at what creativity gets generated,” says Lochner.
Find new perspective on issues that have been plaguing you.
Taking a break from your business allows you to clear your head, reflect upon what’s happened during the last year and plan ahead for the next year.
Allow your business to grow.
Entrepreneurs often have to wear a lot of different hats, but as the business starts to grow, they have to start outsourcing and delegating some of those responsibilities. Taking a break is a great way to see how the business can operate without you. Do the people on your team have what it takes to keep the business running in your absence?
“It engenders trust with employees when you step away and leave them in charge,” says Lochner.