Before starting a business, ask yourself the question “Do I value time away from the grind?” There is no wrong answer to this question. The fact is, we all need time off for our own sanity.
It is, however, quite different for a business owner. You never know when something could blow up or needs your attention. Here is our reality:
- Your phone is your lifeline. I know there are all these articles out about putting your phone down and being present…but I call bullshit. If you are a business owner you are never really present because you are thinking about the gazillion things that need to be done or dealt with or managed. A fellow small business owner received a call from her landlord the other day that their office was taking on water due to another tenant’s water heater breaking. We are also building managers, admins, billing, HR, custodial, maintenance…the list goes on. Your job description will expand.
- Vacations look very different. Just recently I spent time abroad in England and Ireland. It was amazing, but also anxiety ridden as there was a 6 hour time difference. My husband suggested we get a wifi device (I can’t remember what the hell it is called) so I would always have access. I checked my email consistently to deal with any emergencies as they came up. I also set aside a few hours each morning and evening to tackle anything that needed to be done. Payroll had to be submitted regardless of my location.
- It is a lot of work to vacation. Before I even left to go on vacation, I had to notify our clients I would be out of town and who they should contact in my absence. I had multiple internal meetings to discuss how things would be managed in my absence, any client needs that would fall during the time I was away and who would be in charge of what. I was exhausted before I even left for vacation.
I am not writing this to discourage you from taking vacations, but what that looks like will definitely be different. Shit has got to get done regardless of where you happen to be geographically.
P.S. I wouldn’t give it up for anything.