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  • Writer's pictureRoger Pierce

Why taking a vacation is good for you and your small business

Owning a business should give you plenty of personal freedom and schedule flexibility. In theory, you can take a vacation anytime you want.

The reality is that very few business owners take a vacation: according to an article on, only 57% of small business owners actual go on holiday.

And for those entrepreneurs who do get away, 85% of them end up working while on vacation anyway.

What's up with that?

Some owners believe the business will fall apart in their absence, while others simply don’t want to be away from the business for even one day because they like it so much.

But there’s a cost to skipping vacation: burnout

Burnout is a real issue for small business owners and a leading cause of small business failure.

If you work too much, you risk damaging your physical and mental health. Not to mention you are missing a chance to make important life memories with your family or friends.

Not convinced? Here are 4 excellent reasons to take a break from your business.

1. Refreshed and relaxed, your productivity will improve

Remember back to the days before you owned a business? That period of time when you had a job, and took your allotted vacation time? How did you feel when you returned to the workplace?

Chances are you returned from mandatory vacation feeling reinvigorated and energized. You were likely in a better mental state as well, making it easier to confront those inevitable workplace stressors (such as working for a boss).

Vacation time recharges the human battery. You'll return to your business ready to take on new challenges and get even more work done.

2. You owe it to your health

According to a report from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and Nexim Canada, two-thirds of small business owners say they are close to burning out and 50% are struggling with their mental health.

Because they love the business so much, or feel they cannot step away from the business, owners can work and work and worry themselves almost to death.

Your physical and mental condition will contribute significantly to the success of your business.

Taking some time off is actually an investment in your future prosperity. Without you, there would be no business, so treat the important asset with care.

3. You'll return to your business full of new ideas

Research by neuroscientists indicates the brain is less creative when inhibited—that is, when the brain is working under constant pressure.

To be truly creative, you need time to daydream.

It's why going for a walk can help stimulate clear thinking—and why inspiration often hits in the shower, while driving, or just before you fall asleep.

Just imagine how many business solutions and fresh business ideas you’ll enjoy by giving your over-worked brain a rest.

4. Hard work deserves reward

Your employees respond well to incentives and rewards, so why not you?

A vacation is the ultimate reward for working so hard and achieving so much. Many successful entrepreneurs recognize the value of "work hard/play hard" self-motivation by attaching personal rewards to certain milestones. For example, you can position a holiday as an incentive to reach a certain sales goal.

Why not plan some time off right now? Next month, I'm looking forward to going on a Caribbean cruise with my family—and I know for certain that my laptop won't be joining me.

You can do the same. Get your work done in advance and tell your customers when you’ll return; or, if you have employees, train them how to operate your business while you’re away.

You’ll be surprised just how well your business can run without you.


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