How Does The Entrepreneur Vacation?

footprints in the sandIt had been 2 years since I started Women’s Web when I finally took my first “completely off work” vacation. It went like a dream and got me back refreshed and eager to return to work.

While I had taken shorter breaks before and even a week long one, I had almost always stayed connected and worked for a few hours even while on vacation. This time, I would be trekking and bird-watching away in Uttarakhand, with barely mobile connectivity in the areas I was going to. Plus, much as I love my work, there comes a point when you realize that you need to disconnect for a while. I believe that the entrepreneur glued to business 24*7 runs the risk of fatigue and low creativity.

For entrepreneurs, running a business is exciting – it’s something you are super-passionate about. Yet sometimes, it can begin to feel like the business is running you, and you can’t get off the track. Having switched off successfully for 10 days, these are some of my thoughts on how to plan a vacation and what entrepreneurs can do to take time off without worrying that the business will collapse without her.

For small businesses, one person on vacation can make a difference – and a big difference if that is the founder or CEO. It may not be possible to get everything done in the time you are away – you have to choose. In our case, we are a 2- member core team, with support from writers, bloggers and an outsourced tech team.

We decided that the most crucial thing for us was to keep our publishing schedule going smoothly; everything else could be given a little leeway. Having decided that, we worked well in advance to get the content for my vacation period ready. Almost everything had been received from writers or written by us, and edited before I left. It meant planning our calendar a little earlier than usual and pushing ourselves a little harder the week before, but it made a big difference – I did not have to worry during my break, and my colleague Anne did not have to scramble by herself at the last minute.

While deciding what is crucial, it’s also important to decide what to let go. We decided that our social media efforts could be a little less energetic than usual and I alerted advertisers that replies to campaign enquiries could take a little time.

Besides my experience, I asked Sonu Ratra, President of Akraya Inc., a California based IT-consulting firm for her learnings too, especially since she heads a much larger company with its own set of challenges. One of the key inputs she has is on planning your vacation time well.

According to Sonu, knowing the time periods in the year when business is slower and planning your vacation to coincide with these downtimes can help. She usually takes a week off during the 4th of July week when many of Akraya Inc’s clients are also out of the office. She says that the end of the year or holiday season is also a good time to plan a vacation.

Setting up an ‘out of office’ response to emails that lets people know until when you are away and whom they can contact in your absence for anything urgent, is the basic minimum in setting expectations.

For those running larger teams, it is also important to set expectations among your employees – what challenges do you expect them to take on in your absence? In what cases do they need to call you? Sonu finds it useful to have a dedicated “backup” person (such as the Director of Operations or somebody else from her team) to whom she can forward action items that need to be done while she is away. She also makes a ‘return to work’ plan, a list of projects she needs to pick up right after returning from vacation before she leaves – this gives her the peace of mind that her priority projects are lined up for her return.

Perhaps the biggest challenge to an entrepreneur on vacation is not so much operational as mental. While no one doubts that a founder is important in the case of a startup, at times hubris sets in and we believe that we are indispensable. Newsflash – we’re not! (Well, at least not for short periods). If you really cannot absent yourself from work for even 10 days, you have bigger problems than taking a vacation – you probably need to check what you’re doing wrong with your hiring, if your team members can’t manage without you around. We feel proud of being indispensable when we should be feeling worried.

One of the most important things I had to do before leaving on my vacation was to convince myself that work would go on fine in my absence. And if you have planned well and hired well – there is no reason it shouldn’t, as I found out on my return.

By Aparna Vedapuri Singh

Add a Blog

251 COMMENTS

  1. Having read this I thought it was rather enlightening.
    I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this article together.

    I once again find myself personally spending way too much time both reading and posting comments.
    But so what, it was still worth it!

  2. This is the right webpage for anybody who really wants to understand this topic.
    You understand a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I really will
    need to…HaHa). You definitely put a fresh spin on a topic which has been written about for many
    years. Excellent stuff, just wonderful!

  3. My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find many of your post’s to be exactly I’m looking for.
    can you offer guest writers to write content in your case?
    I wouldn’t mind publishing a post or elaborating on most of the
    subjects you write about here. Again, awesome web log!

  4. Nice weblog here! Also your website lots up very fast!
    What web host are you the use of? Can I am
    getting your affiliate link in your host? I want my website loaded
    up as fast as yours lol

  5. Do you mind if I quote a few of your articles as long as I
    provide credit and sources back to your weblog?
    My blog is in the very same niche as yours and my visitors would genuinely
    benefit from some of the information you provide
    here. Please let me know if this ok with you. Thank you!

  6. Hi, I do believe this is an excellent site.
    I stumbledupon it ;) I am going to revisit yet again since i have book-marked
    it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to help other people.

  7. I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your blog.
    It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often.
    Did you hire out a developer to create your theme?
    Outstanding work!

  8. Do you have a spam problem on this website; I
    also am a blogger, and I was curious about your situation; we have
    developed some nice practices and we are looking to
    swap techniques with others, please shoot me an email
    if interested.

  9. 16692 338859Oh my goodness! a great post dude. Thanks a lot Nevertheless I will likely be experiencing trouble with ur rss . Dont know why Not able to sign up for it. Is there every person acquiring identical rss problem? Anybody who knows kindly respond. Thnkx 710982

  10. 744999 55480After examine a couple of of the weblog posts on your web site now, and I really like your manner of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark internet site record and will probably be checking back soon. Pls take a look at my web page as well and let me know what you think. 660130

  11. Woah! I’m really loving the template/theme of this site.
    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s challenging to get that “perfect balance” between usability and visual appearance.
    I must say you have done a very good job with this. Additionally, the blog loads extremely quick for me on Firefox.
    Outstanding Blog!

  12. Hello, i feel that i noticed you visited my weblog thus
    i got here to return the desire?.I am attempting to find issues to improve my website!I suppose its adequate to make use of a few of
    your ideas!!

  13. Excellent post. Keep posting such kind of information on your
    site. Im really impressed by it.
    Hi there, You’ve performed an excellent job.

    I’ll definitely digg it and in my view recommend to
    my friends. I am sure they’ll be benefited from this
    website.

  14. Hi, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your blog site in Chrome, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.

    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, amazing blog!

  15. Magnificent goods from you, man. I’ve understand your
    stuff previous to and you are just too excellent. I actually like what you have acquired here,
    really like what you’re saying and the way in which you say it.
    You make it enjoyable and you still care for to keep it sensible.
    I cant wait to read much more from you. This is
    really a tremendous website.

  16. Good day! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after going through many of the articles I realized it’s new to me.
    Regardless, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll
    be book-marking it and checking back often!
    pof natalielise

  17. Hey there I am so happy I found your site, I really
    found you by accident, while I was browsing on Google for something else, Regardless I am here now and
    would just like to say cheers for a fantastic post and a all
    round thrilling blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to
    read through it all at the minute but I have book-marked it and also added in your RSS
    feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read more, Please do keep up the fantastic work.

  18. Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog
    and detailed information you present. It’s good to come across a blog every once in a
    while that isn’t the same unwanted rehashed material. Wonderful read!
    I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  19. Hi, I do think this is a great blog. I stumbledupon it ;)
    I am going to revisit yet again since i have book marked it.

    Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be
    rich and continue to guide other people.

  20. Simply want to say your article is as amazing. The clearness in your post is just spectacular and i can assume you are an expert on this subject. Well with your permission allow me to grab your feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the enjoyable work.

  21. Hello there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be
    ok. I’m undoubtedly enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.

  22. whoah this weblog is great i really like reading your posts.
    Stay up the great work! You recognize, lots of individuals are looking round for this info, you can help them greatly.

  23. Hello, i think that i saw you visited my web site so i came to
    “return the favor”.I’m trying to find things to enhance my web site!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

  24. I’m really enjoying the theme/design of your weblog.

    Do you ever run into any internet browser compatibility issues?
    A number of my blog audience have complained about my site not operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Firefox.
    Do you have any solutions to help fix this issue?

  25. Today, I went to the beachfront with my children. I found a sea
    shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter
    and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.”
    She put the shell to her ear and screamed.
    There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back!

    LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to
    tell someone!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here