Hi, everyone! Sorry I haven’t written for a while, but I’ve been away on a 20-day vacation to Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon National Parks!
It’s impossible to describe the sheer terror of finally deciding to take more than a week’s vacation. Would my business crumble? Would I miss logging on each morning to get my email? Would my clients miss me??
It all started rather simply: three different opportunities for speaking engagements came up in California, and so close to one another that it seemed silly NOT to go to California and do presentations. My husband casually suggested, “Why don’t we both go, then take some time for a vacation while we’re out there?” It seemed reasonable enough.
In the past, I’d take a week-long vacation a few times a year, and my business had survived. But 20 days away from my office? It took a bit of getting used to. My husband assures me that in Europe, this kind of vacation is the norm.
But let me tell you a secret: Starting the very first day, I never had an interest in checking my email. Not once did I feel like I had to pick up phone messages and return phone calls. It was shocking that I could so easily leave it all behind. It was heaven!
I think that vacations are mandatory for self-employed people. When you do your annual budgeting for your business, schedule in enough revenue so that you can afford the cost of the vacations as well as the cost of not earning money for the weeks you’re away.
Why? Because we all need a break from our businesses, from the high-energy involvement, from the stress, from the stuck places. We all need time to pay attention to ourselves, to those we love, and to do the other things we like to do besides work for a living.
After 20 days away, I’m refreshed. While hiking in Yosemite, I made some major strategy decisions about the direction of my business for the next five years (which I’ll share with you later – hint, hint), without even consciously thinking about my business. I allowed my sub-conscious to process all the questions and decisions I had to make about my business, then allowed the answers to slowly bubble to the surface while I walked, sat, talked, and took photos of lovely nature scenes.
Now that I’m back in my office, I feel a rush of energy, and a great clarity of thinking. I’m also keeping in touch with the slow, calm, peaceful feelings I felt each day I was away, and am bringing them back into my daily business life.
So, when is your next vacation??
(And yes, I took this photo. I owned a photography studio for 20 years and it’s still one of my passions!)