If you're an entrepreneur starting up a business, you've probably heard the following: The first year is going to be intense. You'll need to work 24/7 to get your business up and running. Then you’ll have to work even harder to show a profit.
Why, then, do so many entrepreneurs, having gone through the blood, sweat, and tears of starting up a business, end up packing it in, in less than two years?
Because the one thing no one tells you when starting up a business is this: if you don't want to end up becoming a small business startup fatality, then during your first year, you must do one very important thing—take a vacation.
"What?!" My client, Sarah, screeched at me over the phone when I made this suggestion. "I can't take a vacation now!"
Yet Sarah had been working hard for nine long months in "all-go, no-slow" mode so she could have her business up and running in one year's time. She was exhausted. Her family life was fraying around the edges, and she'd been sick more times that winter than ever before. She really needed a vacation. But, with just three months to go before launching her business, she swore she couldn't take time off.
Sound like you?
Find out what finally convinced Sarah to take a vacation and how this helped her avoid becoming a small business startup fatality.
5 Reasons Why Not Taking a Vacation Could Spell Disaster for Your Startup:
1. The Law of Attraction states that that which is like unto itself is drawn.
If you're like Sarah and have been driving hard toward launching your business, you're tired and stressed. From an energetic perspective, continuing to push yourself only attracts more strenuous energy. This, in turn, creates more exhaustion, emotional strain, and physical depletion.
Instead of pushing forward, create the opposite energy by going on vacation.
Vacation energy is light and breezy. While on vacation, you'll be attracting buoyant, happy, and joyous energy that will stay with you when you get back to business.
2. A vacation is not a diversion.
A diversion is any activity that diverts the mind from tedious work or serious concerns. Diversions occur when the body signals the brain that it needs a break. Whether gardening, reading, or snacking, we turn to diversions because the body isn't designed to maintain constant levels of stress for long. Diversions, though, only provide a momentary release of the pressure valve of tension associated with starting up a business. A vacation, on the other hand, is designed to fully release the valve so you can return to your startup renewed in body, mind and spirit.
3. It's easy for a routine to turn into a rut.
As Sarah discovered, routines can boost your output. Unfortunately, they can also rob you of your spark.
Once you're doing the same routine day after day, your life becomes monotonous. When this happens, the beneficial routine that once worked so well for you becomes a deep, furrowed rut that's hard to get out of.
To get out of any rut, you need change. Vacations are a great way to break out of your routine.
4. Your brain needs to be stimulated.
Tunnel vision sets in the farther along you are in the startup process. Because Sarah had been focusing on one thing for too long, her vision began to fade. She felt stuck and frustrated, and what once seemed easy took much more effort.
This is why vacations are necessary.
New activities keep your brain cells stimulated. New places, faces, and learning help stimulate the mind and energize the body. With new sights come new insights and fresh ideas. "A-ha" moments come more quickly when you remove yourself from the daily grind of starting up your business.
5. Your relationships are suffering.
Starting up your business can be a lonely ordeal. Often, it's just you, alone in a room, working on your business from dawn to dusk. Don't make the mistake, however, of thinking you're the only one going it alone. Your family and friends are bearing the dual burden of both supporting you in your venture and coping with an absentee wife, mother, sister, or friend.
In fact, this was the clincher for Sarah. After all, if it weren't for the support of those closest to her, Sarah would not have had the chutzpah to venture out on her own in the first place. Go on vacation and enjoy life with the people you love the most. Doing so will keep these vital relationships strong, while storing up good times you can remember when the going gets tough in your business.
Don't make the mistake of dragging yourself through an entire year of startup stress, only to discover that, once you've launched your business, you're either too tired to go on vacation or too busy with the next phase of your business to plan one.
Instead, do what Sarah did. Go to your calendar. Block out a vacation week three months ahead of when you plan to launch your business. Do this for your own health, for the wellbeing of your business, and to ensure that you won't become just another small business startup fatality.
Your family, your friends—and your business—will thank you for it.
* * * * *Dr. Susan L Reid - a small business expert and business catalyst - brings the gift of inner vision and insight to spiritually conscious businesswomen ready to run their business confidently, effectively, and fully aligned with their deepest inner principles. She is the award-winning author of Discovering Your Inner Samurai: The Entrepreneurial Woman’s Journey to Business Success. Her website is Alkamae.