Let’s talk about taking a break from working – it’s an entrepreneur benefit. That’s right! As much as I am a huge fan of setting intentional goals and being SMART about what you want to achieve, I’m also a huge fan of taking breaks.
You may have read in a previous article on this site that I said entrepreneurs often times get wrapped up in the pace at which we have to move. That means we’re not always being compassionate to ourselves. But what would it look like to be ruthlessly compassionate? To actually think about the way that we take care of ourselves as business owners in a way that was full of love and flexibility. (Instead of the Gary V Mantra often of working yourself to a nub and never taking a break?) I think what that ends up looking like is, not only some of the strategies I spoke about in that ruthlessly compassionate post, but also how we actually turn things off. Not just pausing in order to refresh but actually coming to a stop, in order to up-level.
Question: When was the last time you took the entrepreneur benefit of taking a vacation?
I’m not talking about you going on a business trip or flying across the country to stay in a hotel room by yourself in the midst of a huge conference. I’m talking about time and space where you have dedicated that you will not do anything. You’re not checking email, you’ve turned off calls from clients, you’ve made sure that you don’t have any content to batch, or proposals to review. I’m talking about a true vacation. What would it take for you to set aside that time? I’ve spoken about this in past years.
When I reflect on the last four years I’ve had in business I recognize that most of my vacations occur over the winter holidays or summer break when my entire family and I get to go away together. But I’ve lately been playing with this idea of taking a vacation by myself. I know. Doesn’t it sound indulgent and crazy and nearly impossible to achieve? You know what could possibly have spawned this crazy idea in my mind? I’ll tell you.
Plan a Solo Vacation
March 1st was National Plan a Solo Vacation Day. I know. You’re probably thinking just like I was, “who comes up with these crazy theme days for an entire year?” But the beautiful part is why not? So it’s got me thinking what would be my ideal vacation spot for myself as an entrepreneur benefit? What follows below are some ideas that I conjured up on how to take a solo vacation as a business owner. They range from very simple to execute, to very, very extravagant and a high ticket. But I think there’s something in here for everyone who needs to actually take a break in order to energize themselves for their business.
1. Rent an Airbnb
My first idea is to rent a local Airbnb in the city or town where you live and spending a long weekend there on your own. For me this is magical. I can rent a New York City apartment, maybe something on the Upper West Side, or a brownstone in a beautiful neighborhood in Harlem. And then proceed to spend my weekend treating myself to brunch and walks in the park, baking in someone else’s house and then eating said baked goods in front of a television to watch whatever I want, by myself until I fall asleep.
This may sound overly simplistic or completely beautiful, but either way it’s something that I can easily execute by simply putting my husband on notice and putting up an out-of-office. Boom. Done. Ready to go for next week.
2. Go on a Retreat
The second idea I had around planning my solo vacation was going to a retreat. Something that could be very close by, like the Kripalu Women of Color Yoga Retreat. Or perhaps something a little bit more elaborate, like going to one of my friend Lolita’s women’s Retreats that she hosts in the DMV area. This means I have to carve out a little bit more time in my calendar, more like 4 to 5 days. This makes this a mid grade option in terms of planning and investment.
3. Tour a Country
My third and final idea around planning a solo vacation is probably the most extravagant. This is where I see myself taking 14 days to tour a country I’ve never been to before. One of the things that strikes me is going to Ghana and taking a full 14 days to explore. Or seeing one of the seven wonders, like the Great Wall of China. Well, maybe not China right now because of Coronavirus. But maybe Egypt, to see the pyramids. Or even doing something a little bit more mundane in my mind, like the Grand Canyon or a ski lodge.
These things strike me as extremely adventurous and not something that would typically show up on my list as the mother of two school-age kids. But as an entrepreneur benefit, and as a human need, it sounds like a beautiful way to put a stop on things.
Things to consider:
– Travel Planning
Now if it’s something that’s going to take up more space like a 14-day trip there is a good amount of planning I would need to put into that. This is ideally where I would probably hire a travel agent. Or speak to someone to organize all of the logistics around airfare, lodging and local transportation. But I would also need to send out maybe six weeks notice to clients that I would be away for that time.
– Calendar scheduling
And I also have to consider when in my calendar would make sense for me to do this. Ideally planning this type of solo vacation to happen at the beginning of the year when I was planning out my events and marketing content so that it didn’t interfere with things like a launch or promotions towards other events and activities that require a lot of my presence would be ideal.
– Time away from family
The other thing that this has an impact on this of course, is my time away from my family. Which would ideally coincide with something like the children’s break from school when I already know childcare is going to fall to someone like my in-laws or a local camp.
Will you plan a solo vacation?
In all three of these scenarios there is one thing that remains consistent. This is time that I’m spending out of my business away from my home and doing things that I want to do.
When was the last time you did that for yourself as an entrepreneur benefit?
When’s the next time you’re committed to making that happen?
March 1st was plan your solo vacation day. What do you have planned?
Drop the comments below.
And if you’ve done some research, everyone loves a good Pinterest board – I’m down to see that too.