Vacation is Good for Business

June 30th, 2009 by dusty


I’m sitting on a plane (yay offline GMail!) on my way back from a last minute mini-vacation to San Diego for 4 days. Since starting the business nearly 2 years ago, I’ve not had much in the way of time off, let alone a full-fledged vacation. Its funny, because though we emphasize a healthy work-life balance for our employees, Kevin & myself rarely if ever take time off.

This trip came at an amazingly hectic time, as we’re launching a few sites and applications, we’ve got a new employee starting in a week, we’re doing construction on the office, and any number of other reasons. However, if you sit back and look at it, you soon realize that as a business owner there never is a great time to be gone. So, we decided to unplug for 4 days, and let the smart and talented folks back at BrightMix keep the ship afloat.

Sadly, I’ve long been of the belief that taking vacation means 2 things…

You work extra hard before you go, and extra hard after you return, and ultimately the time off is a wash.

Regardless of the stresses that are happening at the office, and the work it will take to get “caught up”, there are an amazing number of things that vacation can help with

  • Unplugging from technology is good for the brain – Like a lot of people, I’m completely addicted to my Blackberry, which includes both email and Twitter. Its a very liberating feeling to shut off the email notification, and just spend a few days without the incessant buzzing and interruption of the phone. Perhaps I’ll carry some of this back to the “real world” with me.learn more about First Step Detox
  • Preventing divorce – Joking.. sort of. Its good to spend time with your significant other, especially when most of the time they play second fiddle to the demands of the business. Four days on the beach and some fancy dinners can do wonders in this department!
  • Reflect on the state of the business. Too often we get caught up in the daily grind — software, deadlines, quality assurance, bugs, billing, etc — and lose site of where we want to be as a business. Things like “are we building the type of company that we want to build”, and “are our employees truly happy”, and “are WE truly happy”. These are all things that all-too-often get pushed aside to the demands of clients and the business. Taking a step back is a great way to refocus on the things that matter.
  • Have some fun! – For me, there’s nothing like sitting on the beach, or drinking margaritas and watching people, or just wandering around a new city. Whatever your definition of fun is, its good to do it from time to time : )

At the end of the day, I’m coming back refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to (in the parlance of GaryV) — CRUSH IT.