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An Entrepreneur Tangent: Why I Take a Vacation

Indulge me in the opportunity to stray from my usual commentary on marketing. My other passion is talking about entrepreneurship (I even wrote a book about it). As most of my readers are entrepreneurs, I would like to pose a question to you:

Why is it so hard for us to take a vacation?

As loyal readers noticed, I was away last week on a well-deserved vacation. Everyone asks where I went. Nowhere, actually. My mother came to visit, and rather than trying to pretend I was fully functional as a business (answering phone calls and emails) I decided, gulp, to turn off my email and cover my phone so the blinking message light wouldn’t drive me crazy. I work from home, so completely leaving the office is never possible.

Why didn’t I do this before? I don’t know, I guess I worried a client would have a marketing emergency or would feel I wasn’t giving enough of my services. But you know what? No one complained. Everyone wished me a happy vacation. Nothing burned up or fell apart.

I had 258 emails waiting for me. About 10 were important. I overinflated my value to the point of not ever wanting to be completely off of work, and taking a week off showed me it’s been unnecessary.

Entrepreneurs are essentially businesses. And businesses close. So why do so few of us take vacations? I think we feel so emotionally connected to our businesses, it’s a bit like leaving a baby alone for a week. What if it starves? What if it breaks everything? We’d never forgive ourselves.

I learned that it’s a good idea to treat your business as such: a business. It has hours and it’s not necessary that you be there 24/7. It’s actually refreshing to not check email every 20 minutes, and a good vacation can make you a better entrepreneur.

Now that that’s off my plate, talk to me. Do you find it hard to get away?

Susan Guillory

Susan Guillory is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, a content marketing firm based in San Diego. She’s written several business books, and frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including Forbes, AllBusiness, and Cision. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.

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