A recent article on News Junkie Post highlighted the perplexing issue of how the United States, as one of the richest countries in the world, has one of the poorest policies and practices in regards to vacation time for workers.
Look at the chart below and you’ll see that the United States requires zero paid holidays and paid vacation time, in contrast to 20 other post-industrial countries.
What I’ve found with working with and learning from successful entrepreneurs is that vacation time is critical to higher productivity, creativity, and innovation.
When you contrast struggling entrepreneurs to successful entrepreneurs, you’ll find that struggling entrepreneurs take even less time off than their salaried counterparts or even employees.
Ironically, when they do take time off, they take work with them and often stay in touch via e-mail and phone with the office, thus ruining their sense of being “away” for both themselves and their families.
By never giving yourself permission to “unplug” you lose out of valuable rejuvenation benefits of vacation time, which is a loss on a personal level, a close relationship level, and a business level.
Sometimes, especially at the start of a new business or during the development or release of a new product or service, you’ll work extra long hours. However, it should not be the standard practice to put in 80+ hour work weeks.
As I’m known for saying to members of my entrepreneur growth circles, you’ve got to take care of your business assets, and for the majority of small business owners, the most valuable asset is often the owner. Many positive and beneficial things occur when you schedule and take high quality time off from work, for you, your family, your team, and your customers.
Or, another way of putting it: You can’t unlock your growth potential if you run yourself into the ground.