Some of you may know that I just returned from a 25 day vacation. It was the first time in the 4 years since starting my business that I can honestly say I WENT on vacation. Now, I don’t mean I haven’t tried, I certainly have. However, it wasn’t till this time that I actually felt like I relaxed and recharged.
I went to the Dominican Republic (where my parents live) for Christmas and New Years, then I went to Vail, Colorado to ski, and then headed to Denver, where I’ll admit I did work about 1 day.
I mention this now because if you recall my newsletter from last January (“Greetings From My Dream Life – Almost”), I struggled to disconnect and enjoy my vacation – I was waking up early every day, working, working, working… and getting stressed out.
Not this year!
What changed? First off, I learned to say “no” – to requests, commitments, favors and other demands on my time that interfere with my plan. This is probably the single most effective skill that I developed in 2010. Well, to be honest I am still in the process of developing this skill…
Second, I prepared everyone for my long absence, particularly the people on my team and those with whom I collaborate. I “enrolled” them in my vision for having a vacation, and as a result they were as protective (if not more protective) of my vacation “integrity” as I was!
Speaking of team, that’s the third magic ingredient. Not just having a team, but also empowering them to make decisions and get things done on their own, with minimal input from me. A team doesn’t have to be employees, either. I use independent contractors for everything from sales to assisting to graphic design, and lots more in between.
On the “con” side of this vacation was that work REALLY piled up while I was gone. And I know that there were at least a handful of people and clients who really resented my absence. Guess what? That’s just too bad. I needed the break and I’d do it again. Actually, I WILL do it again – about 6 months from now. I’ve decided that I need TWO vacations a year…
Let’s see how that goes 😉
Wishing you great success in 2011,