While many of us dream of taking an unforgettable European vacation to see the many glorious sights that the continent has to offer, few make the dream a reality because they believe that they can’t take time away from family or that their work is too pressing to leave behind. This is especially true of small business owners who are just getting their company off of the ground. They fear that if they leave, then they will lose traction on their business, but that doesn’t have to be the case.
If you are a small business owner, then a trip to Europe may not only be possible, but it could be necessary to clear your head and prioritize what is truly important in life. If you ever wanted to take that trip, now is the time. Let’s talk about how you can take a vacation without being distracted by work.
Let’s face it, starting a business is hard work. The many necessary responsibilities and constant organization required to create a product, hire your staff, figure out your finances, and market to a hungry audience can be rewarding, but it can also be very stressful, so a vacation may be what you need to regain your mental composure. Too much stress can make it hard to run your business, so in addition to hiring the right people and delegating responsibilities when necessary, you also need to manage your stress by prioritizing a work-life balance.
To create a work-life balance, you need to set working hours and stick to them because taking time for yourself and keeping your health in check is often more important than work. A trip to Europe could be exactly what you need to recenter your mind. Walking around gorgeous cities and seeing the sights is good exercise and the fresh air is great for your mental health. Plus, you can take time in the evenings to soak in the pool or practice meditation and let your worries of work slip away.
On top of that, this trip could provide you with unexpected inspiration. You never know when you could be sitting on a beautiful sandy beach or taking in the details of the amazing European architecture and all of a sudden think of a new product or process that could make your business run smoothly once you return home. The best solutions often develop when you aren’t thinking about your problems.
If you really don’t believe that you can just get up and go to Europe right now, then you could at least make the trip a reward of sorts for a job well done once your business is up and running. That way, you will be able to enjoy your trip more once you’re there because you will know that the hard work is done.
The best way to mark goals off of your startup to-do list is to create a business plan that lists the exact steps that you need to perform to have your company running on all cylinders. The business plan should include how you intend to secure the funds to run your operation, the software you need to purchase and install, the skills you’ll need to learn, how you plan to market your product, and there should be deadlines you need to meet for each step. Mark these deadlines on a calendar and have the last date be the departure for your European vacation.
If you know that there will be tasks left over, don’t delay your trip, but instead delegate some of those responsibilities to a business partner or employee who can handle them on your behalf. That individual can continue to work with vendors and customers, so you don’t have to, and you can leave them detailed instructions if any issues do arise. Find someone you truly trust, and you can be at ease during your trip.
If you need more motivation to travel to Europe, then you could look for an opportunity to help your business while you are overseas. Do some research and see if there is a conference or class that you could take during part of your trip that could provide insight into how to run your business. Just make sure that you don’t plan too many work events or you could forget to have fun.
The goal here is to prioritize your vacation. If you must respond to emails or take a call here and there, then schedule an hour every morning where you focus on work tasks, and once that hour is done, shut off the phone or computer and go enjoy the sights.
Unless you need it to take photos or communicate with your family, you can ensure that you don’t think about work by leaving your cell phone in the hotel room. This trip is a perfect time to enjoy a digital detox, where you separate yourself from the devices that control your life back in the real world. This detox will be great for your mental health as you enjoy Europe as intended, without worry or inhibition. If you ever start to get nagging thoughts about your company during this time, just remember that your business partner has everything under control.
While business success is important, so is enjoying life and prioritizing your mental health. Don’t make any more excuses. Once your business is up and running, take some time away for yourself with an awesome European getaway. We promise you won’t regret it.