We live in a time where work-life is promoted across organizations throughout the world, but still the work hours per person have increased manifold over the last decade or so. In this constant pressure of getting work done and fierce competition between established conglomerates, where does the work-life scenario of an entrepreneur lie?
Vacations for employed people vs. entrepreneurs
An entrepreneur is mainly driven by the passion to pursue their vision and turn it into a successful venture. Moreover, entrepreneurship entails a lot of multitasking owing to a paucity of resources and people and hence, most entrepreneurs usually have their hands full all the time. Not that they mind it, since that’s what they bargained for, fully knowing the challenges and benefits that come with treading the path less taken.
A vacation is something people normally take from time to time to strike things off their bucket list or de-stress and rejuvenate themselves. It is instrumental in boosting their productivity at work too, since they come back with renewed vigor. But the question is whether an entrepreneur really has the luxury of taking a vacation, considering their work is meant to be their biggest passion?
Break from work – Does that mean something for an entrepreneur?
The reason why someone becomes an entrepreneur is because they are passionate about a business idea and would strive hard to see the idea becoming a venture and then making a difference to the consumer ecosystem, if not the world. In short, an entrepreneur loves the work they do, because in most cases, they have let go of high paying cushioned corporate jobs to do something that they truly believe in.
In that case, if one loves what they do, why would they need take a break from it or look for other ways to de-stress? Adding to this eternal question, entrepreneurs work all the time; they work during the day and also burn the midnight oil. There are many entrepreneurs who work even in their sleep, strategizing their next steps. Even in a scenario when an entrepreneur has been able to justify the need for a vacation and headed out, they would still be tuned in to work 24*7. Their brain will continue to function in the same manner – thinking about nothing else but ‘work’. So it doesn’t really end up being a vacation for them anyway!
Entrepreneurs are the ones who need a vacation the most
Management lessons apply to startups as much they apply to large and successful conglomerates. Most life coaches across the world are of the opinion that if entrepreneurs are working non-stop and not taking enough breaks/ vacations from time to time, they are doing themselves a disservice.
Across the globe, entrepreneurs are infamous for burning the candle from both ends and working constantly. As per a study in 2013, by Sage Reinvention of Small Business, 43% of small business owners take fewer vacations today than what they used to take five years ago. But what entrepreneurs don’t realize is that there are more pros than cons for an entrepreneur taking a vacation.
A lot of times, even a short break could work wonders for an entrepreneur. This time off from work helps him/ her to introspect and figure out their strengths and also things that they need to do differently. This, in turn, is crucial to ensure that the startup is able to accomplish its goals faster and better. That’s because an entrepreneur comes back with a fresh outlook and ideas and renewed enthusiasm to take the company to the next level.
According to Apoorv, CoFounder at RoadGods, “As an entrepreneur I may not ‘psychologically’ feel the need of a vacation because, as per ‘theory’, I already love what I do. But the ‘real world’ is a tough place. In the real world, most of the time of an entrepreneur goes into fire-fighting, to build the very thing (s)he loves. And that brings stress. Although, thankfully for us, since we were ‘accelerated’ by GHV, our mentor Vikram and their team has helped us absorb that stress, at all of our twists and turns. But generally speaking, an entrepreneur doesn’t get enough time to even feel that stress, but it’s always there. A vacation can lower that stress. Psychologically we may not feel the ‘need’ for it, but physically we may need it to unwind and reflect.”
Reasons why entrepreneurs should definitely take a vacation:
Startup founders need to accept the fact that they cannot and will not be doing their best and cannot be inspiring leaders if they are too tired to even focus on the vision of the company that they set up. Here’s how taking a break can work wonders for them and the startup:
Reboot the brain and body
No one can work 24*7, 365 days a year. Those who claim to do so probably don’t even realize that all that effort can prove to be counterproductive. The mind and body need rest from time to time. It helps you tune off from the rigors of daily life and rejuvenate your senses. Once back, you can be more efficient and effective at work and accomplish far more in less time than usual.
Gives others in the team an opportunity to take charge and become more responsible
An entrepreneur has to take decisions at every step. Also, everyone in the team looks up to them for suggestions. When they are away, the team has no choice but to be more responsible and step up the game. This ensures a better learning curve for them and allows them to prove their real worth.
Summing things up, you, as a founder are bound to feel deeply attached to your venture, but one cannot go on working all the time like a machine. Hence, instead of getting into a rut, one should break away from work from time to time. This time would help in introspecting and analyzing the bigger picture and, which will prove beneficial for the startup in terms of getting to the vision more effectively and swiftly.