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Articles > Positioning Systems Newsletter # 68 4-24-07 "Vacation"

What is the appropriate amount of time for the owner of the business to take off annually? It seems like I can never make time to take a vacation.

One of the questions on our Needs Analysis form is: I can't take a vacation, the place would fall apart.  Quite a few of our prospects answer this by check marking each of the boxes for Past, Now and Future.  I'd like to make a recommendation to you that if you reversed your belief on this, you may be able to come to an entirely new point of view, and make a significant difference in your life and your business.   What I'm suggesting to you is that your belief here should really be: I must take a vacation; the place will fall apart if I don't.

Imagine if you had the point of view: That you absolutely must take a vacation, rather than your present notion of this.  It's been said that for every week you take off you can expect one breakthrough in your business.  If that's true, and I've discovered it is in my case, then shouldn't all of us strive to take as many vacations as possible?   I'm sure some of the smart aleck's out there are saying, hey I now have permission to take the next 52 weeks off.  Of course that's not a vacation, that's unemployment.  In order to classify as a vacation you have to take off from something. 
If you are familiar with the creative process inverted pyramid, it suggests that once you've collected all the information on a subject, discussed it, turned it over in your mind, you then need to set it aside for a period.  This gestation period frequently allows the subconscious to mull the problem and an idea generally surfaces after a time period where you've concentrated on something else. 
This is exactly what happens when we go on vacation.  How many times have you come up with great, even brilliant ideas when you've been away from work?  Sometimes it happens at night, during a dream or just before you're ready to doze off.  On my most recent vacation, after a long flight, reading several excellent business books on the plane, not 48 hours after, while sitting outside early in the morning reading the paper and enjoying some fresh fruit, several great ideas popped into my head that I immediately knew I must write down or I'd lose them for ever.  One of them was this idea for the newsletter.
It had been a while since I last vacationed and I had forgotten not only how therapeutic and rewarding a vacation can be, I also had forgotten how resourceful and fulfilling taking time off can be toward building my business and helping my career.  Rest and recovery are essential aspects of any great business person, and you must absolutely make time for them just as you must make time for any other significant accomplishment in your business. 
If you wish to make your business a success then you need to recognize the vital importance of making sure you are primed and ready to be at your best.  That requires taking time off to refuel and re-energize yourself. 
Plan to vacation at least two full weeks a year.  Better yet plan one week a quarter, and if possible see if you can't take a vacation once every 4 weeks.  Ultimately that is my goal and will help me mark the point when I feel I have achieved real success with my business.

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Positioning Systems helps business owners and entrepreneurs transform their business.  We provide the tools and coaching to help you take control of your business -- rather then having your business control you.