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Can you pass the vacation test?

Dec 28, 2022

Can you pass the vacation test? Here's what I mean. Here's one of many stories I could say that are very similar of when my kids were small and we were going to Destin, Florida. We live in Lafayette, Louisiana, and Destin is about 6 hours away. We decided to leave on a Thursday when my kids got out of school.

So about 2:00 in the afternoon, we picked our kids up and we went straight to Destin.  From 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. my office was still open, so I found myself driving and looking down at my phone, checking my phone, looking to see if anybody had texted or or emailed or called and I was miserable. My mood, I would say I was a bear.

From 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., then about ten til five. I called the office and my office manager was named Nicole and I said, Hey, Nicole, how's everything going? And she said, Everything's fine. Don't worry about it. And then I was fine until Friday morning. Friday morning came and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., I was still in a terrible mood, checking my email, checking my phone and calling to see if everything was all right.

Then came 5:00 and the weekend was wonderful. Until Monday at eight. You know where I'm going here? I was on vacation. My body was in Florida, but my mind was back at the office. That's not a vacation. And it doesn't make sense as a business owner. Does it make sense to, one, pay for a vacation and to pay people to run your business, but you only enjoy about 50% of the vacation?  No.

So here's the vacation test I want to ask you. Five Simple things, and I want you to really be honest here. Question number one is your vacation approaches. Do you get more excited or do you get more anxious while you're on vacation and during business hours? Are you constantly checking your phone? Are you thinking about work more than you are the vacation?

While you're on vacation, do you check email more than one time of day while you're away? Do you constantly call the office and check in to see how things are going? And here's the final question. While you're on vacation and during business hours, is your mood different then after the store closes and you're just on vacation? If the answer to that is yes, or if the answer to any of the other questions is yes, we really need to do something with that.

Most probably your challenge in the business is either people or processes. The question I would ask you about your people is do you have the right people in place? Are they well-trained and can you count on them? And when it comes to processes, I would ask you, are your processes well documented and also followed by everyone? If not, we really need to schedule a call and talk about your business.

If you can't go on a vacation and enjoy the vacation and be 100% there, then the business owns you. You don't really own a business. So I want to leave you with one call to action. One thing that will help you to start preparing for your next vacation. Let's just think of this as practice. Let's set up an email autoresponder if you haven't already.

Most of the time people set them up when they when they're on vacation or when they're all for a holiday. I want you to start setting them up for your weekends. Friday at 5:00, all the way till Monday at eight. Set your autoresponder up and say a statement like Thank you for emailing me. I do not respond to emails over the weekend.

I will respond to you promptly at Monday morning at 8:00 or whatever you can do. This should really help. Of course it's practice right now. Okay, so set this autoresponder up and get in a habit of training people, whether they're customers or your employees, to manage their expectations. I'm not going to read your email, but I will respond to you Monday when I get back.

It's okay to even look at the email during the weekend. I would prefer you not do that, but it's okay to get into that rhythm and you'll understand. You'll prove to yourself that you can be away and you can be 100% present over the weekend and you can be 100% present when you get back to the office. And remember, as you grow, your company grows. Keep growing!

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