It’s Easter. Your family, your loved ones, or even just yourself, wants to go away for a week or so. You know it’s the right thing to do, and what you deserve, but how do you make it happen when there’s so much that could go wrong in the meantime?
For all you know, while you’re laying on a beach or speeding down a slope, someone’s letting down your clients or ruining your reputation. But, here are our favourite stories of what to do, and what not to do as an entrepreneur when it’s time to go on holiday. How do you think they’ll end?
Just a few months after setting up her business, and with a brand new team, Bimla decided she was in desperate need of a two week skiing holiday. Risky! As soon as she left, a client who she believed had chosen a competitor in a pitch changed their mind and asked Smart Live to create a large scale event, with very little notice.
Bimla had no choice but to trust her new apprentice with the organisation, negotiation and client management, none of which she’d ever done before.
The apprentice proved her worth. She delivered the exact event the client was after. It taught Bimla to delegate, and reminded her to trust in the skills of her colleagues, regardless of seniority.
Sometimes, people surprise you. While a baptism of fire doesn’t suit every apprentice, there will always be some who come out ready to go. If you’re on holiday, don’t assume the worst about your staff, that will only make you worry about something that could end up going perfectly.
Twenty years after starting 1-800-Got-Junk?, CEO Brian Scudamore went away for five weeks. He left the running of his business in the safe hands of his C.O.O. who had worked at the business for 10 months and had proved his worth as a leader.
Everything seemed fine while Brian was away, but, soon after his return, things started to unravel. His wonderful C.O.O. had overspent massively and brought the business near to bankruptcy in just five weeks. Not just that, but there were rumours of a mutiny as people reported the second in command had tried to turn Brian’s team against their leader.
We all know how important it is to hire well, but this story just emphasises the point. Brian didn’t do anything wrong when he went on holiday, he left the business in the hands of someone he trusted. His mistake was to trust the wrong guy. If you want to know your business is in safe hands, you’ve got to have a trustworthy gut!
Andrew knows how important it is to recharge his batteries and see his children grow up. However, after starting three businesses in seventeen years, he’s never put his out of office on! Even when he’s away physically, his phone is never off and he keeps up to speed with all communication. He makes sure he doesn’t check messages at the important times of the holiday, instead doing a quick check in the morning and at night.v It lets him enjoy a holiday without worrying about a disaster at home.
17 years into life as an entrepreneur, Andrew’s regular family holidays are going ahead as normal. The success of his management team has given him the confidence to delegate more, which allows him to take longer breaks to study for an MBA or go travelling with his wife and family.
It’s great to hear someone making a combination of work and holiday a success, but it’s a dangerous game to play. If you try to have everything, you can end up annoying people in your team and in your family. But, Andrew shows you can have your pie and eat it. Are you willing to risk taking your business away with you?
And there are three very different stories of taking a break from a business. Are you going away this Easter? How will you make sure your business survives without you?