Why I Never Take Vacations
For as long as I can remember, I have been an entrepreneur. From selling hacky sacks and yo-yo's in grade school, to a multi-million dollar Real Estate business to the speaking, courses, and events I do today, I have never been one for the 50 week career. I always wanted something more, and had no problem if that mean working a little harder, risking a little, or missing out on a few things (like college, parties, health insurance, an IRA, or a "dependable paycheck.")
If you would have asked me if I thought that this path would result in a life with no vacations, I would have laughed. "Ha! That's the point of being an entrepreneur. You get to be where you want, when you want, with whom you want! Life will be a permanent vacation!"
Au contraire monsieur, smart entrepreneurs don't take vacations.
The take growthcation!
If I am going to take time away from my business - from my baby, it isn't going to be to disconnect or reset, it isn't going to be to let my foot off the gas. I'm not a horse, I don't need to take a break. I'm freight train, I only stop for fuel or to celebrate.
Does this mean I work 365 days a year? Well... yes. Yes it does. But not like you may think
I probably work about 120-160 days a year in my business. About 90 days, or three whole months, less than the normal US job. I also only work about 4-6 hours per day. But I don't check out, get toasted and play x-box when I'm done working. I start working outside my business.
I spend another 80 days a year and at least 4 hours a day on building my most valuable resource: myself.
Consequently, I also have invested more money in myself than I ever have in seed capital or business investments.
I am constantly investing in my self. In my body through nature walks, jogging, crossfit, yoga. I invest in my spirit with meditation, reading, sex, and the occasional entheogenic journey. I invest in my relationships by attending or hosting events, doing skype or facetime calls with people who can help me grow in one area or another of my life. I invest in expanding my wealth-capacity by reading, studying, and learning from masters in the areas critical to success in my chosen industry.
This may sound overwhelming. When do I get a break from all of this? When can I just chill out and relax? Well, that's what the other 125 - 145 days are for, right? Well, those are my growthcation days!
You see, when you are an entrepreneur, you don't get to turn it off. You are always on. Always looking, always open, always looking for the next angle or opportunity. It's in your blood. So you have a choice to make with your "time off," go on a cruise and sit on a beach with retired people and 2-weak-2-weekers, or do you invest that time and money in growing?
The way I see it, growthcations give you the best of both worlds: you get to leave "work" for a short period of time and you get to grow while you're gone. And when you come back, you're playing at a higher level. Imagine if the average employee could do this. They make $90k a year, they take a 2 week vacation and, because of what they did during that 2 weeks, they get a raise to $200k a year. How many of them do you think would take the second option - every time?
Of course, most people would. Unfortunately, that's not an option for most people. It is, however, for entrepreneurs.
Let's say set up your business to give you a week of every three months. You get a week off in January. You could go skiing with some local friends or family and just disconnect for a week. You detach from your normal world. You try your best to ignore the facebook notifications and emails that are coming in from work. Your relaxing the best you can, but you also want to make sure that the business isn't falling apart while you are there.
When you get back to work, you're feeling a little relaxed. Still in the buzz of your vacation. You'd call it refreshed if you were to look at your energy. But then you realize, I'm not refreshed, I'm mellowed. And being mellowed means I'm going to have to take some time to get re-energized. Part of me is still on vacation and, while I want my business to be as successful as possible, I have to play a little catch-up. I have to re-jog my memory. "Where did I leave off?"
Instead, you decide to spend that week attending Giovani Marsico,'s Archangel Academy. You spend a few days surrounded by outstanding business people who not only crush it financially, but they also make a difference, they work on themselves, and they are all givers at heart. You relax, have some drinks, laugh with incredible conversation, you really leave work behind with no big worries. Because you know you are growing. You know that, through this time, you will increase your value far beyond any cost your business may incur from your absence. (assuming you're not a day trader)
These growthcations have you sprinting back to your business. You're excited about your business, about applying what you've learned, about exploring possible new relationships or, if you're business model works this way, serving new clients you picked up from the event.
Growthcations - time spent away from business with the intention to relax into a new me as he is being formed have been one of the keys to my growth - financially, physically, emotionally, relationally, sexually, and spiritually. I couldn't imagine living life any other way.
If you've got to always be on, why not be on for yourself?