Vacation is such a crazy thing when you are an entrepreneur. The lack of it was something I never considered prior to starting scrubadoo. I have learned the hard way there is really no such thing as a “true” vacation when you are an early stage start up. Here art scrubadoo there are things that need to be done every day and until recently I was the 1 and only employee on the business side.The result: I have worked every day for the last three years no matter if I was on vacation or not.
Just a quick (extreme) example: I actually got married last July, my wife and I went to the Cayman islands for our honeymoon. Even then I wasn’t able to get away from the business. I would wake up every morning at around 7:00 am and work for several hours while she slept in a little bit. It was the last thing I wanted to do and my wife, while a little annoyed by it (more because I couldn’t truly relax than anything else), was incredibly understanding and supportive.
This is just one personal example of the difficulty of vacationing while starting a company. Over the last three years I have learned more tricks and gotten better at minimizing my obligations while on vacation. Here are a few tricks:
1. Take advantage of technology. While on my honeymoon, I still needed to call clients in America. We are a bootstrapped start-up with a small budget. I took advantage of Google voice. As long as you are calling a US number it is free to use no matter what type of phone you are calling. We also manage the majority of our transactions online, so as long as I have a laptop and internet I can get a lot of work done.
2. Plan ahead. No matter if you are going to be gone for a day or a week, there are things you can knock out ahead of time to minimize your daily work requirements while you are away. I always check in and make sure all of my accounts are 100% in order before I leave to minimize the possibility of a “fire” while I am gone.
3. Hire. We recently added our 3rd employee, someone that would work on the business side of things and manage the day to day operations. While my vacation time was not the primary reason to make the hire, knowing it would be easier for me to get away was certainly a consideration when making the decision. You can only go so long without taking a break, three years without a true day off is a long time.
4. Mary an understanding woman.
To be honest, I don’t think there is any one answer of how to make it easier to leave, even with employees and others that can handle the day to day operations. This company is my baby and it is tough to leave