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Small Business Owners Missing Vacations – OnlineBusinessDegree.org

Before becoming a small business owner, chances are you have visions of running a major operation in your PJs, or lounging on the beach with your laptop while your minions get all of the hard work done. Although there may be some truth to these fantasies, it’s hard to understand exactly what life is like as a small business owner until you actually do it.

Manta.com, an online community devoted to small business, recently published a great infographic that shares what life is like as a small business owner in the summertime: Working More With Less This Summer. It’s a revealing look at what small business owners experience not just in the summer, but year round.

Indicators show that this is a tough summer for small business owners: 58% are skipping a summer vacation, sharing that they’re working more this year than they did last year. Of those who are able to escape the confines of work, it’s likely they’re getting things done on the go: 82% of small business owners use their mobile device at least once every week. 24% of these use their device every day, and 68% say that they use a mobile device even when they’re working in front of the computer. And although the constant presence of work might seem stressful, 60% of small business owners do say that they enjoy their vacations more because of their mobile devices.

Are you seeing a theme here yet? It seems that for small business owners, work never really ends, even during the summertime when most people make an attempt to kick back. There’s always one more email to answer, yet another website tweak, blog post to share, and task to complete. When you’re in charge of making things work, it can be hard to let go. In the early stages of your business, this can be a good thing, but over an extended period of time, taking work home can lead to serious burnout. Miss too many fun summer opportunities, and you might find yourself resenting your successful small business instead of reveling in it.

What can you do to stop burnout before it eats your summer vacation? Here are a handful of ideas.

  • Delegate. You’re the boss! Although you may feel that it’s important to have your hands on everything important, trust that you’ve hired employees that are skilled enough to handle the task. Consider what you may be able to pass off to someone else. Don’t have any employees to delegate to? Consider small business outsourcing.
  • Have fun with friends. All work and no play makes for a very dull (and unhappy) business owner. Sure, it may be painful to tear yourself away from your computer (or mobile device) for an evening of fun, but once you’ve done it, you’ll be glad you did. Be active, have a good time, and you’ll be more refreshed and inspired when you return to work.
  • Work out. You may be tempted to work and grow your business from the moment you get up until the time you pass out, but remember that your health is important. Commit to exercising on a regular basis. It’s fun, makes you feel good, and can even help to get your mind moving when it’s time to work.
  • By all means, take a vacation. When was the last time you dropped everything and just had a good time for a few days? All of the tasks you couldn’t possibly leave behind somehow feel much less important once you’ve been removed from them. Work ahead, work hard, and just let go. It really does feel good.
  • Remember why you do what you do. This one is perhaps the most important. Most small businesses are created out of passion, but when work comes crushing down, it can be hard to remember what it’s all about. Write a manifesto, revisit your purpose, and put some serious thought and inspiration into what really drives your company.

How will you spend the rest of your summer as a small business owner? How do you plan to avoid burnout?

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