(This feature was published in Homegrown.ph last March 7, 2013)
“Entrepreneurs need a break from the daily grind and their workplace from time to time. I find that it’s a great opportunity to relax, recharge, and enjoy the fruits of my labor,” says Cor Sunglao-Kho, a fashion designer specializing in bridal and formal wear and a part-time teacher at the Fashion Institute of the Philippines.
Jason Unson, who helped conceive MobileMINDS, Inc., an IT consulting company, says that getting a vacation can help boost the business. “This is as long as the vacations/breaks are well managed and timed. This means that it should not disrupt current projects and engagements.”
Indeed, entrepreneurs should make time to go on a vacation—whether it is just an overnight hotel stay or a long trip.
Unson suggests to “make vacations or leaves part of your business planning. Don’t treat it as a something you just try to squeeze in after. Otherwise, it may do more harm than good to your business. Handle it as a task that needs to be done rather than a “nice-to-have” to-do.”
Serial entrepreneur Max Gerard M. Savellano, who is in the restaurant industry and carwash/auto detailing shop, advises to “be positive and always take a break, meditate if you can, go out with your loved ones from time to time. Enjoy the fruits of your labor while you still can. It will never be enough. So, enjoy what you have now and you won’t regret it.”
The advantage of being an entrepreneur is that you have the flexibility to manage your time and workload, and thus, you can customize your vacation to suit your needs.
If you need to take a break yet do not have the luxury of time, take a staycation. The goal here is to get a quick R&R and get recharged for the next workday.
This is effective for Unson, who prefers to go on staycations. “I use the time to relax and not think of work. Going out-of-town during long weekends ironically produces more stress since most vacation destinations are overcrowded in these times.”
An overnight stay at a fancy hotel or a cozy bed and breakfast within driving distance should do the trick. Avoid driving far and risking getting into traffic and adding more stress.
Savellano adds, “it’s important to get some R&R, not only because you get to relax, but it also gives you inspiration and fresh ideas.” Being in the hospitality industry, Savellano is able to see what’s out there and pick up some ideas for his restaurant, too.
If you can spare a day from the office and get a change of scenery, schedule a day trip. If you are somewhere south of the metro, head to Tagaytay and breathe in some cool air. If you’re in the north, try a road trip to Subic and explore its famous attractions. Either way, getting some breather can help relax your busy mind and alleviate the pressure you feel from work.
Sunglao-Kho shares, “Taking time out from my day-to-day work routine makes me view things differently and often times gives me time to look at how my business is doing objectively.”
If your line of work can allow you to go on a weekend getaway, it will give your body and mind the opportunity to slow down and take it easy. A well-rested mind can be more receptive to getting those lightbulb moments where great ideas come to you.
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and visit popular weekend destinations like Batangas (for divers), Puerto Galera (for beach goers), La Union (for surfers), and Baguio (for nature lovers).
If you’re longing for a long vacation, typically outside of the country, plan a proper holiday. The general idea is to get away from everything and avoid being burned out from work. Sunglao-Kho shares that she and her husband really save up for major trips abroad. “I really enjoy visiting other countries because it’s interesting to see how their fashion is so different from ours. I love just sitting on a park bench and people-watching when I’m on vacation in a different land.”
According to Erwan Heussaff, entrepreneur and restaurateur, “It lets me recharge my mind and opens my eyes to foreign inspirations and culture. It’s good to feel like a small tadpole in a big pond. It helps develop perspective and respect for creativity.” Heussaff is a part owner of four restaurants—Hatch 22, Pink Panda, Niner Ichi Nana, and Hungry Hound—yet he manages to take a proper vacation from time to time, preferably one that involves sports and discovery.
The key is to plan in advance so you would have enough time to prepare and delegate tasks. For long trips, plan it a year ahead if you have to so you don’t have to bring work with you when you travel abroad. Avoid going on a “working holiday” unless you really need to. If so, make sure to set limitations like receiving work-related phone calls at a specific time only or controlling the frequency of your online activity.
According to Julia Cameron, author of the book The Artist’s Way, “The Artist Date is a once-weekly, festive, solo expedition to explore something that interests you.”
The activity doesn’t have to involve high art; in fact, this writer simply goes to bookstores and browse through different titles. I find that the colorful book covers and interesting blurbs are a good source of inspiration for my work as a freelance writer.
The purpose of an artist date is to woo your own consciousness. It is supposed to fire up the imagination and encourage play. While those in the creative industry would typically enjoy artist dates, anyone can (perhaps, should) give the activity a try.