In the lead-up to the busiest time of the year, if you’re an accountant, we have been putting a significant amount of time, energy and resources into… chilling out. Yes, holidays, time out from the business, cultural immersion, all of that. Some would simply say, “half your luck” and leave it at that. Some would say, “awesome, have a good one” and wonder how we do it. Yet others might say, “with everything you guys have going on (aiming to save your clients $1million in tax, planning, end of financial year…), I don’t know guys, have you really thought this through?” Well the answer is yes.
One of the main reasons we committed to taking time away from the business is precisely because we business owners thought it through. As we see it, and we’re certainly not alone, there are at least a dozen compelling reasons to get away for an extended period of time, let’s run with our top 6:
We trust our team, we trust our systems. We give ourselves a solid 5/10 for saying it and a bonus point for actually writing it down. That’s good, but to be great you must actually demonstrate it. Leaving the team to their own devices and our carefully calibrated systems ticks that box – and they will be/are better for it. 10/10 – much more like it.
Knowing is better than guessing. Always has been, always will be. The final step before giving any product, service or even “way of working” is the old stress test or live test. This is where systems are tested in a live or near live environment. They are pushed and a number of different and sometimes unreasonable scenarios are thrown at them, just to see if they’ll hold up. When they do and all is well, you’re ready to (yes!) go on holiday. After all, when you know you’ve worked hard and got something right, take advantage.
This is an easy one. We’ve all heard about the dangers or at least the disadvantages of operating down in the weeds for extended periods of time. One of those is the inability to see the opportunities for the issues. Time (right) away from the business allows you to think about it more objectively. Solutions to issues and dilemmas that you were just too close to back home, may now seem more clear-cut, accessible. That’s perspective working in your favour.
I’ve just got to get away and clear my head”. You hear that so much in movies nowadays that it’s almost a cliché. Funny thing about that – clichés are usually based on an element of truth. Your mind may well have a load limit and without taking time to “clear your head”, you may not have room to manoeuvre around the big issues and formulate solutions. Clarity, work for it and it will work for you.
Placing yourself outside your normal workaday environment is necessary and useful but it can also open up new opportunities. We have to be careful here because you’re on holiday to holiday, not to mine for new business. That said, many a poolside conversation has opened many a door and it’s not unusual for business introductions to open with, “this is [insert name], we met last year in [insert holiday destination].” Don’t go looking for it, enjoy your holiday. Yet at the same time, understand that sometimes, opportunity knocks on the door of your beachside cabin too.
Always, always, ALWAYS remember why you decided to own your own small business. It’s a way to enjoy more time and happiness with your family. Yes, money is the vehicle but the reason surely is family first. You’ve worked hard, you approached your business the right way and you’ve paid everyone that needs to be paid. Don’t neglect yourself and your family at the bottom of that list.
There are other reasons too, but this should be enough to persuade you to get online, scroll through some holiday packages and make some plans.
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Your friends or family will thank you later.