9 Strategies to Enjoy a Marketing-Free Vacation

When was the last time you took a real vacation? Not just a few extra days tacked onto a work trip or sneaking your laptop to the beach to update your marketing plan. If it’s been a year or more, it’s time to shift your mindset.

Vacations are not only good for your personal well-being but also for your business. As an entrepreneur or small business owner focused on results and meeting goals, it can be challenging to disconnect and take time off. Unless you’re living under a rock, you know how important it is to find a balance between work and your personal life. Otherwise, how are you going to refresh, spend time with your family and friends, and do the things you really love? How can you be more you and be ok with turning off your cell phone?

9 Tips to Enjoy a Worry-Free Summer Vacation for Marketers and Workaholics

  1. Plan Ahead and Communicate. Schedule your vacation well in advance. When I was knee deep in personal development training, the first thing we had to do was block off two weeks on our calendar, whether we knew where we were going or not.  That way, we knew we had time off. When you plan ahead, you have time to communicate with your team and clients and let them know you’re off the grid. Clearly outline your expectations and provide your team with roles rather than just tasks. This fosters a sense of ownership. It’s theirs and there’s no question about it.
  2. Build a Reliable and Trustworthy Team. Hopefully, you’ve built a competent and reliable team that you can depend on. Start well before your vacation and empower team members to make decisions in your absence. Train them, delegate responsibilities, and create an environment where collaboration and open communication are encouraged. A strong team that you rely on and delivers based on agreed upon expectations will give you peace of mind while you’re away.
  3. Set Clear Boundaries. Oh boy, boundaries. There aren’t enough of them in personal relationships let alone in the workplace!  Establish clear boundaries for your vacation time and be upfront with your team and clients about the specific times when you’ll be completely unavailable. It’s a two-way street. Encourage them to respect your time off and you’ll do the same. If you’ve set up a system to address work issues – that can’t be handled while you’re away, will be taken care of when you’re back. By setting boundaries, you create a culture that values work-life balance and allows you to fully disconnect during your vacation.
  4. Automate and Streamline Processes. Re-examine your systems. Before leaving for your vacation, look for opportunities to automate and streamline processes within your business. Leverage technology and tools that can handle routing tasks, like email autoresponders, social media schedulers, and automated customer service systems. This frees up time for everyone and allows operations to continue smoothly while you’re away.
  5. Delegate and Empower. If you’re a Nervous Nellie and you’re not ok with trusting your team, maybe you need to talk with someone or take the risk (gasp) to trust your team. It could be like leaving your 3-month-old with a babysitter for the first time, but clearly, not. Choose key members of your team who can handle critical tasks and let it go. You’ve probably been training them for quite a while. Give them the opportunity and authority to prove themselves. Again, here’s where ownership comes in. You have the right to enjoy your vacation, so don’t stand in their way.
  6. Implement Systems for Accountability. Now the nitty gritty. Put systems in place to make sure there’s accountability and progress tracking while you’re out of the office. Set up clear goals and targets before you leave and give your team tools to measure and report their progress. Hey, this isn’t just for your vacation, it’s for your team’s vacation, too.
  7. Foster a Learning Culture. I’m a lifelong learner and encourage my team to take advantage of training to promote growth and increase their skillset. When you invest in your team’s professional development, you empower them to take on additional responsibilities and expand their capabilities. In my state, there’s the Express Grant Program. There are 100’s of courses and my specialty is marketing. Check out my marketing training and PR training.
  8. Just Disconnect. There’s a mindful way to disconnect and a way that will eat at you, while you pretend to disconnect, Be mindful. While you’re on vacation, make a conscious attempt to be just be in the present moment. It’s not always easy to do, but schedule time for family and what you love that you can do on vacation – and that could be just reading one of these great books. Transfer being fully on at work by being fully on, on vacation.
  9. Reflect Post-Vacation. Consider what you did well and what didn’t. As a small business owner with a ton of responsibilities for sales, marketing, promotion, HR, payroll, and clients or customers in every stage of the sales process, it’s OK if you had the urge or did check in with the office.  Look at where you can make improvements and refine your process. What did you learn, how could it go better – schedule even more time off. Why not? Both your business and personal well-being will thank you for it.

Editors note: I’m a big fan of vacations. Last Spring, we went to Machu Picchu and in November did a 60-mile hike to the Lost City in Colombia, which is off the beaten path to most adventurers. We even met with the Mamo and had two ceremonies (through a translator – they don’t have a written language). In the next few months, we have plans for heli-hiking in Alaska then a trip to Nepal and Bhutan. I love to work, but I love to take time off too. What’s on your bucket list?.

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Robin Samora

MARKETING & PR EXPERT
As a small business owner for the last 20 years, I’ve gained experience, wisdom, insight, and knowledge to help you market yourself and your brand at a fraction of the cost. My focus is to use the same PR and promotional strategies used by bigger brands, and personalize them to fit your needs and goals.

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