Taking time off work can teach you valuable business lessons. In this article, I am sharing 5 things I learned over my four weeks away.

5 Business Lessons I Learned On A Month-Long Vacation

Taking time off work can teach you valuable business lessons. In this article, I am sharing 5 things I learned over my four weeks away.

Taking time off work can teach you valuable business lessons. In this article, I am sharing 5 things I learned over my four weeks away.

This July, I spent a whole month in a beautiful spot in Slovenia with my family and friends. We go there every year. But this year was different. We spent an entire 29 days in a peaceful, relaxing spot in the mountains next to a lake.

But it not only ended up being a time to break away from every day, but also an incredible lesson for my personal and business life.

And these are the business lessons that I’ll be sharing with you today:

1. Good mental health is the foundation

Anxiety, stress, and feeling unmotivated. It is all affecting how we perform in our businesses. And it often comes from striving for more and end up surpassing our mental health abilities. This happened to me last year when an unforeseen amount of work landed on my shoulders, and I barely got out.

It got me thinking about how important mental health is in our personal lives and in all other areas, including business.

Taking a month-long vacation this year was a perfect decision for me at the stage of my business I am in. And I know not everyone can afford that. But simply anticipating when you will need some time off to reduce the stress in your life or in your business is crucial. And then, of course, claiming that time.

As a solopreneur, I am constantly present in my business. Even when I am not. Vacation is no exception. Your mind does what it does, and it can be super hard not to think about your business for an entire month. I should say impossible.

To minimize that, I involved myself in activities where I would forget about the rest of the world. It was a refreshing thing to do!

2. Happiness is now, not somewhere in the future

Every morning I woke up with a view of the beautiful high slopes of the surrounding Alps, and it simply made me happy. I was there in the moment, inhaling the fresh mountain air, enjoying every second of it.

And it got me thinking. Why are we often gazing into the future, forgetting that the moment that we should enjoy is right now?

And it gave me the perfect business lessons. Doing things you enjoy in a business is what will make a business owner continue going.

This whole thing inspired me to write a list of things I don’t like doing in my business and think about how to work around that. Is it hiring someone, pivoting my business so it doesn’t need that task, or something else?

I know we can’t always be happy and present (It just isn’t a real-life situation!). But be aware that we should focus on making our business and daily life match that as much as possible.

Who knows where we’ll be in a few years’ time? So why not enjoy this moment? Now.

3. You can’t always do everything yourself

Being in the mountains, we took a few hiking trips around the area. Walking with kids in the mountains in the summer’s heat requires many things in the backpack. Making the trips together with friends, we made sure to be pretty space-effective when it came to filling the backpacks. For example, we didn’t each bring out suncream, bug spray, or plasters,… We made sure only one brought it, which made our lives so much easier (and the backpacks so much lighter!).

If I relate this back to the business. It’s not always the best idea to do it all yourself.

Use the resources and connections to improve your and someone else’s business and less stressful. Borrow things, collaborate with colleagues, or hire help. And see what happens!

4. Never stop taking breaks

This vacation was super active. We were hiking, paddling, climbing, cycling, swimming… You name it; we did it.

And while I enjoyed all of these activities immensely, I also felt tired and didn’t feel like being active all the time. There were days when I would lie down all day, reading a book or taking super long naps. And I didn’t feel bad about it. If I relate back to my regular daily life, I almost never do that.

And it got me wondering, how is this different? Business forces you to be active and on standby all the time. What would happen if business owners simply took some time off and did nothing? Would the business fail? Probably not.

Taking time off not only makes your body relaxed and gives you the clarity and energy to continue going.

5. Be prepared for the unexpected

And unexpected it was.

During our last week of vacation, there were a couple of days of heavy rain, and a big chunk of the country was flooded. The area where we stayed was safe – flooded but safe. 

And so it was no longer a summer vacation. We had to pivot our activities to work in wet, cold weather (I can’t tell you how many times we came back from cycling soaking wet!). We had to change our plans for when we came home (To get to work.) to help our friends who were affected by the floods.

So the lesson learned here is that you can never be sure of something. Changes come when you least expect them in your everyday life and in your business. So it is essential to be mentally prepared that changes can happen, and they will. It can give you the mental capacity to deal with them easier when the changes come.

Taking time off work can teach you valuable business lessons. In this article, I am sharing 5 things I learned over my four weeks away.

I’ve been a photography business owner for four years now, and the business lessons I learned on my vacation this year really got me thinking. So hopefully, they made you think as well. Let me know in the comments!

4 replies
  1. Karin
    Karin says:

    Thank you, Anja, for sharing your experiences and thoughts with us. These are things that you actually know, but often push into the background. It’s good to know that other people feel the same way. I often take a few hours off to do “nothing”, sometimes I have a guilty conscience. But my body shows me when I need it. I will definitely take your tips to heart! Thanks a lot and take care, Karin

    • Anja Burgar
      Anja Burgar says:

      Absolutely agree. Our bodies can show when we need a break, but we can really quickly overlook the signs. I am happy to hear you are listening to your body, but also hope you get better at not feeling guilty. It’s super hard! I know this firsthand. Keep on doing a great job you are doing!


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