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Online business and vacations

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Wednesday June 6, 2007 )

I grew up around small business, my Mom had a boutique and later on we had a bakery. The latter was extremely hard work for them both, so holidays were rare – luckily we lived in a holiday resort type town so we never felt we missed out.

Fast forward into the future and I’m working much like my Dad did during the bakery days in the online world – although much more comfortably I must say.

A “real” vacation in the popular sense of the term is increasingly becoming a foreign concept to me – to the point of it being downright strange.

How much quality time do you get away from your online business for vacations and what do you classify as a “holiday”?

The results of a recent AP-Ipsos survey show that about 20% of respondents (a mix of small business owners and employees from what I could ascertain) still did some work while on holidays. Of those, 20% checked for phone messages or called the office and 40% checked their email whilst on vacation.

I think that if the survey had been taken of small business owners, those stats would be much, much, much higher :). I guess this is more on my radar at the moment as I’m about to take a couple of days “off”, a rather big event for me. A “vacation” – Michael style :)

It still means still at least 8 hours work a day, but just spending more time on Taming the Beast and a couple of other personal projects. It’s funny how when you’ve been in business for a while, the old saying “a change is as good as a holiday” becomes very valid. It means I can kick back a gear, do what I want to do work-wise when I want to do it (hopefully) and reset the ole brain circuitry a bit.

I like working hard – I’m a big believer in making hay while the sun shines. Another online business owner reminded me a while back of a few verses of a song by Pink Floyd called “Time” which I find really relevant:

“You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.”

Of course, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy too – that’s why I’m glad I love Taming the Beast and some of the other sites I’m working with at the moment. I look forward to tapping out these posts, writing articles etc… and I think that’s a crucial part of making an online business work – the passion. It may taper off from time to time, but once the passion dies – ick; time to do something else.

The other side of being glued to the screen is physical health, and I wrote a bit about that a while back in Online business – stayin’ alive. I kept up the 30 minutes brisk walking a day and I’ve lost around 15 pounds in all and generally feeling better for it. I *highly* recommend it to anyone who’s been trapped in front of a screen for a few years.

I can’t say that I’ve got the balance totally right in my life at the moment. I’ve been very fortunate in what life has brought to me and wish to maximize it all while the going is good, but have set firm balance-related goals for the future .. and come hell or highwater, I intend on achieving them :).

What about you and your online business – do you get much vacation time? How do you achieve balance between work, play, exercise and family? Have you ever gone more than 24 hours without checking your email in the last 12 months?


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