This coming week my wife and I are going to take a short vacation. We will have 5 grandchildren with us, so I expect we will have an exciting time. I suspect that it is hard for many business owners, as it is for me, to take a vacation. In my case, I have a special motivation called grandchildren and the opportunity to spend time with them. What is your motivation to take time off for relaxation? If you don’t have the motivation to take a vacation, then I encourage you to read further.
On my radio show, The Weekly Business Hour, last week I spent some time discussing how sometimes we allow or create barriers to the growth of our business. I suspect that we do the same thing when it comes to taking time off.
External barriers are always going to be present. A key employee doesn’t show up for work or quits and as result production slows to a crawl. A customer cancels a big order at the last minute or the reverse, the customer places a big order with a short delivery time. All of these external barriers can and most likely will be handled by you and or your team. If you build your organization with the best people and processes, then your business can handle what I like to call hiccups.
Internal barriers on the other hand are a totally different story. These are barriers that you yourself put up that slow or prevent the growth of your business. The best example of an internal barrier is that you doubt your own abilities to lead the business. This lack of self-confidence can create a self-fulfilling prophecy that leads to failure. If this is you, then I suggest you look for a mentor if you don’t already have one. A good mentor will help you sort out the different challenges you have, while at the same time building your self-confidence. Internal barriers are ones you can control and only you have the power to knock them down.
A second internal barrier is the ability to say “no” when approached for help outside your business. Every successful business person gets approached at one time or another either by other business owners or non-profits asking for help. You need to develop the ability to say no when you do not have the time and need to focus on your own business. There will still be times when you have some ‘free’ time and you can volunteer to help someone or an organization out. The bottom-line is that if you cannot say no, then you are in effect turning the success of your business over to someone else.
Another and perhaps the hardest internal barrier to identify is your inability to let something go that is holding your business back. It could be an employee, a process, vendor or a customer. Your refusal to part company with them or it can be a drag on your business’ growth. Many times, we keep holding on feeling that eventually ‘it will just work itself out.’ We just do not want to face reality and confront the issue and make the change. If this issue applies to you, warning- you could hold on so long that you lose your business.
At this point you must be asking yourself what happen to the advice about taking time off for a vacation. Good question. My point is that we can allow barriers, both external and internal stand in the way of growing our business. In a much the same way we use the same barriers to tell ourselves that we cannot leave the business even for a few days or it will fail. If we feel that way, then I suggest that you are suffering from one of more of these barriers. Take some time to reflect on where your business is by taking a hard look to see if you have allowed one or more of these barriers to gain control of your business. If so then work hard to remove or overcome it and then you will find the motivation to take that vacation that you and your family deserve.
I host a weekly business show, The Weekly Business Hour, which is dedicated to the small business community You can listen to live from 11:00am – 12:00pm (CT) every Monday morning. It is broadcast live on the internet, just go to www.irlonestar.com and click on “Listen Now” button or if you are in the Conroe, TX area you can listen on Conroe radio FM 104.5 or FM 106.1. A podcast of each show is posted on the station’s website www.irlonestar.com as well as our Facebook page, The Weekly Business Hour and our YouTube channel, The Weekly Business Hour. The podcast is also available on several social media sites such as ITunes, Google Play, Stitcher and others.