Like many urban legends, I am quite confident that actually taking time off and not working on vacation if you own your own business is an impossible reality. Actually, if you own your own business and you have a trusted staff, you may have more luck. But for me and my party of one... Not including the cats of course, going away is proving to just provide me another remote location, although beautiful to work.
This frustrates me in many levels. For one, I pride myself in working with the most awesome clients. Then, why are these most awesome people ignoring my vacation auto responder? Why are they saying the dreaded phrase....I know you are on vacation, but I need this done right away...Who does that? Or am I just the idiot that writes them back, takes their call and does their work....glass of wine and sunscreen in hand?
Some things I am considering to change this maddening process:
1. Alert the masses that you are going away. I think two weeks out is a safe barrier for people to know that you are planning to be out of commission. Doing this via a mass email is probably the easiest or you can mention it along the way.
2. Decide what you are gonna do when you are away. You do realize that this is my fault, right? I just can't be out of reach, or answer back the emails, or do the work. I am almost writing this blog as therapy to convince myself to set up the boundaries.
3. If you have the luck and love of friends that can help you in your absence like I have in Megan and Diane. Thank your lucky stars and use them sparingly and only in a fix.
4. Set up your vacation message. Be clear where you are leaving, when you are coming back and what access you will have during this time. If you are lucky to have someone help you, you may want to give them their contact information.
5. Reevaluate these requests upon return. Think about the people that disregarded the fact that you were on vacation. If it was me, I would not work with people that say I know you are on vacation, but. Barring that their business was on fire and I have the hose...I do to want to work with those types of inconsiderate people. Would you?
So, what do you do when you go on vacation?