Dear Aunty B,
The financial year got off to a great start, and I planned three weeks off in January with my girlfriend at the beach.
Then two staff resigned and replacements must be found, contracts are taking longer than I thought to negotiate and the strategy for the new year is still not in place.
I am starting to feel sick at the thought of a holiday! Should I cancel? She is already angry at the long hours I am working.
You poor thing. I am sure all over the country while employees are counting down the days, many entrepreneurs are feeling alarm.
I assume you are still in the startup phase. (Otherwise your delegation skills are very poor.)
Look, there is a lot of sacrifice involved in running a business. The first two years are the worst with many entrepreneurs working very long hours. This often puts a huge strain on relationships. Entrepreneurs often talk about how their early relationships broke up because their partners did not understand. They then found partners who understood the sacrifice.
But they also learnt that they must take some time to unwind. Business is a stamina game. Many people can’t last the distance. The longer you last, the greater your competitive advantage is. That means burnout is a high risk factor and ways to avoid it should be included in your business plan.
So here is what you should do. Quickly start to work on what needs to be done at the office and what can be done at the beach. For example, you could work on strategy at the beach in the morning. A lot of it is thinking time anyway, which can be done on a morning jog. You can also work on contracts from the beach.
Interviews probably need to be done in the office, but organise those now. There is still nearly two weeks to go!
So stop worrying. Explain the situation to your girlfriend and what you are planning to do about it.
Tell her you will be working part time. But to make it up you will take some long weekends throughout the year. And make sure you get away! It is amazing what a weekend at the beach or in the country can do.
Remember Tom, you have to last the distance!
Your Aunty B.