Why all my vacations are working vacations and I'm okay with that.
I have a tendency to think. A lot. My brain has at least 26 different thoughts swirling around at any given time. You could call me a classic over-thinker (my husband certainly does). Sometimes this is a blessing and sometimes it’s a curse. When my brain is overflowing with ideas for my business: designs, instagram captions, event ideas- I like to consider it the former.
I like thinking about my business, for me it’s exciting. And it should be! If I struggled to come up with design ideas and dreaded posting I’d have to do some serious soul searching about why I’m spending my nights and weekend crafting this creative business (see paragraph one on over-thinking).
Now that’s not to say there aren’t times when I turn my business brain off, there are plenty. I try my best to “unplug” and “be present” as much as the next guy. So when I’m preparing for a vacation there’s always the question of should I plan to bring some work or leave it all behind?
I’d say I’ve done a mix of both on different occasions. There’s been trips where I planned too much work for myself, anticipated I’d have more downtime than I did and ended up feeling pressure to do it anyway. Then there’s been times where I plan to step away from my business completely and find myself feeling pressure to push away any and all biz-themed thoughts.
But remember, I like to think! Last week I spent a few days in Florida visiting my grandmother, and think I did. I brought the book Work Party, determined to finish it poolside. The book is about the author's journey from start-up to CEO. She shares tips and tricks to survive being a female entrepreneur, navigating the business world, and running the business of your dream
The books freakin’ rules and safe to say it had be feeling inspired. As I read- I was picking up my phone to jot down notes, ideas, and things I wanted to work on when I got home. To me this is as enjoyable as reading a good mystery novel, but more exciting! That’s when I realized, I don’t mind if every personal vacation has a little business mixed in.
When I realized how many times I was setting my book down to essentially schedule my upcoming week/month/lifetime I stopped and thought: is this too much? Is this taking away from my vacation? I decided the answer was no. I’m sitting in the sun with nothing to do and nowhere to be. If I want to spend that time reading a book, listening to a podcast, or doing some brainstorming; what freakin’ difference does it make? If I’m CHOOSING to mix some business into my personal trips then SO BE IT.
And you know what, I still had a great trip! Sure, I spent a lot of time poolside reading/ planning. But I also went to the beach, chatted with my grandma, went to dinner sans phone, and walked to get ice cream with my little bro. I actually think it was easier to enjoy the rest of my trip because I got my ideas out instead of smothering them.
Do I still prep for being gone as much as possible? You bet. Things like planning out social media posts or putting my Etsy shop on vacation helps put me at ease so I know if I want to forget about it all for a few days I can. I still love to travel, I love spending time with friends and family and I love putting my phone down and enjoying life!
The difference for me moving forward is that I won’t be putting pressure on myself to chase away an idea that pops up. I don’t think making a note in my phone is going to take away from an experience. I don’t think I should feel guilty for wanting to do a little work.
What I’m getting at is that I don’t think anyone should feel guilty for the way they travel or handle their business while doing so as long as it makes them happy! That’s what I had been doing. I was feeling guilty for not traveling the way I thought I should. But isn’t the beauty of owning your own business that you can operate in a way that works best for you?!
Social media has given us a front row seat to see how businesses operate. Just remember that everyone does things differently and if you’re operating your business a certain way because you think it’s what you’re “supposed” to do, maybe it’s time to do some thinking (my favorite!) about what’s really best for you and your businesses well-being. If what you see others doing doesn’t feel right, don’t be afraid to adjust and do you!