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I always look forward to reading Abigail’s latest “words of wisdom.” Please scroll all the way down, if you find that taking vacations seems to be a ‘foreign concept’ in your world.  Abigail can help you create the kind of business that will allow you to take time off! She is fantastic!A generation or two ago, most people worked hard for 40 hours each week and had time each evening for dinner, visiting with neighbors, supervising their children’s homework, and bath time. For the past two decades, not taking vacation time has become a desperate attempt to keep our jobs, despite no proof to support the practice. Today, Americans work more days per year and more hours per day than workers in any other industrialized nation. We have no national vacation policy, unlike other industrialized nations. Only 10% of employed Americans take two weeks off at a time for vacation.What’s Preventing Time Off?We all have 24 hours in a day. How we allocate them is completely individual. When clients tell me they cannot take time off, their reasons fall into very predictable buckets.1. Money – If you are paid hourly, then time not working is less dollars in your pay package. The majority of my clients own their own business so that’s a lame argument. When they have a net income goal that they are not meeting, we need to look at their marketing, their conversion rate from lead to client, their follow up to retain existing/prior clients, and their expenses.2. Fear – These days many salaried people are terrified of taking time off in case they lose their job. There are thousands of people who made this decision and lost their jobs anyway. If you believe your boss “won’t like it” when you take time off, think about who will be around to enjoy when you are 65. It probably won’t be your current boss. 3. Poor Planning – For business owners, if their business is set up so it cannot function without them on hand, it’s definitely time to look at their systems, policies, and protocols so they are set up to allow a month-long cruise with no worries about the business continuing to prosper. Or, help them make their annual revenue in 11 months of the year so they have the twelfth month free. A clockmaker friend of mine spends the month of February in Hawaii, because he generates his desired annual revenue March through January.4. Avoidance of Other Things – This is more common that most of us want to admit. If there are problems in the marriage, it’s easier to work longer hours. When you have a teenager with attitude, it’s less stressful to go to the office on the weekend. After you welcome the new puppy in the family, it’s definitely better to avoid being the first one home to clean up any accidents and take the puppy for a walk. We don’t like to admit that we are working longer hours to avoid other things, but it’s a very probable cause.Just because we can – does not mean we shouldTechnology allows us to be connected 24/7 around the world. We’ve become so infatuated with our “toys” that they now dictate our lives. They come with OFF buttons! Learn to use them! I promise there is no law, rule, or commandment that says we must be connected every hour of every day. Even God, in the middle of creation, managed a day of rest. If it’s good enough for the Big Guy, it’s good enough for us mere mortals.Protect What is Most ValuableYour technology tools can be lost, stolen, or destroyed. If you’ve followed basic levels of security and back-up protocols, you can easily replace the tool, recover your information, and be functional in a matter of hours.Human beings, you, your family, friends, and co-workers are not replaceable with downloaded memory. As I have pointed out frequently, if you do not take extremely good care of yourself, no one else can or will do it for you. Only you can control how your physical, mental, and emotional well-being is cared for. Many of us take better care of equipment than of ourselves.Take The Long ViewAre you nicer, calmer, more creative, and helpful to your clients when you are rested and refreshed, or when you are half sick and exhausted? Will your clients be happier finding a new supplier for your goods or products when you have burned out to the point you need to close down your business?Make yourself and your own well-being a priority. Take time off to relax, refresh, and recharge. Your body, your business, and your relationships will all benefit.I keep this question posted to my bulletin board as a reminder.      “How thin can you spread yourself before you are no longer “there?” © 2010 Straight Edge News           All Rights Reserved.Abigail Dougherty, PCC, is the founder of Straight Edge Solutions, a Professional Certified Coach, Business Process Expert and Motivational Speaker. To read more articles by Abigail and learn more about her work, please visit her website, StraightEdgeSolutions.com or contact Abigail at Abigail@StraightEdgeSolutions.com.For those of you who prefer to vacation off-season, now is an excellent time to confirm that your business will run smoothly without your attention for a week or two.  Send Abigail an email so you can set up a time to talk about how to prepare for your gift of time off.Abigail DoughertyStraight Edge SolutionsAbigail@StraightEdgeSolutions.com

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