Is Too Much Vacation Bad for Your Business?
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Advisors face two big traps when it comes to vacations. The one that gets the most attention is not taking enough time off and burning out as a result; this is especially common in the early years of building a business.
But there’s a second, more subtle trap: Taking so much vacation that you compromise your ability to grow your business.
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Last week I had coffee with an advisor, whom I’ll call Dave, who’d approached me looking for suggestions to accelerate the growth of his business.
Based in a large city in the northeast, Dave is a lawyer who joined a bank-owned firm after a couple of years with a large downtown law firm. Fifteen years later and with assets of $150 under management of million, he’s in his early forties and generally comfortable with the practice he has built.
“The problem is that my business feels stuck,” Dave said. “I think I should be doing better – I’d really like to double my revenue.”
When I asked him to describe his typical day, I got my first clue as to the potential problem: “Summer isn’t typical of my schedule,” was his answer. “I’ve got a great assistant, so after private school ends in mid-June, we go up to my wife’s family cottage and I stay there for about six weeks; then in August I’m in the office from Tuesday to Thursday.”
I commended Dave on his commitment to spending time with his family – and then asked whether that time away had an effect on his business.
“Not really,” was his answer. “My book is primarily fee-based so being away has no impact on income. The first three or four years in the business I really busted my butt, but today I’m a big believer in Steven Covey’s idea that you need to take time off to sharpen your saw.”