I’m ticking a seriously big item off my bucket list next week – Antarctica via Buenos Aires; two continents in one fell swoop, and hopefully a (safe) encounter with some killer whales!
As a small business owner, I don’t go anywhere without my laptop, even Antarctica.
I always do my best not to turn it on though, and over the years, I’ve become more and more successful at achieving that aim.
I won’t have much of a choice next week though – during the nine-day Antarctica cruise, there’s NO access to data or WiFi.
There is a vague promise of Starlink access (for an undisclosed sum), but I don’t fancy remortgaging, so I’m trying not to see that as an option.
As a result, I’ve had to step back and organise things with the team, because I really won’t be around to step back in and ‘save the day’.
Except of course I don’t ever actually ‘save the day’ – the team I have in place is very capable of dealing with anything our clients, suppliers, or even their colleagues could throw at them.
I like to imagine that they could not survive without me in the office, but the reality is that sometimes (often?) I am the biggest distraction, and they are very capable of working out the best way to deal with any given situation, without my input.
I realised early on that if I wanted to grow the business, I had to make myself DISPENSABLE – the business could not depend on me.
And although there’ve obviously been bumps along the road, the fact is that I can now be offline for 9 days without the business crumbling around me, and without coming back to 3000 decisions and emails to sort out, wiping out any point of having the holiday in the first place.
You can’t (and shouldn’t) be doing it all.
No matter how superhuman you feel, burnout is a real threat, and a business overly reliant on its owner is a fragile one, not to mention one that prevents the business owner from living the life they want to live.