The unequivocal answer to this question is yes! Startup founders should absolutely take vacations no matter how much pressure they may feel, and there are multiple reasons for this. Coming from a highly experienced CPA firm, here at Kruze Consulting we can fundamentally state that vacation for founders is necessary, and here are the reasons why.
Reasons Why Startup Founders Should Take Vacation
We’ve already said it but we’ll say it again, if you are a startup founder please don’t succumb to the peer pressure that says you should never take any time off. In reality, you should be taking two weeks of vacation a year. At least.
You might have seen unrealistic posts online about how working hard with no breaks is the only way to succeed, but doing so without taking some time for yourself will actually do the opposite!
Time to Recharge
The first reason to take vacation is in order to give yourself time to recharge. This is super important. Being a founder is very stressful and it is far too easy to burn out if you don’t take a moment to step back and allow your brain some ‘stress free’ time. Easier said than done, but that is what’s going to prevent burnout in the long run.
Coming from personal experience, at Kruze there have been periods where people haven’t taken PTO for a year at a time and that wasn’t beneficial to them in any way. The thing about burnout is that you don’t even realize how unproductive and unfocused you are becoming. Your mind will be entirely overwhelmed until you take that vacation.
Top Tip: Besides actually taking that needed time off, we highly recommend that you don’t take your laptop with you if you can avoid it. This might be controversial for a lot of people but it is so typical to finally go away on vacation but then spend huge chunks of the day on your laptop and not actually get the downtime you need.
Try to leave the laptop behind. There is a lot you can accomplish on a phone. If you don’t bring that computer, you won’t be tempted to open it up and do a load of tasks that you could have done later.
Allow Your Management Team to Show Their Strengths
The second reason why a founder’s vacation can be a good thing for a company is that it allows the rest of the management team (and the entirety of the staff) time to flourish. It means they lose the second-guessing or hesitation they may feel when they’re under the scrutiny of the founder.
By taking vacation, you give your company a week or two to get on with things by themselves. It allows your staff to become self-starters, accomplish what they need to, and prioritize what they want. This will then act as an excellent ‘litmus test’ for how strong your management team actually is. It’s also a great way to build trust for the future when your startup has reached even greater successes and you get to take more time off!
Here at Kruze, we’ve put this idea into practice. There’s been times where the operation was completely seamless, and then there’s been times where we ran into problems. The reasons for those problems showed us the weakness we had in the system or in our personnel, and allowed us to adapt and overcome.
Make Time for Your Family
The third reason that taking vacation as a startup founder is so important is that it’s not just good for you (the founder) and the startup staff, it is also really important for your family.
Being in a startup is not only incredibly stressful for you, but it can also affect your family. Anything you can do to share and enjoy some bonding time will always help everyone out. Remembering to detach yourself from the business and get back to normal family life from time to time is incredibly valuable.
Take Vacation as a Startup Founder!
If you’re a startup founder, please remember to book at least two weeks of vacation every year. More if you can manage it. It will actually make you far more productive when you come back to work. Don’t listen to the people who might try to intimidate you, or peer pressure you, into not taking a break. It’s a critical thing for startup founders who want to succeed without burning out. You should absolutely do it.
If you have any other questions about vacations, valuations, startup investing, startup accounting, taxes, or venture capital, please contact us.