On holiday as an entrepreneur: how do you do it?

Rinkel collega Janine
Janine Wilbrink
update: 30 June 2022

Time for holidays! Around this time of year, the same age-old question always bubbles up: how do you go on holiday carefree as an entrepreneur? Totally off, that's pretty much the "Holy Grail" that few entrepreneurs have mastered.

But the question is also: Do you want to be completely off the hook at all? A bit of perspective is also part of it: entrepreneurship and holidays are not "one size fits all". What is the right solution for one person does not necessarily apply to you.

We take you through and hope to finally answer the age-old question in this blog article: How do you go on holiday as an entrepreneur?

Tropisch strand met blauwe zee en roze zand

Holidays? Do you need those?

Shall we bet? Holidays are good for us. They have been proven to be. Multiple studies point towards the same conclusion, as Cornell University writes in an Evidence-Based Living article about the evidence of holidays.

These studies show that taking holidays is good for your mental health and mood in general. Indeed, the longer you go on holiday, the better. Although, of course, that is nothing short of grabbing a weekend away every now and then.

Unfortunately, other Dutch research does show that a few weeks after returning, the benefits of your holidays have already 'trickled away'. They are back to the same level as before you went on holiday.

But, and this one is very interesting, is that you can extend your happiness by up to 8 weeks(!). How? Pre-joy! The same Dutch research shows that pre-holiday fun is a key factor in prolonging the effects of holidays.

So, yes: you need holidays. But, one holiday is not the other. That's why it's also good to put things in perspective. What does your ideal holiday look like? What gives you energy? Are you more of an enjoy-the-pool-or-beach type, an every-day-out, or do-nothing type? Or a combination perhaps?

Because there's no point in forcing yourself to sit by the pool with a cocktail when there's an important moment at the office that day. If it gives you peace of mind to check in with your colleagues to see if everything is going well: why not do it?

Of course, this does mean that you shouldn't start managing right away or suddenly attend that one meeting. Set your limits here too. The most important thing about your holiday is to enjoy it. Above all, make sure you enjoy your holiday. In whatever way that is! You need it.

And that "Holy Grail" of being completely off? It is up to you to decide whether that is your Holy Grail too. So that, as an entrepreneur, you can also enjoy your holidays to the maximum.

Something to think about
The way you hold your holidays also sets a (perhaps unconscious) tone with your employees. Are you all over the place? If so, your employees may feel a certain pressure that they too have to stay on during the holidays. Are you completely off? Then your employees will more easily be 'off' too.

This has to do with a piece of expectation management and communication: communicate your expectations clearly to your employees.

And always remember to ask yourself: Does this necessarily have to be done now, or can it be done as soon as you or your colleague is back from holiday? (After all, almost everything can wait).

As an entrepreneur, how do you go on a worry-free holiday?

You've been enjoying your well-earned anticipation for six weeks and in a fortnight you'll be going on holiday. Or: have you taken a holiday. After all, holidays are not necessarily "on holiday". It can also just be relaxing at home!

Anyway, in a fortnight you will be gone. Exciting? It doesn't have to be! Except of course the stress whether you haven't forgotten anything and you don't accidentally leave your passport on the toilets in the airport. That's kind of part of it after all.

But okay: carefree holidays as an entrepreneur. That starts with good preparation. A few tips in a row:

  • Turn on an automatic reply to your e-mail. "Hi, thanks for your email! I am currently on holiday until 10 August. After returning, I will reply to your mail. Can't wait that long? Then email my colleagues at [email protected]. They will be happy to help you!"
  • Finish all your paperwork. This one speaks for itself, right? Always nice to go on holiday with peace of mind, knowing this is all taken care of. (Tip: Check your sales tax too - it's due by the end of July).
  • Do a handover. Do you have projects, or other things going on during your holiday? Hand it over to a colleague. With a handover, also known as a handover, you inform your colleague of all ongoing matters and things that (may) need to be picked up. We do this within Rinkel too! It takes some preparation, but then you have something.
  • Make sure everyone knows when you are not there. Communication is the keyword: if colleagues, partners and customers know which period you will be away, they can easily determine whether something can wait until then or should knock on your colleague's door.

But then... your phone system! Especially with a fixed-to-mobile solution like Rinkel, don't forget: you might still get a call while you're already on your fourth glass of sangria.

Preparing your business phone system for your holiday

OK, fair is fair: we wrote a blog about this back in 2020: Once upon a time, an entrepreneur went on holiday... With the 4 best tips to prepare your telephony, such as adjusting your call forwarding. Because isn't your colleague or associate going on holiday? Then they can take over the phone for you in your absence.

But, another practical tip to avoid nasty surprises when you return.

Will you remain reachable by phone, e.g. for emergencies? Then check your roaming charges. Expensive and dreaded, and definitely worth delving into.

Have you resolved not to do any work at all? Then, of course, you don't need to worry about roaming charges either. Unless you want to make daily calls from Bali to your family back home via your 06 number. Better do that via WhatsApp.

However you enjoy your holiday and how you will plan it: holiday you need. Make sure you recharge completely, enjoy it and make sure you come back feeling fulfilled (even though we may not want to think about that yet).

Anyway: communicate expectations, make the duration of your holiday clear and you'll see that everything will be totally fine.

That leaves us with one thing: Have a very happy holiday! Enjoy, rest and make sure you use enough sunscreen!