Are you the type of entrepreneurs who takes a holiday? Almost all startups I know take holidays as they come. In fact most of them can’t wait for the holiday which is something I struggle to understand. As entrepreneur we control our time, an yet most startups I know are excited to have a holiday. I remember I used to feel this way during my days in high school. But as a startup myself, I see no reason for a calendar to dictate when I should work and take a breaks. It is a Holiday in South African as this article was published and I am alone at the business center my office is in. All business owners including the landlord took a holiday. Nothing wrong with that except today is Tuesday. People had some time off on weekend, came to work on Monday and now resting another day on Tuesday?
For me this shows 2 things, 1.) not being ready for entrepreneurship and 2.) lack of vision and dedication. Entrepreneurs cannot be thinking like employees who are excited to skip work and do nothing productive. We need to think like builders and real estate developers. We don’t stop building unless there’s rain or storm. What is an entrepreneur without a vision? Most of the time it is my clients or other startups I work with who will remind me the following day is a holiday. And they always tell me a day before because I will be discussing plans for the following day.
I do understand that this can be the time to spend with family and friends, but this is something employees must do. Entrepreneurs, we make time for every occasion in our lives. Yesterday I was making sales call, and one of the potential clients said to me “I’m in the middle of nowhere with my family and we are trying to have a great time. Call me on Thursday when I’m back at the office”. I called this man’s office before I called him, and they told me to call his cell. He had employees working for him, and his business was not on hold or rather on holiday. He was making money while spending time with his family. Another thing about this situation is that, he probably took this holiday on Friday, knowing that he will have a long weekend holiday with his family. This is how as entrepreneurs we should take holidays. Why do you rest on weekends, work on Monday and then take a holiday on Tuesday, then plan to go back to work on Wednesday? It makes no sense to me. This is a total display of unreadiness and lack of commitment. I believe that an entrepreneur with the mind set of an employee is still an employee. Few people has asked me how I’ve been able to survive this long running my business. One of the reason is that I have learned to let go of certain things that distract me on my journey. This last December when many startups closed their businesses for holidays on the 15th, I was working on the 26th of December. My wife and kids understood this because they understand and share the vision I have and the kind of life I want us to have as a family.
Should startups take holidays? Absolutely not. The journey ahead of you is too long and ruthless. And as long as you are turned on by holidays, you will find yourself swimming with sharks in the near future. You will be the 9/10 statistics that fail their first 5 and 10 years in business.