What's a "vacation"?

What are the sacrifices that you need to make when you are building your little nest-egg … especially, if you have chosen the entrepreneurial route?

I can illustrate with one example:

One of the applicants for my ‘grand experiment’ in millionaire-making saw that they hadn’t made the final cut and asked me why. I simply explained:

Your application came in past the cut-off (as did one other person’s) and since I have to somehow cut down to 7 …

And, it’s true. One other of the Final 15 didn’t submit their application, so …

Anyhow, this person responded:

I know there are no excuses for missing the cut-off, but I did write to say I was on vacation and did not have access to email. I hope you can still consider me in the running, but if not thank you for the opportunity and I will continue to follow along.

Now, I’m not here to judge this person – in fact, I consider them a valuable (and inaugural) member of the 7m7y Community (hence, I’m keeping them anonymous here) … and, that wasn’t my point. And, it isn’t the point of this post …

… rather the point is to share this with you:

I was on vacation with my wife recently in Las Vegas, while our children were away at Summer camp (that wonderful American institution … just like sleep-away college … we seem in so much of a hurry to get rid of our kids, here!) and realized that:

1. My phone never rang

2. I dropped my Blackberry in the Bellagio’s pool and didn’t even have to worry about replacing it until we got back

3. I only needed to check my laptop once or twice a day to keep up with my two [now three] blogs

This is only surprising if you realize that on every other vacation for the past 10 years, I would:

a) Carry my laptop to the pool to catch up with my e-mails, if they had wireless … else, head back to my room (or the business center) 4 or 5 times a day, if there was no wireless.

b) Take business calls at all times of the day or night in all places, including one ‘infamous’ call on my hotel balcony to close a particularly large deal

c) Never, ever, ever, stop thinking about work ….

There was one particular trip that I took that turned out to be one of the most stressful trips away that I remember [ AJC: Stressful?! They’re supposed to be VACATIONS, dope 🙂 ] …

… I was woken from my slumber at God-knows-what-hour by a call from my office ‘back home’:

Our ‘mission critical’ software system had failed and our call center was running on ‘manual’ (means people taking calls over the phone and filling in bits of paper to be somehow entered when [if] the system came back up).

The system was down for almost the whole time I was away and I realized that I couldn’t add any value by coming back, yet I felt helpless as I saw my business sinking under my eyes (no computer, no call center, no business) …

… somehow the problem was resolved after a week or so, and they eventually caught up with the ‘paperwork’, and aside from a few customer apologies (more phonecalls while I was away) later everything was back to ‘normal’.

So, when I say that not being bothered by phone calls / customer issues / e-mails while I am on vacation is some sort of ‘novelty’ for me, you better believe it!

If you decide that you need to be on one of the high growth curves to make your Number … however many millions of dollars that may turn out to be …

… giving up the idea of having a ‘true vacation’ for the next few years is just one of the many sacrifices that you will need to make.

After all, if making that much money that quickly was meant to be easy, everybody would be doing it …

PS the Blackberry-In-Swimming-Pool story has a happy ending: I bought myself a new iPhone 3g 🙂

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One thought on “What's a "vacation"?

  1. I totally agree Adrian. The name of the game here is: “how much are you willing to DO what other will not do”, and the balance of that becomes: “you get to HAVE what other’s do not because of who you were willing to BE and what you were willing to DO”.

    In other words, BE, DO, then HAVE. Great post!

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