In the Age of the Entrepreneur, Holidays are More Important Than Ever
Research suggests that a quarter of the self employed never take a holiday. But to stay fresh and motivated, some time out is vital.
In every sector, more people are going it alone as self-employed freelancers and small business owners than ever before. This is particularly the case for architects, where a growing proportion are working for themselves.
There are manifold advantages to being your own boss, and survey companies like Sova Surveys work with as many freelancers and one-man-bands as they do with large companies. But from the perspective of the entrepreneur, there are also some downsides.
One is the old axiom that when you work for yourself, if you’re not working you’re not earning. No paid holiday here. But it’s not just a matter of money. When you have spent weeks, months and years building up an enterprise, you can’t help feeling a sense of irresponsibility in stepping away from it for two weeks. Many feel worried that all their hard work will be destroyed and there will be nothing to come back to.
We all need time out
Setting up your own business demands determination, dedication and many, many hours. Every self employed architect who has made a success of his or her business knows that. But all that focus and energy takes its toll on the mind and body. While we might be ready and willing to put in the 16-hour days and the 7-day weeks, it is impossible to do so indefinitely. The result is simply burn out, health problems and, even worse from the business perspective, sub-optimal performance.
So how do self employed architects manage to take a well-deserved time out with family to return refreshed and ready to take their businesses to greater levels of success?
1) Structured planning
Architects are typically working on a number of projects at any one time. All are diarized with key dates for deadlines, site visits, client meetings and so on. Holiday time needs to be planned in advance and put on the calendar, just like everything else. Just as one project can fit around another, all projects can fit around a holiday.
2) Letting clients know
Whether it’s architecture or some other profession, those who work on a freelance basis sometimes feel almost embarrassed about being away. Yet when you think logically, who ever got upset because somebody said they would be on holiday on a certain date? The most important thing is to let clients know, and not to just suddenly disappear off the grid unexpectedly.
3) Outsourcing and cooperation
The great thing about working as an architect is that most work is planned well in advance. However, in every line of work, some urgent task or client request can crop up from time to time. Having a colleague or business associate who can cover off any firefighting is always useful – and the relationship usually works both ways, ultimately strengthening the flexibility of both businesses. Also, architects can outsource the drafting work to companies such as Sova Surveys, and this allows them to take that much needed holiday.
The above tips are as valid in other sectors as they are for architects. Everyone needs a holiday, particularly those hard-working freelancers and entrepreneurs. Enjoy the summer!