Learning how to take time off, even taking a day off, is a necessity, not a luxury. Here’s how you do it:
Vacation time where you are not working, will make your time working way more productive. Go. Do it. You’ll love it.
Hi there. It’s Kevin. Let’s talk about how to take a vacation. I’ve been in real estate since the 1900s, and one of the things that was always hard for me, and it is like one of the most difficult things for real estate agents to do, is how to take a vacation. Now if you’re an employee, and you’re working for a boss or for a company, and you get a built-in two-week or three-week vacation, then it’s scheduled. It’s planned for you. You’re going to take it.
But when you have your own business, when you’re an independent contractor or entrepreneur, taking a vacation kind of seems like it’s the luxury thing. It’s the thing I’ll do whenever we have time, or whenever we save up enough money, and so forth. I’m going to tell you that taking a vacation is too important to leave it to chance, just to wait for the perfect moment. Because as you know, you and I both know, the perfect moment almost never actually comes. How do we actually take a vacation that’s actually a real vacation.
I just want to talk about three strategies today for taking a vacation. You’ve got to take this seriously. You can’t just go, yeah, whatever. I’ll take a vacation when I can. Nothing in your life that matters happens when you just do, I’ll get around to it when I can. It only happens by intention. It happens by you making a commitment and a priority of it. So, here we go.
1. PLAN IT
Strategy number one, or step number one, is plan it. You just have no choice. Vacations are too important. Taking time off, taking time off to disconnect from your work, to disconnect from your job, to disconnect from the daily grind, is too important to not be intentional about it. So, you just have to plan it.
Now there’s two things you’ve got to do to plan it. One is you have to schedule it. You have to schedule it. When I say schedule it, pick your dates that you’re actually going to go on a vacation. I recommend that you do this every year, and you plan out your vacations for the next 12 months. You can take as long or short of vacations as you want to or plan to. You just have to take them. You may take a couple of one-week vacations a year. You may take a couple of one-week vacations, or one four-week vacation, or a three-week vacation. You may take several four-day or three-day weekend vacations. All of those are awesome.
The key is that you have to plan it. Because if you don’t plan it, it tends to not happen. So one, put it on your calendar. Sit down with your family, sit down with your spouse or your significant other, and say, okay, when are we going to do this? When are the dates that we’re going to take off? Where are we going? What are we going to do? How much is it going to cost? You’ve got to budget it.
2. FUND IT
That’s the second part of planning it, is you have to fund it. That is, you’ve got to figure how much it’s going to cost, and then where are we going to get the money. Now, I recommend that you fund it every month. One of the things that I learned years ago was to create a play fund, a vacation fund. Literally, open a separate bank account. Every month transfer a certain amount of money.
Let’s just say if you’re going to set aside $12,000 a year, just using a simple round number, $12,000 a year for vacation. All you do is you set up an auto transfer from your checking account. Talk with your bookkeeper or your CPA about this, or your tax advisor. Set it up to go directly from your business account, or whatever bank account, to a savings account that is your play money, play fund, and it’s just for vacation. It’s just for travel. It’s just for having a great time. You have to fund it.
Because otherwise, if you don’t fund it, it’s no fun. Right? You’ve got to have the money for it. So make sure that you set that up intentionally. Plan ahead, and every month, and frankly, Julie, my wife and I, have been doing this for years, is we have money every month that goes into our play account. Every month, every month. So whenever the vacation time comes, we don’t have to look at it and go like, what can we afford? We don’t have to.
Now we used to have to do that, but we don’t have to do that anymore, because we got intentional. We plan the vacation. We plan it, we schedule it, and we fund it. Number one, you’ve got to plan it. Put it in your schedule. Figure out how you’re going to pay for it. Get it planned out. That’s the only way it’s ever going to happen.
The second key step to taking great vacations is, make it memorable. You’ve got to do something that’s going to be memorable. A lot of people talk about having a staycation, or stuff like that. Now there’s nothing wrong with a staycation. You just have to understand the difference between a staycation and a vacation. It doesn’t mean you have to get on a plane, or have to go 1,000 miles away, or 5,000 miles away to make it a vacation. The miles are not what’s important.
What’s important is that you do something that is totally out of the ordinary, something that’s totally memorable, totally for fun. Here are some things that, to me, would not count for a vacation. One, staying at home and doing spring cleaning and all the fix it jobs around and all that. You know, the little jobs that you put off throughout the year, and replacing something in the house, replacing your fixtures, or whatever. That’s not a vacation.
Second, I would not consider a vacation going to visit your in-laws, or your parents, probably, is not a vacation. Now the way, my parents lived at the lake for years. They lived at Possum Kingdom Lake in Texas. We’d go see my parents. It was awesome. We’d go to the lake. They had boats. You could go fishing. You could go swimming. You could go skiing. All kinds of cool stuff to do. But I never considered it a vacation. Because it was great to go see my parents, and that’s awesome to go see your family. But it was not, unless there was something about it that we did something different, something special, there was nothing memorable about it.
So when I say make it memorable, what I mean by that is, do something that a couple years from now you’re still going to be talking about it. That 10 years from now you’re going to be sitting around with your family going, “Oh, remember that year we went to” wherever. That’s a vacation, is that you do something that is totally out of the ordinary.
Now the cool thing is, depending on where you live, you may be able to go 50 miles away and stay at a resort, or stay at a campground, or something that’s totally memorable. It’s not a matter of how far you have to go, or how much you have to spend. The key is that you do something that gets you out of the grind.
I live here. I’ve got the ocean behind me. We live at the beach. But when we go on vacation, we may go to the beach, but it’s not this beach. Because I go to that beach every day. So it’s not special. I mean, it’s special. It’s not memorable. It’s not unique. It’s not something, it’s just, that’s part of our life. And we planned that for years to be able to have that kind of lifestyle. But when I take a vacation, we get away from here. We go somewhere we’re not used to going. So every moment, every day is like, wow. It’s adventure. Make your vacations an adventure.
Then number three is unplug. If you’re going to have a vacation, when you take your vacation, you have to be willing to unplug. Now that can be tough for real estate agents, because they get this idea of the world can’t survive without me. Well, the world can survive without you. Your clients can survive without you. You need the world to be able to survive without you. You have to unplug. You have to unplug so that you can recharge. Unplug so that you can recharge your batteries.
How do you do it? Number one, get someone to cover for you. You’ve got to find somebody in your company or your office. If you don’t have a team, obviously if you have an assistant or you have a team, then they can cover for you. But if you’re a solopreneur, if you’re a solo agent working by yourself, what you want to do is find somebody in your office that you can trust, that’s got some skills, that’s got some time, and that’s willing to help cover for you. I would also recommend that you make sure that your broker or your sales manager, or whoever kind of runs the office, let them know. So that if you need some heavy hitting horsepower to be able to back you up, that you’ve got somebody that can come to bat for you while you are gone.
I know it’s one of those fear of letting go things, like the first time you become a parent, and it’s the first time you go out on a date and leave your child with a babysitter. The first time you leave them with a babysitter, you’re going, “Oh, no, can they survive without me?” The answer is yes. The secret is this. Communicate. You have to communicate with your clients, with the people that are involved in transactions or whatever. Communicate with them and let them know that one of your associates is going to be taking care of stuff while you’re out of town.
Now there is a way to take a vacation where you don’t tell people you’re on vacation. I don’t recommend it, because it requires you to work every day. Yet you can do it, but it’s not the best way to do it. If you’re absolutely, like can’t unplug completely, then what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to protect your time, and schedule every day when are you going to clock in. Get on your computer. Get on your phone. Do whatever you’ve got to do. Get in, get on, get it done, and get out, and get back to your vacation. You owe it to yourself, you owe it to your family, to do that. If you’re going to clock back in every day for an hour, and I recommend no more than an hour, take care of stuff and get back out, you just have to make sure you’re clean. Get in, get it done, get back out.
But if you communicate with your clients and let them know, “Hey, I’m going to be out of town for these days. I’m communicating with my associate. They know what they’re doing. They’re going to do a great job for you.” And you introduce them and you let them know that, and you’re confident, you feel great about it, then your clients will feel great about it. They’ll trust you. If you trust your person that you’re leaving them in the care of, they’ll trust them.
If you call your client and go, “Hey, I just want to let you know next week I’m going to be taking a vacation. I’m really sorry to do this while your house is on the market. Hope everything goes good.” And you’re nervous and you’re … If you’re nervous and freaking out, they’re going to be nervous and freaking out. If you act apologetic, and oh, I feel bad, and then you try to create this story, “But my family, we’ve been planning this for 17 years. My kids, I hate to break my kids’ heart.” Then you’re trying to create all this sympathy and all this kind of stuff, then all you do is make them not trust you. They feel uncomfortable. But if you’re comfortable with it, that everything’s going to be handled, and you know it’s going to be taken care of, then you can unplug and you’re totally free.
The key to all this is, you have to realize this has got to happen. I need this. You will do a better job for yourself, for your clients, than ever before, if you take the time to unplug. You can do it on three-day weekends. You can take a five-day vacation. You can take a one-week vacation. You can take a two-week vacation. You can take a three-or-four-week vacation if you commit to it.
Commit to it today. Make the plan. I’m going to do this. I’m going to plan it. Commit to do something that’s memorable. Get out of your routine. Get out of your rut. Get out of the grind. Completely disconnect from the grind. Disconnect from the stress. Recharge your batteries. You’ll come back and you’ll find yourself so much more productive, and so much more fulfilled in every single thing that you do.
If you liked the video, give it a thumbs up. Share it with anyone that you know needs to take a vacation. You’ll always be better, and you’ll always be able to expect yes.
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