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Work vs vacation when being a startup


Work versus Holiday when being an entrepreneur

writer icon Brooke Illummont     ISB   |   Startups     🕐 11. Oct. 2017


What is the right amount of work to do in your business, so that your business has the best chance of succeeding? Should you work day and night? Weekdays and weekends? And perhaps skip the summer holiday altogether?

We asked 3 startups on how they juggle starting a business and prioritising vacation.


myEsteeme My Esteeme – Inside Scandinavian Business

Business name:
MyEsteeme.

Business aria:
Edutainment.

The business has existed for:
Have existed 1 ½ year.

Number of people working in the business:
Five people.

Is it important for you to take time off, from your business and take a holiday?
Yeah it is very important, because the startup world is very intense, and you, of course need to have a breake. But the reality is that when you are in the first year of your business, you don’t really have time to take a vacation. So it is important but the reality is that it is very difficult.


Do you need a holiday even though you are working on creating your dream business?
Yes, because we are humans like everyone else, and we too need time to recover. But when you have your own startup you sometimes need to work weekends, which is the case for us. If you want to have a successful startup you need to be healthy. However it is a challenge for us to take time off, but it is something we are working on. Another thing we do is to sometimes start the day later, if we feel that we are very tired.


Can a holiday away from your business actually move your business forward?
It is probably good to define what a “holiday” is, to you as a startup. If you go on a holiday, that means that you will not check your email, and that you will not check social media related to your business. If this is how you use your vacation, then it is very healthy, and you’ll come back with a lot of energy and new ideas. We also try to focus on the daily balance of all of us in the company. Sometimes we even send each other home if a person is tired from all the work.


How do you prioritise work and holidays throughout a year?
We are a startup, and we have been working together for 1 ½ year, and this will be the first time we will be taking a vacation. So on the 10 of December to the 5.th of January we are closing the office because of holiday. So that everyone can have a life.




Midnight Hub Video Game Development - Inside Scandinavian Business

Business name:
Midnight Hub.

Business aria:
Videogame Development.

The business has existed for:
Have existed for roughly 2 year.

Number of people working in the business:
Five people.

Is it important for you to take time off, from your business and take a holiday?
Yes absolutely. We encourage all our employees to take time off to spend with their family and focus on other things. We give people some extra vacations around the holidays and we have also been offering people prepaid vacation, so that they can actually take a paid vacation before earning it during their first year, to ease off the stress.
Earlier this year, we reduced the working days with one hour, so that people work 7 hours instead of 8 hours. We are in the office less time, but we have been getting more done than ever.


Do you need a holiday even though you are working on creating your dream business?
Yeah absolutely, we are encouraging everybody to take time off. When we go to an event, or big conferences in England or in USA, we give people some time off to compensate, once we have gotten back home.


Can a holiday away from your business actually move your business forward?
Absolutely. You come to realise what you need to do to move the business forward, when you are not at your office. It is really important to spend some time away to get a new perspective and to become bored. Because when you become bored, then you come up with new ideas.


How do you prioritise work and holidays throughout a year?
We encourage people to take time off during Christmas and the summer holiday. We try to have everybody take vacations at the same time, because it is extremely hard for moral, to be left alone in the office. We don’t want one person to be there, when everyone else has gone on holiday.
We try to only work on the weekdays, never on the weekends. Unless there is a release coming up or the servers are on fire. But basically, game development has a lot of structure around a project. And a project can be any time of the year.




 Fowcup – Inside Scandinavian Business

Business name:
Flowcup.

Business aria:
Fem Ecommerce.

The business has existed for:
The product launched 3 months ago.

Number of people working in the business:
Two people.

Is it important for you to take time off, from your business and take a holiday?
Yes I think that it is very important to zoom out, and to get your strategy and to load your batteries.


Do you need a holiday, even though you are working on creating your dream business?
I believe that holidays are necessary to actually do that. To be my best at work, I also need to be in good health. I think that is the best way to be efficient. But of course, I’ll be working on my holiday as well. In fact, I only choose Hotels that has got a good internet connection.


Can a holiday away from your business actually move your business forward?
Yes, I believe so. I think that being an entrepreneur is very much about having time to focus on your bigger goals and your strategy going forward. And it is quite important to relax, in order to make the bigger decisions. When you are just working, you don’t have the broader perspective to make the best decisions.


How do you prioritise work and holidays throughout a year?
I think that planning is essential to get a good overview of the year. I usually plan my holidays in advance. I know that I’ll be working harder for a couple of months, and I’m willing to do that because I know that I will take time off later.





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