The silly season has arrived. While things ramp up for many industries during the summer, for others it’s time to put down the tools and take a break.
We reached out to some of Australia’s leading founders to get their tips on how to prepare for time out.
Ben Lipschitz, CEO and co-founder, FoodByUs
“The most important thing is that you plan to take a break. It sounds obvious, but in the past I made the mistake of taking time off yet remaining bound to emails and tasks. Having the mindset that “this is my time to relax and that’s OK” is so important. In addition, I like to encourage the team to do the same so that they, too, are refreshed when we return – it also prevents them from potentially interrupting anyone else’s break (including mine).
“Finally, it’s important to have a few things planned – including locally – so that there are guaranteed adventures in the break.”
Arjun Paliwal, Chief Research Officer and Founder, Investor Kit
“I forecast annual business results, targets and expenses for an 11-month period. That way you have a healthy amount of pressure throughout the year and don’t feel guilty or pressured when you go into recess. I also encourage leaders to get their clients and their team excited about the 2023 plans. It means people are not going into 2023 with uncertainty, they are all going into the break with a lot of energy.”
Nicho Plowman, co-founder of meditation app Insight timer and Vedic meditation teacher
“Good leaders who trust their team must be able to lead by example, lay down the tools and trust that they have created a company that can do without them for a while, allowing them to rest and recover. So my best tips would be to relinquish a little bit of control, empower people and trust your team.”
Aaron Bassin, CEO and co-founder, Bridget
“Our business services customers almost 365 days a year, so we don’t really have a close of business. However, Bridgit was built through technology, good process, and good people, so when it comes to the holidays, we can plan time off appropriately, make sure we celebrate the victories along the way, take time out when necessary and the responsibilities are shared by the company.”
Angus Stevens, CEO and co-founder, Start after that
“I think it’s so important that you can stop; you have to allow your mind not to get sucked into the pettiness of daily emails. For me, I’ve focused on setting up and strengthening the team so they feel confident and know what they’re doing while I’m gone.
Dean Hawkins, CEO and co-founder, eo
“As a start-up delivering our first product in early January, we don’t have much time to bust out tools.”
“I was incredibly fortunate to take six months off earlier in 2022 and it is an absolute must for company founders and leaders to give themselves a break, especially ahead of a new year. It is important to plan well ahead and keep communication very clear with all stakeholders. By doing this, your mind will feel clearer and more open to the break.
Alex West, CEO, Dive
“The main focus for the company is encouraging staff to take a break; that helps wind down the business, and once you encourage your staff to do that, the senior team can do the same. I find that I never shut down immediately, it’s always a gradual process. The first week you worry about the details, by the second week you’ve gone a little more, and by the third even more.
“But time away is so important, you get a chance to think about the company, the changes and initiatives you can implement and how you can help improve them. If you distance yourself from the tools, you get a broader perspective.”