Should You Take A Vacation As A Startup CEO?

We closed our funding in early April, and we had a previously scheduled vacation to Hawaii in June. So, what did I do?

I took the vacation of course.

And I had a really nice time. My wife and daughter had a nice time too.

I took a vacation every year I was CEO.

I disconnected for the most part, but I always checked in every day. And, I always checked in on the daily sales reviews that we had.

The team we had could run the company without me. And they knew to contact me if there were any emergencies.

I asked the team to take vacations too.

I always felt that it’s wrong to do something you wouldn’t want your team doing. So, I encouraged the team to take regular vacations too.

There was only one rule for the team: There had to be email and phone coverage where they were, so we could contact them in case of an emergency.

There were only a couple of times we had to reach out to someone on vacation. But can you imagine if your startup literally ground to a halt because you couldn’t reach someone on vacation?

I couldn’t either.

The only time I didn’t take a vacation or cut a vacation short was during fundraising.

We had planned on taking a vacation to the Caribbean, but we were in the middle of fundraising, so I didn’t want to be away. I told Blossom and Avery to go ahead and take the vacation.

The plan was that I would take the red-eye and meet them on Friday and fly home with them on Sunday. I remember being at SFO late Thursday night emailing back and forth with our VP Engineering about something.

Then, I got on the plane and slept for a few hours. Blossom and Avery were really happy to see me Friday.

We had a really nice time that one day, Saturday, we had together. Best of all, Blossom and Avery really appreciated me flying from San Francisco to the Caribbean to spend one day with them.

So, yes, go ahead and take vacations. And encourage your team to take vacations too.

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