The Vacation Effect for Entrepreneurs is a small book, but worth its weight in gold. I already knew quite a few, various how-tos because I read another of Denise’s books back in 2022, The Busy Entrepreneur’s Guide To Creating A Lifestyle Business. I still found some golden nuggets in The Vacation Effect for Entrepreneurs. While the how-tos were golden, the inspiration and motivation were even more valuable.
Hey, I didn’t find any CONs of this book! Of course, you can nitpick that Denise’s approach may not be doable for every entrepreneur… You always can nitpick. But the author used my favorite approach: she painted the picture in front of readers and told them to take whatever they want and deem doable from her framework.
Instead of brainless nitpicking, let’s dive into the various excellent…
of this book. The first and foremost of them is…
1. The Big Picture.
I loved the philosophy behind this book. Most employees live for the weekend, and that’s abhorrent. How can they waste five days a week and be miserable in their work only to party and enjoy life for two days?
Well, most entrepreneurs are even worse. They don’t even live for the weekend. They work non-stop. And while a majority of them enjoy their tasks more than an average employee, they have very little time to enjoy their lives.
The act of doing what you love and sharing it with others creates the joy.”
In the end, the Big Picture of The Vacation Effect for Entrepreneurs is this question: what we are hustling for? What are all those long hours and stacks of dollars for?
To enjoy your hobbies? To take care of your family? To spend time with your friends? To be free and travel? To be free and serve those less fortunate?
Then why does the hustle culture prevent you from all the above? If you are too busy to do any of the above in a meaningful amount, why are you even hustling?
2. The Story.
Denise’s story is the most powerful component of this book. She needed to experience a tragedy to shift her philosophy. I especially loved this sentence:
And you certainly don’t have to wait for a fire or other tragedy to create the life you’ve always dreamed of.”
This is what I preach around the clock. My life had been going nowhere prior to 2012. I didn’t experience a single overarching all-changing moment. I just was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I started amending my life with small daily disciplines and slowly built the life I dreamed of.
Let’s face it: you may never live through a tragedy that would put you over the fence. You may wait and spend your whole life being at least half-miserable as Thoreau put it in the “Walden” – you may live your whole life in a quiet desperation.
Don’t wait for a tragedy. Don’t wait for a sudden enlightenment. Start creating the life you’ve always dreamed of, today.
Let Denise’s story inspire you to do so.
3. My Takeaway.
Have the balls to remove 40% of your working hours; the magic will follow. Well, the other part of the Vacation Effect and magic is that you don’t spend this removed time on fretting and worrying about all you need to do. You spend it on living your dream life, NOW. As Denise puts it:
Forced hyper-efficiency and Freedom Days are just two sides of the same coin.
I may be less under the spell of busy-iness, but I’m under this spell nonetheless. I feel like what Denise proposes is impossible. Yet, she had done it and the results were extraordinary.
I’m thinking about many obstacles, I want to mitigate her radical approach: “OK, I will only work on what I love during those two days off.”
I’m all about small steps, and Denise’s recipe for acceleration seems to be too good to be true. Yet, she has done it, and she helps other entrepreneurs to do it.
Maybe in my conservative thinking, I’ll take only the Wednesdays off. Maybe, I’ll not work on Saturdays too. I don’t work many hours anyway, and my wife has weekends off and expects me to join her in leisure and household activities.
4. Excellent Delegation Tips.
Every time Denise delegates something out, she gives her team a document with several points. Here they are:
• The project description – covers the details of what you want them to do.
• What does success look like? More context around what you want the end result to look like, what it will be used for, or how you will measure if it was done the way you wanted.
• The priority/deadline.
• Level of creative leeway – you let them know if you want their creativity or if there is a specific format or order it must follow.
• Level of authority – for example, are you wanting them to make a decision and sign up for the service, or present you with options?
• Is there an existing policy or procedure they should follow?
It all sounds too good to be true. The Vacation Effect for Entrepreneurs seems to scratch this itch to get massive results faster; to find a shortcut, a quick hack to grow your business, quickly. Usually, when I get to know any concept like that, I’m extremely skeptical.
But not this time. An extreme productivity (and results that follow it) is just a part of this book’s promise. The other part is that you can start living your life to the fullest today. You don’t have to wait for another decade or three till you “make it” to cross some items from your bucket list. You can do it next week.
And that’s even more alluring for me.
My subconscious mind resists from all its might that it cannot be so simple. But deep in my gut, I feel that Denise’s advice is sound.
Like with The Slight Edge message, I may resist for some time, but eventually I will take the plunge. The Vacation Effect for Entrepreneurs inspired me so.