The Ambitious Restaurateur’s Guide to Taking the Whole Summer Off

When you’re successful, you don’t have to do what many families do every spring: figure out who will take care of the kids once the school year is done.

Instead, you get to think about where you are going to go as a family. For a month. Or the whole summer.

Summers with the kids are fleeting — and so are the chances to be together as family when there is no school to dominate that schedule. Your success allows you to take advantage of that.

That idea carries great meaning to me. My father was extremely successful and provided a great life for me — but was seemingly always on a plane going around the world to visit all of his offices.

People Who Know How to Leave

I have clients who leave for the summer and keep up with their businesses through e-mail, do an occasional video chat with their office, or even fly in for a day a couple of times to see what is going on.

On the other hand, some clients largely disconnect. Maybe they read emails. Maybe they log onto their accounting system — but only for a few minutes a day.

Or maybe they disconnect completely like one of my clients. The staff at their corporate office actually started to worry because they had not heard anything from their owner in weeks. But that simply showed how confident the owner was about the team in place.

Increasingly, in my work with owners of multi-unit independent restaurant companies, I’m finding successful restaurateurs emphasize the freedom to work when they want to — and to get away when that is a more attractive proposition.

Top Three Characteristics of Owners Who Get Away

In all my experience setting up companies, I have identified three characteristics of owners who fully take advantage of the flexibility success and my process provides.

  1. Place of Highest Use. They work only on things that either they really enjoy or that no one else can do. Anything else that does not fall into those categories gets delegated.
  2. Trust. They assemble a senior management team that makes the right decisions. The people on their teams have experience deeper than the owner, who is often self-taught. They don’t have a reason to worry.
  3. Self-permission. They have a core belief that they deserve to enjoy the fruits of their success. They have no guilt at all about leaving. They avoid negative self-talk that says, “I really ought to be at work.”

Really, what is the point of being successful if the only way to maximize your net worth is to have to be at work when there are better things you could be doing with your family?

Are you ready to leave for an extended period this summer? If not, why not set a goal to do so next summer and start preparing for that now?