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Do vacations actually exist?

How do you all handle taking actual vacations? In my 15 years of selling, I feel like I've taken maybe one or two vacations where I was able to completely shut off. Deals don't take breaks and there are times when prospect calls or finalizing a proposal just has to get done that particular week. I hate relying on other people to do my work. Should I just throw my phone in the pool? Or continue my habit of waking up before the wife and checking emails or getting critical work done.


I just want work to disappear for at least a week without feeling the anxiety where I'm popping Xanax every day of my vacation wondering what's happening with a deal.


Does anyone else ever take a "real" vacation, and what's your approach ot making it happen?

🙏 Mental Wellness
🏄 Personal Life
🧠 Advice
27
UrAssIsSaaS
Politicker
+8
SaaS Eater
I have taken 1 real vacation in my 6+ years selling until now. Ive been off for the last 2 weeks but that's because I am between jobs, first real disconnect Ive had since I took a week long ski trip in an RV in northern Japan just prior to covid. 

That trip was the only time I was fully able to disconnect and that's because I didn't have an option, we were driving from small town to small town and skiing the whole time, sleeping in the camper so I didn't have any internet or cell reception. It was the best trip I have ever taken for that reason. 

I was managing a team of 16 at the time and basically designated leaders from my team that were trying to develop into managers to run certain aspects of the day to day while I was gone. It worked well as they wanted to flex those muscles and the rest of the team respected them so the wheels kept turning. I know that's not specific to your case as a seller but wanted to share my two cents. 

The other thing I realized on that trip is that no matter how important you think you are, the business will move on just fine without you. Take care of yourself.
MediocreSalesGuy
Valued Contributor
+7
AE
Great point at the end there. The business will indeed move on and in the grand scheme of things I'm not that critical to day to day operations. I only truly matter on the days I get a contract signed.
UrAssIsSaaS
Politicker
+8
SaaS Eater
I hate to say it, but yup exactly lol
Show 2 more replies
GrizzleMcThornBody
Arsonist
+12
EVP - RevOps
Have a good work buddy. Mine sat next to me and when I took a vacay I told him the deals I was working on, contracts I was waiting on, gave him my logins and if they called in I told him to tell my deals he was my boss. He was great, always helped, I did the same for him.

When a deal came him, he finished the contract and took 0%. I did the same thing. It allowed us to get away and not have to worry. Only thing we couldn't do was keep the pipeline filled but that was always fixed when you return to work. Just gotta get after it a little bit harder to get your pipeline back to normal.
SaaSguy
Big Shot
+9
Account Executive
Thats a solid idea, need someone you can trust.
Mobi85
Politicker
+5
Regional Sales Manager
I try to take a "real" vacation because burn out does exist.  The vacations or holidays are meant to be a recharge.  

I typically allow my first day of vacation to be a slow disconnect and check my emails a few times throughout the day.  The last day of vacation I start to reconnect and refresh my email and check all the stuff I missed and respond when appropriate.  The days in-between my phone doesn't leave my room.

If a customer or prospect can't understand or appreciate someone needing to take some time for themselves do you really want them as a customer (I know the answer will probably still be yes but do think about that).  

CuriousFox
WR Officer
+13
Senior Account Executive
You are your best asset. Take care of yourself.  
FamilyTruckster
Politicker
+9
Exec Director, Major Accounts
If your work phone is you’re only phone, it’s a bit tough. 

that being said - TAKE YOUR TIME OFF AND PUT THE PHONE DOWN. 

Nobody is going to say “good for @MediocreSalesGuy he never takes time off.” 

My last vacation was Thursday/Friday and all of the following week. Gave me 2 days to work a *little* then the following week it was radio silence. 

✌️
Diablo
Politicker
+7
AE
Sorry to hear about that and I feel you. Honestly, had same issues in last couple organizations but had good experience in a few org as well. I literally don't need to see my phone very often, if I have any pending conversations with prospects, my manager or team members handle them without taking the credit. 

Not sure if this is a possibility in your organization
MediocreSalesGuy
Valued Contributor
+7
AE
I'm thinking in my "new" gig I can actually make it happen by getting the support of my team. In my previous life with larger corps, it wasn't possible due to the level of scrutiny, micromanaging, and demands to hit weekly, quarterly, and annual targets.
Sunbunny31
Politicker
+5
Sales Executive
At my last company, my manager would take on coverage for that week.  We worked well together, and I completely trusted her.   I'd check email in the evening to catch up, mostly for my own peace of mind, and then forget about it.   New job this year, I took a week since it was already on my calendar and booked when I jumped to the job.   I was out of pocket during the day because of where I was, but did the same thing, checking emails at night.  I did have one meeting that could not be moved, so I took that on the breakfast patio at the hotel.   I'm not sure about being able to completely unplug here just yet.  There aren't that many of us, and we're a bit swamped.  It's tough to get coverage.  
MediocreSalesGuy
Valued Contributor
+7
AE
I'm thinking a cruise is the way to go...middle of the ocean, won't have signal so I can't check my phone constantly. I'm sure I could get wifi, but perhaps I can talk myself into not paying an arm and a leg for Royal Caribbean wifi...unless it's for porn.
Sunbunny31
Politicker
+5
Sales Executive
I've done the cruise - wifi onboard is truly crappy, so you will be just fine.   I can also attest that at least my cell carrier was dogcrap in most of Montana, outside of more densely populated areas.   

It's getting tougher to find places that don't have at least semi-decent internet, though.   
NoSuperhero
Politicker
+7
BDR
Yes, I've taken my first vacation in 4 years' time, switching jobs with no rest in between took a toll and def took my 9 days off.
MediocreSalesGuy
Valued Contributor
+7
AE
Good for you...clearly well deserved. Must have felt incredible. I need to find myself by a pool or beach somewhere ASAP.
cw95
Politicker
+6
Sales Development Lead
Every time I do I delete my gmail and CRM app etc but still struggle to not download and check once in a while - especially after a beer. So no, you may be abroad but the work head is still on!
dwightyouignorantsale
Politicker
+7
Manager, Sales
I don’t think I’ve ever taken a *real* vacation. I remember looking out my oceanside window in Croatia, thinking how beautiful and amazing it was, as I was stuck on an hour long call, with 2 subsequent hours of follow up work to do. I was so mad that I was having to work, but I also know that as a salesperson, we don’t control the timing of deals. If I could go back, I would DEFINITELY prepare better, let everyone that i’m working with know that i’ll be out, and have a better plan for backup.
happyhunter
Politicker
+6
spittin' sunshine
Life is meant to be lived! What are you closing deals for if you can't enjoy life and create memories with the ones you love the most? Take the vacation. Have genuine conversations about being unavailable with your closest prospects/deals and delegate to your team/manager/whoever to ensure when you get back everything isn't a complete shit show. Communication is key and having a solid team that can back you up will make vacation life a breeze. If you don't have that now, (and if I was in your shoes) I'd find a company that has a better work-life balance personally.

Maybe allow 1-2 hours a couple days during your vacation to catch up on emails if you truly can't disconnect...but when you're old what are you going to remember most? The times you never took a vacation because of work? Or will you regret that you worked too much and didn't fully live the life you were meant to? (Also it's 100% okay if you disagree and you want to work work work but this is just my opinion ❤❤)

LIVE IT UP! VIVA LA VACAY BABY!!!!! 
Pa
Pachacuti
Good Citizen
Gun for Hire
I take mini-vacations all the time - 3day weekends, etc.
I try to take off between Christmas - New Years and a week in the summer.  Not always successful, but I try.
spoderman
Arsonist
+10
Friendly Neighborhood Spoderman
I've almost missed some deals from unplugging completely, so going forward, not likely I'll be able to fully unplug on longer vacations. 
desperado
Politicker
+7
Head of Sales, Americas
I haven’t taken a real unplug vacation in over 6 years. I’ve been working for 6 years. I was going to go to Mexico but canceled it bc we’re behind for Q4 forecast. Yeeeeyyyyuiuhhhh
MediocreSalesGuy
Valued Contributor
+7
AE
Should have told them you're going door to door in Cancun looking for business.
CharmingSalesGal
Politicker
+8
Account Executive
The best tip I have is to be honest with your prospects- tell them when you'll be on vacation and when you'll be back and if you have to finalize something, put time on the calendar for when you get back to do so.

They completely understand and don't want to bug you while you're trying to relax!! And by putting things on the calendar to get taken care of when you come back, you'll know what you have to do when you get back so the catch up stress is minimized!
E_Money
Politicker
+11
Outbound Sales Manager- US
Work/life balance is SO important. 

I have never taken a job where I felt like I couldn't step away to take a break. Don't get me wrong, I work my ass off when I'm there, but I need the freedom to take a break and clear my head a little. 


No job is worth not being able to take actual vacations.
swerve
WR Lieutenant
+5
Account Executive
Couple points here OP:
- No one will tell you to take vacation, you gotta own it and just do it
- Your deal, quarter, or year won’t crumble because you took time off.
- Assume your VP is expecting you to take time off, communicate in advance, and delegate the critical tasks to them
- If a single 2 week vacation isn’t reasonable, take 4-5 4-day micro-vacations around the year. (Thurs - Sun). That’s only 8-10 PTO days off total, but gives you a balance between a break and keeping up with deals.
- YOU will break down if you don’t take a vacation. Think of it as part of your health insurance. Rest now or pay for it with your heart and head health later. Period.
- Get over your fear of relying on others for work. You rely on champions to sell for you behind the scenes, so you coach them up and assign tasks to them, right? Same thing internally. It’s not selfish, it’s necessary.
Take a vacation. Plan it today.
Jewcan_Sam81
Politicker
+8
Account Executive
No, they don’t. I just had a second stint of parental leave and took external calls every other day during the two week stretch
SalesPharaoh
Big Shot
+10
AM BDR
Not really, looking at the email and having the linkedin message notification has a higher dopamine thrill than getting reactions over instagram memes. 
Flippinghubs
Opinionated
+7
Account Executive
If you dont look after yourself who will? take time 
Sn
Snowey
Opinionated
+3
Account Executive
I think you misspelt vaccination, never heard of this vacation thing. 
GCK1890
Opinionated
+1
Solutions Engineer
Most, if not all, vacations I take revolve around trail riding in areas that have little to no service. That's honestly the only true way to disconnect lol
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