Ranchers Need Vacations Too

by Dallas Mount

lake view

Mention the word vacation to a group of ranchers and someone will proudly state “I haven’t left this place for longer than 2 days in 25 years!”. Really? Is the business in such bad shape that it can’t survive for longer than 2 days without your presence? A healthy business should be able to continue without the constant presence of one or two key people for a significant amount of time. I was recently interacting with an amazing leader of a growing company. He made the point that if he disappeared tomorrow the company wouldn’t miss a beat for about 2 years. The staff was ready to pick up without him at a moment’s notice. The long-term goals he was working on would materialize in a couple years, but the business’ day-to-day didn’t need him present to operate. Vacations that take you away from the business are a step to creating a business that works without you.

We all need some healthy separation from our work lives and changing up routines. Many tell me that the ranch is their vacation and if they could do anything they wanted to do with their time, they would just ranch. That might be fine for you, but what about the other people in your business? If you never leave, what kind of message is that sending them? Perhaps it is that you don’t trust them to keep things running in your absence. How will you allow the next generation to grow into the management role if you are constantly present?  

Vacations are good for business. Stepping away gives a person time to reflect and think creatively. The word recreation is about re-creation or to create something new. Sometimes we have to step away from a situation in order to gain perspective and see the situation in a new way.  

I hope you will find time during the business of it all, to get away and enjoy time with loved ones doing something that doesn’t involve farming or ranching. It’s good for you, good for your relationships and good for business.

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