Episode 120: Stop Living for Vacation – How to Take Time off as an Entrepreneurial Family

August 29, 2022


And when you finally get to that vacation you are working so hard to get ahead before you leave and then trying to play catch up when you return that sometimes it just seems easier not to go?

If you’ve ever had these feelings then today’s episode is for you! 

We recently took a five week vacation as a family, and we did it differently than we have in the past. So, today I want to share with you a behind-the-curtain glimpse of how we vacation as entrepreneurs and maybe shift the perspective on what vacations can mean and look like as an entrepreneurial family!


[1:55] Having Awareness  

Leadership is all about awareness and today’s episode is about becoming aware of how you want to do vacation as an entrepreneurial family. 

I used to put a ton of pressure on myself around vacations and it drove my husband nuts. I was an absolute bear leading up to it because I was trying to pack in so much work to prepare myself to be able to take the time off. And then afterwards, I was a ball of stress trying to catch up on everything that I missed. So, it wasn’t like I was really taking time off. I was just moving my time and my work. I also found that I was creating an unhealthy mentality of living for vacation which took me right back to my corporate career that I wanted to escape years prior.

Today I wanted to talk a little bit about what this five week vacation looked like for us because it was so drastically different from how we’ve done it in the past. I didn’t have the stress leading up to it. I don’t have the stress coming back from it. And there’s a reason for that. That cliche saying about building a life you don’t need a vacation from might be hella corny but it holds some merit. It’s not to say that all your days are filled with roses, but what if the way you built your life honored the vision you have on the way there? 

[6:15] Staying Aligned 

Not too long ago we came out of a very busy and stressful season and life got pretty heavy. It just felt like a lot. And I’m sure you’ve walked through times like these where you feel like you’re buried under the weight of the day-to-day and you wonder how on earth you’re ever going to get the chance to grow your business to what you want it to be or show up how you’re called to be. 

This is where awareness comes in. Now, when I start getting down on myself or feeling exhausted, I know I’ve lost sight of my vision. And as a leader, it’s on me to really come back to that because blurred vision and lack of clarity is a perfect storm. If you have this beautiful vision for the future, but the journey there isn’t aligned with the end you have in mind, you need to make sure that the days leading up to getting there are honoring that vision. 

[10:55]  Coming Back to the Vision  

Here’s what we did in order to shift things.

First, we knew we had to come back to that vision and we needed to feel solid in it again. I couldn’t go right into strategy, because you can’t create the path and the strategy without the destination. So, we used a tool that we created for ourselves years ago called Unhurried Leader and you can get it for free at This helped us get clear on how to slow down and how to know what we want and how to get there. We found out that we weren’t happy with how we were creating more stress in our lives and not chasing what we kept saying we wanted so badly. That then helped us discover that we needed more opportunities to be steeped in what matters to us and we weren’t finding ways to plan for that. We weren’t actually actively planning opportunities for our family to enjoy time together outside of our normal habitat.

We also realized that it didn’t feel good to just have this big block of time without any work at all because it led to more stress. This is where you have to have discernment and wisdom to know what is right for you. Every industry, every business owner, every personality is so so different. What we’ve been pushing for and what is a big part of our vision is that we want to integrate family and business, and that means the work we do could come with us and integrate into these fun planned times on vacation together. We created a rhythm that allowed us to take these five weeks away together without generating more stress. 

[15:11] Mapping It Out

Next, we mapped out what we wanted our vacation to look like in a way that felt aligned with our values.

We craved family, so that was most important for us but we also knew we wanted a lot of down time. Also, every year we do a “beach week” where we go to the beach and we stay on the ocean for a week with family and extended family. It’s my favorite week of the whole year and it always falls over our anniversary and my birthday, and that was my week to totally unplug. My team was prepped for it. I was prepped for it. There was no stress coming into it, there was no stress going out of it.

We also knew during this time, we wanted a lot of intentional time with the kids. We wanted to make space for that because we wanted more integration of work and play. And then the final thing is that we had dedicated work time, but work intentionally looked very different during this vacation. I was very intentional. For example, I didn’t schedule any calls during that time because then I would have to be on someone else’s clock.

Also, throughout this whole time, the lines of communication were very open with the kids and with my parents, with my brother and people that we’re going to be with. We explained how our work is going to look and how it allows us to spend more time with them. Finally, my social media activity was like next to nothing, because my business doesn’t depend on social media. And if your business is dependent on social media, you have to change that.

[24:50] Working in Harmony 

So, what if family and business truly were integrated and working in harmony? What if it wasn’t about escaping one for the other, but owning that you’re a founder family and you just do life differently and this is what it can look like.

We’re coming back from those five weeks away, still in some kind of rhythm and not trying to create momentum from a total standstill. We’re rejuvenated but we’re ready. We’re clear and focused and we’re connected as a family. That time was so restorative and such a gift to our family, but it was also a gift to our business. And hopefully this episode is a gift to you! 

I hope today’s episode helps you build  a life in which family and business are truly integrated, so that your next vacation can be stress-free!

And if this episode spoke to you, make sure to subscribe and leave us a review! Come connect with me on Instagram at @elizhartke! If there’s a topic, a question or a guest you want to hear on the show, just reach out and share that. We do this for you so the more you tell us, the more we can serve.


Add a comment
+ show Comments
- Hide Comments



The 30-minute, step-by-step guide to gain clarity, get out of the weeds of your business, and get more needle moving things done in way less time.

get me focused!

On the Air

The Luminary Leadership Podcast

We take the guesswork out of unlocking your full potential as an entrepreneur. We'll give you the secrets to make more money, create more freedom, and have more margin, all while still making your family a priority...

tune in

Our Services

We love serving ambitious entrepreneurs like you who are ready to break through to their next level of potential in business, leadership, and live. This is how we do it!


Browse By Category

Business Strategy




Emails people are clamoring over and talking about... 

You're no ordinary leader. You're building your dream differently — with your values and family in tact, and your potential uncorked! This is the spot where I share the super personal stuff to the behind-the-scenes of what works (and what doesn't) in our business. It's also where we can chat!

See ya in the inbox!

Join the No Ordinary
Leader Community


Creating Influential Leaders in Entrepreneurship: BTS + big news only shared to my insiders!