It’s a strangely small world out there

It’s strange who you run into driving across the vast expanse of Texas.

My family and I were on our way to a Colorado vacation last week when I ran into a friend.

I stopped in my tracks when I ran into the Texas Press Association Chairman Randy Mankin. He owns The Eldorado Success and he and his wife were doing the same thing – heading up to the mountains to get a quick break from the Texas heat and the unending news cycle.

Randy and I hugged and talked a bit, and then my family gathered around, wondering why I was chatting so merrily with someone I just met. As I informed them that I knew Randy and learned a lot from him regarding newspapers, they admitted that they thought I had gone crazy talking to a stranger like that.

The coincidence of meeting someone you know in Muleshoe is not that great – or so I thought. Maybe it’s the newspaper business. We talk to so many people every week, and we get together with other business owners to talk about, well, business. That’s because small business owners have a real sense of community – and they don’t alway like to leave their towns to take a break.

But it’s also a real problem that few small business owners actually take any time off, in any time frame other than a day here or a day there.

My entire week in Colorado was unusual for me. The last full vacation I took was several years ago. Apparently, the same went for Randy Mankin, who said he occasionally tries to get away from the office with his wife.

Studies show that small business owners simply don’t take time off. A recent study from Funding Circle said that 70 percent of small business owners worked on Thanksgiving, even though they had planned on taking the entire day off.

And when small business owners do take time off, they feel guilt about leaving their employees to have to cover for them.

It’s important that owners take time off; it helps physically and mentally. And, really, the employees love it when the boss it out of town.

So, the next time you go into a local business – Casa Alde, The Tavern, Centerfield, Mitchell Motors, Town and Country Vet clinic, AMM or any of the hundreds of others in Kyle and Buda – remember that those folks might not have taken a vacation in years.

And they still smile when you enter their door.

That’s because they love this community and they have passion for their jobs. Support your local small businesses. They need it – monetarily, but also mentally.

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