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Tasmania holiday winner on what the trip meant to her, why small businesses don’t take breaks & her top tip to tackle stress

Remember a few months ago we ran a competition where you could nominate a small business for a luxurious holiday to Tasmania?

Well, the winners - Renae and Roy from Cape York Motorcycles Adventures in Queensland - recently went on their 4-night LuxuryEscapes.com all-inclusive Tasmanian Escape for two at the multi award-winning Saffire Freycinet.

The couple lives near Cairns with their two kids, one grandchild, four horses, two dogs, one cat, one fish, a peacock and hens. As you can imagine, personal and professional life keeps them very busy and they hadn’t been on a holiday for eight years.

When they got back from their well deserved break, we caught up with Renae about their holiday, what it was like to rediscover her husband and business partner, and why not replacing a broken bulb in the office was the smartest thing she did.

Q. Let’s go back in time a little - what was your reaction when you realised you had won the trip to Tasmania?

It was so surreal to receive that phone call and I didn’t really believe it until we were actually sitting on the plane three months later.

Q. What was one of the best things about going on a holiday with your husband?

Roy and I started this business together but to run the business, we have to split teams. I take care of admin and he looks after operations. That means he’s away 200 days a year on his bike and I don’t get to spend much time with him. Even when he’s home, we work on different clocks - I wake up early and he works late into the night. This holiday gave us the opportunity to reconnect on a personal level and put us back on the same team.

Q. What was one of the hardest things about taking this break?

We haven’t been able to take a break together for eight years. And one of the biggest reasons for that is the fear of ‘what if’. What if you miss an important call or don’t reply to an important email. As a small business owner, you’re just afraid of so many things that could go wrong - loss of clients, loss of faith.

For instance, when we were in Tasmania, there was a technical glitch with my ipad and I couldn’t respond to emails. While that was good in a way because we switched off completely, when I got back I had twice the amount of work to catch up on.    

Q. After this holiday, do you think you should be taking more time off?

Yes, it’s become apparent that we should be scheduling some time together. And to do that, we should get someone who can take care of the office in our absence. Hiring another staff member, even if they are part time, could be really helpful to us.

Q. Small businesses are known to wear multiple hats, work long hours and take few breaks. What’s your top tip to tackle stress?

We started the business 26 years ago. In the beginning, I used to wake up at 3 in the morning, get my office work done and then take care of the kids. But then one day, the office bulb went off and I decided to not replace it. That was one of the smartest things I did because this meant that I could only work during the day. And it saves energy!

Small Business First and Moula ran a competition last year where you could nominate a local small business for a 4-night LuxuryEscapes.com all-Inclusive Tasmanian Escape for 2 at the multi award-winning Saffire Freycinet (flights, food, minibar and selected beverages included) worth $8,500.

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