As summer comes to a close I've been thinking a lot about taking time away from your business.
Vacation is supposed to be a time away from work. It should be a time of relaxation and rejuvenation. As an entrepreneur relaxing on a vacation can be difficult to do—especially if you don’t have the right systems and supports in place.
What my summers/holidays used to look like
Historically, summer has been a stressful time for me.
I would plan to take a lot of time off with the kids, but never really planned for being away (even though I knew I should have). I didn't plan out my finances (how will I make money when I'm not working? What will I do if I'm not making money during that time?) or content for my time off.
So, while I knew I was going to be off, I couldn't always enjoy being off because I felt like I should be getting things done in my business.
On the other side of the coin, if I was working during this time, I wished I wasn't, because it was summer and I wanted to enjoy it! Summer was not what I dreamed it would be.
How things changed
I was determined to change all that because taking 4-5 weeks off every summer was part of my life plan.
I put systems in place, I created models of recurring income, and plans for the fall that are ready to roll out. It's meant so much less stress.
But it means even more than that.
It means I've had time to think.
I've had time to evaluate. I've had time to realize that I was working too much and I couldn't keep up the level of one-to-one coaching I was doing and still be happy.
And so more planning keeps happening to make sure that I can focus on business development, supporting my clients in the best ways I know how, and still be there for my family and making the money I need to make.
Running a business isn't always simple. In fact, it often isn't. The four most common words that came up in a recent survey I did about how people feel about their business were: excited, overwhelmed, optimistic and stuck.
Feeling overwhelmed and stuck can be paralyzing and overpowers the excited and optimistic on a regular basis.
If you're feeling this way, here are a few tips:
1) Give yourself a break: When you book time off don't feel guilty about work. It will be waiting for you when you get back. Do your very best to spend some time enjoying the summer, your family and whatever activities you choose to do. Some of the best ideas and revelations come when you truly start to let go and relax.
I know that's easier said than done, but some of the work is in the mindset around your expectations of yourself. Setting realistic expectations of what you will be doing is the best first step.
2) Ask for support: Find a business accountability partner to help you plan and/or hire a virtual assistant to help you make sure your content stays consistent and goes out on time. There are lots of people in the Biz Studio Community who would make great accountability partners, and lots of great VAs as well - and hiring someone doesn't need to cost a fortune.
3) Have a plan: Figure out what realistic goals should be prioritized for the summer months and make sure that you keep those top of mind. Keep it simple.
4) Be prepared to change: I am realizing that taking big blocks of time off in my business is more stressful than relaxing. I enjoy my work and like to do it, and let's be honest, spending time with 3 kids isn't generally all the 'relaxing.'
That means that next year, I'll do things differently. Instead of 3 weeks off in a row, perhaps I'll split it up into smaller sections. Be ok with changing your mind. Plans are not carved in stone, they can be changed.
5) Book a call: If you want to take the next step and see if joining one of my programs makes sense, book a free 40-minute consultation.
What systems and supports do you have in place so that when you take time away from your business, you can do so without having to feel overwhelmed or guilty about being away? Leave a comment and let me know.