Was your summer as great as you hoped? Were you hoping for more?
My life plan, built so I can build the life I want around the business I want, is all about needing a fair amount of time off to be with my three kids over Christmas, spring break and during the summer. As an entrepreneur, taking any amount of time off requires planning.
What does it take to take time off as an entrepreneur
In the summer I take 4-5 weeks off and some summers have been great, but others (especially in the earlier years) have been stressful because I didn't have the right plans in place. It’s one thing to say you’re going to take a few weeks off from your business but in order to take time off successfully you need to plan so that your social media doesn’t drop off, people still know who you are, and so that you still have money coming in during that time or make more money previously so you are covered during your time off.
In the past I had missing systems, which got better this year, but this summer despite the right systems in place, I was stressed out for a whole other reason - I had a hard time stepping away from my work. I also had a hard time being present with my kids. This made me realize that I needed to do a summer post-mortem to see what worked and didn't and that I should share it with everyone else so they could do it too.
Realizing you need to make a change
It turns out, the summer model I thought I wanted is not the model I really want for my life or my business. I am okay with this – it’s okay that I changed my mind. I realized that I do not want 4-5 weeks off in a row during the summer. I realized I would be much happier with smaller blocks of time off.
I realized that the more downtime I have, the more ideas about my business I have; however if I have all this time off to spend with my kids I don’t have the time to actually implement these ideas… and these ideas are forgotten by the time I am back to work because I have other things that need to be done.
By being off for numerous weeks in a row I also miss out on many opportunities. I couldn’t take action on them because I was off and that made me nervous.
Lastly, I love my job. I love my kids, but they are busy and can be very intense, so I need my work as a break from the chaos of kids life. I don’t do well with constantly being surrounded by noise and chaos; my ADHD brain needs quiet (which is why working from home works so well for me). I also find myself resenting the fact that I can’t be working, taking advantage of new opportunities and implementing my new ideas instead of enjoying time with my kids.
Knowing you’re not alone
I have since started having client calls again and I am hearing a lot of the same things from my clients about their summers.
Summer, for entrepreneurs, isn’t always as fabulous as we think it is going to be. We make plans for fun activities and time to enjoy the warm weather, and yet it can be disappointing when you reflect back at how the summer actually went.
I want to acknowledge that you are not alone if summer is hard for you – as a parent or as an entrepreneur.
I want to challenge you to think through how your summer went - do a post mortem so you can decide what to keep the same and what to change for next year.
Here are some questions to get you started:
- What did you do this summer? How much work did you do. How much fun did you have? Then think about what you actually had planned for the summer – what was missing from your plan?
- What was your favourite thing about your summer?
- What was the worst thing about your summer?
- What needs to change for you to ensure next summer isn’t as stressful for you?
- What does your ideal summer look like?
- What needs to happen to make your ideal summer a reality?
I have made answering these questions simple in this Summer Post Mortem Quiz. Filling out this quiz is the first step in making these plans that will help you effectively plan for next summer over the next ten months.
I hope you had a great summer and had a lot of great moments! But if you didn’t – let’s make a plan to make next summer a great one!
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