Photo courtesy of Better Than Stock.
It’s a common myth that many of us entrepreneurs buy into, especially at the beginning. As an entrepreneur, you can’t take time off. You must always be working, or things will completely fall apart.
I call it a myth, because it’s not true. And do it for a few years, and you’ll realize that it’s also not healthy. As an entrepreneur and a creator, you need time to replenish yourself and nurture the important relationships in your life.
So yes, dear Betty, you can take time off, it just requires a bit more planning and organization than if you had a nine to five. We promise, once you’re laying on a beach somewhere, fruity drink in hand, you’ll agree, it’s totally worth it.
Put your vacation on your calendar, and as you schedule new clients and projects throughout the year, make sure that those days remain sacred and untouchable. If you’re worried about achieving certain numbers (you know, so you can pay your bills), book an extra project or two when you can in the months before.
By scheduling your vacation, and your projects, you don’t have to constantly torment yourself with the thoughts of the work you need to get done while you should be enjoying yourself.
Solopreneurs, you can check out for a minute. Right now we’re addressing those of you that have a business partner or two who can lend a hand in your absence.
If you know certain things absolutely need to be handled while you’re gone, don’t be afraid to delegate to your leading ladies (or men). Whether it’s following up with a client, checking on a deposit, or answering an important phone call, chances are they’re happy to lend a hand.
After all, when they decide to take a much needed vacation, you’ll be there to do the same.
Prepare Your Clients
In the weeks before your vacation, let the clients who you work with on a regular basis know that you’ll be away. Use your upcoming vacay as an opportunity to wrap up projects. “I’ll be going away on July 8, and would love to tie up all the loose ends on our project before I leave!”
Set an autoresponder away message up on your email. (Unless you plan on checking it while you’re away, but we’d like to assume that you’re going to completely unplug.) It should include the dates you’ll be away as well as when they should expect to hear back from you. Feel free to make it as sassy or serious as you need.
Plan a Working Vacation
If you absolutely can’t unplug completely, consider taking a working vacation, especially if you have a location independent career. There are two essential pieces to this plan. Wi-Fi and excellent boundaries.
So let us explain this term, boundaries. This means that before you leave, you are clear about how long you’ll spend working and when. Decide whether you’ll be answering emails or phone calls (if you’ve ventured abroad, phone calls could be an expensive ordeal).
Without setting these boundaries ahead of time, you can easily find your work eating up more and more of your time, and fun happening less and less.
If you know yourself well enough to know that you can’t manage this balance well, keep the laptop and the smartphone at home.
What is your best advice on how to include a vacation into your busy schedule?
It’s officially summer, which in our books is the best time to work on your business. I mean, what else are you going to do while your clients are on vacation. If working on your business includes rebranding, or building a new website, send us a note. We want to hear from you!