You started this for freedom, right? You joined this crazy world of self-employed life so that you didn’t have to miss the next school play, you don’t have to say no to that night in the wine bar or weekend away. You wanted to break free from the shackles and limitations of employed life holidays! The pain I used to feel when submitting a ‘request’ to use my OWN time in my OWN life to go where I wanted to…. Pfft! No thanks!
BUT the reality is- when we only answer to ourselves, we are the toughest boss! PLUS, I FORGET to schedule in the ‘necessary’ holidays- the one’s that will keep me refreshed and on my game. For instance, during the 2020 (and now 2021 restrictions) I barely took anytime off once I got the business back to capacity. I forgot to take time off just because we weren’t going anywhere! End of the day I hit burnout before Christmas, and it was entirely my own fault! I know what to do, you know too, but sometimes we need a push/prod in the right direction.
Let’s remind ourselves WHY we should take time off. We read so many things that say as an entrepreneur you need to give ALL your time ALL of the time. That’s wrong! You should expect to work hard but I 100% believe that we should play JUST as hard. Worry and stress will get you nowhere. I had a discovery call in December and I didn’t prep, I wasn’t relaxed, I didn’t have the capacity and my team weren’t in place till Jan. So, I wasn’t invested, I was rubbish and the lead never got back to me.
I had one first week in Jan after 2.5 weeks off, I still didn’t prep (I just don’t I’d rather have no pre-conceptions) but I was relaxed, I had the TIME to ask questions and I was genuinely interested. She signed the next day!
It gives you time to:
- Alleviate stress, anxiety-and this tends to clear some headspace or boost your mood. I find that when I come back after a break that ‘thing’ that I was struggling with, the task that was always going onto the next day’s list, I find that is done with ease!
- Connect with people. Really connect. So, catch up with people about their life, have fun with them without the niggling in the back of our mind that we SHOULD be doing something else.
- Sleep- I am a bad sleeper generally but I am consumed with reading about the benefits of sleep and I KNOW them! When you take some time to get into a better sleep routine it may help you maintain that when you are back at work.
- Avoids f**kin’ up! When we are tired, working with no end in sight- you make mistakes. Everyone does. Being refreshed, everything does feel easier.
- Creative benefits- getting out and about, reading, doing different things, meeting different people- all of this can help lead you to new ideas and you never know even new clients!
So how can you do it?
Everything is in the planning. I don’t mean plan when you want time off but your business plan for the year! Brush your big goals off (mine are Nov-Nov) get your plan down and make sure you know the weeks when you are going to be busy, launches, key dates etc. What I would recommend is take some time off before and after those big things. You are refreshed and offer the launch/project the best shot and then as a reward at the end to recharge and unwind.
The relief of knowing that someone else is there for your clients, doing the day to day and running your business for you is amazing. But I am a control freak I hear you yell, that doesn’t matter. At first you may feel a bit on edge about it, but you take a 2 week holiday, come back to a clear inbox, notice that your SM insights haven’t taken a hit and your sales have continued as normal, then trust me, you won’t be a control freak for long. The benefit of outsourcing this is you can have support as and when you need it rather than committing to employing a member of staff. Win win!
EASE YOURSELF IN
Now I would’ve been a nervous wreck taking a 2-week holiday in the first few months of my business, but then you can fall into the trap of thinking you can’t ever take time off. So, ease yourself in. I know some people who just book some long weekends. I also do take my laptop. I have taken it on 7 holidays since starting the business and I have only opened it so hubby can log in and use his NFL game pass. BUT because I know it is there it is almost a comfort blanket.
Let your customers/clients know when you are available- and I mean this from an everyday point of view not just for holidays. I don’t work on Monday’s and Friday’s and I make this clear from the discovery call stage. I have reset expectations and I always communicate holidays well in advance so they can pop it in the calendar (or I can pop it in for them) and we agree to work beforehand.
Just take some time off and if a small child life isn’t in danger what could go wrong?
If you think you want to outsource but don’t know where to start you can book a discovery call with me. A VA might not be right for you and I might not either, but we can use that 20 min call to discuss what may work for you.