I just booked flights to head home to Ireland in July – YAY!
I’m really looking forward to seeing friends and family and finally getting to celebrate my 40th (one year late).
In the context of working solo, how do you take time off?
For me, it’s about keeping a keen eye-ball on the calendar and planning in advance so that the time I take off is actually relaxing, and I’m not trying to check emails while I’m supposed to be chillin’.
Here are a few things I do:
- I let everyone (clients, leads, and collaborators) know my schedule well in advance
- I work backward from my holiday schedule to make sure everything gets done before I leave
- I make sure that I have some visibility running so that I don’t totally disappear while I’m off
- I make sure the kids are booked into activities so that the weeks between the close of school and holi-bobs take off are covered and I’m not stretching myself too thin by minding them and doing my work
- I make sure I have enough money taken in to hit my quarterly goals and not worry about money on my break
Do you set quarterly goals?
Do you have a structure in place so that you can take holidays without having to do daily check-ins? Are you on track with your quarterly money goals? (End of Q2 is the 30th of June which marks the halfway point of the year).
Éadaoin and I spoke about working with quarterly goals on our podcast ‘Grow Out Loud’.
We talk about how useful it is to work in quarters to structure your year and distributing your energy in a healthy way.
It can be hard to step away.
I think taking time off from your business is vital to get perspective and actually claim that freedom that is due to you when you’re your own boss. But it would be tone deaf of me to ignore the fact that taking time off isn’t so easy.
If you worry about your clients…
Sometimes being passionate about your work and dedicated to your clients means that you feel like you can’t step away. This brings up the question about healthy boundaries with your work – which is a big topic. As a starting point, try to see your time off as an act of service to your clients. If you come back refreshed, revived, and inspired – that can only benefit them.
They need to know about your time off in advance, well in advance. And you must be clear about how their project/contract with be managed while you’re away. You might even find that they’ll be taking time off too.
If you can’t afford to step away…
If your sales process and service delivery are so drawn out that it takes ages to get paid it might feel like you can’t afford to stop. This is really something that needs your attention urgently. Constantly working and chasing money creates a level of stress that is not sustainable and can lead to burnout.
Doing work on your business strategy can give you clarity on how to shorten your sales cycle and get paid more consistently so that time off is more feasible. (Check out my services here.)
If you’re caught up in the hustle…
Being a solo business owner (aka: solopreneur) can actually be pretty exciting. When you’re getting started or building momentum the thought of stopping even for a week, can seem impossible. The hustle gets you hooked! But remember that your work is ONE part of your life and for this to be sustainable, you need to mind yourself. The hustle won’t love you back.
You’re your own boss. Nobody else can decide how you spend your time but you. Are you being a nice boss to yourself?
There was a time that I was so caught up with attracting and serving clients, that all the other areas in my life suffered. Since then my vision for success has changed and while the hustle is fun, it can also be addictive and must be approached with caution.
If you’d like to work on a digital strategy that helps you get paid consistently and allows you to claim your free time and actually enjoy it, I’d love to hear from you. Get in touch!