I’ve seen a lot of people from the Northern Hemisphere talking about having a holiday. And then they go on to say they are only going to be working an hour or so in the morning and then having the rest of the day off.
I look at these posts and think that is not a holiday! For me a holiday is no work at all, it’s a time to step away and to restore my energy. I might have sparks of ideas that I need to write down but that is the extent of it – and I’m sure they pop up because I’ve stopped.
That is not the business that I want to create for myself.
So what can you do to be able to take that time off?
Five things that can help you get to the point where you are able to switch off are:
01. How you set up your offers.
Obviously it’s easier to take time off if you do project work and schedule things so you wrap up your projects before you go on holiday. Similarly if you run a group program that goes for 9 months of the year, means an obvious down period is scheduled in.
That doesn’t mean you can’t have a membership or evergreen course. But if you have those kinds of offers, then you may have to think about batching content if you promise new content every month, or you advertise that you only do calls 11 months of year, or you hire someone to do customer service. There are options, it just takes more thought (and sometimes time to get your business to a size where you can hire).
02. Pricing to take leave.
Unlike working for someone else, you aren’t going to get paid leave. Instead you need to set aside money to pay yourself while you’re taking a break and maybe to hire someone to answer queries from customers. Which means setting prices that enable you to do this.
03. Having good contracts / terms and conditions in place.
This is all about communicating and being clear with clients when you are and aren’t available. It could be in a contract if you are doing one on one services or if you have a course or membership it might be set out on the sales page and in the terms and conditions of the course.
Once you have them in place then the next step is communication them well. Reinforcing the terms when people push against them. Just like any boundary you set people will try to push you to see how firmly you stand by them.
04. Having the right clients.
I have amazing clients. They understand and share my philosophy on the business not being all consuming. It has taken time to find the right people to work with and to have the courage to say no to some people but it’s been so worth it. It’s also a two way street. I’m not taking time off when they most need me – like right in the middle of an important launch.
05. Walking the talk.
The hustle culture has created an environment where we expect instantaneous responses to our communication. An expectation that support should be immediate. So we need to change the culture. As individuals, two of the most easy ways to contribute to this are talking about how you work publicly and treating people how you want to be treated.
Talking about it could be something simple like writing a blog post (like this!) or it could be sharing how you work on social media.
Treating people how you want to be treated can look like encouraging people you work with to take time off, not expecting immediate responses, and respecting when people say they are on holiday.
Sometimes you don’t get a choice about taking time off. Last year when I had major surgery the doctor said I had to have a month off. It wasn’t exactly how I would’ve chosen to take time away from my business but I was glad to have things set up so I could.
If you would like help in setting up a business that allows you to completely switch off, then drop me an email at email@example.com and we can have a chat about it.
And if you are on holiday while reading this post, then shut down that phone or laptop and get on with your holiday!