10 days on the beach. In… Costa Rica, let’s say. (Maybe I’m biased?) No email, no phone calls, no writing, no masterminding, no business.
No nothing, in fact, except watching the birds and (responsibly) working on your tan.
Glorious. Abso-freaking-lutely glorious.
You start surfing travel websites, catalog which bikinis are worth bringing, and then “reality” hits you like a soggy sock: But I can’t leave my biz for that long. I’m a solopreneur- I AM my business. No way, no can do.
That’s no way to live.
With summer just around the corner, business will slow down for many of us coaches. So it’s the perfect time to take a much deserved vacation. But how to make it work without feeling like you’ve abandoned ship?
Just because you’re a solopreneur doesn’t mean a lifetime ban from vacations.
Pauses, breaks, and hiatuses are absolutely vital to keeping yourself happy, healthy, inspired and excited about your business. They offer perspective and, from my experience, a big boost of motivation and ideas to va-voom my business upon return. I came out of my last 10-day silent retreat and re-wrote half my website and logged a heap of blog post and program ideas into Evernote. I’ve personally chosen a lifestyle and business model that allows me this space… and I love it. It’s the only way for me.
A few simple steps and you can have the tan lines you’ve been missing for… how long? And you don’t even have to bring your laptop along to sneak into your email aprez-sunset.
1. Slow down and get caught up. This means slowing down ahead of time- don’t plan to launch something new, take on new clients, or start any big momentum in the weeks leading up to your vacation. And then get caught up on backlogged filing, finances, emails, requests, etc. Been meaning to follow up with a client? Do so! Make sure you’re not leaving anything- or anyone- hanging unfinished when you leave so you can nap with a clear conscience.
2. Pre-program your social media presence and blog posts. This one takes some planning and a good investment of time, but it assures that your loyal folks don’t suddenly notice you’ve disappeared. Services like HootSuite or Buffer make it easy and quick to program in your witticisms, favorite quotes, and blog links ahead of time. As far ahead as you want. A tip though: avoid programming in questions that will provoke your readers to respond as a conversation. A lack of reply on your end might seem odd.
3. Use your vacation or retreat as a teachable moment. Explain to your folks- in a newsletter, on social media, etc.- that you’ll be walking your talk and taking time for yourself to refresh. Write a blog post about the importance of stepping back, perhaps. And let them know what’s up for when you return: what can you share to get them excited for you?
4. Offer a speed round of one-off sessions. Not only does this soothe those who were about to make the excuse, “But I wanted to work with you NOW!”, but it offers you a nice little boost in cash flow. Consider a limited number of 1-2 hour intensives, or open up a few extra slots for one of your signature offerings.
5. Either: fine-tune your auto reply, or hire a temporary VA if you don’t already have one. If you opt for the auto-reply route, give your correspondents options! Tell them something friendly and in alignment with your branding. I write something like,
Thank you for writing- I’m working on my sun tan, catching up on cat naps, and taking time to listen to my heart’s desires on the beach until (date)! I’m super excited to come back refreshed and inspired and dive into your Heart Centered journey, but in the meantime, here are a few goodies and resources to inspire & support you:
[Link to newsletter/autoresponder signup]
[Link to a great blog post with short explanatory blurb]
[Link to another great blog post. See above.]
And if you’re ready to schedule a session? Click here [scheduler link] to schedule a time and get dibs on a client spot once I return.
I can’t wait to connect. Here’s to your Heart, your desires, and your joy.
If you’re leaving for more than a few weeks, you might decide to work with a VA. Shop around far in advance with your colleagues and friends for someone who’s willing to take on new clients, and give yourself ample time to train your new best friend. Focus on the specific tasks you’d like her to do: answering specific emails, keeping an online program running smoothly, or uploading new blog posts/social media. She might even keep tabs on your social media accounts if you really build trust with her.
And most importantly: Let go, with love. Some of the most synchronous and incredible things have happened in my business when I’ve stepped back for a couple of weeks. I’ve taken multiple hiatuses from my business- from 7 days to a month and a half- and returned to interview and guest post requests, new client inquiries, and an enormous sense of inspiration and motivation.
Trust that sometimes, stepping back from your business is the best way to invest in your own success and happiness by nourishing your heart. You deserve it.
Heather Day is a Transformational Coach, yoga teacher, and a guide for those who seek to live a Heart Centered Life. She helps people who have fallen out of balance to return to center with intuitive and practical tools for body, soul, and lifestyle. You’ll find her eating papaya, teaching yoga and coaching from her home in Costa Rica. Get her free meditation series to overcome fear and find your own Heart Center, and connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.