This post is also a podcast episode!
I just returned from a 2-week vacation in Alaska with my husband. . . and I didn’t do ANY work while we were there. This may seem obvious to a lot of people, but not most service-based entrepreneurs. We don’t have the luxury of paid vacation days, or co-workers who can take over our tasks while we’re gone. But we DO have the freedom and flexibility to travel whenever we want, wherever we want. It took me several years to realize that it’s ok, and in fact healthy for me and my business, to take “real” vacations where I have a total break from my clients, projects and business duties. Here are some of the things I did right. . . this time!
1. Plan your tasks ahead as much as possible. Make lists of what you need to get done before you leave, which clients you need to talk to, what automations you might need to set up, etc. I started with a “brain dump” list a few weeks before we left, and got clear on all the things I needed to accomplish (and others that I hoped I would accomplish) before leaving.
2. Communicate with clients and employees as early as possible. Remind them more than once when you are going to be gone, and ask them to put in any “requests” for work they need done a couple weeks before you leave.
3. Delegate! If you have tasks that still need to be done while you’re gone, try hiring a Virtual Assistant. There are a lot of great sites where you can find someone who is reliable, qualified, and inexpensive.
4. Put up your email vacation notification a day or two before you leave. In Gmail this is in settings > “Vacation Responder”. Include instructions for clients in case they have an emergency. If you are totally unavailable, consider giving them a back-up option, like contacting your VA or giving them the contact of another person or company that does what you do. I mentioned Fixrunner.com to clients in my vacation responder, in case they had a website issue that needed quick action.
Come home from vacation on a Thursday or Friday so you have the weekend to recover and catch up on life, before you have to jump back into work. We did this by chance, and I was so glad!
Finally, don’t forget to enjoy yourself! Vacations are necessary to clear your head and refocus your energy, which leads to all kinds of great ideas, experiences and sparks of inspiration that can fuel your business in the long-run.
Check out my Alaska photos in the “Travel” highlight on my Instagram stories (@holisticbizgrowth)