Vacation? As a solopreneur?
When was the last time you took a vacation and didn’t work on your business the entire time? When was the last time you took a significant amount of time off? Stepped away from social media for more than a day or two? Does taking time off as a solopreneur feel impossible to you?
If you’re like most of us work-loving entrepreneurs, you probably just cringed away from even thinking about the answers to those questions. And I get it. It is scary to step fully away from your business. It depends on you, right?! If you aren’t there – how will it keep growing?
Last week, I went on vacation. And for the first time since starting my business, I went on vacation and didn’t work. I didn’t even bring my business stuff. I couldn’t believe how light and empty my backpack was on the plane! I spent 10 days away from work – and today, I’m sharing exactly what went down during those 10 days.
Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode:
- Take the first lesson of Club Content Batching – for free!
- This week’s action step: I want you to plan for stepping away – even if it’s just for a staycation at home. I can tell you all day long that this works, but you aren’t going to really believe it unless you prove it to yourself.
- This week’s book recommendation: A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams
- Find me on Instagram and tell me you completed this week’s action step: @mrsamandawarfield
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Rather Read? – Here’s the Transcript!
*Just a heads up – the provided transcript is likely to not be 100% accurate.
When was the last time you took a vacation and didn’t work on your business the entire
time? When was the last time you took a significant amount of time off? Stepped away from
social media for more than a day or two? If you’re like most of us work loving entrepreneurs,
you probably just cringed away from even thinking about the answers to those questions.
And I get it. It’s scary to step fully away from your business. It depends on you, right? It’s
your baby. If you aren’t there, how will it keep growing? Last week I went on vacation and
for the first time, since starting my business, I went on vacation and I didn’t work. Not once.
I didn’t even bring my business stuff.
I couldn’t believe how light and empty my backpack was on the plane. I spent 10 days away
from work. And today I’m sharing exactly what went down during those 10 days. You’re
listening to the Chasing Simple Podcast, Episode 65, and I’m your host, Amanda Warfield.
Let’s dive in.
Real confession here. I often struggle with finding my worth inside of how well my business
is doing; realistically, logically. I know 100% that that’s not where my worth comes from, but
in the day- to- day, I do often struggle with having to continuously pull myself out of that
mindset of; things aren’t going the way I’d hoped, I’m not moving as fast as I would like to,
things aren’t growing as much as I would like to, whatever the case may be. I can really pull
myself down The reason I am sharing this is because it’s very relevant to the fact that I have
a hard time shutting my brain off about my business.
And when I was teaching preschool, It was a lot easier for me at the end of the day, at the
end of the week, turn off that part of my brain and not think about work for the rest of the
night, the rest of the weekend. There were always some situations where I would ruminate
on them over the weekend or whatever. Sometimes there were students that, you know, I
was thinking about how to help in certain ways and things like that. But for the most part, I
could shut my brain off because I did not find my worth in teaching. I knew I was good at it,
but I didn’t find my worth in it. But with my business, and I’m assuming you feel the same
way, because I know a lot of business owners do when it’s all up to us, especially if , you pay
others. Like I pay a podcast editor every single month. I have to provide that income that
I’ve promised for her.
So when you have people that you are outsourcing to, if you have
employees, even if it’s just, you feel responsible for your yourself and putting money back
into your family’s bank accounts, that responsibility, I think makes it so hard for business
owners. I know for me to shut my brain off, I’m constantly thinking of new things. I’ve
constantly got new ideas and honestly, I really don’t mind it. I love thinking about work. I
love talking about work. I love it. I, that’s why I have a business related podcast. Right?
Because I love talking about this stuff, but I do have a hard time shutting my brain off.
In the past, when I’ve gone on vacation, that’s been a struggle.
Now, I’ve shared in a few webinars about the time where Russell and I flew across the country to go on vacation with
my family. We were living in Washington. My family’s here in South Carolina. They were
going to the beach for the weekend, they invited us. So, we flew across the country to go to
the beach with my family. Obviously we’re not seeing family more than once or twice a year
at this point. And definitely are not getting the beautiful weather that you get here in South
Carolina, out in Washington. I flew all of my work stuff, my laptop, my binders, my planners,
everything I needed for a week of work. I flew all of that out to South Carolina so that I could
work while on vacation with my family. And my even set up, we had a walk-in closet in our
bedroom at the beach house, and I set up this closet to become a mini office for the week.
Because I felt like I needed to get work done, because I can’t shut my brain off.
That’s how most vacations have gone. Since I started my business. Before I started my
business, I didn’t take work with me, but some starting my business, I’ve taken a work with
me on vacation, even if it was just a weekend getaway. We went up to the mountains, last
February, I think the time doesn’t matter, we went up to the mountains.
Russell had some schoolwork that he had to bring with him. So I was like, well, I’ll just bring
my laptop just in case I have some downtime. I didn’t even have a plan for what I was going
to work on. I just brought my laptop just in case.
We just got back this past weekend as I’m recording this from a week in Jamaica, I took 10
full days off of work. I took 10 full days off and I did not bring a single work-related thing
with me, to Jamaica. We were gone Friday to Friday. I took the Thursday before off and I did
not work Saturday or Sunday when we got back. So I took 10 full days off in the business. I
was very, very nervous leading up to this trip. Not so much about leaving my work behind. I
felt really confident that I had tied up all the loose ends that I needed to. And then I was
going to be showing up on social media because I batch my content. But. I was worried that
people would notice I wasn’t on stories. I was worried that I would come back to a bunch of
DMS or people are like, Hey, you’ve been really quiet. Is everything okay?
I was also worried about whether or not I’d be able to shut my brain off. Uh, like I said, I
really struggled with that. And that was something that I worried, even if I’m not working
well, I constantly be thinking about work, but like constantly be worried about work.
I wasn’t worried about the business running itself for the week because I had all loose ends
tied. I had my content batched for the entire month of May, already. I also had made sure
to communicate with all of my clients like, “Hey, I’m going to be gone from this date to this
date. If you need me, shoot me a Voxer message, shoot me an email. I’ll get back to you as
soon as I’m back.” All of my clients knew what to expect. All my content was going out to
show up for my audience. All of my stuff was running on the backend. So I wasn’t worried
about that. But I was worried about stories and I was worried about being able to shut my
brain off .
Then we went on vacation and I didn’t think about work at all. I, I, from Thursday to, I
believe it was Tuesday, I didn’t even think, like, not a single thought about work. And if you
had told me that was going to happen, I would have said you would be lying. And then it
occurred to me on Tuesday that I forgot to tell two of my clients that I was going to be on
vacation. So then, I checked my email once a day, every other day, for the rest of the trip.
Just to make sure that I wasn’t getting an email from those specific clients, because I didn’t
want to leave them hanging, but it wasn’t even till Tuesday until I realized, Ooh, I forgot to
tell those two. So it actually was amazing.
It was so nice to be able to just relax and shut my brain off and not think about work and just
get to read some books and hang out with friends and enjoy the sun. And. try toconvince
Russel to put on more sunscreen so that he didn’t get sunburned. Not convince him, but
remind him that he needed more sunscreen because he burned so easily.
it was amazing. And again, the only reason I even checked those emails was because I did
realize, oh, I forgot about those two new clients. So I made sure to check in to say, Hey, did
they send me anything? I wasn’t going through emails. I wasn’t responding to emails. I was
just doing a quick browse to see if there was any kind of emergency there. And that was it.
We came home and I want to share a little bit about what happened in the business while I
was gone, because you might be thinking, okay, that sounds great. I’m glad you were able to
shut your brain off. But my business isn’t going to be able to run without me. I can’t just
batch my content and leave. I can’t just say, ” Hey, I’m not going to be here for a week.” My
business, I can’t do it. maybe you’re worried about it stagnating. Maybe you’re worried
about what will happen if you’re not there to respond to comments immediately and
respond to DMs immediately. Let me tell you while we were gone, I had 442 episode
downloads for this podcast. They were responses in my inbox from that week’s newsletter.
So people had gotten that week’s newsletter that I had batched at a time and responded to
it. So they were engaging that way. I had so many Instagram notifications, that I couldn’t
even see them all. I couldn’t scroll back far enough to see all the notifications. So, Hey, if you
tagged me in something in the comment, I probably didn’t see it. Retag me. I also gained 53
new followers. And I wasn’t even active, not once while we were out of the house in
Jamaica did I even open up Instagram or Facebook? 53 new followers. There were a ton of
comments on my posts that were DMs in my inbox, but there was not a single one in my
inbox asking me where I was. Let that sink in.
I was so worried that people were going to notice that I wasn’t on stories and that they
were going to think negatively about it, or just wonder where I was not a single person, sent
me a message into my inbox, asking where I was. So all of that growth, I had podcast growth.
I had engagement on my newsletter.
I had tons of Instagram growth, but no one even noticed that I was gone or if they did notice
it wasn’t even a conscious thought or anything like that. Not enough for someone to say,
Hey, you’ve been quiet. So I was gone. I wasn’t worried about work. I wasn’t thinking about
anything to do with this. And my business was still growing because I batch my content
ahead of time.
Now you might be like, okay, great. What is the point of this episode? I’ve got three
takeaways for you. One. I want you to know that if you struggle to take time off, or if you
struggle with finding your worth in your business, you are not alone in that. I know that I do
it. I assume most business owners have very, very similar struggles.
The second takeaway is that regardless, you should take time off, if you want to hear more
about taking time off without stress and guilt and how I prepare to take time off and plan for
time off, go check out episode 34. You should take time off even if it’s just a staycation, or
even if you’re doing house projects instead of working, you should take time off of your
business. It’s very healthy. I promise. And then takeaway number three, batching makes it
possible for you to show up for your audience without you sitting at your computer or sitting
on your phone or actively showing up. You can schedule it out so that you’re still showing up
while able to take a step back.
And your action step for this week is to make a plan for stepping away. Even if it is just a
staycation at home, I can tell you all day long that this works and you might hear this and
say, oh, okay, that sounds interesting, but you’re not going to really believe that it works
unless you prove it to yourself. So make a plan for stepping away and prove to yourself that
your business can keep running and growing. Even when you step away.
This week’s book recommendation is A Hundred Summers by Beatrice Williams. Now I know
a few episodes back. I don’t remember exactly which episode, but I know I shared that I was
on a major kick in reading a ton of her books. This one. I highly recommend if you’re in
historical fiction. This one set in 1938 and these characters in this story, I’ve seen them pop
up in minor ways throughout a lot of her books. And it’s really, really fun. So I would
recommend this being one of the first ones you start with, if you’re going to read her books,
because then you’ll see them as you’re reading later books, you’ll see them pop up and go,
“Oh yeah. There’s that character again.” They’re all interwoven into her stories and I just.
Think it’s so cool when people do that, I love little Easter eggs like that. So what did the
recommend this one? I’m not going to sit here and put her books into a recommendation
for every single episode, but I did want to do this one too, blanket recommendation, most
of what I’ve read of hers is phenomenal. Some of them have been just okay. But most of
them are phenomenal, but I’d recommend starting with this one. All right. And until next
time I hope that you will go out and Uncomplicate your life and biz.