10 Ways to Earn More, Work Less, and Enjoy Your Summer

If you’re anything like me, you start looking forward to summer as soon as the calendar flips to a new year. 😉

Why not take advantage of summer’s slower pace and people’s more casual attitudes and plan to not only take time off but to make some money while you do?

Here are 10 ways to do just that:

1. Commit to your vacation time.
If you haven’t already scheduled a break for this summer, stop reading this right now and do so! Even if you don’t have plans to go away or if your budget is tight, I strongly encourage you to put at least a long weekend break into your calendar now – and then make sure you do anything you want for those few days – EXCEPT work. You’ll come back to your business refreshed and recharged. You know you will and you know you need it.

2. Have a summer sale.
Are there some products or programs in your funnel that you could offer a summer discount on? I’d be willing to bet there’s at least one. Kick off the summer season by offering your prospects a special deal on one or more of your offerings.

3. Make a special offer to your current clients and customers.
Summer’s a great time to give your current clients and customers a special deal. For example, if they’ve already purchased something from you at the first level of your funnel, offer them a special deal for investing in an additional offering of yours, maybe at the next higher-priced level of your funnel.

So, if they’ve already spent $50 on one of your products, offer them a $50 discount towards another of your offerings.

4. Trim your expenses.
Are there some business-related expenses that could be put on hold for the next few months, without a negative impact to your bottom line? There are probably at least two or three things that you could eliminate for the summer, and you may find out that you can eliminate them completely come the fall.

5. Create summer hours.
Start later in the day, take a mid-day break for a few hours, or end your day earlier. Take one day a week off. Work half days. Take four-day weekends. It’s your choice, but by creating summer hours, you’re not only giving yourself some time to enjoy the fleeting days of warmer weather, but you’ll also find that you’ll be much more likely to focus only on your priorities, which means you’ll actually move ahead much faster!

6. Repeat a previously profitable product.
Do you have a product that when you first launched it, it sold really well? Maybe it just needs some new life and a new promotion. Don’t re-invent the wheel – just simply repeat what’s already worked for you in the past.

7. Republish your best articles in your newsletter.
For the summer, consider giving some of your best articles or blog posts (the ones people commented on, or were reprinted most often) an encore presentation in your regular email communications. If you’ve been publishing for awhile, your readers most likely will appreciate the reminder the articles or blog post will bring, while it will be new content to your newer subscribers.

8. Declutter your office.
I simply can’t think when my office falls into chaos, and I’m always amazed by how much better I feel and how much more productive I immediately become once I get rid of the clutter.

Summer is a great time to declutter and reorganize. Enlist a friend to help, or hire a professional organizer to really get you geared up for the summer (and the fall!).

9. Declutter your mind.
When you started your business, did you write down your vision for it? If you haven’t, or if you haven’t visited your vision in awhile if you have, the next few months are perfect for reflection, dreaming, and planning what you want the rest of your year to look like.

I’ll be dreaming up mine at the lake. Where will you be dreaming up yours?

10. Plan some fun stuff.
Even if you don’t have plans to travel this summer, you can still plan some really fun things to do near your home. Having something to look forward to will help you enjoy some time away from your desk while the sun is shining.

Imagine if you did just a few of these and saw your income go up while the time you worked went down – that would be amazing, wouldn’t it?

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How to Take the Summers Off

One of the questions I get asked the most is how I take the summers off, so I thought I’d answer that a bit for you in this post.

The purpose of my sharing this is about much more than just taking the summer off – or any extended holiday.

It’s to help you, the Lifestyle Entrepreneur, to get really clear on your plan for the next 6-12 months and beyond, what it’s going to be about for you, both from a pragmatic view as well as from a big picture view.

Preparing to Take Time Off

You likely know that I take 12 weeks off (half of June, and all of July and August) as vacation to spend it with my family at the lake where I spent my summers growing up.

When I first decided that I wanted to be off for the entire summer, I had to figure out how to make that work and still run and grow my business.

In the beginning, it was a very slightly working vacation, maybe 10% of the time.

The first time I did this, I did certain things to prepare for it:

1. I decided on what main projects I was going to focus on, two in total.

2. I decided what my VA would focus on, all the admin details that I didn’t want to be troubled with, but that I had a hard time letting go of beforehand.

3. I went through all my paper files and only brought those with me that I had to have to work on those 2 main projects. (As a back-up, I used a remote access program in case I had to get something on my desktop).

4. I cleaned up my laptop so when I was online I could focus.

5. I let my clients and customers know (more than once) that I was on vacation, that I would respond to emails but that it might take a little longer than usual, but that I was also living this model.

Those were basically the things I did to get ready.

What happened?

Much to my surprise, because I think I was so busy-busy all the time that I wasn’t moving forward very quickly with anything and spent a lot of time putting out fires, I was actually MORE productive – and MORE profitable – during those summer weeks than I had been the previous 6 months working from my home office.

Here’s What Made the Difference

So what was different?

1. I chose two main projects to focus on that only I could do (writing my book and my membership program) and either let the rest go (absolutely nothing negative happened as a result) or delegated it.

So I was really focused on my ‘genius’ work, which is what will always bring you more money sooner than focusing on fixing your website or other admin tasks you shouldn’t be doing.

2. I had scheduled work time. This was a biggee for me. At home, I worked when the kids slept (naptime or nighttime) and then all kinds of in-between time when they were playing by themselves or when Daddy was taking care of them.

During those early summers of implementing this model, I only worked a total of about 2 hours a day, during pre-wake-up time and post-bedtime, 3-4 days a week. I’d get up at 5:30am and work for an hour or so before the kids woke up, but that was also my time to sit on the dock, watch the loons and write in my journal – and drink my coffee while it was still hot.

When I worked it was only on those one or two projects, and answering emails that were a priority, like those from private clients. Anything else I did was a bonus. I wasn’t stressed at all, and when I was with kids, I was completely focused on them, not on my business.

Since then, I’ve restructured my business so that I don’t offer anything ‘live’ with me while I’m off for the summer, my coaching and training programs end around Memorial Day weekend, and the only work I do over the summer is write the personal note in my online newsletter each week. Almost everything else is done and queued up before Memorial Day or is delegated to my team to take care of while I’m off.

There’s quite a bit more to it than this, of course, but if you’re seeking to take more time off, whatever time of year it is and for whatever reason, this should get you thinking about the first steps to take so you can do it too.

Want to know more details about how I’ve made this work since 2006 and how you can too? Just click the image to download my free guide!

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Give more to be more…?

Ever have a project due or a deadline looming
that really stresses you out?

Well, that was Chloe’s shark project for her science class.

This girl had a vision, and she made it come alive, but wow – what it took to get there was some serious time reconfiguration, lots of that time spent in the Fabrication Lab at school during lunch, recess, and after school when she wasn’t at musical rehearsal, and lots of support, though she did all the work herself.

This photo is her completed project, and I have to say, from it coming home in many separate pieces to 4 hours later to completion – I’m impressed.

I’m even more impressed that she had a really great attitude about it all – even when she had to go back to store at 7:30pm to get less strong magnets! (Thank you, James, for taking that trip with her.)

But something she said while she was hot glue gunning struck me (I admit, with a tad bit of unease)…

I commented that she didn’t need to do something, that it was fine the way it was, and she just smiled at me because she was going to do it her own way anyway (she is so my daughter) and said, “But Mom, I’m a perfectionist.”

Yikes!

From a recovering (almost) perfectionist, I cringed a little. But I also recognized that part of the reason this project was stressing her out wasn’t just the limited time she had to work on it, but because it’s really important to her to do well.

In this case, she saw clearly what she wanted and she went for it – focused, determined, and yes, it took more because she wanted it to be more.

And that’s not a bad thing at all.

And it made me think, where in my business could I give more so it could be more?

You?

I’d love to know your thoughts…

Cheers,
~ A

Wiping out overwhelm bit by bit

The next two weeks are a bit overwhelming with so much going on, both personally and business-wise, so I took time yesterday to clear the decks.

I boxed up a ton of old binders and notebooks to go to the recycling center. I started filling my ‘summer bin’ mostly of books I want to read over the next few months. And I’m about 75% through my inbox as I head to zero before we leave for the lake.

I walked into my office this morning feeling considerably lighter and more energized to move forward.

I also made a list of exactly what needs to happen when over these next few weeks. Now I just need to focus on that list. 😉

I share more about wiping out overwhelm here:

http://aliciaforest.com/how-to-wipe-out-overwhelm/

Enjoy!

Cheers,
~ A

Back-to-School Business Bundle Sale!

Just dropped Jack off for his first day of 3rd grade – woohoo! And since Chloe started 6th grade yesterday, it’s back to business for me – and my Back-to-School Business Bundle for you!
Take a look at it here:
 
Here are just 5 of the 32 trainings you’ll have instant access to:
1. How to Prioritize All You Do
 
Overwhelmed? Confused? Immobilized by the sheer number of items on your to-do list? You are not alone. It’s the entrepreneur’s trap and this is the training call that will free you.
 
(this is one of my all-time favorites)
2. The Simple 7-Step Autoresponder Sales Sequence
 
In this training call, Alicia will teach you how to write a quick autoresponder email series that sells a product or service on autopilot.
 
(one of clients implemented this right away and saw instant sales – and she was amazed at how a simple it was!)
 
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Got your Signature System outlined? Alicia’s going to show you what to do next with it, and how to create additional revenue streams from it, quickly and easily.
 
(This is HOW my business passed the 6-figure mark and then the million-dollar mark)
 
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Want to get more sales from your current and future sales pages? In this training, Alicia will share 22 easy ways to make sure your conversions are as high as they can be.
 
(another checklist-style training to be certain you’re not leaving money on the table!)
 
5. How to Multi-Purpose Your Content
 
Following my Content Leverage Flow Chart, we’ll work together on implementing each piece that makes sense for your business so you can finally start drawing more people to you.
 
(I teach this process in-depth at both my annual Online Business Breakthrough Workshop as well as at my Gather Your Clan workshop – but you can get it right now – this one alone is worth your tiny investment).
 
If you want to build your lifestyle business (yes, that kind of business that puts your LIFE first – letting you focus time, energy and money on what’s truly most important to you), you’ll get 32 of my most effective programs for just $97-.
These trainings are comprehensive step-by-step trainings and were only available to private clients who invested $2k or more to learn what you have immediate access to below for a fraction of that.
 
This offer is good only until Friday, September 9 so don’t delay, ok?
 

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