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.
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!