immerse workshops how to take a vacation from your business
I giggle as I write this blog post for you…. how to take a vacation from your business.  It’s almost comical, isn’t it?!  Because, if you know me, you might be thinking the same darn thing I’m thinking: this blog post is the pot calling the kettle black.  I am so incredibly bad at taking breaks from my business. But, my little sparkles, this year I’ve actually done it. So naturally, I want to help you do the same!  Believe it or not, you really can take a vacation from your business {and feel happy about it}!

Learning to disconnect is definitely something i struggle with. I do this photography thing because I love it. I enjoy the work I do, and as a solopreneur I am the one who keeps my business afloat. Disconnecting and taking a vacation from your business feels so counterintuitive to that…. doesn’t it?

But, my friend, it isn’t. In fact, taking breaks will help you create a work life balance that allows you to be even more of a rockstar once you get back to work!  I know what you’re thinking right now, because i’ve thought it…lots of times, ”saying no to my clients and business, even for a short period of time, just feels so wrong! Like, can I even do that?!?!”

Yes.  Yes, you can! When you take a vacation from your business, you’re only saying no to clients for a short time, and don’t forget that by doing that you’re saying yes to your family and the rest of your life.

It took me some work to get to a point where this was a reality for me, but it has been so worth it! So, sparkle sister, let me help you finally be able to take that freakin’ break already!!!  Look ahead and put it in your pretty little planner… when will YOU take your next vacation from your business?  Let’s start to plan for it NOW.

 

How to Mentally take a Vacation from Your Business

1. You have to commit to it!

Yeah, none of this flimsy “maybe one day I’ll take a break” kind of thing is allowed. You have to intentionally commit to disconnecting…say it out loud, write it down; tell people and then ask them to hold you accountable. accountability is huge, so make a commitment and then let your people know so that they can hold your feet to the fire so it actually gets done.  You know this is something I personally have to do… and yes.  I do have PLENTY of people challenge me about working less.  So, as hard as it is, make it happen!

 

2. Know your upcoming plans.

Alright my ladies, I know the hustle it takes to build a business. So, before you disconnect and take a vacation from your business, you need to look at what’s coming up. Obviously, you can’t disconnect during a big launch or your busiest photography season of the year. Look for some natural down times in your business cycle and make an intentional decision about when your break will take place based on that cycle.

 

3. Set your dates {but be willing to change as needed}.

Like for real. break out your calendar and write it down. This will help you plan your projects and tasks AROUND your break so you aren’t completely stressed out about everything that needs to happen while you’re disconnected. Once you’ve got dates, you can let your family, friends and clients know what’s coming… which is accountability, which you need. so choose dates and write it down.

Now, a word to the wise: depending upon how far in advance you plan your vacation from your business – you may have to be a little flexible with your dates.  If you have flights booked or your kids will be home from school, you probably don’t have that luxury.  But if your dates can be a little “soft,” I found it helpful to aim for a general time of year.  Then, as the actual dates got closer, I could see my personal and professional calendar a little more clearly and set my official dates then!

 

what gives us joy immerse workshops sparkle societyNow You’re Ready to Physically take a Vacation from Your Business!

Here’s where things get a little bit crazy up in here, so hang on for a minute…every time you wonder if you can actually do these things, just remember…you CAN, cause’ you’re the boss, right?!  Alright, let’s get serious friend…

1. Remove all email apps from your phone.

That’s right.  ALL.OF.THEM.  No cheating.  At the start of my planned break, I deleted all of my email apps. GONE.

Did you just kind of break out in hives reading that?!?  Yeah, me too.  As I stared at my phone, my apps shaking in fear that it was them I was about to delete, I made the decision to commit to this thing!  It was stressful, I’m not gonna lie! But, after I deleted those apps, I felt pretty stinking amazing!

I didn’t realize how connected my email was keeping me to my business… and preventing me from actually taking a vacation from my business!

I didn’t mean to, but with every notification, I started thinking about something I had forgotten, something I wanted to do, or something that needed to be addressed. Even when I wasn’t answering the emails, just knowing they were there kept me tied to work. So, I just cut those strings and said, “peace out email apps, you don’t own me anymore!” Then, I kind of did a happy dance. It was cute.

DISCLAIMER… I do have an administrative assistant who checks my emails and lets me know of anything urgent. But, even if you don’t have that available to you, I promise, you can still delete those apps. just keep reading my sparkly friend, I’ve got ya’ covered!

2.  Set an Away Message so Clients know You’re taking a Vacation from Your Business!

Okay, so the ONLY time i think it’s okay to set an away message {aka: an auto-responder} is when you are on a break. Otherwise, this is annoying and impersonal and ewwwww…. but, a message letting your clients know the dates you’ll be taking a break can not only create some space for you, but can actually work for you as well! Let your clients know that you are not going to be checking email often {or at all} and that you are enjoying some time with family. Be sure to let them know the date you will be back and when they can expect to hear from you.

Then, this is the most important step, point them in the direction for more info. Use your blog, your custom instagram hashtag, email list sign-up, a FAQ page on your website, or a place to sign up for a consult appointment to keep them engaged. Don’t fill your away message with white noise. That’s annoying. Instead, use it to direct clients to where they might find more info about connecting with you!  

Are your hives getting better? See… this isn’t quite as terrifying as it sounds. I mean, it’s hard…but you are going to be so glad you did it!

3.  If you will need to work a little over vacation {which is normal for ‘treps}, actually plan your hours.

I get it.  I know you are going to do a little something during your break. Like I said earlier, you are the one steering your ship, so backing away completely may not be completely possible. No worries, my friend, and no need for guilt. But, we all know how easily “I need to send a quick email” can turn into 187 hours of blog writing, editing, client work, social media posting, invoicing and record keeping.

Don’t lie…you know it’s true.

This is why we are going to be super specific with when we work during our break. Plan an actual time frame, set your timer and then shut it down when you’re finished. Sound too hard? Write a specific list of tasks and once they are crossed off, shut it down or ask someone to hold you to your time frame when you start working!

 

Why does taking a vacation from your business really matter, anyways?

When we start a business we can easily let it run our lives. It can be hard to fully understand the value of taking a break. We feel the need to respond to every client so that we can serve them well and build our business. but that is not creating a scalable business or a sustainable life, my friend!  My friend, Erin from Erin Lindsey Images shares a similar mindset in her blog post talking about how she prepares for vacation!

Sure, that may be doable when you have 10 clients, but won’t be doable when you have 100. If you start out that way, clients will expect that same level of service when you grow and get all kinds of huffy and puffy when you no longer provide them with immediate responses. Act as though you are a 6 figure company now, even if you’ve only got 5 clients. That way, when you get there, you will already have strategies in place to scale your business and keep your sanity!

And, if I’m being honest, sanity is a hot commodity when you are trying to build a business… don’t forget that, my sweet sparkle.

I want you to know that I get how hard this all is. It was a huge challenge for me, but with some intentionality and focus, I was able to do it. And let me tell ya’, it’s been amazing! I’m so thankful to have this time to say yes over and over to my family and friends, and it’s provided me with a much needed time to breathe. I want that for you, too, friend; so look at your calendar and get busy planning your breaks for the coming year! If you can’t do it at this very moment, this is definitely something you should Pin on your Fave Business Board!  I want you to be able to refer back to it when you’re finally ready to take a break, ok?

 

Ready for more FREEBIES for your photography business?!

Did you get all kinds of pink, sparkly butterflies reading through this post?  If so, then you are totally one of my people, and I adore you!!!  Which is why you should join my FREE Sparkle Society Community. By doing so, you get to choose from one of my fantastic freebies (live video, how to start your biz the right way, or leveraging social media) and will get access to my amazing community of creative entrepreneurs!  Pick your workshop right now!

PLUS….when i get back from my break in January, I will be rolling out my goal setting series, which is packed with all kinds of helpful ways to set goals and strategically grow your business. This comes with a workbook full of awesomeness to help you get 2017 started off on the right foot!  And, if you’re reading this well after January, you’re still invited to grab a free workshop of your choosing!  And, it’s free…and comes with some pink…and some sparkles…and maybe a unicorn or two…so…you should sign up. cuz’, unicorns.  I’ll see you in class!

immerse workshops cyrissa sparkle society

 

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