It has been a while since I wrote a blog post. Behind the scenes, I worked ahead all summer through right now and batched something like 10 blog posts at one time. At the same time that we were planning a European vacation, my amazing community manager was going on maternity leave so batching became our best friend. And if I am being honest, it (and the outcome) changed my entire perspective.
If you follow me on social media, you know that we just got back from a two week European vacation. I then took another week off to recover. Not kidding. I always say traveling with kids is a trip, not a vacation. And while it was amazing, dealing with multiple countries, two almost nine-year-olds, and all the logistics that go with it was a lot. Not to mention the jet lag. The good news is I planned an easy week when we got back to just catch up, but what that meant from a business perspective was a full 3-weeks off.
The podcast still ran.
The emails still went out.
I shared a few things on social media.
But in almost a month I haven't created anything new, which gave me a whole lot of space. And this brings me to my point. I think as entrepreneurs we forget how much brain power is needed to create. Create new content. Create new products. Create new courses. It's a lot. So when do you actually get to rest and recharge?
How many business owners do YOU know who currently take a full month of vacation each and every year? Or maybe the question should be: how many business owners do you know who currently know how to take a full month of vacation each year?
But here's what happened when I was gone..
#1 - I had a human design reading. As a manifesting generator, turns out my body craves creativity. I went three weeks without setting an alarm (except to catch our flight home). I don't think I have ever done that in my adult life. Can you imagine?
#2 - I limited social media. I changed all the settings on my phone so that I couldn't be on social media for more than an hour each day. And I stuck to it. I have learned to batch my time on social by taking photos, etc. throughout the day and then uploading them in bulk and checking messages at the same time. In fact, I have gotten so good at this that most days I am now spending less than 30-minutes on social. Mind blown. This is coming from a chronic poster who used to be online 4+ hours a day!
#3 - I read for fun. I ditched the business books for a full month and just read for fun. Mostly royal dramas (still obsessed with the queen over here), but it is was a great source of inspiration.
#4 - Ready for the last one? I ditched my workout and meal plan. For years I have been so structured. Log this. Track this. For three weeks I just did what felt good. The result? I joke that I ate croissants for three weeks but ended up losing 10 pounds. Let's be clear though, in Europe, we were walking up to eight miles a day.
The Iceberg of Prep and Strategy
I share this because I literally ditched all the rules and created more whitespace than I ever had with the intention to do things differently. The outcome? We had a $30K month and I only worked for two weeks of it. I want you to hear this but also know this is kind of like that big iceberg photo. You see the iceberg above the water but you don't see what is under the water. Under the water, there was a lot of prep and strategy.
But the good news is it works. The podcast was ranked in the top #70 again and so many of you have joined our community.
I look at my calendar and I keep thinking, How is this possible? What made it possible? The intention to create this space. And the systems and routines behind it.
More Work Doesn't Always Equal The Best Outcome
I wanted to share this to inspire you to remember that more work is not necessarily the best outcome. But also, imagine your dream schedule. What if you only worked two weeks a month or three days a week? What if you came home from a vacation and had a whole week off to recover (I assure you this was NEVER possible even just a year ago when I was in my corporate job).
My favorite affirmation right now is "It gets to be easy". It doesn't have to be hard. There is not enough credit due for simply pausing.
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Why did I lose weight? It wasn't the croissants. It was the stress hormone in my body finally letting go.
Why did we attract more clients? I believe it is because I was in a space of acceptance and giving and not compression (which is caused by too much time on social media).
Why did the podcast do well? It was planned. The episodes flowed together and were personal.
But because I know you love a good tactical list, here are five steps for how we made it happen (which is a great planning exercise heading into the end of the year).
5 Steps For Taking Time Off in Your Business
- Plan your dates in advance. Well in advance. What do Q1 and Q2 look like right now?
- Take the time to slow down and plan your content in advance. Go offline. Batch create. It will save you HOURS.
- Think about where you can automate and outsource. Just before writing this blog, I spent an hour (which is probably too long) setting up Zaps. In this example, I am sending our zoom recordings to click-up and then click-up will notify the person that their recording is ready. Instant time saver.
- Create the space. Once a quarter I try to do 1-2 planning days. No meetings, all strategy. Even when I was working full time I would go off on a Saturday and create this space. It is SO important to know the direction you want to go.
- Have a vision that will drive you. Creating the space, the systems, etc. takes time. And you need to have a vision that is going to drive you to do it. Was I excited about prepping for three weeks off? Maybe. But that vision of knowing what the other side could bring (and all the ideas that came with it) was SO worth it.
Remember, rest takes a lot of work. If you’re used to going full speed ahead, then taking time to rest might feel unnatural and even wrong in some ways. Give yourself a little time and grace to adjust to life away from your business and allow yourself to feel all the feelings.
Looking for more on this topic and your High-Level Action items? Check out the Strategy Lab in the Crush the Rush Club!