Going on hiatus: How to take a vacation from your business (without losing any business)

creative business coach

One of the big reasons you started your creative business was so you’d have more freedom, right?

Me too!

Yet the reality is we all too often burn the midnight oil, work on weekends, and generally think about our work non-stop.

It’s not you, it’s the nature of the beast. Unless you actively create structure, boundaries, and support, you WILL be at the mercy of your clients and business. You just will.

But that’s not how we do things around here, and if you’re in my community, you know I’m going to advocate for your well-being, happiness and freedom, right?

So, here are 3 ways to take a healthy break from your business and return re-charged, refreshed, and ready to seize the day:

1) Plan for it

For some of us, planning makes us feel that all is well with the world. For others, it can feel constraining and lacking in spontaneity. Wherever you fall on that spectrum, planning to take a break from your business is not something you want to wing. Here are a few questions to help you figure out what you need:

  • Do your clients still need servicing while you’re gone, or will an out-of-office auto reply suffice? If you need coverage, what does that look like? Who will you hire? How much will it cost? What logistics are involved in handing off projects? Will you still need to be involved?
  • How much notice do your clients need? I would recommend letting your active clients know your plans 3-4 weeks ahead of time (depending upon your scope of the project), with reminder emails 2 weeks and 1 week prior to your vacation.
  • Manage expectations. Are you checking email at all? If you’re planning to be totally off the grid. let your clients know and resist the urge to soften the blow by pretending you’re more available than you are. It always back-fires and everyone ends up feeling resentful.
2) Be prepared for some initial discomfort

Does anyone else feel freaked out when they have nothing to do, or is just me? Sure, being productive is awesome, but so is lying in a hammock. Resist the urge to keep your mind occupied with work and give it something else to do instead like read a novel, play scrabble, or sketch something. Which leads me to my next point…..

3) Use the time to dream about what’s possible for your creative business

Just because I’m suggesting you lie in a hammock or jump in kayak, doesn’t mean you have to switch your entrepreneurial mind off totally. Multiple studies have shown that when we occupy our minds with undemanding activities, our minds wander and come up with amazing ideas and solutions to problems.  Now, you know we’re not just about dreaming around here, we’re about taking action, so take a pad and pen (don’t take your computer, you’ll get sucked in!), capture those ideas, and come up with a list of actions you could take to move them forward.

Now, I’d love to hear from you. What did you do this summer? Did you go away, stay home, or do day trips? Did you come up with any new ideas for your business or try anything new? Who supported you? Perhaps you identified what you need to support you. Leave a comment below. I’d love to know!

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