It’s no secret that running your own company is tiring and it takes it out of you sometimes. I get it.
You want to show up 24/7 to get the most out of your day and grow your business as fast as possible. But what we have to realise is that, resting is crucial for your success too, you need those days away, to reset and recharge.
Sometimes it’s not just days or those 15 mins breaks you take in between tasks, sometimes you feel the lack of inspiration or the lack of motivation and you want to push through because thats what all the hustle culture has been telling you all this time, but what you actually need is a full stop break from your work; a business “hiatus” you might say.
That’s exactly what I felt like 6 months ago when I decided to take a full break – not just a weekend away and sharing a photo of ‘im baaaaaack, so sorry I was off’ on the gram, I am talking a full on break from everything I was doing to reset my mind, body and get my degree. My head was spinning in the last few months of 2020, I felt completely overwhelmed and uninspired and it was affecting my wellbeing big time. I’m grateful for realising this because let’s be honest, admitting that we need to take a step back is tough and something no over-achiever ever wants to say to themselves.
I wanted to share this because it is important that you know all I share here is real and I have a lot of empathy for any entrepreneur, and any person for that matter, who is trying to balance the whole world on their shoulders.
So how you can actually make use that ”time freedom” that is the entrepreneurial dream we all signed up for? Let’s get into it.
Please note some of the links in this email may be affiliate links meaning I will earn a commission if you decide to purchase any products or services, I always only promote things that I love and completely stand by.
First off, grab your calendar and ask yourself how much time off you think you need. It’s time to be honest with yourself and how you are feeling within. Do you feel that a month away is enough? Do you need more time out, or less? What are the outer circumstances going on in your life right now? Do you need time to heal, process or just a new start and a breather in general. This is important to ask yourself because the last thing you want is to plan less time away than you actually needed, and coming back still feeling drained and completely lost.
So stay true to yourself, be honest and then mark that time out in your calendar – you can always readjust later.
Why more than one plan of action, you say? Well hear me out, whilst it is all good and well to have a strong plan for how you are going to keep your business running whilst you take time off, it is equally as important to create a plan for your down time, one that is just for you.
The first plan for your business I’ll get to in a second but first I want to address why I think it is so important to have a plan for yourself and your time away from your business;
Day in day out you are caught up in the stresses of being an entrepreneur, making it often hard to see where your business ends and where you begin, because most of us are the personal brand behind it all too. Now, I am definitely not saying that this ambitious side is not a part of you because it certainly is and a special one at that, what I mean is you are so much more than your business and frankly, it is time to give that part of yourself the attention she deserves.
So make a plan for your down time, with ‘rest’ being number one. Over the years I have realised that if I don’t schedule my time to rest, it is likely that it will look like this: me on the sofa, still stressed in my mind, trying to watch anything that is on TV whilst eating anything that is in the fridge that day. There is nothing wrong with this but it doesn’t always provide the rest you need, because whilst it might rest your body for awhile, your mind is still in overdrive. So set out some time for days like these but implement practises that will help you truly be at one with yourself and more relaxed such as meditation, yoga and walks in nature.
How do you feel about reading? Plan out which books you want to read and make sure to have them in your home for when you want them, so that your mind doesn’t automatically wonder off to competitor blog articles online or searching ‘algorithm updates’ during your time away.
The other plan of action will be for your business, so you can leave it to run on its own whilst you take the time you need. This will depend on how quickly you need time away and the processes your business runs on now, the following steps will help you with this. They say planning is half the work and I really believe in this, if you have a plan in place, you can always determine later if you can follow it right now or not but at least it is there to fall back on or to pass onto someone you trust if you need to.
Now onto next steps.
Actually taking the time to streamline everything (and I mean EVUUURYTHING) in your business will not only help you have some peace of mind when you are away but it is also going to get your biz ready for scaling big time – plus it saves all the headaches down the line.
So how do you actually “streamline” your business processes?
I am sure have content going out on the regular, you have clients that you work with and/or you have products to create – but do you have a structured system for all of this?
That’s what I mean by streamlining your processes – aka having a standardised email with questionnaire ready to send to every potential client that hits your DM’s.
This can also look like:
It is the little things that will end up saving you SO much time and disorganisation in the long run, look at every aspect of your business and ask yourself: “How can I make this easier?”
Now onto standard operating procedures (SOP)
These are the detailed plans that have to be followed over and over again. For example, you might have a SOP for publishing a blog post – this would include every single step from keyword research to actually writing it as well as any marketing afterwards such as creating pins, Facebook group sharing, Instagram story promotion – the whole entire process from start to finish.
Now I would say if you don’t have a lot of time before you want to take your time and you don’t plan on outsourcing your work then skip this for now but make sure to get on this when you return all refreshed because it will help you scale your work down the line AND makes it a whole lot easier to onboard any future team members if you decide to do so!
If you can automate it? Do it.
This is exactly how I was able to take a 6 month break from showing up on stories, posting on Instagram – I completely went off Instagram and focused on my degree and my wellbeing for 6 whole months without it impacting my business.
I didn’t automate my Instagram but I automated everything else in my business, I used Tailwind to schedule all my daily Pinterest pins from January all the way up until July. (That’s a lotta pins my friend)
I also created a much much longer welcome sequence for my email list so that anyone signing up for my list in the time I was away felt looked after and was still forming a connection through my content even when I couldn’t show up for them live.
You can automate all your social media content, emails (I use ConvertKit), blog posts, podcast episodes so you can fully take a break to reset and take the focus off your work and place it onto you.
Now I am back working full hours on my business again I still use all my automation processes – it saves me so much time that I can now spend showing up live, creating extra content and working on new exciting projects that I wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise!
Have a lot of clients wanting to work with you? You can book them in after your hiatus and take a 50% deposit right now so that you are still getting paid whilst you are away.
When you have the last two down to a T, this one is going to be a bonus because I know not everyone is in a stage where they are ready to outsource, and that’s okay!
If you are not ready to outsource or you don’t have the budget right now then rely on your automations and your scheduled work – this will most likely be enough for the stage you are now anyway being a solopreneur so go get it, automate the hell out of your content and go take your time away.
If you are ready to take on some extra help and scale your business faster, outsourcing is the way to go. Now you have your standard operating procedures like we talked about above, you can hand these to the person taking certain tasks off your plate.
Wondering what tasks you should outsource? I would always go with the ones that take the most time and/or the ones you dislike the most. (bonus if they’re the same!)
One thing I wish more people would allow themselves to do is to take say, one week, when you think you are ready to step back into the biz sphere to fully reset and get INSPIRED again – taking a look at your business strategy with new eyes and revisit your vision. Maybe there is nothing you want to change but I can guarantee there are some tweaks you want to make as soon as you do this, and what better time than after your time off?
Sometimes we are so right in the middle of our workflow that we can’t even see clearly anymore and taking that extra week to revisit all aspects of your business and your mission can totally change how you will show up this time around.
So now that you have everything in place to take a step back with a peace of mind, go take this time for you, I can’t wait to see a new, more radiant you shining and thriving again with all the healthy business boundaries in the world, you got this.
I have made it my mission to help you combine your biz strengths and create a strong, badass brand online, ready?