Teachers in Business

How to Take a VACATION as a Business Owner

June 15, 2021 Sara Torpey Season 1 Episode 30
Teachers in Business
How to Take a VACATION as a Business Owner
Show Notes Transcript

Everyone needs a vacation sometime - even just a day or two - ESPECIALLY business owners. 

But if you own your own thing, and you wear ALL the hats, how do you walk away, even just for a day or two? 

This is a HUGE topic with my coaching clients right now, so this week on the Teachers in Business podcast we're going to talk about what you can do NOW so that you can actually take a vacation from your business in the next few weeks or months, and NOT drown in work either before or after as a result! 

Welcome to this episode of teachers in business. So one of the things that I am hearing a lot from clients right now is that they need a break. The same thing you hear from all your teacher friends that you hear from all your friends, but all your friends is the same thing. Business owners think all the time, I need to be able to take a vacation, and I can't. It's like when you're in a classroom, or when you teach students and you you like you had so much to do with them that you didn't want to take a day away, but you really mentally needed it. And so you kept pushing, and eventually you probably made yourself sick, or something else happened. We've all had jobs like that, where we never got a break. And eventually, we just had to be out. So this is even harder. In some ways. If you own your own business, you know, this, I know this, as a business owner, I know this. Because, you know, you need a couple of days out. And you need some space for your brain to like decompress and think and do other things. And you're just like flat need to, like do something else for a little while, even a day or two. But at the same time, when the business is just yours. It's like how do you do that? Because if you're the one that wears all the hats, and the person wearing all the hats, leave what happens all the hats, like who puts them on all dogs?


Like that's not a good thing. So this week on the podcast, we're going to talk about how to take a break, even just a day or two how to take a vacation as a business owner. And this is not. So like I have a couple of clients right now we've been talking about it. One of them always just estimations like right, but I just worked double the week before I leave in the week after I get back. And here's the thing, as long term strategies go, that's not a solution. Like the answer is not taking a week off by working 80 hours the week before and the week after. Like, no one looks forward to that vacation, because you know, you have to like beat yourself to death to get there. And you're gonna have to when you get back who wants to do that? And here's the thing, yes, you might scramble a little ahead and behind vacation. But like it's not meant to double your workload. Like that's not an okay thing. So we're gonna talk about this week is some ways to think about to start thinking now about how you do this as a business owner, so that you can maybe like do a little extra work before you leave, or when you get back, but not, not to the point where you're where you dread the whole thing where it's not even worth it, where you can get like a real break, and you can come back refreshed and feel good. And not open up your inbox and just want to like crawl back under your desk. Okay. So this, this really does come directly out of talking with clients recently. And, and so I you know, and it is something that I have experienced myself like, next week, I am taking Monday off. And actually there's not going to be a podcast next week episode. This is Episode 30 this week, and Episode 31 is going to be in two weeks. Because next week, I'm taking Monday off, and that's usually when I record. And so this is a good example. And then in a couple of weeks, I'm going to the beach for a couple of days. And it will be quieter than and sort of put I'm putting things in place now. So that I can have those days so that I can have vacation with my family at the end of the summer. So here's the stuff that I think about and I've been suggesting my clients think about this is one where you might like if you tend to write down questions from the podcast, I have a couple for you for this week that I think will be really helpful. First, when you are thinking about being away, one of the things that really helps me is to sit down and think about how I actually want the week before I go away or the couple of days before depends on how long the break is like let's pretend we're going to the beach for a week. Let's go to the beach for a week. Sit down and think about what you would want that week before to feel like what kinds of things you want to be doing the week before. Like I know for me in a perfect world when I sit back and think about it. I actually want that week before vacation to be just a little bit lighter workwise because I want time to pack because I've packed for you know three and a half people here. I have to get the dogs squared away. I want the house to be relatively clean, like I want to be able to get ready to go and I don't want to be doing it at midnight. Cuz that sucks. So I want it to feel like I have space. I want to feel like the people I work with are getting exactly what they want and need. But also, nobody's feeling crunched or pressed for me. I want it to feel easy, and light, and productive. So how do you want your world to feel the week before vacation? And then turn it a hot turn it to the week after? So imagine your week away? And then think about your week after you come back? How do you want that week to feel? I want it to feel like I hit the ground and my feet were ready. And I was like, charged up, I want to feel refreshed, I want to feel energized, I want to feel like, like I'm making progress, like I have momentum, I want to walk in moving forward, right? I want to just be able to come back in and feel really good about it. So for me, knowing how I want to feel on either side now and I get to sit down and think like, Okay, I know how I want to feel how do I want to think about that? What are the thoughts I want to have? One of the ones I think all the time is I create time, I always have enough time to do what matters. So that's going to go on my list of things, I really want to be intentionally thinking the week before and after I'm away, I have plenty of time, I have plenty of time to do the things that matter. The other thing that I tend to think before and after vacation, is I don't have to wear all the hats all the time. And in for you, you might be early in business, you might be further along. You know, this is a hard thing, like letting go of a little bit of that control is really tricky. It is for me, I have I have the tendency to be a little bit of a control freak, like I was a classroom teacher and Queen of my castle. Like I want things to work the way I want them to work. But I've also had to learn over the years that I there are cases where I would rather someone else do it and more than have it be done my way. And we all have places like that we just don't always realize them. So what other thoughts do you want to think before and after vacation? One of the other ones that really helps me is my business is always working, even when I'm not like what? What would it actually mean, if you could think my business is always working, even when I am not? I have a friend that her version of the saw is I create money when I sleep. Like that's a magical thought, right? So what else could you write down and like plug into your phone, as a list of reminders as intentional things you can think about ahead of vacation and going back into work when you get back. So that you can sort of set yourself because there are things you're not going to be able to control. And we're going to get to a couple of more like practical things in a second. And I'm not saying that this thought part is impractical because for me it came first in this episode, because it is literally the most important part of this. We control way more of how our time and energy and selves and work feel than we realize, you know, it's taken me a couple of years to understand how much of that all of it that I control. And if you haven't quite grabbed on to like I control this yet you really truly do. But there's a difference between control and controlling it, which is not what we're looking for. That's not a vacation. That's like a that's a that's being the cruise director and I'm not sure that's what we're looking for.


So start with how you want it to feel and it's okay to you know, I have a client. We were talking last week. She's got some time off that she's taking in July, some time off in August, some time off in September. And what we're going to do is we're going to sort of use her first vacation as a test, right? It's not going to feel 100% the way we want she wants it to feel. It's not going to be completely like you're not going to go from I have to do 80 hours of work the week before and after two I don't have to do any. Like that's it's not gonna it's not a switch to flip, but it is like a progression. So what we're working on for her this summer is progressing from one vacation to the next sort of the ease in and out of it. So can it be that in July, she does, you know, maybe 30 hours of extra work instead of 80. And in August, it's only 10. In September, it's not any. Like, that's so keep in mind that this is something that you're going to learn over time and get better at, it's not going to be like, oh, today, I decided I'm going to be a better vacationer and then snap, right. I have spent like a year, maybe two or like 40 working on this. So here is. So that's the like Thought and Feeling side, that's sort of the coachee side of this for me. And then the really practical like math teacher side kicks in. And here's, here are the questions that I would ask. The first one is, on your week away, what are you actually going to miss? Like, what are the things that are not going to happen? Because you are not there? Is it social media posts? Is it responding to emails? Is it live videos? Is it creating content? Is it making sales? Is it visiting customers? Is it connecting with new people? Is it whatever it is make a list of the things that will be missed? That you're not going to do that week? Because you're not at your desk? Like, what are the things that are not going to happen? And it's okay, like make a list? It's fine. This is all right. And don't freak out. As you're making the list. It's just a list. Okay. So for me, it is like podcast episode connecting with new people meeting with clients, writing posts, creating content. Working in the program I'm taking right now. I got to think about the rest, I'm going to networking events, whatever else it is on your list, right? Creating new products, whatever that happens to be. Then I want you to look at your list like step back from it detach from all those items and think like, this is somebody else's list. If this was a friend that handed you this list, and they said to you, what should I do when I'm away? Which ones matter? And which ones don't? What would you tell her? Like, really, if that wasn't your list, it was somebody else's?


What would you say? You would say? Well, you know, if you tell everybody in advance that you're not going to be in that week, and there won't be posts. They'll still love you. If you tell everyone in advance, there won't be a podcast episode that week. They'll still love you. If you tell your clients, you're moving everybody out a week, because you're going on vacation that week, and you'll happily reschedule when they go on vacation. Everyone will be okay with that. If you you know maybe you decide to write a couple of posts when you're away, just like when you have inspiration, you allow inspiration to strike. Maybe you pop on live here in there. Maybe you don't maybe you just let it be. Maybe you're connecting to new people just sit aside for a minute, doesn't mean you're not going to come back and do it. Maybe you don't make any new products for the week. Maybe you do it depends on your business, like what are the things that like will actually matter to keep the wheels turning and which things will be okay. From there.


There's a couple of questions to ask yourself, what can be done ahead. Like for me, I can write posts ahead to a half to know but what I'll probably do for my weeks away is I'll probably you know, weeks I'm acting like I'm going away for a year my like I'm away for the day on Monday and then I'm away for like a couple of days in July. What I'll probably do is write like one or two posts for each of those days. I'm not there I think there's like all of three of them. schedule those ahead and then do a little on the fly. That's fine. What can you do ahead? What can you do a head without driving yourself crazy is the key here. This is not do everything that you were meant to do ahead. We are not changing out the work for an extra week early. You're not going to do everything because right you know already which things you can let go of and which ones you can't. What can be done ahead. What can just wait a little while like the course I'm taking right now has like I have access to it forever. Do I want to keep working on it? Absolutely. Am I committed Do it. Yes. Am I okay with I'm in it, like in this and this is my second time through it. Am I okay with my second time through it takes a couple extra days? Yep. Like it can wait. That's okay. And if I have a thought about it, or I have extra time I'm sitting at the beach or I'm sitting on the porch, and I want to watch a video or something. Okay, great. That's okay. But it can wait. It is the kind of thing that can wait. Reaching out to new connections is great. But can networking events? Wait? Yeah, they can. One week out of the mix, doesn't mean people are gonna be like, Oh, wait, who are you? We don't know you anymore. Like you miss a week nobody dies. Okay. And then the last question, and this is the most important question, and you really have to sit with this one. It's, what can you ask for help with? Like, what I was talking to this client last week about vacation, I said to her, like, who can help you with things like what are things you can ask for help with and that, you know, people that can help you to do? And initially, it was like, Oh, no, I have to do this all myself? Well, I we all have those moments where it's like, well, it's just easier if I do it. But here's the thing easier if I do it is stepping over dollars to get to pennies. That's that's not how we grow? Is it something you need to be doing? Is it worth $250? An hour to because of that your rate? may even if it's not, is it worth $250? An hour of your time? Maybe not? So like, who can you ask for help? What could they do for you? Sit down and let yourself ask that question. And think for a minute. And don't you know, in talking to my client last week, all sudden, she had this brilliant idea for someone in her circle who had been offering help to her, like repeatedly, who was dying to help her who's great at a particular thing my client hates doing. And who said like, Oh my gosh, she was like, Oh, I guess I really could ask her for help. Yeah. And it will make her life easier going into vacation. So think about the things you could use some help with, or who around you, like constantly is like, you know, if you ever need help with that, I'm happy to help you. There's everybody has people like that. Or you think like, you know what, they would be really great. Even if it was just a short term thing. I wonder if they'd helped me for a month or a week, during this week, if they just helped me, you know, moderate group requests, or, you know, if they would just check my email and make sure there was nothing pressing, or whatever. How can you? How can you ask for what you need? And who would you ask? So the things that can be done ahead? can be reasonably though like not by driving yourself insane. Things that can wait can wait. And then looking at the things that either aren't on either list or on the can be done ahead. What kind of help can you get? Who can you ask, the more specific you are here, the better off you're going to be? But these are the questions to start asking yourself now that I asked myself now in June for August. And I was asking it in May for July. Like these are this is how you start to live a life where it is okay for you to go on vacation and nothing bad happens. It is all about being really intentional about this. You plan ahead, six months ahead for where you're going on vacation. And how you're going to get there. You've planned the location, you have the house, you have the transportation, you know who you're going with, you know all these things. And then we get to the work part of it. And we're like, oh crap, I have to do all this stuff like a week ahead of time. What if we were as intentional about how we're going to spread out the work. As we were about booking the vacation to start with? It would be very different, right? So this is how you plan ahead. And listen, if part of how you plan ahead is asking someone to help you simplify what you're doing. Maybe it's finding a coach and asking for help with how to plan this through as part of what I do. But it's part of what other coaches do also ask for help. Coaching is one of the tools at your disposal. So that's how we go on vacation friends. I hope that you have vacations in the works. Even if it's just one day out with a friend where you just let it all go. You'll be amazed at how much more productive you are when you come back vacation is worth it friends, even if it's just not being on your computer for a whole day.


I know. I know. I know I hear you. So if I can be helped you if you want to. Be able to take a vacation from your business. If you want a business that truly you know keeps working even when you're not there. I help people with that. You can go to my website which is Torpey coaching COMM And you can book a time to connect and we'll spend an hour talking about you and your business and how to simplify it but also make it work all the time, no matter what you are doing. And with that, have a great week and I will talk to you all again in two weeks. See you!