Being a solo entrepreneur and growing a business is more than a full-time job. So how do you take a vacation and enjoy the freedom and flexibility you started your company to achieve?
About six months into being my own boss and my work from home career it was clear that we needed to visit our family and that our daughter needed some grandparent time.
For me, grandparent time equals free all-day childcare which is fantastic. And all-day child care should mean vacation “me time” but it often ends up being “me working time.”
It is hard to disconnect from your clients and company. And that’s understandable.
Unplugging from the source of revenue that pays your mortgage, preschool bills and umpteen other expenses is nerve-racking.
By setting realistic expectations for yourself you can still feel in control but also unplug.
I decided to make our trip to visit family into a real vacation. I made a plan and set expectations before we headed south.
I not only needed to unplug but I wanted to enjoy the flexibility and freedom I finally had. I wanted to enjoy my time with my husband, daughter, parents and in-laws.
What does the vacation you want to take look like?
Spending time with my family is the perfect vacation for me but it might not be yours. The vacation you would love to take right now might be as simple as an overnight road trip with your husband or it could be a weeklong family cruise.
Or maybe the vacation you really want is a 48-hour staycation in a hotel room by yourself down the street from your house.
You might even have a sticky note with your vacation as a reward for hitting a goal.
The steps below will provide you with a plan – a framework – to take a vacation as a solo entrepreneur and enjoy it!
5 Step to Take a Vacation Now as a Solo Entrepreneur
1. The first step starts with you. Open your google calendar, decide when your vacation will be and type the word VACATION in the meeting subject line for all of the dates of your vacation. And then make sure it’s on your husband’s calendar too.
You might be thinking this sounds pretty basic but if you are anything like me, until you block off your calendar, the time is still open for other things.
2. Make a hotel reservation or confirm the dates you plan to be a house guest. Even if your trip is to stay with family, confirming the dates will make it harder to back out if work events try to derail your plans.
3. Depending on your client needs, about two weeks out from your vacation proactively schedule calls with your clients. The purpose of the calls is to check in so that you can try to mitigate last minute project changes or unexpected deadline changes.
You won’t be able to head off all the fires that will inevitably flare up as you try to leave town. But if you can keep most projects on track that’s a win in my book.
One question you might be debating is if you should tell your clients you are going on vacation. I recommend keeping the details of your travel minimal. Stating that you will be away from the office with limited email access should be enough.
4. Before you leave don’t forget to set your out of office email message. Again, I recommend keeping the description minimal.
5. Set YOUR expectations. To the same degree that you are concerned about your client’s expectations of your level of service while you are on vacation, I encourage you to provide that much attention to your own expectations.
For example, I know that the first day of a trip I am going to still answer my phone and respond to emails pretty timely, so I give myself the grace to do that. By day two I try to limit myself to a morning, lunch and late afternoon email check-in.
And if our trip involves a Friday I make sure that by 10am I’ve put the phone away until late afternoon and often times until Sunday evening.
I focus on my family day 2 until the end of the vacation. I allow myself a break and to recharge. And I give myself the opportunity to enjoy the flexibility and freedom of being my own boss.
By setting expectations, making a plan and giving yourself grace you can vacation with your family as a solo entrepreneur instead of working while they vacation.
What are your tricks and tips for taking a vacation as a solo entrepreneur?
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