Everybody’s thinking about summer vacations these days!  The warm, sunny weather is here.  The kids are off school!  The pool is ready and our minds are thinking – yippee – time off.

But as a business owner, vacation time can come with some problems.  As a solopreneur, you wonder how the heck will your business keep operating if you totally unplug?  So many of you end up taking your laptop with you on vacation and spend hours answering emails and keeping the momentum going.

If you have employees or a team, you might be worried about scheduling everyone’s vacation (before yours) and how to get the work done while people are away? So again, you might go on vacation but still, you’ve got your laptop to answer questions, put out fires and double-check on things while you are away.

And then, if you’re anything like myself (and other entrepreneurs I know), we have felt guilty about NOT working so we sneak around checking emails and working on projects!

Either way – it doesn’t sound like much of a vacation to me!

So how can a busy entrepreneur take time away from their business to recharge and spend some quality downtime without worry and without the guilt that they should be still working?

Here’s what I’ve learned about taking guilt-free vacations….

1.  I f*cking deserve the time off! Boom – there I said it.  And until we can actually feel that we deserve this time away, we won’t do what’s necessary to make it happen!  Like most business owners I know, we are ‘control-freaks’!  And while that has been a good thing as our business grows, there comes a time in our business, when we have to let go… we have to learn to delegate and set boundaries as well as teach our team to step up and take responsibility.  We have to start thinking (and acting) like the CEO of our business and let the day-to-day be done by our team.  You deserve worry-free, unplugged time to reboot your juices …. Otherwise, you know what will happen…. You burn out and then you aren’t any good to your business.

2.  Plan – be strategic about vacation times. If you’ve ever attended one of my Planning Days, you’ll know that the very first thing that we schedule is our own time off. Every January during my planning day, I schedule 2 weeks off in the summer.  As summer approaches, I’m asking myself, when and where is my next vacation.  As the CEO of your business, you get to schedule your time off.

Okay –  if you’re a solopreneur, once you’ve scheduled your time off,  it’s time to reverse engineer how the work is going to get done.  For example, do you need to write 1 or 2 blog posts or record 1 or 2 podcast episodes 2-3 weeks before your vacation?  Do you need to set up automatic billing?  Do you need to tell your VA, bookkeeper, and other essential team members?  Do these team members need to be prepped before you go?

If you have a team, what work needs to be covered while you are away?  What constitutes an emergency for them to contact you while you’re on vacation?  How have you prepared them to take responsibility while you are away?

You see as the leader of your business – you have to ask yourself – have you created a business that’s a well-oiled machine that can run without you OR have you just built yourself another JOB?

3.  Test your unplugged, guilt-free vacation! Take a scheduled long weekend and see how things are managed in your business.  Become aware of the problems and the bottlenecks so adjustments can be made when you do take a long time away.  Most of this starts by being clear with your team about their responsibility and your expectations.  Giving them autonomy to make decisions without double-checking with you is key.

If you’d like to grow your business AND take weeks or months of guilt-free, unplugged vacations, while your business still grows without you – then let’s talk!   I help busy, entrepreneurs build a business and a life that gives them the freedom they truly desire!  #worklessearnmore


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