Right before I went away with my husband and my 2 little guys for a family vacation, I had a fellow entrepreneur ask me:
“How do you do it? How are you going to go away? And how do you actually take the time to make it happen without feeling guilty, or without feeling obligated to still work and be there at work in case they show up and then call you? Or how do you take the time to do it? Because my work is going to be backing up, I’m still going to have it mounting and piling up without me here. But on the other hand, I’m not getting any younger, plus I have money, I’m able to do things, but I just don’t take the time to do them. How do you do it?”
(Just so you know – this was a very well-established business owner who’s very talented, has a lot of repeat clients, and a guy. Many people think just women face guilt, but yes, men do too!)
In my mind, you wouldn’t think someone this well respected, with mostly repeat and referral business, would feel this way. He did say, “I follow all your stuff on social media with the coaching and I’m trying to learn from it and I want to know how you do it and go from there.”
So, I said to him that “No one is going to do it for you! And no one is going to make that time for you to go away or do your work while you’re gone. I grew up watching my parents never travel. It’s one of those things where, when you have the time, you don’t have the money and when you have the money, you don’t have the time.”
This was a prime example of that. He had the money and he could do it pretty much anytime, but just didn’t make the time. So, my big thing with him was “You have to make it happen.” That is one of my catchphrases and sayings that I say to everybody – Life is what you make it, you have to make it happen. No one’s going to do it for you.
Going back to my parents, my mom grew up in a household where they never traveled, because of my grandparents. Not that they didn’t have much money, but my grandfather was a penny pincher and didn’t want to spend the money. I also think, honestly, he had so much anxiety and fear that he was afraid to travel. So, my mom didn’t travel growing up.
My dad’s family never traveled at all because they didn’t have the money to, his father was wheelchair bound and his mom didn’t even have a driver’s license.
Fast forward to our generation, we didn’t have the money to travel. And normally, if we did travel anywhere, it was for a craft show or someplace work-related so that not only could she write it off, but then we had the income to make it make sense to actually go someplace.
So, I did not grow up traveling. I knew when I got older though that I wanted to, and I wanted to experience life to the fullest if I could. It goes along with the whole limitless thing – I didn’t want to settle, whether it’s traveling or experience in life and enjoying life. And I want to give that opportunity for my kids too.
With all of that being said, as my mom has gotten older, she still does work 7 days a week most of the time, but she has actually gone on a few trips the last couple of years.
Prior to that, she just worked and never took any time off, ever. And would say, “I wish I could travel. I wish I could do this or that.” And I would say to her, “You have to make it happen. No one’s going to do it for you. No one is going to show up to work one day and say, ‘Hey, I got you. I got you covered. You don’t have to work. You go away and you enjoy yourself. It just doesn’t happen.”
So, I made suggestions to this gentleman, “You have to plan for it. You have to schedule around it. You can do it.” His entire business could be by appointment only. He does not have to have walk-ins unless it’s a certain time of the year. So, my suggestion was, “Put ‘by appointment only’ on your social media. If you have a website, do it on that and do it on your storefront, which by the way has no windows, so they can’t see if you’re in here anyway. Start small, by trying to figure out how to train your customers to respect your availability and have those boundaries for you and your schedule.”
This takes a ton of courage to do and try, but you are worth it. So many studies show that those who take time to recharge are more creative, more motivated and do better quality work! Which leads to more business, more production, more intuitive insights and better health too. And don’t forget, we are role models to those watching, and you wouldn’t want your kids to be frazzled, tired, adults not fully enjoying the journey of life, a slave to their work.
I learned this at a brokers class a long time ago. When you go away, don’t pretend you’re still working, because then you are never fully going to be in the moment and present wherever you go. If you explain to your clients, have an out of office response and educate them ahead of time that you’re going to be going away and what the protocol would be to reach you, or to check in on updates, educate them. You will ultimately do a better job for them, by taking this time for you…
People will generally respect your time if you create and set those boundaries with your schedule. Not everybody’s going to and maybe they’re not your people. Maybe they’re not your clients. So, keep that in mind.
They are my biggest suggestions: Create those boundaries, create your schedule and coverage, don’t feel guilty for it and then plan for it. Remember the why behind it – why you need to recharge, why you deserve to enjoy the journey and not just be so focused on the destination that you forget to.
What’s the point of working your rear end off to be an old person someday and live with regret? It goes along with the whole limitless idea. You either are living a limitless life or you’re settling. There’s probably comfortable area in between, but if you feel like you’re settling, you can change it if you want to bad enough.
I hope that that entrepreneur takes the time to change how people can access him, and when they can access him, and does take that trip, and makes it a regular thing.
Especially if you’re established – if you do everything in excellence, have great follow up and explain your expectations and boundaries, they will be waiting for you. A balanced life will set you up to be your best and bring your best, and if a client isn’t willing to respect those boundaries, maybe they aren’t your people. This takes courage to do, but will be more than worth it.
Even if you go away and they don’t know that you’re gone and you have a business where they cannot readily walk in and see you – they don’t know if you’re working on their item and/or their product or someone else’s, or they’re in the pipeline just waiting for their product to be completed.
I hope that this serves you and helps you, and that you create those boundaries. Schedule that trip, and live life to the fullest. And live a well-balanced, full life. Work hard, play hard, but well-balanced.
If you want some more resources and accountability, check out my coaching options at my website www.christina-vandergrift.com/coaching.
If you want to see how I handle my guilt and anxiety while away, read my previous blog post. Don’t forget to Subscribe below 🙂