How to Vacation and Leave Work Behind

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It is Monday morning and I am still in my pink bubble…..Today is the last day of National Conference.  Have I left work behind while I am here?  Honestly, no because I don’t consider my own business as work BUT I have left behind the JOB!  I can also look like I am on vacation every day because I can take my office to the beach, the coffee shop or to a hotel.

Being away, I get to observe people which is something that I love to do.  Why do people insist on working when they are supposed to be taking downtime?  Did you know that more than half of Americans work on vacation!

Here are some tips so that you can leave your work at home on your next vacation:

1. Plan Ahead

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We make a plan when we go on vacation, right?  Why not plan to get work done early too?  Take a look at the work that is due while you are away or as soon as you get back.  Put in a few extra house now so that you can reduce your to-dos while you’re away. Wouldn’t your boss love it if you finished a project early? It is possible to finish projects early, just change the mindset.

2. Talk to Your Clients (Your Customers)

When you work for someone else, it is easy to let people know that you will be on vacation and who will be covering for you, right?  When you are a solo-preneur, it may be a little different.  Let your customers, know in advance that you will be taking time off.  Let them know if you will have limited access to social media, email, etc.  I don’t think I have ever heard of anyone being upset that you took a vacation.  Are you a home party consultant, let hostesses know that you need to close parties out before your leave or it won’t happen until after you get back.  Yes, I am the crazy one who worked on closing 7 parties prior to leaving for National Conference.

3. Leave Your Technology Behind

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Yes, I said it!  I already can here the million excuses about why you can’t leave it behind.  Okay, you’re allowed to bring your phone, so that you can be available for emergencies. The rest stays in the office. Oh and take the notifications off your phone for email, social media, etc.  I mean do we really need a computer and a tablet with the cell phones that are out today.  It is way too easy to take a quick peek at your work email and then end up 5 hours later not sure where your vacation day went.  You’d be surprised how refreshing a few days without Internet access can real be.  You will feel rested and ready to fully focus on your business when you return.

4. Focus on Your Family

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Remember your objective: to reconnect with the people you don’t get to see when you’re working. To that end, plan activities to really maximize your time together.

A vacation is meant to provide rest and relaxation, stay focused on your mission!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

What Are Your Obstacles?

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When I graduated college, work was all about moving up in the corporate world.  I never thought about being my own boss.  To me that was a lonely life – I needed people.

My first home-based business was “Special Tots” a line of premature baby clothes.  I designed them, cut them out, sewed them and then marketed them.  I loved it but I was not ready to be my own boss.  Then came “H.O.P.E. Consultants”, a grant management and consulting service for non-profit agencies.  A success but I missed the daily connections with people.  When I closed those doors to go back to non-profit development, I never thought I would be by own boss again.

Then life changed – Belinda was living in North Carolina, the commute to work was 4 hours round trip, I got married and there were some health struggles.  The pros of being my own boss: making my own hours, no commuting and doing something I loved far outweighed the BIGGEST con which was the lack of people.  YUP, I was ALONE.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my business.  But it tends to be solitary work. I write alone. I sit in the office alone talking to people on the phone.  I coach alone, mostly by phone.  I work from home, my team scattered about this and other states. The crazy part is that I question my passion when being “alone” gets lonely.

What’s missing is the connections!  Connection isn’t just “networking.” Connection isn’t just collaboration. Connection isn’t just communicating with people. I love how Valerie Burton describes it: “Connection is love. It is the moment, however brief, when your soul aligns with another and you serve one another’s needs in some way. It could be a smile, a touch, an idea, a word of encouragement, or act of support. But connection makes life and work juice”.  This is just one of the hurdles that you can expect when you work a solo-preneur.

How about blending Your Work Life with Your Home Life?  Most people enjoy the fact that an office job gives them the ability to leave their work at the office. This is tricky if you’re working in your home, and even tougher for those you live with. I have a separate office space in the house – a spare bedroom.  It prevents my business from intruding into every aspect of our personal lives– for the most part.  At least the physical aspects of it.  The advantage is that there is  no commuting!  Blending is a lot easier if you build your business around something you’re personally passionate about.

How about working longer and harder than ever before?  Many entrepreneurs say “I work from the minute I wake up until the minute I go to sleep.”  That may be the case some days, but it will be especially true in the beginning.  You will do whatever it takes to get your business going.  The advantage is that you will work longer and harder, but it’s ultimately for your own gain.  Nothing is more satisfying than that!  While you will make time sacrifices, you’ll also have more flexibility.  I ultimately have the ability to change my schedule when I need to. There are certainly sacrifices toward owning your own business, but for successful entrepreneurs, the advantages far outweigh the difficulties.

No matter what the obstacle in owning your own home-based business, there is a solution.  The passion you have for your business combined with the desire to reach your goal will help you find that solution.  Need help finding those solutions, reach out… I will be more than happy to help you on your journey.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!