How Indie Entrepreneurs Should Plan Vacations (FS216)
Travel can lead to inspiration, vision and clarity for your business. That can mean huge gains when you’re an owner-operator of a small business.
As indie-preneurs and solo-preneurs we can often be the bottleneck for our business. Our mindset can be the leading cause of atrophy or stagnation in our strategies and execution.
Play time, vacation and travel, however, can be used to “knock the barnacles off” and reset our intention and focus so we can see clearly and move with more purpose.
BUT you may not want to put everything on hold and dive right into vacation without planning it through a bit.
So, in this podcast we teach you how successful indie entrepreneurs think through and plan their vacations.
Different kinds of “Vacation”: First, let’s define our terms a bit. In the episode we talk about the following different kinds of vacation.
- the staycation or “digital detox”
- the shorter “do no work” vacation
- the longer “do some work” vacation
- living abroad
- paternity/maternity/family leave
Many entrepreneurs have a hard time ALLOWING themselves to let go. Here’s a message from Fizzler Penny Hawes in the Member Community about this:
What is this “vacation” of which you speak?
Seriously, after owning and managing large family run equestrian centers for most of my adult life, there were no vacations. It was 7 days a week, week after week, month after month, and year after year. And even though we were grossing 6 figures, overheads were so high we were barely surviving.
Even after we sold our farm in CT and left our jobs managing a farm here in Virginia, there have always been 2 jobs or a seriously time intensive job and a side hustle.
I get a 2 hour vacation next Tuesday, courtesy of anesthesia…
This is one of my greatest “whys” – I’m sick of working 60 hour weeks where I swap hours for dollars. I’m 58 years old and scared shitless. All of that ends now.
Corbett has a great story about this. For a long time as a new blogger Corbett couldn’t step away from the computer for any significant stretch of time. Then he brought on his first employee, got that employee up to speed and immediately took 5 days away from the computer in Europe. More on that story in the episode.
(Note: that first employee of Corbett’s was Caleb Wojcik, who we just released a Founder Story interview with to Fizzle Members!)
Reset your mind about what vacation is for. Keep your mindset healthy around vacation. Try to see it as an investment in your creativity and business, as opposed to shirking your responsibilities (which always leads to guilt). A fresh brain is often an open channel for new ideas and fresh inspiration. You may feel like Steph when she says, “I work MUCH faster when I’m rested and positive (vs. ground into a pulp and fatigued!).” So, the first step is to think about vacation as a BUSINESS ASSET.
Create a pre-vacation game plan. Define projects you want done before you leave. Be intentional with what you’re committed to so you can allow yourself to TRULY release when you’re on vacation. As Chase says, “It’s a really big asset for my business when I can completely disengage, experience something new and then come back to my work with clear eyes and optimism. From that perspective, with fresh eyes, I can see all sorts of things in my work that I was blind to before!” It might mean working ahead, batching tasks, outsourcing, leaning on teammates — but no matter what, you gotta have a game plan for stepping away.
Note: you can use the Energizer Project Planning Method to figure out exactly what the most critical projects are before you leave.
Learn to travel simple. One of the things we most love to experience in travel is serendipity, those moments you didn’t plan for, the random, beautiful stuff you just kind of fell into. Part of making yourself open to that is lightness in travel. As Chase says, “Now, i can get more technical here: I literally carry one carry-on backpack; that’s all I allow myself. I love this for so many reasons — freedom, agility, presence — but one of my favorite side effects (and likely the reason I’m so addicted to this kind of travel) is that it equates to MENTAL states of freedom and presence. So, it’s not just ‘I don’t have a lot of stuff with me,’ it’s also ‘I’m literally thinking and behaving with more freedom,’ and that can change your damn life.”
Note: Corbett and Chase share a little moment of glee in the episode when this comes up. You can almost hear Corbett squeal in delight.
Another Note: Chase is so taken with traveling lightly that he has a whole youtube channel devoted to it. And it’s growing, too!
What have you learned about traveling as an entrepreneur? Share what you’ve learned in the comments below because we’d love to hear them!
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