Episode 120: Unplugged

When was the last time you took an unplugged vacation?

As business owners, it can be hard to get away, to completely unplug from our business, but it’s definitely necessary.

When this episode airs, I’ll be prepping for a week away to completely unplug, knowing my team will be able to run the business without me.

This didn’t happen overnight and I didn’t always have a team to run things when I was away. But I still made sure to unplug from time to time. It’s so important for us as business owners to rest and rejuvenate.

In fact, we’re taking a 2 month break from this podcast while we unplug for a bit to come back with some exciting new stuff in the fall just for you!

If you haven’t taken some time off recently, plan some time right now using the steps I teach you in this episode.


In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • The difference between unplugged and on hold
  • How it’s possible for me to step away while my team runs the business for me
  • What I do before, during and after time off

When's the last time you took a vacation, or real vacation or any time off truly unplugged zero, work. Next week, I'm going on a vacation with my family, my entire extended family. And I'm going to be completely unplugged from work. And then that is kicking off a two month quiet season in my business, quiet for me at least, to strategize and to get ready to scale to our next level. With that said, we'll be taking a two month break from this podcast. But during that time, I'm going to be getting some incredible new content ready for when we return. And I thought this is a perfect time to talk about what it takes to make this possible to take that unplugged time away from work to take that downtime that you need as a business owner. First of all, when I say unplugged, I don't mean that everything is put on hold. When I say unplugged, I mean I am unplugged from the business. But every aspect of the business will continue running without me. Marketing and Sales serving our clients back in operations. It's all going to continue. When I am unplugged on vacation, my team is handling all of those things. That means I'm not fielding sales inquiries or reviewing applications. My team is handling that. I'm not the one coaching my clients, but they are still fully supported. And I'm not the one answering team questions. They are meeting, they are making decisions and they are handling things without me being able to do this doesn't happen overnight. But I can't imagine not having this time not having this opportunity to truly unplug from the business. It took some time, like I said, and it happened in strategic steps by implementing some of the strategies that I'm going to share in this episode. Okay, so here it has been kind of the pathway or the journey, the steps, if you will, that I've taken to make this possible. First, I had to decide to do it and believe it was okay. Believe it was possible. I know that there was a time where I thought that I needed to be at the center of everything. And that, you know, my clients would be upset if they didn't get to work with me while I took a vacation. Or that if I took a break from the podcast or anything for that matter, then everything would just fall apart or implode. And I had to decide that I could build a business that allowed me to have the time off that I wanted and believe that it was okay. So that was the first thing I had to work through that from a mindset perspective, then I had to build time off into my client contracts. That's an important step, I set the expectation with my clients, and I modeled to them what it looks like to set your business up in a way where you get time off. And so my, my clients know that I get a certain amount of time off every year. And while I'm gone, like I said they are still supported. Third, I plan ahead, we use a project management system and we map out all of our work all of our launches. And we plan that around time off. And we're able to adjust to accommodate that time off and make sure that while I'm away, anything that would have been on my plate is either done ahead of time, or can be pushed out. Fourth, and related to that is batching. Sometimes I work ahead on content and prepare that ahead of time. Sometimes I know it's okay to just take a break and like I said model to all of you and to my clients that it's okay to do so. It's okay to take time off. It's okay to put things on hold for a little bit. So many people talk about consistency. I talked about consistency. But consistency doesn't mean all of the time. It doesn't mean every minute of every day They have every week of every month of every year you have to be working, you can be consistent and still build in downtime. Fifth, systemising and delegating. This happens well before time off, well before vacation. This is something that we're just doing all the time. And that is removing as much as possible from my plate, we're always looking for what is the next thing that we can systemize and hand off to a team member to handle, make sure that they're trained, they're up to speed, they know how to handle anything related to it. And we do that all while I'm still in the office. So I can help with that training, and answer questions before I'm gone. So that's something that you can start on right away. Six is just reminding my team and my clients in advance, don't just disappear, I'm over communicating that I'm going to be out of the office. Seven, I review projects with my team, make sure they are clear on their priorities, we're looking ahead, and I'm proactively answering any and all questions that they have about what they should be working on while I am gone. Eight, I give my leadership team, one method, just one to reach out to me, that isn't a usual communication channel in the business, we have very clear boundaries around our communication inside of our team and how we operate. So I'm not texting and calling my leadership team and they're not texting or calling me. So I know that if there is a true emergency, that I can give them my phone number, and they can reach out to me if something truly comes up. But it's not something that I would typically be checking. So in other words, I'm not going to be looking at Slack at all, they can continue to work as usual posts, tag me do whatever they want to there. And they know that I will get back to them. But not until after I am back in the office, I'm not going to be looking or paying attention to any of our normal methods of communication. And so only if there's an emergency, then they can reach out to me. Number nine, I shut off all work apps on my phone, I delete them if I need to, I don't pack my computer unless I want it for personal use. And then I'm signing out of all of those work apps on my computer as well. I just shut it all down. Ten, I trust the team and I really work to resist the urge to check in. I follow through on the plan that we have. It's very easy and tempting to want to just hop back in and just answer a few questions. But it doesn't really communicate that you trust the team when you do that. And so I have found that it's really important for me to follow through on what I said I was going to do stay out of it. And then check back in and catch up when I get back. They know how to reach me if there's an emergency. And I trust them to handle things while I'm gone. And then 11th, once I get back in the office, we debrief, I get updates on everything that happened, what went well, what didn't go well, what we need to do differently next time. If there's a certain something that comes up when I'm away, and the team didn't know how to handle it, we know that we need a system for that for next time. So I want you to remember that this took time and took it in steps with each vacation, progressing more and more, you can move at the right pace for you and your business. First, just by working towards time off for you and the business. Meaning maybe you take time off, and that does mean that certain aspects of the business take a break as well. Earlier in my business, when I took a vacation, my clients did not get served while I was gone. They just knew that I had a vacation and things were paused. But eventually, there's time where you get to take time off while the business continues. Either way, I want you to ensure that you truly get the time off that you need unplugged time off. When is the last time you had that unplugged time off. If it's not something that you've done recently, I want you to go ahead and schedule some time off now. You can use the steps that I mentioned in this episode to get prepared and plan some time off, go enjoy it. Enjoy the rest of your summer. And then we will be back in a couple of months with some brand new content. After I've had some downtime to get really inspired, come up with some new things and share with you everything that I've been thinking about. Alright, see you soon.

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