This is going to be a pretty simple answer today.
It’s not easy to do, but taking vacations and being able to step away from the freelance business for a day or a week can be scary.
From about 2004 to 2011 I didn’t take any days off.
There was no vacation, no hotel plans, no cruises, no car rentals, nothing that resembled any sort of pleasurable trip because I wanted to get away.
When was the last vacation you had? Maybe even years at some point where you didn’t get a break?
So why is that?
Big excuses is why!
- Too much work
- No time, I'll look into next year
- How will the business be when I get back?
- Will there be a business left?
So how do you step away?
Communication and planning!
Communicate with your clients as early as possible.
The earlier on, the better. Timelines, sales, and delivery may all need to be figured out. And the more time you have to plan all that out the better.
Give yourself a buffer before going away.
If you are taking a week off, don’t work yourself to the bone the week prior to going away. When you do that, you won’t give your brain a chance to wind down. It’ll be 2 or 3 days into your vacation before your brain stops doing all the behind-the-scenes thinking around all the work that was just completed.
If you are going away on the 14th for a week. Then plan all you need to do for the vacation and tell yourself that you are going away on the 7th. Giving you a full week buffer prior to vacation.
Then from the 7th to the 14th, you do the every day tasks you need to just as if it were a normal week.
Plan for the unexpected.
In other words, should something happen with a client that is an emergency, put in place a process by which that client can get the help they need.
If you have a helpdesk system, have a process by which your client can put in a specific subject line to an email that then gets forwarded to someone who can handle the request.
Make sure they are aware of what sort of issues you could be filtering their way and make it super simple for them get access to all the things they would need to resolve said issue.
Now go ahead, take that vacation. Force yourself, like my wife did to me, because you do deserve it.
Running your freelance business
More episodes in this topic:
What do you do when a crisis hits?
How to start building an email list as a freelancer?
How do you manage time wearing so many hats as a freelancer?
What software tools do you use for business? What is best?
How do you prevent, manage scope creep in your projects?
Do you schedule in time for exploring or reading articles online?
What is the best way to get income fast?
What happens if you can’t define a scope of work on a call?
What do I do first thing Monday morning?
How can I focus on my business when I’ve got a ton client work?
Do I have to be concerned with GDPR?
What are the tools and services that you use and would recommend to freelancers?
How do you have time for all that you do?
What podcasting gear do I use?
Does live chat bring you in business?
How do you followup with a lead after a proposal?
Did hiring a mentor really help you with starting up your business or your career?
What is my writing process
What is the easiest way to get a remote testimonial?
How do you determine a quality prospect?
How do you step away and actually take a vacation?
Are job boards reliable?
How to decrease the sales cycle or time to close?
How would you write a cold outreach email?
How to present different services that could potentially diminish your abilities in the minds of clients?
Should I bundle projects for clients or keep projects separate per client?
What product do you use for your business that you can’t live without?
What makes you stand out from other freelancers?
Do I drop this client?
How do I set a goal?
Do you meet leads and clients face-to-face?
How do I work “ON” my business and not “IN” my business?
What is the best structure for setting a goal?
How do you do a review of your week?
What do I say when a potential client says I’m too expensive?
What is activity based selling?
How to get more clients?
How to have a productive week?
Do you use a CRM for your business?
How do you choose the technology for your clients?
What is the structure of a weekly review?
What is the structure of a monthly review?
What are lead generation techniques to get me out of the feast and famine revenue cycle?
How do I know if I should buy a course?
What’s a polite way to tell existing clients you are raising your rates? And what is a reasonable percentage to go up?
How many email follow-ups should I send to a lead?
What do I do? I’m afraid to filter the tire kickers coming into my business because they are the only leads I have.
How to take the next step from contracting resource to solo business owner?
What do you think about Gutenberg? Schmutenberg!
How do I get better at sales?
How to overcome objections in sales?
How do I respond to an RFP?
How to respond to “I don’t need strategy, can you just do…”?
If you don’t have experience, how to you prove the quality without the education/experience?
How do you handle a client that has ghosted?
What do you ask during a sales call?
How to improve your sales process as a freelancer?
How to charge more as a freelancer?
How do you push past the imposter syndrome?
How do you segment your email list?
What to say when a client insists on adding something new?
What kind of content should I promote to potential clients?
Best of Season 3 - Get out of the comfort zone
Best of Season 3 - Building Relationships
S06 E12 - Undercharging, Targeting the Wrong Audience, and What You Should Do About It with Alex McClafferty
S03 Bonus - Tom McFarlin on Blogging, Balancing Work and Family, and Building a Business that Lasts
S09 E11 - Differentiation, Reputation, and Pivoting From the Top-Down with Peep Laja
S01 E11 - Kai Davis helping freelancers get more clients with outreach