Taking an Entire Month to Create Products

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Like you, I struggle with finding time to write books, create new classes, and put together new information products. I have a burning desire to create these things; I think about them and plan for them constantly. I guess it must be the “teacher” in me — I want to share what I’ve learned with other self-employed people.

Each year our mastermind group meets in person for a live Mastermind Retreat Weekend. In May, I came to the Retreat with just one burning question: how can I take a month off of work, to write an updated version of a book and create a new class?

It seems an insurmountable dream and challenge. I hadn’t had a full month off work or school since I’d been in college (oh so many years ago!). A whole month off with only 2 projects to work on? Woohoo!

My mastermind group helped me to plan out a strategy for taking the month of August away from my business:

1. Figure out how much money you need to save so that you can cover your August business and personal expenses.

2. Figure out if you’d still work with existing coaching clients, or ask them to halt work with you in August. I decided that I would work with existing clients, but not take on any new ones for August.

3. Figure out how to schedule your month off for maximum enjoyment and relaxation, AND maximum production. After all, I was taking the month off to get 2 big projects finished. I decided to work with clients 3 mornings a week and work on projects the rest of the time. I’d take Friday’s off work completely so that I’d have a month of 3-day weekends; plus a 4-day weekend for Labor Day. I’d schedule time with family and friends during August for outings and visits, as well as some “me time” to walk in the woods or go to the beach and be in solitude.

4. Ask for support. I told my husband and my mastermind group I was going to take the month of August off; they loved the idea! I’ve also told my clients that my hours would be limited in August, that I’d still be there to support them but that they might not get 24-hour turnaround to emails or phone calls. And now I’m telling the world!

5. Stay present. This will be the tough one for me, staying present and aware during the month of August, paying attention to how I’m using my time, and if I’m creating the balance between work and relaxation that I’m seeking.

I’ll let you know how it goes! It’s going to be a great adventure and I’m looking forward to my month off with much anticipation.

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It’s Okay to Think Small

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In nearly every business book I read and from the lips of nearly every business guru I listen to is the premise that you have to grow your business. Grow, grow, grow — think big — and you’ll feel successful. More products, more services, more revenue — and you’ll be happy. Bigger is better, right?

Here’s a secret that I’m going to start shouting from the rooftops: there’s no shame in declaring that you want to keep your business small. This push for growing our business to the next level (whatever that means) might not be the right thing for many of us.

I’m not talking about people who remain small because they’re scared, or because they don’t have the skills or financing to grow big. I’m talking about the people who choose to keep their business small because, after careful analysis, it’s what they really want. There’s an unspoken taboo about saying, “I want my business to remain small,” and I want to halt that taboo.

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