Do you ever have that disturbing feeling that trying to squeeze one more minute out of your day will render you senseless?
Like you, I struggle with finding time to write books, create new classes, and put together new information products and programs. 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 small business owners.
Each year our mastermind group meets in person for a live Mastermind Retreat Weekend. A few years ago, 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 clients, or ask them to halt work with you during 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 productivity. After all, I was taking the month off to get 2 big projects finished. I decided to run my mastermind groups just a few days out of the month, and work on projects the rest of the time. I’d take Friday’s off work completely so that I’d have a month’s worth of 3-day weekends to relax (especially as I’d be working really, really hard during the other four days creating my class and book). 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 students and members 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 then I told the world!
5. Stay present. This was a tough one for me, staying present and aware during the month of August. I paid attention to two things: how I used my time, and whether I was creating the balance between work and relaxation that I was seeking.
It was a great adventure and I’m looking forward to doing it again!
Sharron Denise Williams
Thank you for this post. I have been struggling also with how to manage creating products for my clients, consulting and the daily operations of the business. Thank you for you expertise, and knowledge as well.
Of course, Sharron, the idea of carving out big chunks of time to create products/classes/books — it’s not for everyone. Some biz owners’ schedules simply don’t allow for it. But if you plan it in advance, it could work. After all, we carve out time to take a vacation, right? 😉
Great post Karen -as usual! A good friend and colleague Sabrina Sterling teaches business owners how to implement 4 week vacations in their lives and is writing a book on the subject.