Business

The Secret to Taking a 4-Week Vacation

Blue water by beach

Emily Williams

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When was the last time you took a vacation? Like truly stepped away from your business?

I know it can feel impossible to do so. There was once a time when the mere idea of taking a vacation, no matter how much I dreamt of one, made me feel anxious. 

When you run a business, it’s easy to feel like it can’t operate without you there. 

The truth? It can. I actually took a two week vacation over Christmas and a few weeks ago, I sat down with my friend and brilliant operations expert, Adrienne Dorison, for an episode of the IHML podcast all about running your business in a way that grants you more freedom (and yes, that includes vacations 😉 ). 

Adrienne is the CEO and co-founder at Run like Clockwork, where she helps her clients set up their businesses in such a way that they could be away for weeks if they wanted (or needed) to. Whether you are going on vacation, taking maternity leave, or just dealing with something unexpected that life throws at you, Adrienne believes it’s vital for your business to run without dependency on you. 

And she’s right.

So, I wanted to share with you some of the key takeaways from my conversation with Adrienne so you can begin setting yourself up for more freedom in your business ASAP. 

⏱️ Track your time.

It’s important to understand where your time is going. Log your daily responsibilities and the time you spend doing each one. Literally write it down. This will help you get clear around what you want, should, and need to transfer off your plate. Figure out what can and cannot function without you being there at this point. Then make a list of the aspects of the biz you need to start to transfer or systematize so that someone else could do it if you weren’t there.

📇 Processes, systems, and team members.

Start chipping away at developing and putting in place processes and systems that can help transfer and delegate responsibilities. This includes taking a look at your team and hiring new members where needed. While automation is great, it isn’t the solution to everything. Being open to having other people help you (and take things off your plate) is essential. 

🌊 Test the waters.

She doesn’t recommend that you just dive right into your four-week vacation to find out if your business will sink or swim without you there. Instead, take a few days or a week off to test the new systems, processes, and responsibilities delegation. Have your team write down successes and concerns while you’re away so they can be addressed when you return. Make adjustments and repeat! 

Now, for my fellow coaches and other personal brands out there, I know there are concerns about stepping away from a personal brand (and if it’s even possible). The good news? It is. 

Identify your #1 value in the biz.

Is it showing up on Instagram? Writing the next book? Speaking on stage?  Being visionary? Whatever it is, once you can pinpoint it, you can start to remove everything else off your plate. Where can you automate? Systematize? Who can you train? What roles do you need to hire? I know it can be difficult letting go of some of the power and trust, but you have to move past the ego and fear for the benefit of yourself and your business

Strengthen (and then share) your framework.

You can have other people step in and be client-facing IF you have strong brand frameworks and brand elements they can align with. This alignment will help build trust across the team and among the clientele (My clients greatly benefit from the 7️⃣coaches at IHML). I mean, my business isn’t about me. It’s about the I Heart My Life methodology and frameworks, right? 

Transfer the trust.

Now, as you’re adding new client-facing team members to your business, introduce them slowly to avoid any feelings of a bait and switch. When you’re introducing your audience to your business’s new faces and voices, you have to build toward that transferral of trust. That takes time (but it will pay off). 

It doesn’t happen overnight.

It took me seven years to wrap my head around these concepts and apply them to my own business. I’m not saying it’s going to take you and your business years, but it is going to be a bit of a process to figure out what these steps will look like for your business. But that’s just it, if you are going to achieve that freedom, it starts by taking the first step toward it. 

Truthfully, I’m not a natural systematizer, nor am I obsessed with operations, but I have come to see how Adrienne’s approach can truly change your business (and your life) for the better. 

The bottom line is that freedom for you in your business isn’t as far-fetched as you may think.

P.S. I don’t want you to miss out on this incredible episode of the IHML Show. Be sure to tune into my conversation with Adrienne here to learn even more about how you too can run your business like clockwork (because you can.

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