Okay so the title of this might be a little deceiving, but while I am still working everyday, I am technically taking 2 months off of my “main job”… and it was a scary decision. Let me explain.
I am currently in the process of restructuring my business to encompass my services as a Travel Director, Luxury Travel Advisor, and also my social media consulting services all under the umbrella of Passport To Friday. I’m still working 50+ hour weeks. But that’s why it’s so important for me to not be working on-site for events during these two months.
Since taking on my social media clients, becoming a luxury travel advisor, and adding on other contract projects, I have felt like I have been spreading myself a bit too thin. Which for someone who likes to “do it all” is hard to admit (and may have taken me a long time staring at the screen to type those words out).
To say it’s been overwhelming is an understatement because I had already committed to working on-site at events (which are essentially 12-18 hour work days) while also staying up late and waking up early to finish my new projects. Overcommitting leads to decreased quality of work across the board and runs you into the ground, so where is the benefit in it? None.
The problem? I LOVE it all. So who would want to say no to an exciting project when it’s the reason you wake up with energy in the morning and makes you thrilled to take on each day? But something had to change, and I felt the need to just take a step back and breathe for once. You cannot travel on average 25 days per month and keep adding to your workload without taking a moment to re-focus and allocate the necessary time to accomplish your tasks.
Which is why I made the (extremely hard) decision to take over 2 months off of working on-site for meetings and events while I restructure my business, get caught up on all of my projects, establish efficient systems that will make my work seamless and smooth once I start traveling for work events again, and essentially just get all of my ducks in a row in every aspect of my life. But what if in those two months all of my clients forget about me? Or think that I’m a quitter or a slacker? What if they never hire me again? Yes, those are all thoughts that went through my head. Yes, I think they are all natural concerns that kept me up at night. No, I will not let those fears dictate my decision because guess what…. none of them came true.
I think this is a hard decision for entrepreneurs and contractors or even someone who just feels overwhelmed or unhappy in their job to make, but it is so necessary to maintain your sanity, performance on the job, and overall quality of life.
But it’s important to be smart about it.
Before you make a decision like this, there are a few things I think are important to consider and plan for:
Have a sufficient savings account that will cover the two months and well beyond.
Even if you still have some income coming in, it is imperative to be monetarily prepared in case something were to happen. I personally like to always have my savings account at a level that can pay all of my living expenses and bills for an entire year.
Follow-up and stay in contact with all of your colleagues and clients.
Don’t fall off the map! Let them know you’re coming back to work and keep up with them whether it’s checking in via email, social media, etc. I’ve been emailing clients during this time period and am already almost booked up for the rest of the year once I return back to work. It’s just important to stay visible and interested.
This is not a vacation.
This is hard for me to remember sometimes when all I want to do during this 2 month period is book fun trips because I finally have time to do so. This is your time to get your life together. It is all about balance though so make sure to reward yourself and take a few days off to do things you wouldn’t normally be able to do while you’re in your normal work routine (for me this was taking a trip to see family).
I am definitely going to start talking more about work-life balance, because in this day and age it essentially doesn’t exist even though millennials crave it more than anything. We keeping adding work hours to our week and it’s slowly hurting us and our relationships. I know people where 100 hour work-weeks is the norm. How is that even possible?
Let me know if any of you have taken a similar “hiatus”… I would love to hear your stories!
Safe travels y’all!