Ever wondered what would happen if you unplugged from your business for a few days? Would it really affect your business, clients, or marketing results?
For a period of nine days, I completely unplugged from my business. I didn’t post on Facebook, or LinkedIn, or stream any live videos.
The only social media posting from me came via Twitter. But even that was an automated process, so I wasn’t directly involved. I didn’t take meetings, calls, or do anything in terms of marketing or coaching.
What I did instead was to go to the seaside with my husband and daughter to recoup. And my reason for doing this was interesting.
You may think that I burned out, or lacked the enthusiasm to do any work. And you may think that I was running out of ideas. But I certainly didn’t feel that way.
The thought of unplugging came after a different realisation. Because during a conference, I got asked a simple question:
“How are you feeling?”
I also had to write down a word that described how I felt at the time.
To my surprise, what popped into my head was the word manic.
I felt like I was about to explode after my realisation!
You see, I got the feeling that the business wasn’t succeeding anymore and I couldn’t focus enough. Everything seemed like too much all of a sudden. And I wasn’t in a place where I could help the business succeed.
Now, this isn’t the most accurate depiction of how the business was back then. In the previous four months, we actually achieved more sales than ever before. However, I suddenly felt that everything achieved came at too high a cost. The work was harder than it had to be.
So, after some deliberation with my family, I decided to take a break and unplug.
The experience taught me some interesting lessons about what happens in every aspect of your life if you pull something like this off. These lessons are what I want to share with you now.
#1. My Business
Unplugging from my work had its ups and downs. But let me make something very clear: I couldn’t have done so and survived without support.
Claire, who is my integrator, took over many of my duties during my time away.
I will say this:
If you don’t have an integrator, that person right under you that oversees things, it’s hard to unplug. It’s scary if there’s not someone to manage the business in your absence.
Yet as great a job as Claire did for us; she couldn’t handle everything.
Because I forgot to brief her on some very important tasks. I forgot to tell her to check the support and info at Oompf Global.
After I took a quick peek at things on my last night off, I realised my mistake. There were many unanswered questions left from clients, many of which I thought urgent.
So because I forgot to brief her on the other two email addresses, many questions went unanswered for nine days. Everything else, the team handled wonderfully well.
But certain things broke down in my absence. Not everything got carried on smoothly. And looking back, it was because of me. So, there’s a learning curve for you.
Get clear on what to do before you leave and work on that communication.
That said, we still made sales while I was away. Only because we had someone in marketing and sales working every day.
If you do everything on your own, you can’t take time off as your business will suffer. Having team members to handle various tasks makes your business survive and even thrive. But it only happens if you’re clear in your communication and if you have an integrator present in your absence.
#2. My Family
This probably won’t surprise you, but my time away did something amazing for my family life.
I was not only able not to work, but I could also get away from home for more than a week. At the same time, I got to connect with my husband and daughter. I got the chance to spend so much quality time with my family that it was phenomenal.
What’s more, I also got to eat better. As I’m usually working a lot, I don’t often get the time to eat what I want when I want. And I’m sure you’re familiar with that.
As a result, I didn’t feel manic anymore. I felt like I got my mojo back.
And yes, a lot of that has to do with unplugging from work. But it was really the grounded family time that turned things around.
Why is it so important to spend more time with the family?
Often, business owners justify the time spent at work as doing things for the family. While that’s true in every sense, it’s not always preferred.
Most families would trade off some of the perks of you running a successful business. Especially if that meant having the opportunity to spend more grounded time as an actual family.
That’s what happened in my case, and I’m sure others felt like this, too.
#3. My Clients
I’ve talked about my business and my family. Now, let me share with you what happened with my clients.
What’s surprising is that my fear of abandoning my clients was greater than the actual impact of my time away.
There were some unanswered questions on social media. And as soon as I hit the ground running, all I could see were back to back calls on my schedule.
But, that’s okay.
My clients are a big priority, so, of course, I want to talk to them once I’m back.
It’s a scary thought, leaving work for days in a row and not keeping in touch with anyone. This includes team members and clients. But if you do your job right, clients can survive without you for a while.
No matter how good you are, you may not be able to help them much anyway if you lack motivation. And taking a break will get you motivated
You can have a bigger impact when you return with momentum and enthusiasm. And, hopefully, your team handles the bulk of the work in your absence.
My creativity came back after unplugging, and so did my excitement.
Spending time with your family as much as you can is so important when you’re working hard to grow your business. It can flip the switch in your head that takes you from frustrated to excited and ready for action. It’s remarkably refreshing!
This entire experience taught me many things.
It taught me that I have the greatest team and that I don’t have to micromanage them. And it also taught me that I need to communicate better if I want to step away from the business. But most importantly, it taught me that unplugging is necessary.
Doing so helped me go from stressed, even when business was good, to super excited about my business in general.
Barring eating a bit more than usual during my time off and feeling the effect, nothing but good things happened to me personally.
I’m much more focused than I was. I also learned new things about the power of marketing and communication. Now, I prioritise communication better.
I got my confidence back and I got to spend time with my family. Now, I feel ready to continue helping my clients grow their businesses and achieve the success and freedom that they deserve.
Unplugging Is Great But Not for Everyone
If you want to focus on your VITAL positioning, you might eventually need to step away and recoup.
It’s important to focus on your social life and family life, too. Don’t burn out by focusing only on your business.
But mine is a cautionary tale. I was able to successfully unplug and return to a business in good standing because of a few key reasons.
I have an integrator on my team that I trust to oversee things. Also, I have someone in sales and marketing that can continue to get leads and drive sales up. And I have those people that can respond to questions.
So, I have a freedom business because I can probably do this again with minimal impact on the business itself.
If you are a sole practitioner who does everything in the business with no support this is not something I recommend. But I will say that it’s a state you might want to strive to achieve for your firm.
The biggest takeaway from my story is this – you need to start thinking like a business owner. Grow your business by hiring the right people. Outsource tasks that others can handle so that your firm works in your absence.
Make it so that your clients can live a few days without you. Find ways to remain active online, even while away, to keep your social media visibility high.
There’s no reason you can’t have a freedom business too if you’re using the right approach to grow.
P.S. When you are ready to have more TIME, increase your PROFITS and catapult your IMPACT here is how you can get help and increase your superpowers:
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