Planning to “retire” and start your own business? Design your business to financially and mentally support your time off. That’s sage advice given by Jane Pollak, in her wonderful book, Sole Proprietor: 101 Lessons from a Lifestyle Entrepreneur.
Though you may not want to give up working as you say good-bye to a long held career, you probably want some relief from the relentless grind. Part of starting your own business—and working for yourself—is calling the shots. But even when you’re the boss, an entrepreneurial venture can be life consuming. In the book’s Lesson #79 (reprinted below), Jane shows how leisure, fun and enriching time should be built into your business plan. —KAS
Design Your Business to Financially and Mentally Support Your Time Off
…Over the years I’ve designed my schedule to produce income in 10 months of the year, allowing for a summer break and a typically quiet December. I use the weeks in August primarily for vacation, but also to regroup for the fall programs. Because the holidays are usually slow for coaching, I use the latter part of December for business planning, goal setting and end-of-year review.
In July I let my clients know that our next appointments will be in September, then make plans that will take me in other directions. A typical schedule for away-from-my-routine outings includes as family vacation to the Jersey Shore, attending a conference that’s of interest to me personally, and offering my services at a coaching training session. The Coaches Training Institute, through which I am certified, offers opportunities to assist at its three-day courses in New York City. There I can immerse myself in the language of coaching, work with masters in the field, and meet dozens of colleagues at all stages of their coaching development.
Each of these accomplishes, in its own way, the same outcomes that are the hallmarks of what a vacation represents for this woman business owner: time away from my everyday activities, being with people I enjoy, meeting new people and trying new things. Also, it is critically important to get out of my environment to change my perspective, which always happens as a direct result of not being home in my office.
For some people, this involves travel to exotic places. For me, changing my routine and becoming completely absorbed in something else feels right. When I’m back at my desk, I feel invigorated and refreshed to do what I do the rest of the year.
I can’t wait to talk to my clients again. I look forward to the networking events on my calendar. I’m excited to see my colleagues who have been off doing wonderful things as well.
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