Howdy, y'all! I took a month off from work - yikes! How scary is that? But I NEEDED it! My business has grown like crazy over the year which led to weeks of neglecting my body, my family, and life's pleasures like going out with friends, serving the community, bird watching, etc.
I timed the month off with our annual vacation to Yellowstone. (My husband and I have visited Yellowstone national park every spring since 2006, sometimes in the fall because of the magic and excitement it brings. Yellowstone is the reset button for my soul!) Here is a photo of one a cute little black bear. You can see more at www.facebook.com/YellowstonePhotos
But I really struggled with the thought of "not working" for a month. On past visits, we both served clients remotely after hours of photographing the spectacular wildlife in the park. On our trip last spring, it was a challenging 3 week working vacation. How do you balance 8-10 hours of photographing and then work on client projects 4-5 hours each day? You don't sleep - and that's not balance. I was exhausted from my most treasured vacation!! And the imbalance continued when I returned home. I have yet to go through all of my vacation photos from last spring... how crazy is that? The memories and sights and feelings of a place I hold dear and near to my heart, are sitting on a hard drive waiting to be rediscovered.
I vowed to not do that to myself again. I decided to "take off from work" this spring even though the fear of losing clients/revenue loomed. But it was for my own well-being. I can't take care of my clients if I'm not well, right?
"How did you go about doing that," you may ask. Initially I was not going to tell my clients I was "not working." My business coach suggested another way: tell them! Let your clients in on this part of your life. And I did; I included a short story and photo about a past visit too Yellowstone in my bi-weekly speaking tip email and shared I would be gone for a month.
And guess what? My clients and community were HAPPY for me! They said "a well deserved vacation," "send pics," "can't wait to hear all about it." What a relief! I wasn't letting down my community, they were cheering me on!
You deserve time away to take care of you - let your community know. They want you to succeed as much as you want them to. Be kind to yourself...
As founder of Back of the Room Productions™, Alicia is a speaker and an international best selling author. She is a two-time award recipient of the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association, has been nominated for several business awards and serves as a Partnering Director of the Public Speakers Association.
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