A glorious season for vacations, lazy afternoons, and much needed rest and relaxation.
Except if you’re self-employed, right?
When I worked full-time for a school district, July was the unofficial “official” vacation month. Every week, someone was out of the office, taking week-long vacations with their families and friends. I even took a solid two weeks off around my wedding last July. I went to DC, Puerto Rico, and had days to recuperate at home in Houston.
It was glorious.
So when I started running my coaching business full-time in January, I expected to take a week-long vacation at least once during my first year of business.
And then things did not work out that way. Launches, emails, deadlines, and bills were due. And I did not create the cushion in my schedule to take a full week off from work.
Talk about disappointment.
I looked at my calendars and damn near bawled my eyes out. I immediately started to imagine weeks upon weeks of being holed up in my home office on my laptop.
At first, I felt defeated. I had such high expectations for myself as a solopreneur. (More on that in another post). I had no idea how hard it would be to take a week-long vacation during my first year of business.
But because I’m a proponent for creating peace in my life, I had no other choice but to question my thoughts and give myself more agency.
Was it really true that I couldn’t create a fun summer with lots of adventure and rest?
No, a week-long vacation was not feasible without consequences I did not want to experience. (E.g. 60+ hour weeks).
But I could still intentionally create a beautiful summer as a solopreneur.
And the same is true for you.
Here are 3 ways I’m creating a summer full of adventure, rest, and a bit of vacay.
Take One Long Weekend in July and August
Yes, it would take more hustle than I want to invest right now to take a full week off. But I could totally swing two long weekends easily. Three whole days without thinking about a single work-related email, deadline, or podcast episode. If you’re thinking of taking a long weekend away, I suggest picking a city nearby to visit for 3 whole days to make the weekend even more special. Or you can plan a long weekend right where you are. But if you stay in town, there are two catches: (1) No errands. The purpose of the long weekend is to vacate regular responsibilities. Save the grocery store run for another day. (2) No Netflix and Mindless Scrolling. I love me a good binge-watching session as much as the next person. But after a few hours, it stops being rejuvenating and starts being innervating. Use the long weekend to try a new hobby, intentional rest, or fun adventuring.
Work From A New Place In The Same City
Part of the appeal of summer vacation is seeing new places. Well, who said you can only go to new places if you’re out of town? Instead, look for new places for a solid work session. Whether it’s a new coffee shop, museum cafe, or a university library, look for a new place to do work! There’s nothing quite like being in a new environment to make the same tasks feel a little less repetitive.
Take a Few Mid-Day Trips
This is my absolute favorite. I love taking a long lunch in a new part of town. There’s nothing quite like finding a new restaurant, grabbing a good book, and relaxing in a 2-hour lunch. You could skip the restaurant and take a day trip to a museum during the middle of the day when there are fewer people. Or you could catch a movie you’ve been wanting to see when you’re the only one in the theatre.
These are just a few of the many ways you can intentionally create rest, adventure, and “all things summer” into your schedule as a solopreneur.
One last word: It’s always tempting to see that there is not enough; not enough time, money, energy, etc. But if you’re always looking at how little there is, you’ll never be able to tell what you actually need much less what you already have. Imagine making a grocery list full of things you don’t already have in your fridge. You’d end up buying a bunch of things you didn’t have but didn’t need in the first place. Instead of believing you don’t have enough time to take a vacation this summer, look at the time that you do have. Whether it’s just enough time for a long lunch or a long weekend, celebrating what you do have is a sure way to enjoy your summer when you’re self-employed.
Danielle Callendar is a career and business coach at Chantiluke (chantiluke.com). She helps smart, soul-seeking women let go of limiting beliefs and listen to their own intuitive wisdom so they can create fulfilling careers and businesses.
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