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Archive for November, 2015

3 Tips to Create a Perfect-for-You Holiday Schedule

As the holidays approach, do you find yourself contemplating whether to work through the holidays, because you need the money, or to take time off to be with your family, but suffer a financial hit?

Let’s call it what it is, shall we?

If this sounds familiar (and we know it does for lots of coaches—we’ve heard people talking about it on our forums), you’re stuck in what we call the (drumroll, please) …

“The Entrepreneurial Conundrum.”

Yikes!

It’s the holiday season! You’re probably feeling pulled to take time off to hang out with your family, eat yummy holiday food, play games, drink and be merry! 😉

But you also know that if you take time off from work, you may lose momentum and you’ll almost certainly lose money.

When this internal struggle occurs, you likely come out of it feeling like your work is controlling you (and that’s never a good feeling!).

So what to do?

If you’ve been asking yourself that question with the holidays right around the corner, you’re in luck. We have answers!

And we want you to know that, although we’re talking about the festive season here, everything we’re sharing with you today applies to ALL situations in which you have to take time off, whether they are planned or not. Let’s face it – sometimes, the unexpected occurs – like when my mom recently became ill and passed away. I had to take time away from my business, and I could without worrying, because of the systems I have in place. (Also, a quick, loving “THANK YOU” to all of you who have reached out with condolences. You warm my heart, and I so appreciate you.)

So today, we’re giving you 3 tips for working as much as you want to, and only as much as you want to, over the holidays (or any time you feel compelled to take time off).

Tip 1. Set your intentions and desires.

It’s simple, but it must be done!

Answer the questions: Do I desire to work? Do I desire to take total time off?

Sure, that sounds obvious, but if you haven’t outlined (even for yourself) exactly what you want your holidays to look like, how will you achieve it?

The same idea applies to your business, as a whole: if you’re not crystal clear on your intentions for your business, it controls you, by default. And that’s exactly what we don’t want.

During our next complimentary webinar on Wednesday, December 2 at 4:00 pm EST, we’ll talk about how to structure your business so you can work AND play during the holidays, or so you can take total time off, any time. We’re covering topics like getting support systems in place, a simple automated promotion you can put in place at any time, and an easy autoresponder series you can send out to reengage former or inactive clients while you take time off. So watch your inbox – it’s going to be great!

Tip 2. Implement your structure.

This is where you take your holiday vision and create a specific framework for making it reality.

First, set expectations for yourself and for your clients in terms of office hours. In order to do that, you need to determine when you will be available to work ON your business as the business owner, when you will be available to work IN your business as the practitioner, and when you will be available to be AWAY from your business, as you. Then, set up your voicemail greeting and the Out of Office Assistant in your email to remind people of your office hours. Putting these processes in place allows you to continue to provide exquisite client support, even when you’re not in the office.

When you return to your full work schedule, plan an entire, “secret” re-entry day to give yourself time to get back up to speed and get your head back in the game. For example, if you plan to come back January 2, tell your clients you’re coming back January 3.

Again, we’ll take this even deeper in our upcoming webinar, and we hope you’ll be there!

Tip 3. Organize promotions, autoresponders, and client engagement in advance.

While you’re still going full-throttle, before you actually begin your holiday schedule, take the time to set up and schedule the items you can ahead of time, so they’re rolling out even while you’re sitting in front of the fire drinking eggnog. 😉

In Tip 1, we mentioned a simple automated promotion you can put in place so it’s happening without your input, as well as a simple autoresponder series you can send out to reengage former or inactive clients. (This series can be something simple, like a set of 3 emails for a “Start the New Year off Right” special offer on your coaching packages (I’ll talk more about this on the webinar, during which I’m also giving you a structure you can use for your offer and bonus, and an email template, so be sure to join us!).

You may also consider sending out a 3-part autoresponder series for current clients that gives them holiday-related exercises and activities to help them successfully maneuver through this time of year. One of our favorite ideas is asking clients to journal in their client log during your time away from your typical coaching schedule.

Finally, consider creating your December and January newsletters in advance and schedule them for future send dates, so you don’t have to think about them while you’re taking time off or when you return to your full-time schedule.

Again, our in-depth, complimentary “Easy Breezy Time Off: Your Guide to Planning and Preparing for Time Away from Work … While Your Business and Clients Thrive” training on these topics is scheduled for Wednesday, December 2 at 4:00 pm EST. Be sure to watch your inbox for details to join us.

We want to help you ensure your holidays look exactly like you want them to … and we’re so excited to share them with you, our cherished community, this year!

Posted in: Business Operations, Time Management

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