guilt-free time off work for solopreneurs

How to take time off work, guilt-free, as a solopreneur

Are you a solopreneur who feels GUILTY when you take time off work? In this video, we’re going to talk about 2 key factors that can help you take time off work EFFECTIVELY — guilt free, AND so it doesn’t harm your business. Includes a 3-part thought exercise you can use to begin identifying your own gaps... so you can SOLVE those issues, once and for all!

Quick overview of what's in this video:

  • 0:00 Intro
  • 0:50 Example for how Sagan has taken time off work lately as a solopreneur — and how this has changed significantly since she started her business 12+ years ago
  • 2:00 What Sagan’s schedule has looked like over the years, and what she’s done to do it (you are not alone if you struggle to take a break without the guilt!)
  • 2:40 Two key things that all of this comes down to, if you want to be able to take time off work without the guilt and without dropping the ball on your work
  • 2:50 The importance of strategy and actions (restructuring business model and being very intentional with tasks/schedule (both when working AND not working); planning ahead
  • 3:50 The importance of mindset and trust trust that your business can take care of itself, that it doesn’t need you at the helm 24/7; also mindset work to unpack guilt and judgment and what it means to be a good worker
  • 4:25 What happens if you’re missing either one of these pieces
  • 4:40 If you do the mindset work but SKIP the strategic actions, here’s what happens
  • 5:50 If you do the strategic actions but SKIP the mindset work, here’s what happens
  • 7:00 What happens when you do BOTH the strategic actions AND the mindset piece with trust work built into it
  • 7:30 This is easier said than done! Here are 3 self-guided, self-coaching questions to ask yourself to get started on doing this work on your own
  • 8:55 How you can start to see your gaps (and begin to solve them) as a result of doing this… plus how I can help you with this in the Solopreneur CEO 1:1 coaching program:
  • 9:35 Wrap-up


Are you a solopreneur who feels guilty when you take time off work? In this video we're going to be talking about the two key factors that can help you take time off work effectively, guilt free, and so it doesn't actually harm your business. 

My name is Sagan Morrow and I'm an anti hustle Productivity Strategist and internationally board-certified Life and Success Coach who specializes in working with solopreneurs — Be sure to grab my free training, Anti Hustle Secrets to Solopreneur Success

Now let's get into today's video: how you can take time off work, guilt free, as a solopreneur… without dropping the ball on your business tasks and your goals. 

For myself, I took a full week off work in March and I'm planning on taking off another full week. In April. Plus I've been enjoying long weekends every week for all of February and March. This has just been what I've been doing and it's been great; I've been able to spend a lot of time going out of province to visit family and having people come here to see me in Kamloops, which has been so good, and spending lots of time with my spouse. He had some time that he needed to take off work, so we thought, wouldn't it be fun to turn into long weekends every week? 

Now, this is something that I have not always been able to do. My schedule has changed a lot over the years and when I first started out as a business owner well over a decade ago I was really not good at being able to take any time off work. I worked a lot of evenings, a lot of weekends, and it seemed almost impossible, the idea of being able to take a full week off work two months in a row. Just was not was not even on my radar. And this by the way, is something that I have also done many times in the past on an ongoing basis. I used to work for two weeks straight and then I took a week off and I did that year round for a while and it was fantastic. I loved it. I was doing that based on my spouse's schedule at the time. 

What's really happened here is that over the years, I've been able to restructure some things and adjust things in my business and in my mind, so that I can actually accommodate for doing this type of thing. I wanted to share this with you so that you know that if you are really struggling to take time off work, or if you just feel so guilty anytime that you take a break, I get it. I have been there. I have experienced that and many of my clients also really have struggled with that when they first come to me. Even if you are there right now, it does not always need to be that way! 

There are really two key things that all of this comes down to if you want to be able to take time off work without the guilt and without it harming your business. 

Here are the two things that you need to do…

First, strategy and actions. 

This is where you are restructuring your business model so that it accommodates for you being able to step away from your business without everything just falling apart.

This is also about being very intentional, very strategic about the tasks that you're working on — making sure that you're not just doing a bunch of busy tasks, and also the schedule that you're using to ensure that you are managing your energy effectively and using your most creative times really well. And ensuring that everything that you're doing is connecting back to your larger goals, that you're not being really scattered and frantic and frazzled with all the things that you have on your plate. 

This is about being very strategic and intentional both when you are working and when you are not working. This is also about planning ahead and building in buffer space into your time. So again, this is very much about the structure of things, how you approach your tasks, which tasks you do and what time you do them, being very intentional about the order of operations that you are working in. So that's the first key thing that you need to do. 

The second is mindset and trust. 

This is about trust that your business can take care of it when you walk away. This is about trust that it does not need you to be at the helm 24/7. This is about trust in yourself that it is okay to take a break from work. This is also about doing the mindset work to really unpack any guilt or judgment or shame or anything like that about what it means to be a good worker and a hard worker. 

Now, here is what happens if you're missing one of these pieces — the strategic action is the first piece and the mindset and trust is this is the second piece…

If you do the mindset work, where you're really unpacking all that guilt and judgment and things like that, you're doing all that mindset work and everything is awesome with that, but you skip the strategic actions… Here's what happens: Your business will not be in a good place for you to be able to step away. 

This means that you might not feel guilt or shame when you take a break which is great, right? You're really fully enjoying yourself when you take a break from work. But your business is not able to sustain itself while you are taking that step away. how to take time off work guilt-free for high-achieving solopreneurs

What ends up happening is that you drop the ball on the different tasks that you're supposed to do. You drop the ball on achieving your goals. You end up jeopardizing client relationships and customer satisfaction as a result of that, because you're not keeping on top of things. You might end up missing deadlines. And this could also lead to reducing your quality of work that you're able to produce. It could lead to a lot of burnout and overwhelmed later on all of these types of things. 

So in other words, this is very problematic for your business success. If you skip the strategic actions side of it very problematic for your business success. 

Now, on the other hand, if you do the strategic actions, so everything in your business is structured really well and you're able to take time off and your business can maintain itself without you being there at home all the time… but you skip doing the mindset work and the self trust piece…. Here's what happens: 

In that case, you will be worried and distracted during your time off. Even though you can take a break and your business is still running fine, you are going to be obsessing over your business or worrying about it all the time. You're gonna be feeling so much guilt over taking that break away from it. You're going to be really judging yourself, you're gonna be really questioning, “I'm not a hard worker. I'm not a good worker,” all of those types of things might come into play. 

You really won't be able to enjoy yourself fully, and you'll probably just end up beating yourself up right if you're feeling guilty the whole time. That is not not a good place to be. So you will not get the rest that you need. 

And not only is that of course going to affect your personal life, your personal satisfaction and your personal well being, but it's also going to affect your business success. Because you will not have had the time to step away, take a break, rest, rejuvenate and have a really clear head by the time that you've returned to your work. 

As you can see, both sides here are very, very important. And when you do both sides of this — the strategic actions and the mindset piece with the trust built into it — you can then very easily take time off work without the guilt and without dropping the ball on anything. 

But this is easier said than done! I know that the idea of this is one thing but actually implementing it is a whole other thing.

So with that in mind, here are three questions that you can ask yourself to get started on this…

  • Question number one, on a scale of one to 10 — How guilty do I feel about taking time off work? So in this instance, 10 is that the guilt is all consuming and one is where you experienced little to no guilt. So on that scale of one to 10, ask yourself, how guilty do I feel about taking time off work? 
  • Question two, if I theoretically took the next two to three days off work, what would happen to my business? This is not about how you would feel about your business. But what would literally be the effects to your business? What would happen if you stepped away from your business for the next couple of days, the next few days? How would your business be able to run? Would it be able to manage itself? 
  • And question three, where is there room for improvement in both my strategic actions and the self trust and mindset work? So here I recommend setting a timer for five or 10 minutes and just write down everything you can think of until that timer goes off. 

So you can do this exercise: Ask yourself these three questions, do these exercises to really start to see your gaps in this. Once you know where your problem areas are, then you can start to solve them. 

And we can also do this together in a one on one coaching capacity when you book your spot in the Solopreneur CEO six months one to one coaching program!

We use a hybrid of coaching, consulting, teaching and mentoring, and we really blend together that deep in our mindset work with tangible strategic actions so that you can really see and feel your progress at every single level. Learn more about that and book your spot today.

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Don't forget to attend my free on-demand training, Anti-hustle Secrets to Solopreneur Success. It teaches you a whole lot more about how to fix your solopreneur problems so that you can skyrocket your success. Enjoy!