E80: How To Prepare Your Mind and Business For Time Off

Particularly as black and brown folks we need to make sure we build rest into our schedule's, into our self-care routine"

- Asha Wilkerson, Esq.

Episode Summary:

As someone who runs my own business, I know how hard it can be to step away and take time off. So in this episode I share with you how I’ve come to realize the importance of incorporating rest into our self-care routines and business models. I share the three steps I took to prepare for my time off this summer, so I can come back refreshed and ready to serve my clients better.

In this episode, we cover:

  • How to recognize the undeniable benefits of integrating breaks into both self-care routines and business models.
  • How to conquer the negative emotions keeping you from resting
  • How I prepared my marketing and content creation to keep the momentum going while I rest
  • How I used systems and automation to delegate certain tasks so I could log off
  • How I evaluated my business to determine what the most essential parts are

What You’ll Learn On This Episode:

  • 00:02:09 – Mindset,

    Asha talks about the mindset work she did to prepare for her three-month vacation from her business. She speaks on grappling with generational beliefs that told her rest is wrong and unproductive.

  • 00:07:15 – Automation,

    Asha talks about adding automation to her business She automated things like emails, events, and workshops so that they could run seamlessly in the background while she was away. She also focused on one thing at a time to make sure she could get people to her money-making roadmap course.

  • 00:11:19 – Support Systems,

    Asha talks about the importance of having support systems in place when taking a break from a business. She talks about her team and how they met in advance to decide what things needed to go out,

  • 00:13:49 – The Importance of Rest,

    Asha speaks about the importance of rest and how even machines need maintenance. She emphasizes that as a human, taking a break is necessary and encourages listeners to think about how they can incorporate rest into their business.

  • 00:14:09 – Money Making Roadmap,

    Asha mentions a course called the Money Making Roadmap, which helped her take a three-month vacation. She provides a link to the course and also mentions that she offers one-on-one coaching for those who want tailored support.

  • 00:14:43 – Aligning Business and Life Goals,

    Asha offers coaching for those who want to align their business and life goals. She shares how she can help with creating a vision, setting numbers to that vision, and figuring out the process to sell the amount needed to fund life goals.

Resources Mentioned:

Connect With Us: 


You’re listening to Transcend the podcast. I’m Asha Wilkerson, a business coach helping service based entrepreneurs align their business goals with their personal goals to create a life they want to show up for. I will show you how to drop the expectations, thoughts, and beliefs that weigh you down as a woman of color entrepreneur so that you can create and walk your own path with success, confidence, and joy.


Hi, welcome back to Transcend the podcast. I am really excited for this episode because as you are listening to this, I am on vacation, and this is the first real break that I have taken oh, gosh, probably since I graduated college. I think the last real break, real vacation that I took was when I finished undergrad early and I spent three months in Cuba, which was absolutely amazing. And now, if you know me, you know that I love to travel and I’ve been to plenty of different places, and that’s true. And I’ve worked from different places, but I’ve worked remotely from different places.


I have not actually taken a vacation where I plan to sit and do nothing to sit and read a book or to just go dance and eat whenever I feel like it, but not have to log into my computer and think about work in a really long time. Now, you may be listening to this and be like, Asha, neither have I. So what? Whoop do you do? Big deal.


But I’m here to tell you that particularly as black and brown folks, we need to make sure that we build rest into our schedules, into our self care routine, which means that we also need to support ourselves and build rest into our business models. So today I’m going to talk to you all about the three big steps that I took to make this three month I won’t call it hiatus three-month vacation from my business a reality. Now, the first step that I had to take was to get my mind right. It’s mindset work. I come from a family, probably like you, of really hardworking individuals.


I remember my mom and my uncle would tell me that their father never took time off from work. And both of them were really proud about not taking sick days and not taking time off work. My uncle said I’ve never missed a day, and I worked 42 years for the same company. My mom worked 39 years for the same school district. And while that’s something to be proud of, they also felt like they couldn’t take a break because if they missed work, they wouldn’t have a job.


So some of the mindset work that I had to get over was this generational trauma or generational advice that if I took rest, then I wouldn’t have work to come back to. I also had to battle my own thoughts about not everybody else gets to take time off. So, as you know, I’m both an attorney and business coach. I guess that’s three things an attorney and business coach and a community college professor. Every summer, I have the opportunity not to work.


But there was guilt that I would feel with the teaching job that if I didn’t work over the summer, then I was taking advantage of something that, while I wanted, I felt bad about it, because not everybody had the ability to do it. I mean, there aren’t very many other professions out here, especially in the United States, where you get to take two and a half months or three months off during the summer. And my own internal battle of feeling guilty wouldn’t actually let me take the summer off without working. And now I use that time working as a plan to be able to take some more time off in the fall, because I worked my classes ahead of time, and I’m choosing to get paid later for them. But I also just could not rest because I felt bad because my parents and grandparents didn’t get to and because it’s a privilege, it’s a special thing to be able to take time off in the summer.


So I had to get my mindset right. I also had to battle my mind and remind myself that if I planned it correctly, I would still have work to do, and I would still have clients to serve when I got back. So there’s nothing wrong with taking a break. And we all know this probably logically, but it’s how you go about setting up the break that lets your clients know that you will still support them, that you will still come back for them, and that as soon as you get back, they can continue to work with you. So the first thing I had to do again was to get my mindset right.


I had to believe that it was okay to take a vacation. So I would write out in my journal what I wanted my vacation to look like, where did I want to go? What did I want to do? What did I want to feel, how did I want to be? And then I would look at, how is it possible to make this happen and for how long?


I know I need more than a month off because I’ve been going going. So how could I take two months? How could I take three months and not how could you take three months off from your business? But, hey, Asha, you want to take three months off? So let’s think about what support systems you need to put in place to actually make that happen.


In line with believing that it was possible to actually take three months off over the summer, I decided to choose a purpose for my vacation. That way, I could direct my mind and correct my thoughts when I was feeling like it was frivolous or like I was taking advantage of something that I shouldn’t be. I reminded myself your vacation is to really rest. Your vacation is to give yourself some mental space so you can come back and be creative. Your vacation is to rejuvenate you so you can come back and serve your clients.


So my focus of my vacation is to have a lot of rest and a little bit of adventure so that I can get creative again and think of how I can better serve my clients and bring the things that I have learned over this time off back to my clients in our coaching sessions. The third piece of Mindset work that I did was thinking about what I was doing in my business that was fluff so that I could get rid of it and then to just keep the things that are necessary. And by keeping the things that are necessary and eliminating the fluff, I mean, how much social media content do I really need to post? What I really want to post are the clips from this podcast that you may be seeing right now that you’ll see when you go to my Instagram. And I didn’t have to create a whole bunch of new social media content because I could use the content from this podcast, repurpose it, and then put it on social media.


So the fluff is feeling like I got to be everywhere all the time, but the substance of it is getting something concrete that I can use that’s actually going to drive my bottom line and get people to click on the show notes and inquire about my services. So get rid of the fluff, get rid of all the things that you’re doing that you feel like you got to do, and really boil it down to what are the things that are necessary for you to do that are actually going to move the needle closer to where you want it to be. So the first piece again, is Mindset. The second step that I had to do to get ready for this three month vacation was to automate. I had to think about what things I could put sort of on autopilot so I don’t have to be at the computer checking in every day or every three days or every week.


When I decided I was going to do this three month vacation over the summer, I looked ahead to September and October to see what events or workshops I wanted to run. And then I worked backwards calculating the dates to see when I needed to start telling people about them. And then we get to the emails that I’m writing in advance so that I know that when I get back in September, I will have a lineup of people who are ready to work with me. At the very least, people will still be getting my weekly emails and so they’ll know what’s going on in my world, but they’ll also continue to know how I can help them when I return to work. So I’m not just taking a vacation and forgetting about everything.


I am automating as much stuff as possible so that it can run seamlessly in the background while I am on a beach somewhere with my toes in the sand and my kindle in my hands, getting lost in the world of fiction that is clearly you can tell that that’s what I really, really want to do. The other thing I did in terms of automation was to make sure that my team and I are on the same page. So if I’m trying to take a break, I don’t want to have to check in every other day or maybe even every week. So we met together in advance to decide what are the things that need to go out, what are the checks and balances that can be put into place so that none of us on the team have to call each other all the time. Now, that being said, I’ll still be available by WhatsApp and by text and moderately by email.


But because we have taken the time to put automated pieces into place, we don’t need to be in constant communication with each other. And for that I am so grateful. The other thing around automation that I did is I decided to focus or to try my best to focus on one thing at a time. So while I’m away, I’m going to be really focusing on getting people to my money making roadmap course. Now this is the course that I designed to help business owners really take a look at what their dreams and their goals are.


And so there’s a couple of pieces to it. One is the visioning piece where you’re writing down everything that you could possibly want for your business and everything that you could possibly want for your life. The second part is to actually put numbers to that dream vision. So how much money do you need to make? How much do you need to put away for retirement?


What about buying a house? These different things that you might need to spend money on. We want to actually price out the cost of those dreams. And the third piece of it is the mindset work that comes with reconciling your vision and where you are now and the work that it’s going to take to get there. Those are the same three pieces that I did when I planned out my summer dream vacation.


I had to actually envision what it looked like to take this time off. Then I had to run some numbers and decide how much did I need to sell or what kind of revenue would I need to bring in to make the business continue to run and to pay the personal bills while I’m away. And then once I knew those numbers, I could take a look at what products I had so that I could sell those with my emails while I’m away to make sure that I have enough revenue coming in. And then I just talked to you the very first point about mindset, I had to do the work when I got uncomfortable, when I thought, oh my God, I don’t know who else has taken a three month break from their business. I don’t know anyone in my family who’s taken a three month break off of work.


I don’t know how I’m going to make this work. But the truth is I do know because I actually sat there and planned it out with the first two modules of my own course that I’ve created and packaged for you. So that being said, I decided to focus on one thing that I was going to sell that I am selling over the course of the summer. And again, it’s the money making roadmap course, which is perfect for teaching you how to do what I am doing right now. Now, the third big thing that you need to do as you get ready to take time off is to figure out how to create opportunities to sell while you’re away.


Now, for me, that meant digitizing some of my services, and I have done this numerous times over, so I didn’t have to create anything to sell. But I decided to bring it back up to the forefront. And so I’m going to be talking about those in my emails. I’m also going to be talking about what I’m selling my digital product in my podcast so that creates an opportunity to sell. My social media will have calls to action for that.


My emails will have calls to action and so will my podcast in addition. And this kind of goes in automating and this kind of goes in creating opportunities to sell. I’m back recording a number of podcast episodes before I take off so I don’t have to find a quiet place, I don’t have to make sure that my internet is connected, I don’t have to do any of that stuff because I’ve prepared in advance. I’ve created these opportunities in advance to be able to sell enough digital products to support my income for my goals while I’m taking a break. So the three big things are get your mindset together, automate as much as you can and create opportunities to sell.


I’m curious to see how you feel right now, whether or not you think this is possible for yourself and whether or not you understand how important rest is. I had to hold the belief that rest is essential for my forward progress. I had to let go of the belief that rest was lazy, that rest was only for the rich, that my family and ancestors didn’t get a chance to rest, and so neither should I, just so I can honor them. I had to change that belief to really understand and hold and embody that rest is important for my forward progress in every other realm. I can see how rest is important.


I’m a former athlete. Still work out pretty regularly. You don’t work out seven days a week. And even if you were moving seven days a week, at least two or three of those days have to be recovery days, because you can’t just go, go yet. We don’t always get that encouragement or that understanding or that acknowledgment in entrepreneurship.


Oftentimes we feel like if we slow down, we’re going to lose what progress we have gained. But I’m here to tell you that rest is essential for you to build the business that you want. Not only will it give your brain space to process, it would allow you to be more creative. And I don’t know, even a car has to turn. Even machines have to turn off, right?


Even machines need maintenance. And you’re not a machine. You are human. So if you are really ready for a vacation, if you are ready for rest, I want you to seriously think about how you can do that in your business. I have a link in the Show Notes for the money making roadmap, which is the exact process that I use to be able to take this three month vacation.


That course is a great place to get started if you’d like a little more tailored support and some one on one coaching. The waitlist for my one on one coaching program is open, and it’s in the Show Notes. I would love to dive into your business, whether you’re trying to take a vacation, go on maternity or paternity leave, or just create some space in your life, in your business that you have more room for life, I can certainly help you do that. I’ll help you suss out the vision, put some numbers to the vision, and figure out what your process is going to be to sell the amount that you need to in order to fund your life goals. All right, until next time.


I’ll talk to you soon. You thank you so much for listening. If you want to hear more on how you can align your business and your life with me as a coach, head to the Show Notes and sign up for the email list. See you next week.

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