Taking my first vacation since starting my business

June 30, 2017
tl;dr: this article is the result of a self-employed person working so much that they need to celebrate taking consecutive days off – and apparently needing to leave the country to do so.
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I started working for myself in January of 2010 and in the last seven years I have lived, breathed, sweated, and bled BE3Designs. That’s right, in seven years I haven’t properly taken a break for myself. By this I mean that any time I’ve left Edmonton for whatever reason, my laptop, phone, tablet, notebook, et all have come with me. (I once tried a “staycation” and that didn’t work AT all…)

When I went to iMedia earlier this year, I mentioned to my fellow entrepreneurs at lunch that I would be taking my very first proper vacation this summer and I was met with mixed responses. While most said ‘congratulations’, ‘you really should do it at least once a year’, and ‘good for you’, I remember one individual saying ‘it can’t be done’ and that they ‘could never do it’. I get it, it’s the reason why it’s taken me this long to do it properly. If I were running an e-commerce store and selling products, especially those that needed to be shipped regularly, I would either have to be plugged in all the time or train someone (and subsequently trust them enough) to take care of things while I took a break. Even then, I’d still need to check emails and answer my phone in the case of an emergency. Or, I’d have to close up shop entirely for a period of time.

In a way, that is what I’m doing. BE3Designs will be “closed” from July through to August 14, 2017 while I travel around the UK. Email responders will be on, social media will not be updated, my phone will go to voicemail, and I am going to do everything in my power to enjoy it. I know it will be hard, I have had minor anxiety even thinking about going somewhere without my laptop, but I’m not taking it with me! You hear that, fifth limb? You ain’t coming.

For the last several months, I have been preparing my clients for this. We’ve wrapped up projects, scheduled work either before or after, I stopped taking on new projects in May and started scheduling them for as soon as I get back, all in an effort to minimize the necessity of my being around. Next week, I am sending packages to my clients that contain information about their websites that they may need and intro’ing them to a fellow developer who will be available while I’m gone, who I trust can update or maintain any issues that occur.

Saying no sorry or asking if a prospective client can wait when they want to get started on a new project can be unnerving, but since it does usually take time to put together the information needed for new website, it’s not completely out of reach. For those who did have timeline constraints, I was able to refer them to some other great freelancers and businesses in my stead. I am so thankful for those that are delaying launch efforts in conjunction with my vacation and really thankful to all my clients for being so darn swell about all of this. I’m really, really lucky.

I hope to come back to Canada refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to get back to work! I think this break will be great for me personally and for my business as I’ve got some nifty ideas lodged in my brain somewhere that will likely turn into plans when I return. So, a big high-five and props to the business owners who already do this for themselves and a big thumbs-up to those, like me, who either haven’t quite taken this plunge or waited too long to tell yourself it’s perfectly okay to do. Do it.

Looking to get in touch with me for a new project this fall? Fill out this request for quote form and send it off at your earliest convenience and I’ll get back to you after I return from my trip!

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Are you interested in starting or refreshing your website to reach and grow your audience? My name is Bree and I’m a website designer and developer who helps with the before, during, and after processes of launching and managing a website. If you’d like support with your website or business, reach out and let's chat!

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