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Raise your hand if you started your direct sales business so you could have a flexible schedule that allowed you to enjoy time with your family. I’m going to bet that many of you ladies out there have that hand raised! One of the major perks of being in direct sales is your ability to flex your schedule and make your business work for you, not the other way around. That being said, it’s not like a desk job. You can’t log off for your two-week vacation and expect someone else to pick up the pieces for you if something requires attention. So, while the benefits far outweigh the negatives of having your own direct sales businesses, we have to plan so we don’t have to make sacrifices for things like disconnected vacations!
When I was in direct sales, my family traveled (we still do) three to four weeks out of the summer, as both my husband and I could work remotely. I also took off time surrounding the annual sales conference because there was always so much to do. Holidays were also a time to disconnect, and I usually wouldn’t work the last two weeks of the year. So, while I was able to take time away during all those occasions and live my life to the fullest, I had to plan for it. I had to be ready. Otherwise, my business would not have been as successful.
Here are my top tips for working your business while on vacation so you can live that flexible lifestyle that you dreamed of while not allowing it to impact your business!
BEEF UP YOUR SCHEDULE
One thing you need to understand as an entrepreneur is that you have to put in the work to be successful. Your business will not manage or grow itself; you need to be wildly dedicated to it. Does that mean you can’t ever take a whole week away without disconnecting? Absolutely not! I think it is so crucial for people to take disconnected vacations, especially entrepreneurs, to rest, refresh, and come back to our businesses ready for action.
What I would do in my direct sales business if I wanted a week away entirely disconnected was I would beef up my schedule before and after we left. If my goal were three parties a week, I would do one extra party a week that entire month of the vacation to make up for the three parties I wouldn’t be hosting during my time away.
Not only could I not host parties while I was traveling, who would want to? That’s not a recipe for relaxation, friends! Just like how you have to prep your family for vacation, you have to prep your business for vacation.
So, work harder and smarter before and after your vacation to make up for the activities you’ll be missing when you’re “out of office.”
SCHEDULE TIME TO WORK & SCHEDULE TIME TO PLAY
If you’re taking an extended vacation as my family does in the summers, you can’t really take off three full weeks – it’s just not realistic! So what I would do is I would schedule a time to work and time to play during those longer getaways.
For example, now in my current business, I know that my membership group expects me for our live chats on Monday afternoons, and I need to be available to do a live. If I’m not available, I need to reschedule or pre-record that week’s lesson. It’s so critical that I make sure I have my people covered because they’re expecting that from me; that is my promise to them as the leader of this membership group.
I will tell my family, “This is the one day I need to be on my computer every week during vacation. We can’t schedule things that involve Mom on Monday afternoons during vacation, cool?” No problem.
When I had my direct sales business and needed to check on orders, do follow-ups, and just generally check off some boxes weekly, I would schedule time before the kids got up to work and would also check-in after they went to bed. That meant we could spend all day exploring and adventuring as a family.
To prepare for this, I had to do some work before we left too. I would make sure all my content was scheduled before I left so I didn’t have to focus on content creation for my customer group. And I made sure I had everything printed that I needed to work on those tasks that were non-negotiable since we wouldn’t have a printer on vacation, etc. There is nothing more stressful than posting content at the last minute or realizing you’re on vacation and need to get something done, but you can’t because of a lack of preparation. Make sure you have your content scheduled through vacation, probably a couple of days before and after, so you don’t have to worry about it when you’re getting back into the groove and make a checklist for what to bring with you.
Don’t think for one second that you’re just going to be able to manage everything on a whim when you “have a second” while you’re away. It won’t happen unless it is prepared and scheduled. Ensure that time is blocked on your calendar to get things done if you’ve planned to work over vacation.
DELEGATION IS KEY
If you’re aiming to disconnect fully, delegation is critical. Now, I’m the first person to admit I may not be the best delegator – I enjoy doing things myself. But, that isn’t always sustainable as a business owner. It’s key to keeping your sanity and growing.
You don’t need to hire someone, but choose someone you can trust to manage your customer group and check your emails to see if anything urgent pops up or simply answer, letting people know you’ll get back with them when you’re back in the office next week. Ask a trustworthy friend or family member, even a senior consultant on your team who you trust to take care of business. If you can, hiring a virtual assistant is also helpful! This is one of the only ways you’ll be able to allow yourself to fully unplug without the stress of not knowing what is going on in that inbox or customer group.
As a team leader, you may also want to tag another leader or your upline to be the go-to for your team that week. A few times, I had a new consultant sign up and started the day I left for vacation. I would ask another leader or my upline to help get them onboarded, and I would let them know and pick up where the appointed leader left off when I got back from vacation.
Sometimes you have to lean on each other to succeed; that is why you have a team!
DECIDE ON NON-NEGOTIABLE ACTIVITIES
One thing you must do before you leave for vacation is make a list of your to-dos for the time you’ll be gone. Obviously, the longer you leave, the longer the list will be. But what you need to do is write next to each item: non-negotiable, delegate, do before, or postpone. So the non-negotiable is what you have to do while you’re away. Delegate is what you can give to someone else to manage while you’re away. Do before means you can check it off and schedule it for while you’re away. Finally, postpone is what can wait until you get back.
For me, my live trainings on Monday afternoon for my membership group is non-negotiable. I have to do that. For my Doggone Virtual Work It Wednesday videos, I would love to do them live, but sometimes vacation schedules get in the way, so I will pre-record them and schedule them to post when I would typically go live.
Being consistent doesn’t mean showing up at that specific time. It means working your business in a way that works for you and your family while still getting things done.
LET YOURSELF RELAX
To be a good leader for your team, a good Mom for your kiddos, a good spouse for your partner – you sometimes need to disconnect and relax, filling up your cup first. That’s where these tips and tricks come in so handy for me. I can take some time for myself on vacation while not allowing it to impact my business. Y’all, this is such a gift! We are the lucky ones working these businesses that allow us that kind of freedom. It just takes a little practice to perfect the balance!
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Mary Haynes is a highly successful direct seller turned direct sales strategist and coach! She loves helping direct sellers streamline and scale their businesses using simple, tried and true strategies. Her goal is to reduce the overwhelm so you know what to do and when to do it in your business. Mary is also a homeschooling mama that lives in sunny Florida with her husband, 4 kiddos, a dog, and various other backyard animals.
Hey, I'm Mary!
My passion is helping you simplify and streamline your direct sales business using tried and true systems that reduce overwhelm and help you reach your business goals even faster! Find out more about what we do here.