Last week, I received a seemingly random call. “Pack your bags.” I knew what time it was. My love and I had discussed on several occasions the idea of a spontaneous trip and said if the opportunity ever arose we’d call the other and say those 3 words. We decided it was time to visit family who happened to live a short drive away from Orlando. After the excitement of spontaneity wore off, Lynn the realist banged on the door. ‘But…but I have work, heck, my client is going on vacation I have to cover for her!’ I’d have to get on a plane and I hate flying (like seriously cried like a baby the first time I got on a plane).
And then it dawned on me. Isn’t this moment one of the reasons I started my business? I can work literally from anywhere there was internet access. I am a location independent entrepreneur gosh darnit and I’m taking this trip!
Now, being the hard-working gal that I am, I made it clear to myself and my love that I had to work, but of course I was going to make time to enjoy the gorgeous weather Florida had to offer so I went into straight up work beast mode.
I figured, some of you might be interested in how I was able to keep up with my work and still make time for basking in the sun.
1) Schedule in advance what you can. My main specialty is social media management for my clients. I use a combo of tools. My top three are Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Buffer. I don’t typically work the weekends to do client work, but you best believe I spent the entire weekend making sure I scheduled in an over dose of content for them so I would simply have to engage on their behalf.
2) Email Management. I had several email responses I needed to do throughout the week, so I used a neat tool called Boomerang. It allowed me to schedule emails in advance and have them delivered on a specific date and time.
3) Amazing Team Support. Luckily, I knew in advance that I had absolutely no interest in doing this business thing alone. I built my team from the get go and already had systems in place so that they could keep on eye on things for me or catch me if I fall. Team building is not easy. It still takes me trial and error hiring and waving goodbye to generally good people. But I must say, I’m very grateful for my two main teammates Elizabeth and Darlene they helped me not miss a beat and help me remember that I’m human too if things don’t go perfect.
4) Leverage a Project Management system and CRM. One way my team is able to help me is through the use of productivity tools. I use Basecamp to manage communications surrounding projects and deadlines and Capsule CRM to manage follow up for myself as well as my clients.
5) Be flexible in time. While on my workcation, I woke up the same time I normally do and did work for my clients. I have my own back up hotspot, so wifi was not an issue for me. However, I may have to check out this cool Karma Wifi App my client told me about (that is her affiliate link). I took lunch break on the beach, and worked from my droid while on the road.
Now, in case you’re wondering about the whole work-life balance thing and question whether or not location independent entrepreneurs ever get to push the “Off” button. Well, I’m not sure. I have yet to take any real time off where I completely unplugged since I’ve started my business. When you love what you do, it’s hard to walk away from it. I do plan to take a real vacation around my 30th birthday and I’ll be sure to blog about that experience as well.
Until Next Time…
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