How We Live + Work // 7.13.16

Our weekly creative chronicle as married entrepreneurs who are building a successful service-based business from home, with kids...and a mortgage:) We ditched our traditional jobs to live exactly how we want.

We just returned back to work after taking a 10-day break from our business.

Before we flipped on our out of office auto-responder, we looked at our endless list of tasks nagging for completion, the balance in our bank account, and a few of our 2016 business goals that seem to have wandered away from our attention like toddlers in the toy aisle—and briefly debated if we could “afford” to step away for a while.

As a small business owner, do you ever feel justified slowing down?

I can’t speak for everyone, but I can tell you I always feel a little nervous about indulging in down time. Mostly because our project-based work is a lot like laundry. It never stops. And if it does, it piles up.

But rest, fun, art, food, being bored, lounging, laughing, relishing simple pleasures...this is the stuff that fills our tanks. And when we’re running on fumes (which is a normal part of being an entrepreneur from time to time) there’s nothing more necessary than creating space in your pace.

Here’s our list of things we did and loved during our break:

LOGISTICS >>

Prior to our time away we emailed our current clients to inform them of the plan. Then we set up our vacation responder (our business emails are through Google Apps) with this message:

How to automate your business during vacation.

Additionally, we created boundaries around our time off by adjusting our appointment scheduler settings so the only thing we hopped on the phone for were new client inquiries.

I made a quick video (1.5 minutes) to show you a nifty setting within Calendly (our appointment tool of choice) to create boundaries around your down time.

REFLECTION >>

We read this article about personal freedom on July 4th. It's a brilliant piece infused with mind-shifting wisdom such as...

LET GO >>

Moses and I created a little challenge for ourselves where we let go of 10 physical things (each) from our lives every day. Our plan is to keep this up for 30 days. At first, this was a piece of cake. But I must say, it has started to become painful because it's forcing us to make definitive choices about what truly matters. We began this challenge because we say we want to live in a tiny house in the Pacific Northwest one day (after our kids are launched and settled). This experiment is a preliminary step in that direction. It's an opportunity for us to put our dream to the test—to find out if it's what we really want or just lip service:)

Our personal clutter-minimizing challenge. We don't desire to be hardcore minimalists, but we do want to be intentional about the physical stuff we own so we can feel freer.

RELAXATION + FUN >>

We decided it was too complicated and expensive to organize travel plans for five (basically) full-grown human beings. Gone are the days when our kids could stay or eat for free in hotels OR fit comfortably—side by side—in a midsize car.

To have this lifestyle—one designed around daily mini-moments—it’s a give and take. To say yes to some things (like consistent togetherness, career creativity, and control of our time) we must say no or not now to other things (like car payments, expensive travel, or pricey boredom busters).

So here’s what we did during the 10 days of rest from work...we took a staycation. We treated ourselves to the experiences we desired, but from the comforts of our home.

I documented much of it on our Instagram feed, so pop over there to read the backstory.

I hope our creative vacation inspires ideas for your OWN inexpensive recharge time!

INSPIRATION + CLARITY + MOTIVATION >>

And finally, while we didn’t work per say, we did spend some time reconnecting with the soul of our business.

Nothing makes us happier than getting on the phone or a video call to help our clients :

  • sort out their business ideas
  • weave words into messaging that connects with the right hearts
  • launch and manage websites that support focused and strategized business goals

We adore what we do.

Based on our experience, that's important because love is what will get you through the tough times, my friend.

But you know what's even MORE important than feeling passionate about your work?

WHY you love what you do.

People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. And what you do serves as the proof for what you believe.”
— Simon Sinek

I've returned to this video many times over the years. During staycation, we watched it again and felt recharged and reconnected to our business in 18 minutes flat. If you haven’t seen it (or haven’t watched it in a while), consider it a required assignment (no ands, ifs, or buts about it)!

Well, there you have it! How we've been living and working (and not working) over the past couple weeks. We hope our adventures, insights, and shared resources help stir up some good ideas for your life and business!

Until next week...