In this special podcast episode, I’m going to let you know how I prepared for an extended break from my business.
That’s right! Right now I am likely laid up in bed recovering from a major surgery. This is Tash from the past bringing this podcast episode to you that I pre-recorded in advance.
Here for the links referenced in the show notes?
30-Day Business Blast Udemy course: tashcorbin.com/udemy
Episode 147: How to increase your prices: tashcorbin.com/147
Ask a Question: tashcorbin.com/question
I am planning to take around four weeks off from my business because I’m having a very major surgery, and I’m going to take some time to recover.
I thought this podcast episode would be really helpful to just lay out for you how I prepared for this extended break, and also how you can start preparing your business so that you can take an extended break when (and if) you need and want to.
Let’s dive into this one. I think it’s gonna be really juicy!
First and foremost, for those of you who are hearing about the surgery for the first time and you’re totally freaking out, I do actually have a YouTube video where I give a lot more detail about my surgery, why I’m having it and what’s going on.
Long story short, I have one breast implant that I got for reconstructive reasons. That implant is making me very, very sick and has ruptured and needs to be removed urgently.
If you want to find out a bit more about that story, please do go and watch the YouTube video I did on it: CLICK ME
If you do happen to watch that YouTube video, I would love it if you could please comment and let me know that you’ve seen it. It really does help spread the word.
I’m just trying to make sure as many people in my world know about what’s going on with me as possible. This is because:
1. I wish someone had shared this story with me and I had seen it sooner.
2. It helps to give context for customers and potential clients and people who are working with me, in case they haven’t heard about it.
I just want to make sure as many people see it as possible. Thank you so much for your help with spreading the word about that one.
In relation to that surgery, past Tash really did set me up for success.
In this episode, I wanted to share with you what I’ve done to prepare myself for that extended break from my business.
1. I batched business as usual as much as possible
That included batching up both client care as well as growth and content in my business.
If I think about business as usual, that includes attracting clients – marketing activities and sales activities – and delivery for my existing clients and students inside my programs.
I have done quite a bit of preparation in batching up my content – such as this podcast, content for social media, pre-recorded videos and some activities and prompts for my clients.
I’ve batched that up in advance and I’ve got my team helping me with scheduling all of that up and making sure that whilst I might be on a leave of absence, my presence isn’t completely missing from my business.
Past Tash is looking after future Tash by batching up that content in advance and thinking about how I can continue to support people and to attract and convert clients without necessarily having to physically be present for this period of time.
That leads me into my second one…
2. I have a great team
That team has not been built by accident. That team has not been built perfectly from the get-go. It has taken time, practice, rejigging, lots of communication and lots of mistakes on my part in order for me to get to the point where I have a team that I can absolutely hand-on-heart say will take care of things while I’m away.
I love and adore my team for that.
I’m just so grateful to past Tash for having done the work in being persistent and consistent in trying to make sure I’ve got the right team behind me, and for persisting through some really tough times in my business.
There have been so many times where I’ve experienced team members who have just left without any warning, or team members who weren’t the right fit or that I wasn’t a really good manager for.
I’ve hired team members who’ve been carbon copies of me or slightly different versions of me. This means we have exactly the same strengths… but exactly the same weaknesses. It hasn’t fixed any of the problems that I had in my business.
I’ve had times where I’ve had team members that I:
- Couldn’t afford to keep
- Wish I’d kept
- Wish I’d never hired in the first place, or that I got rid of them way sooner
Throughout that entire time, I could have made that mean that I’m just not cut out for managing people.
But I never allowed that to become my story around having a team.
I’m so so grateful to my past self and also to everyone who’s ever been a part of the Tash Corbin team for helping me through that process and through that journey.
Even those team members that I wish I’d never hired, I’m still really grateful for the lessons that I learned from those experiences with those team members.
I actually think that every single person who’s touched my business or been part of my business have all added something. They’ve all taught me something and they’ve all improved the business in some way.
It’s just been this building process as I go.
It’s so wonderful to be able to have my amazing team looking after things today.
If you’re preparing for an extended break from your business and you have no team members right now, I would recommend that you just get someone.
Even if that someone is merely looking at your inbox, or just checking messages and posting a few things on socials for you, or just keeping things ticking along.
It’s so beautiful to know that someone’s there.
I’m not expecting to completely disappear from my business and my team will never contact me in the four weeks that I’m away. I will absolutely still be on social media because I love it. There’ll probably be a week or two where I’ll definitely not be on social media.
I’ll still want to be present, but there’s no pressure to be present because I know my team have taken care of business as usual.
That’s really powerful to feel that way and to have that confidence in what’s happening in my business.
In particular, I want to talk about my customer service manager.
Grace is customer service (you’ve probably had messages back and forwards with Grace in my team).
Grace is taking care of exactly that – customer service. She has been working in my business for over a year now, and she is just so well equipped to know what’s urgent, what’s not, what she can address, and what needs to wait for me.
I just feel this huge sigh of relief.
Grace stands on the shoulders of a giant. That giant is the amazing Ellie who used to do my customer service role in my business.
When Ellie was leaving to go into a glitzier more glamorous role, if you’d have asked me if I’d ever find another Ellie, I’d have said a hard no.
I was devastated. I was so excited for Ellie but I was really devastated by the loss for my business.
Due to the work that Ellie did in taking up that first customer service role, setting up the frequently asked questions, setting that dynamic with me around what I do and don’t touch, or what I do and don’t filter for her, Grace is able to step into that role so beautifully.
Grace has brought her own energy now to that role. It has grown and adapted and changed and shifted with Grace’s strengths. I am so so wonderfully privileged and grateful to have an amazing person like Grace on my team.
I think that that customer service role is one of the most powerful for me in really feeling like the business will be fine, because even if people send an email and Grace is unable to reply because she doesn’t have the answer, she can say that I’m on an extended break from my business and give an alternate solution for that person.
It’s so wonderful and it’s so good to know that that part is taken care of.
I have taken extended leaves of absence before where I haven’t had that taken care of and I still had to check my emails every day.
That is tough.
I remember when I took about four weeks off when we had a death in the family and I still had to check my emails every day.
There were days where I just couldn’t bring myself to do it – I was just exhausted.
The longer I hadn’t checked emails, the harder it felt to check emails.
No one needs to feel that way. They’re just emails, yet we put this pressure on ourselves. Those emails are potentially our income source, so I think it’s important to have that support and to have that spaciousness.
If you can’t get a team member on board in time or you don’t have the cash flow to be able to have a customer service person looking at that for you, you can at least set up an autoresponder.
Set up that autoresponder that says when you’re away until.
I’ve done that before. I took a week’s holiday with my family, and I put up an autoresponder and had a photo of where I was on holidays. Yet I still checked my emails every day!!
Thankfully, I don’t check emails every day now that I have Grace. And I didn’t when I had Ellie either. It’s soooo good.
I know that if there’s anything that needs to be addressed that’s urgent, they will bring it to my attention through our team channel, which I don’t need to check because it’s got alerts and it pushes the notification through to me on my phone.
My team know how to get me if they need me. And that’s really great.
You may not be planning to take an extended break from your business in the next year. But hiring a team member sooner rather than later can really set you up with the confidence of knowing that you can leave and take that space and time for yourself.
Bringing a team member in and having them step up into that type of role can take a little bit of time, so the sooner the better.
The other thing I quickly want to say about having a team is that a lot of people think that to hire a team member, they have to commit to thousands of dollars a month. That’s not the case. Especially not with the way that you can hire people these days.
I’ve got a VIP client at the moment who’s hired her first team member who does a customer service role, and that role is two hours per week for $15 an hour. That is $30 per week that this person is investing in having customer service taken care of by a team member. That $30 is $30 so well spent!
It doesn’t need to be huge. In fact, I actually recommend that you step up to it slowly and scale up.
What could you do to start looking after future-you and prepare yourself for some timeout through hiring someone to work with you in your business?
3. I have income coming in on autopilot
I’ve got my website, my podcast and my email funnels.
Even if I’m not actively showing up on social media, they are generating income in my business.
They are generating income in my business through new sales.
Even though I’m taking four weeks off from my business, in those four weeks, just with business as usual and no further sales, my business will generate an income of around $25,000 top line.
My business expenses for that month will be about $5,000-$6,000 just depending on how much I need extra team expenses.
My business is still profitable on business as usual.
Those payment plans will eventually end so I do want to do another launch when I come back, but there’s no rush on it. The reason why there’s no rush on it is that I have income coming in regardless. That income comes in on autopilot.
That’s definitely a way that you can start thinking about how you’re going to prepare yourself for an extended break from your business.
Just because you’re not there to make the sales doesn’t mean the money doesn’t come in.
Even if you’re working in a one-to-one capacity and you don’t have group programs, passive income, or leveraged income at the moment, you can still have business as usual money coming in.
You can still have income coming in on autopilot through:
- Sales funnels that have people pre-paying their work with you in advance
- People on payment plans whose payments are still coming in, but they just pause their sessions with you over that period of time
- Email marketing campaigns that you pre-write and pre-schedule for the time that you’re away
There are absolutely ways you can bring in that income – regardless of whether you’re available for delivery or not during that period of time.
4. I brought in a big cash injection before I took my extended break
I knew when my leave of absence was going to be, so I created my launch plan for Leverage and Launch around that extended break. That’s created a buffer of income for my business to keep things afloat.
Even if everyone’s payment plans failed whilst I was away and new payments weren’t coming in, I would be able to pay my expenses, pay my team, pay myself and get through that period (and an extended period) if anything happened and I needed to take even longer off than expected.
You can do things like the 30-Day Business Blast to get that cash injection.
I know lots of people who’ve done the 30-Day Business Blast before going on leave or taking an extended break from their business, because it’s bringing in that cash injection so that you’ve got money in the bank. That creates a sense of security, safety and relief that your expenses are taken care of. You’ve got enough money and everything’s going to be okay.
That cash injection coming in can be really helpful.
There are other ways that you can bring in money in a short-term period of time before you take an extended break.
You can do a launch before you go on your leave. You can do a flash sale. Or you can do a price increase strategy and tell your audience that you’ll be increasing your prices before you go on leave. (By the way – if you want to learn about how to increase your prices, I have a podcast episode that explains the whole strategy around increasing your prices and using that as an opportunity to bring in some short-term cash flow. Read, watch or listen at tashcorbin.com/147.)
You can absolutely set yourself up for that extended period of absence by giving yourself a cash injection before you go.
Giving yourself the space to take an extended break.
The way that I’ve prepared myself for an extended break in my business is to train my business that it doesn’t take me 60 hours a week to run my business.
My business is already operating smoothly when I’m in launch at 15 to 20 hours a week.
It’s not like it’s going to go from having 60 hours a week of Tash down to 0. I have already got spaciousness and not a lot of time-cost in how I run my business.
I’ve set out my business to run on minimal time from me.
The more that I work on my business, the more I refine and the more I review, the more I’m finding ways to keep running the business, generating the business and delivering in the business without adding more time to my plate.
That spaciousness means that my business isn’t missing out on that much when it’s missing out on Tash.
Of course, there are things such as running the group calls and my VIP client sessions, that need to be on pause while I’m on an extended break. But because I haven’t over-scheduled myself in my business as usual and business as normal, there’s not a lot that needed to be rejigged.
For the Take Off program at the moment, I’ve been doing three live group calls per month. I front-loaded a couple of calls for the first couple of days of July because my time away from my business starts around the eighth of July. I did a couple of Take Off calls early in the month, and then I’ve got my calls scheduled for August.
There’s going to be a period of time where there’s going to be no live calls but I’ve let everyone know why. I’ve created that beautiful video to explain what’s going on. Not one person in the Take Off program has been upset about me taking a step back for a month.
People have actually done the opposite.
They applaud me for role modelling the type of business that they want to run. For role modelling the type of openness and communication that they would love to emulate in their own business. And for putting that time and space in there for myself to heal instead of rushing back to my business so quickly.
I think that that’s a really powerful lesson around spaciousness, and also teaching your business and your audience what to expect from you.
I’ve been very upfront and very open in my communication. Not only with my paying clients and students in my programs, but also with my wider audience. They’re all on board with me taking this break.
It means that they will be less likely to be demanding 24 hour replies to their emails in my customer service inbox. It means that people will be more understanding.
My team have a resource to direct people to if they want to know why I’m all of a sudden not available (if they weren’t already aware).
There are so many ways that I’ve been able to create that spaciousness for myself with a little bit of planning and a little bit of thoughtfulness around: Who’s going to be impacted by my absence? How are they going to be impacted? How can I soften the impact of it, communicate what that impact is going to be, and prepare and create boundaries for myself so that I feel like I can really step away and focus on myself and focus on my healing at this time?
Just to recap, the things that I did to prepare for this extended break are:
1. Batching business as usual – both for paying clients and also for marketing, audience and delivery
2. My team – really relying on that team, scaling up that team and growing that team
3. Setting up my income on autopilot
4. A cash injection before I go,
5. Spaciousness – not only in the way that I’ve grown and taught my business what to expect from me, but also in setting up the communication and the boundaries so that I’ve given myself spaciousness to really focus on my healing
Hopefully, you found this episode really helpful!
Something that I’m going to need to do when I come back from my extended leave is to batch up some more podcast episodes. My favourite type of podcast episode is the one where I answer YOUR questions.
Please please PLEASE submit a question for me to answer at tashcorbin.com/question.
I’ll then select some of those questions, answer them on future podcast episodes and give you a little shoutout.
I’d love to know what questions you have!
You can ask questions about:
- Your business and any advice that you need
- Anything to do with being an entrepreneur and having a business
- Get a bit pervy and ask me about behind the scenes in my business (I’m a pretty open book when it comes to the things that I share)
Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of the Heart-Centred Business Podcast.
Let’s all give a round of applause to past Tash for pre-recording this episode. If you can send your great vibes and well wishes out across the airwaves to me as I recover from my surgery, I would greatly appreciate that.
Until next time, I cannot WAIT to see you SHINE.