March 24, 2017

5 Lessons Learned from a 10-Day Biz/Blogging Break

Last week was my (last) spring break (ever) and the first real break I've taken since relaunching as an entrepreneur, and let me say: it gave me all the more respect for the online biz bosses out there who are doing this full-time. In this industry, you are your business, and no less and no more than what you put into it is going to come out of it. A missed opportunity is a missed opportunity. Sometimes it pays (literally) to read the right post or connect with the right person by a stroke of good timing, but so much of the success in this industry comes from working your tail off.








Yeah. So I learned a few things in my ten days off. And they are...

+ You can't help but think about it.


I confess: I was not consumed with thoughts about my biz while I was enjoying my spring break. Maybe I should have been,  but I wasn't. I did think about it, of course, but seeing as this was the first "big" break that I've taken since launching, I did not worry like might have been expected. Nevertheless, I thought about it. I thought about what I should be doing— how I should be commenting and Tweet-quoting and drafting and planning.



But it wasn't a stressed kind of should be. It was more of an "I should probably, but I can afford not to, *insert task here*" kind of should be. I can't say that I had blog posts and social content pre-scheduled, either, because I didn't. Personally, if I know I'm going to be out of town or otherwise occupied for days at a time, I don't like to schedule new content because I won't be able to engage/promote as well as I can when I'm not traveling/off the grid. Of course, I'm only afforded this luxury because this side project is not a full-time gig, but I look at it this way— as a luxury— just the same.


+ Space gets the creative juices flowing.

Pre-break, I had lots of content queued up because post ideas just kept flowing. Now, those posts have all been published, so I'm left with a blank slate. Or, I was. Taking a break from writing and cranking out three posts per week actually really facilitated the flow of ideas. As I type this, I'm sitting in a coffee shop in New York, feeling as productive as ever.

I now have a running log of drafts, and when I was thinking about my biz and the online community, I was thinking on issues and problems and solutions to those issues and problems. Often, I find that the best posts are responses to a common frustration or uncertainty, so whenever I spot a problem, I run with it.


+ Taking a break helps you to evaluate your goals/progress.

By essentially cutting out my biz from my life for ten days, I was able to see how far I'd come and what progress I'd made up until that point.

Especially as a newbie, you're constantly comparing yourself to others and wondering whether anyone will choose you over more established creative entrepreneurs. 


Without this distraction, I was able to see more clearly the progress I've made in my biz, most recently adding (and adding on to) a strong landing page, rewriting website copy, and building my portfolio.

I was also able to see what needs work and which goals I've yet to reach. Without a break, you might never notice what's staring you in the face. Because you're constantly looking at or practicing whatever it is, it blends in. But if you can't spot it, you can't improve it or plan to make a goal a reality.


+ A step back is good for your brand.

Just as taking a break can help you to evaluate your progress, it can help you to evaluate your brandSeeing your brand "from a distance," without actively building it or tweaking it, gives you a fresh look at it. Is everything cohesive? Do my platforms give my audience the same, or at least a similar impression of me, based on the content that I'm creating and sharing? A "yes" or a "no" can make a world of difference.


+ Business doesn't stop because you've stopped.

I don't know how many launches, blog posts, and Facebook threads I've missed in the 10 days that I was (sort of) MIA, but I can only assume that I've missed many. I jumped on to Twitter a few times, and I was active on Instagram, but with the exception of a couple of posts, I did not have the chance to read any new content. I might have been on break, but the rest of the online biz community was not.

The fact that business doesn't stop because you've stopped was no revelation, but my break only reinforced it. The few times that I did jump onto Facebook, it felt odd not posting to threads that I would normally be commenting on/adding to. It was weird not trolling Twitter for the latest and greatest content written by my peers. Not putting together a newsletter two Sundays in a row was weird, too. But, nonetheless, the community carried on without me. But I was not content to let it. And that is what keeps me motivated.

4 comments

  1. Great post. It's good to keep to in mind that the worlds doesn't end (or your business) when you take a break!

    Rae
    Mindful Rambles

    ReplyDelete
  2. I totally agree. The few times I've stopped from blogging, I've found it so refreshing. Because blogging is totally present (and there's devices everywhere), I've often found it is consuming.
    Total respect for people who do it full time!
    Happy you were able to take some time off!
    Caitlin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Caitlin! Taking time off is great, especially because I don't have personal social media accounts, so when I disconnect from the website, it really is a virtual detox! What you said about it being "totally present" is so true.

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