fbpx
Use COVID Pause To Boost Your Business

Use COVID Pause To Boost Your Business

When pairing up with a colleague, learn the addresses of their social media sites. Invite the opportunity to like and share each other’s pages. If you like the balance provided by your new colleague, give them a testimonial and/or review!

I have created a template in my professional www.canva.com account. Each time I get feedback I can knock up a draft for the client to review and approve and have it posted in under ten minutes.

 

 

 

Set up your systems so that you can easily capture testimonials and feedback from your clients. For example, automate sending the client a text or email the day after their session and ask them “so how are you feeling today?”.

When you receive a response that is positive, ask permission to use it as a testimonial (limit name reference) and provide a sample for the client to ‘see’ what your intention is. To date, I’ve never had anyone say no!

Commence gathering a collection of testimonials and utilise them sporadically throughout your marketing and across social media platforms. Remember, varied length testimonials are also very handy when building or updating your website and filling in blank areas!

Remember as always, everything in life is practice. Use this COVID period to gather your testimonials and reviews, create a capture system and promote our amazing modality and your business all at the same time!

Karen Humphries, Change Chick, Change Facilitator, Kinesiology, Wellness Coach, Australian Bush Flower Essences, LEAP Facilitator, Trauma, Public Speaker, Cancer Ambassador, Blooming From Within, Traralgon, Victoria, Gippsland

About Karen

Change Facilitator

Karen Humphries is a Kinesiology Practitioner, Health & Business Coach, self-confessed laughaholic, and now Breast Cancer Advocate residing in Gippsland Victoria Australia. She loves being of service to the world with her humorous and positive approach to life, encouraging people to ‘choose to change and bloom from within.’ 

Xmas Burnout Prevention Tips

Xmas Burnout Prevention Tips

I can vividly remember a time when I worked in both government and consulting jobs and there was enormous pressure to do a month’s worth of work in three weeks during the month of December. As a small business operator, I’ve learnt this is the same but being my own boss means that I get to plan when I’m busy and how busy I choose to be.

I can remember a time when I felt completely burnt out and was way too tired to enjoy Christmas. My husband worked in a retail job and dealt with cranky customers for six weeks, and frankly he hated celebrating Christmas. He was completely over it.

Thankfully that’s not us anymore. We learnt to embrace our race at our pace. As a business coach now, I regularly share my tips on how to avoid burnout as a practitioner this festive season.

 

Tip # 1 – Plan Ahead And Dedicate Time For Family And Friends First

By booking time for commitments you want to keep with family and friends, you can then choose to work around these times. You get to remain in charge of your calendar and not be dictated of your availability.

Be sure that these special times and appointments are clearly marked in your diary. Over the years I’ve coped a lot of flak from family when booking way in advance in the calendar, but I feel awesome when I arrive to an event, feeling refreshed and have set aside time to be able to contribute to the meal by doing some food preparation and gift wrapping.

I can vividly remember a time when I worked in both government and consulting jobs and there was enormous pressure to do a month’s worth of work in three weeks during the month of December. As a small business operator, I’ve learnt this is the same but being my own boss means that I get to plan when I’m busy and how busy I choose to be.

I can remember a time when I felt completely burnt out and was way too tired to enjoy Christmas. My husband worked in a retail job and dealt with cranky customers for six weeks, and frankly he hated celebrating Christmas. He was completely over it.

Thankfully that’s not us anymore. We learnt to embrace our race at our pace. As a business coach now, I regularly share my tips on how to avoid burnout as a practitioner this festive season.

 

Tip # 1 – Plan Ahead And Dedicate Time For Family And Friends First

By booking time for commitments you want to keep with family and friends, you can then choose to work around these times. You get to remain in charge of your calendar and not be dictated of your availability.

Be sure that these special times and appointments are clearly marked in your diary. Over the years I’ve coped a lot of flak from family when booking way in advance in the calendar, but I feel awesome when I arrive to an event, feeling refreshed and have set aside time to be able to contribute to the meal by doing some food preparation and gift wrapping.

I can vividly remember a time when I worked in both government and consulting jobs and there was enormous pressure to do a month’s worth of work in three weeks during the month of December. As a small business operator, I’ve learnt this is the same but being my own boss means that I get to plan when I’m busy and how busy I choose to be.

I can remember a time when I felt completely burnt out and was way too tired to enjoy Christmas. My husband worked in a retail job and dealt with cranky customers for six weeks, and frankly he hated celebrating Christmas. He was completely over it.

Thankfully that’s not us anymore. We learnt to embrace our race at our pace. As a business coach now, I regularly share my tips on how to avoid burnout as a practitioner this festive season.

 

Tip # 1 – Plan Ahead And Dedicate Time For Family And Friends First

By booking time for commitments you want to keep with family and friends, you can then choose to work around these times. You get to remain in charge of your calendar and not be dictated of your availability.

Be sure that these special times and appointments are clearly marked in your diary. Over the years I’ve coped a lot of flak from family when booking way in advance in the calendar, but I feel awesome when I arrive to an event, feeling refreshed and have set aside time to be able to contribute to the meal by doing some food preparation and gift wrapping.

Tip #2 – Have A 100 Day / Appointment Countdown Till Xmas Campaign

After you have marked time for you in the festive season, calculate a 100 appointment vacancy count down till xmas. EVERY time I run this campaign, I quickly fill my forward bookings. I use ‘Buddy the Elf’. And whilst I have some grinchy clients who groan when they see Buddy, there are those regular clients who will book a couple of sessions to ensure they can tolerate their mother in laws and visiting family who they only see once a year – I always laugh when people tell me these sessions help them to stay out of prison, for without it their patience and tolerance of others would have taken a vacation to the north pole!

Tip #3 – Meal Planning & Food Preparation

Now I know this sounds ridiculous, but what do you find yourself advising clients – look after yourself first! As a busy working mum who has an active social life, the month of December for me is filled with a huge variety of ‘end of year’ activities, catching up with friends etc. and then there are all the events for my daughter as well. The last thing I want to think about is what to cook for dinner.

So, I plan a month’s worth of meals, which are quick and easy to prepare. I have variety to stimulate my palate and ensure that I maintain my calorie intake. I dedicate half a day each week to do food prep for the week to limit the time I do before each meal. I want to be able to dash into the kitchen and choose less than 10 ingredients and pull together a nutritious meal.

 

Tip #4 – Continue Your Exercise Regime

In order to maintain my high vibe I have to move my body each and every day. So I schedule this time into my calendar. Frankly you may call this ‘control freak’, but I call this keeping myself honest and dedicated to self. It also sends a message to universe that I am committed to self. I am also demonstrating to my clients that I walk my talk. I am filling up my cup first and everyone else gets the overflow.

 

Tip #5 – It’s Ok To Say No

During December, sometimes friends and family may have to wait. But this is my choice because I don’t want to compromise my time with loved ones. I want to capitalise on the time we spend together and not rush it.

Therefore, I have most of my ‘delayed dates’ in January. Instead of spending an hour with dear friends and family in December, I can dedicate an entire day or weekend in January. Everyone wins and I feel so much more relaxed. This means that my vibrational energy remains high to be of service to clients. Those nearest and dearest to me understand I run my own business and feel happy that I prefer quality time with them.

December is a crazy clinical month for me. I make an active decision to work an extra weekend day during this month to support my mental health clients who struggle with the festivity of the season – for whatever their reason. So, I limit what I do on weekends socially during this month and tend to celebrate life after xmas is over.

 

Tip #6 – Make Your Own Traditions

We’ve experienced a family rift because we weren’t gathering on the expected Christmas day event. If we are realistic, this is just another day of the year. Yes, it’s special for kids, but frankly you make it what you want to make it.

My husband almost loathes Christmas after working in retail for nearly two decades. So he hates shopping, even for groceries during this time. So we do things that are away from the crowds. We spend quality time with people who make us laugh and make our hearts sing.

There is always silliness with my crazy festive hats. There’s also laughing at my dancing, of which it is intended. There’s always friends around my table rather than immediate family who are spread three corners of the state. Our extended families all work either for themselves or shift work. So to get us in the one place on the one day is a logistical nightmare.

Just do your best. If some year’s this doesn’t appease someone, remind yourself that their complaint is theirs and not yours. Just please you and respect others.

Embrace your race at your pace. Plan ahead so it’s more likely you can cruise along the festive pathway rather than careen towards a cliff!

It’s the simple things in business that matter

It’s the simple things in business that matter

The two most significant things I initially invested into my business fifteen years ago, are still relevant and useful today. Both items at the time purchase, were financially significant because my business was only part time and they were what I considered then to be expensive.

The first item was a high-quality portable massage table. It was not only comfortable for the recipient to lie on for the duration of an hour consultation, but also had a large weight carrying capacity. This was an important factor when dealing with people trying to lose weight, pregnant women and gigantic footy players! This meant that I could have big people on my table and not have to worry about the legs failing, or the table tipping.

This portable table is also very light to carry, and easy to place in and out of my car. And the best feature of all, it is height adjustable. So, my back never gets sore when I work.

Of course, now that I have permanently migrated into my clinical environment, I have an electric table, which is brilliant for altering heights based on the size of the client, not just my height. I look after my body as well as yours when I work to ensure I can continue to provide one to one service for a long time to come. Therefore, the purchase of long lasting and suitable hardware is essential.

Can you guess what the second big initial investment was? Well it was two things actually.

My towel warmer still creates toasty warm towels for massage and trauma work, or even simply clients in need of nurture and reassurance. For such a simple gesture of warmth, the trust factor of quickly building the working relationship with a client is immediate.

The final fantastic investment I made in my business was exceptionally good quality towels. I purchased them in bulk quantity which enabled a wholesale purchase price. I swore after having a massage experience whereby I could see and smell the previous (what felt like 15) clients prior to me, that I would change the entire set of towels for each and every client. Whilst this is in accordance with the Code of Conduct, many therapists don’t do it.

I know, Eeeeeeewwwww with a capital E!

So, I purchased sixty towels, which sounds like a lot, but when you use 4 towels for every session and can massage upwards of eight to then clients each day, then that washing pile rapidly grows! It’s a regular site to see my Hills Hoist full of nothing but towels! The washing alone can be time consuming and expensive. Hanging the towels outside also exposes them to direct sunlight, so they fade, but are also exposed to airborne particulate matter. So, if you have a client who gets hayfever from pollen, having air dried towels is a massage issue!

Nowdays I have an industrial sized washing machine and drier. No sooner have I finalised one client, the towels are straight into the washer, dried at lunchtime and folded at the end of the day for tomorrow.

Today, I have undertaken purchases for training equipment that has cost me in excess of twenty thousand dollars. I see this as a long-term business investment and are grateful to be in a position to do this. That said,

starting your own business doesn’t mean you need all the bells and whistles upfront. You just need the basics and bare minimum to deliver the service, and, test the marketplace to see if there is demand for what you have to offer.

Nothing purchased in my clinic has been spur of the moment. It has been well thought out, and I’ve done a cost benefit analysis to ensure I can justify the purchase in the first place. Any new item must be able to compliment my brand and services offered.

It’s the little things that clients comment on – the hot towels, the reminder emails, recorded video summaries, and support essences, all support and contribute to making my service unique and desirable for repeating.

Nowdays as a coach, I often get asked what would I invest in. Here’s my top tips.

2.  Invest in quality items

As you can afford, invest in business acquisitions which provide value to your business, whether it be time saved by your client using an online booking system, or an electric treatment table. There’s nothing worse than paying money and spending your valuable time to acquire a service and the equipment fails. It’s such a strong reflection on the business and its brand.

1.  Invest in quality training.

Always undertake training from credible and industry known service providers. The reason for this is that their content is of a high standard, and their training programs have been scrutinised. Additionally, a good trainer will provide you quality content AND quality supervision to ensure you are learning their material correctly. This is vital to bring it back to your place of business.

Quality items which last a long time are a good investment if your business can afford.

3.   Be authentic

Let’s be honest. When first starting out, it’s absolutely ok if you don’t have all the bells and whistles.

It’s also ok if you don’t have all the technical knowledge.

Simply be upfront with clients about where you’re at.

Remind yourself of the passion that led you to provide the service you are providing. Always remain connected with your ‘why’ and that tends to get you through any bumps along the journey path.

Continue to be devoted to who you are and what you are trying to achieve. I often find it’s the simple little things that we bring to the table that make our product so attract – it’s an extension of our authentic self!

TOP FIVE BIZ TIPS

TOP FIVE BIZ TIPS

So you’ve graduated or are close to graduating your chosen course. You’ve probably started thinking about how you’re going to translate your studies into a viable business – but where to start, right? When working with coaching clients, there are a couple of consistent small actions I find myself sharing. These tips are above and beyond the basic business needs like organising the following:

  • modality insurance;
  • a business name;
  • finalising your qualification;
  • opening a separate business bank account; and
  • establishing a place of business.

In fact, riding the rodeo of small business is often associated with stepping right out of your comfort zone and learning to wear all the hats – finance controller, administrator, marketing to name just a few, all before you work as a practitioner! Crazy right? In my 15 years of running my own business, and 25 years of working for corporate businesses, I’ve learned to adapt my investigative and audit skills.

You’ve got to bring the focus right back to you.

Want to know more? Here’s my top tips to embrace your dream job!!

Tip number one is to ensure your focus is on you!

 

I know that sounds a little weird but the age old saying that “you can’t pour from an empty cup” is so true!

When you’re wearing all the hats in your small business, it can very quickly get overwhelming and exhausting.

Furthermore, when you work with people, you’re going to use a lot of your energy to maintain and hold space for another person. So, it’s a good idea to regularly review how you look after yourself.

Some people scoff at me when I advise that I book all my self care appointments in advance. Come each and every new year, I’m booking in appointments with the hairdresser, chiropractor, massage therapist, kinesiologist for the coming twelve month period. Why? Because I matter and when my bucket isn’t overflowing with energy, I don’t do my best work. So I book for me first, and then block these times out of my online booking system.

You need energy to maintain the ability to run the marathon that a business requires. So schedule time for yourself each and every day to nurture the energy you have. You’re going to need to be able to ramp this up in order to deliver your heart felt service.

So, if you’ve been feeling sluggish, I strongly recommend you re-assess how you’ve been caring for yourself.

Great food, movement and even moments of mindfulness (like meditation) all contribute to filling your vessel with self love

And don’t forget, before you started your small business you already had a life! You’re going to need to figure out how to balance your time and energy between business and everything else in your life – family, friends, sport etc. So remember this, focusing on you and your schedule is vital.

Your race your pace

In other words – schedule yourself first in your diary!

Tip number two is to ‘accept the to do list’

 

Two of the biggest lessons I’ve ever had to learn are (1) that the ‘to do’ list for business is ENORMOUS. And (2) the list NEVER ENDS!!!

Once you get your head around those two facts, small business is easier to get your head around.

Creating a ‘to do’ list is vital to ensure you align to all the tasks you need to complete in order to satisfy your business plan targets. Additionally, having a ‘to do’ list helps you prioritise what you do each day or each time you decide to work.

There’s a couple of tricks with a ‘to do’ list. Be sure to scratch off each completed task as evidence YOU CAN DO IT! Often we need visual sensory input to remind our motivation that we are making progress!

Don’t be overwhelmed by the size of the list. If the stress creeps in get it sorted pronto. There’s nothing worse than having stress to derail you away from the dream life you are trying to achieve.

When looking at your ‘to do’ list, be honest in your assessment of the tasks. Identify what is the most cost effective tasks for you to complete quickly. The reason I say this, is because there are going to be times you can engage a sub-contractor to get things done. They’re going to be quicker and more efficient that you, and they’re likely going to be cheaper than you wasting time figuring it out yourself.

So where possible, outsource small finite tasks so you can concentrate on being a practitioner, not a web designer! If your current budget doesn’t permit outsourcing, talk to your mentor about options.

Tip number three, get a mentor!

 

I learnt very early on, when I started working out of university, that what I learnt from books meant jack shit when it came to the real world. I had foundation knowledge, but I needed to learn how to apply it.

I was fortunate that when I started working in a government job, I had to pair up with everyone in the team to do my work. I was the youngest by at least fifteen years, so I was so gifted working within such an experienced team.

This meant I learnt different tips, tricks and methods to approach all manner of different facets of my job. This also meant that I got good at checking the ego at the door, and, asking for help when I was stuck so that I didn’t fall behind in my work.

There is no possible way you are ever going to know everything on how to run a business when you start out, or even when you want to grow it.

The learning curve when starting your small business is extremely steep, and, can often feel very lonely and overwhelming. I find the trick is to accept you’re running a marathon, and pace yourself accordingly. If necessary, break down the task into small actions (hence the ‘to do list’) and schedule them into the diary. The list often helps me identify that what I initially thought would be a ‘quick and easy’ gig turns into something much more time consuming. So, it all comes back to the planning.

Additionally, scheduling these small actions into my diary helps me map out the prioritising of tasks each week. My forward planning improves as I gain understanding and experience of implementing actions. This helps me not overload my expectation of what I can reasonably achieve in a single week, whilst still being a member of a family and friendship circle. Remember the balance and focus on you!!!

I’ve got three mentors who I regularly touch base with for various reasons. One for money who has helped me gain understanding of profit and loss, turn over and budget forecasting. I’ve got a marketing mentor who has assisted me enormously to step out of my comfort zone and through social media show the world who I am. And I have a third mentor whom I refine the application of my technical knowledge.

Why would I want to waste any more of my time in learning things my mentors have already mastered? It’s a complete waste of unpaid time and energy to attempt to resolve the ‘hard stuff’ all by yourself and work yourself into a stressed-out meerkat.

Additionally, picking someone’s brains will navigate a path that often avoids a mistake they made in terms of learning lessons. This navigation is invaluable to the small business operator, who’s cash flow is often not high and trying to keep overheads low and do things yourself.

I strongly suggest in your first year of business, invest and book in regular touch bases with your mentor or mentors! They have helped me stay on track and kept me to task in terms of my strategic business plan and the targets I set myself. They also shared with me their contacts of subcontractors of who helped them. This was extremely useful because it meant I could use a model already created- rather than paying to reinvent the wheel.

Now that I coach myself, I’ve got standing arrangements with my virtual assistant who I send my biz clients to and we arrange the fabulous Deb to “do the same as Karen”. I’ve already consented to reapplication of my material with a change of brand. It’s lovely to pay this forward and help out those in my network where I can. Afterall, we are all ambassadors for change in our own way!

Here’s the classic mentor questions you could ask:

  • Have someone you trust in your corner for support
  • There’s no harm in asking “what did you do when this happened?”
  • How do you approach this?
  • What are the words you use?
  • What do I need to be mindful of?
  • Is there someone I can outsource this to?
Top tip number four is have a strategic plan

 

The strategic business plan helps you identify the four most important facets of your business:

  • Forecast budget;
  • Professional development;
  • Brand; and
  • Network

The plan helps you to identify a realistic forecast target (what you are capable of making if every appointment is filled) and subsequent spending budget.

I find my strategic plan is exceptionally useful in driving at what points of the year I can afford to study, or, place my focus on marketing because my forward bookings are down.

It’s vital to ensure you have ongoing professional development – yep more study. This keeps you apprised of developments in your field. It also provides new stimulus for you and your clients. Additionally, you build your network with every course you participate within.

The strategic plan helps you look ahead each month or quarter and identify the big gaps in your booking calendar. Where there are gaps, this is the signal to communicate now with your network to generate conversation about you and your services. Identifying who you will bring into your network each year is vital, as this steers where your business will grow both in demographics and services provision.

The best thing I love about my strategic plan is that it’s not complicated – it’s one page! Yep, one page. Most people I work with are baffled by this. My plan provides me a rapid overview of where I want to take my business each quarter.

I get to review it easily and quickly each quarter. It literally keeps me on track in terms of where I invest my energy and efforts. Often when I am reaching for the stars, I can share elements of my plan with either my mentor or virtual assistant to give them the heads up that I’m going to be talking to them more often in a given time period. This is often the impetus for me to schedule time out of clinic to meet with these contacts to ensure I get all the actions done. There’s nothing more satisfying to a control freak who loves to plan, than ticking stuff off the to do list.

Top tip number five is ‘be prepared’!

 

Being prepared for absolutely everything and anything to be thrown your way.

Small business is like riding a roller coaster. There’s the euphoric highs, and nauseating low times. There’s the thrill of the bends and turns and surprise of the view from the top. There’s the poo inducing feeling when you step out of your comfort zone and your outlook on life changes and you realise you really can do it.

And be prepared to back yourself and that dream you had when you first started studying.

So be prepared for a long list including but definitely not limited to:

  • Anything
  • Everything
  • Failure
  • Success
  • Stepping out of your comfort zone
  • For big lessons about who you really are and what motivates you
  • Freedom
  • Heartache and frustration
  • Challenges
  • Overwhelm
  • Stress
  • Sleepless nights
  • Judgement from family and friends thinking you are NUTS to follow your dream because it’s hard work
  • Joy from working with repeat clients
  • Elation from seeing clients change because of your service.

In my experience the first step to small business is believing in yourself and what you plan on offering. Don’t allow anyone to pull you off your path. Surround yourself with awesome, and, call in the abundance! When stepping out of your comfort zone, be sure to have someone experienced in your corner to help you ride the rodeo!

Always remember you can choose to change and embrace the real authentic practitioner within, and bloom from within.

12 Top Tips for The Entrepreneurs Escape!

12 Top Tips for The Entrepreneurs Escape!

So, I finally went on a break from the hustle of every day life and busy routine. What happened? Creativity struck as I walked through the oldest kauri forest in New Zealand! Ideas for this and that came flooding in, and it was almost overwhelming.  I was meant to be having a break from all that right? I mean I literally added 20 hours that final week before I departed, getting everything ready, so I could step out of my business – it was exhausting!

I am used to getting up early, so whilst my family is in bed I’ve gotten up and watched the sun come up. Normally I do this from my clinic office as I do paperwork. Whilst I was away, I walked along the beach instead in Paihia, New Zealand. I know which one I would rather do on a permanent basis! So, I took a bunch of photos for my clinic wall, so I can take those precious glimpses with me.

It got me thinking. We can’t always jump on a plane and escape our routine life. But when we do, there’s things we can be proactive about to enable us to step out of running our business and regenerate our energy levels. Here’s my top tips!

 

1. Set an auto response on your email

Every email products and most social media forums have an ‘out of office’ response which can be set to advise all incoming mail recipients of your absence. We all take holidays, and it’s a great opportunity to continue to communicate with your audience, even though you’re not there! This function allows you to set your return date and include a customised message.

2. Change your mobile phone message

Just like your email, when customers and members of network contact you, it’s also great customer service to have a modified message on your phone. This message can advise that you’re presently not available, and, can include your return date. Your message can also direct people to your web page or other social media forums if required, for example “to book an appointment online go to my web page”!

You don’t have to miss out on prospective sales, just because you aren’t able to answer your phone.

3. Pack light

Unless you are backpacking, the accommodation you’re going to, generally has everything you need in terms of basics. Towels and basic item toiletries are provided, so leave your good stuff at home. It adds unnecessary weight to your luggage and tends to explode in your suitcase – creating another job for when you arrive.

I have recently travelled with active seniors who are avid campers and together we ‘recycled’ clothes or pooled washing.  Their luggage was manageable and light, ours by comparison was not! It was a metaphorical lesson which made me look at what other ‘baggage’ I could let go of, or didn’t need.

4. Don’t look in the mirror

Because you didn’t pack your favourite hair conditioner and have just used the hotel’s conditioning shampoo and conditioner, when you dry your hair YOU ARE GOING TO LOOK DIFFERENT!!! And it wont be a look you generally go for!! So brush, tie back, put on deodorant and enjoy the day ahead. Besides you already know what you look like, do you really need to reaffirm it? When on holidays, appearances aren’t everything. Grooming and personal hygiene is optional, but preferred if traveling with others!

5. Hug a tree

Walking through a forest can be a delightful overwhelm to the senses! To start with there’s no white background noise.  Don’t get me wrong, it can be noisy, but of the nature kind. Even something as simple as wind in the trees causing the leaves to rustle can be noisy. But I find it soothing and reassuring.

Secondly, the smell of the forest is lovely. Fresh. Organic.  Real, no synthetic scents within the immediate vicinity. My senses were lovingly overwhelmed and distracted and I felt a deep connective sense of inner peace. Not once did I think of checking my emails, but rather how to capture the radiant sunlight shinning through the tree canopy.

If the forest isn’t your cup of tea, then perhaps the beach is? Allow nature to overwhelm your senses and distract yourself from the busy daily routine. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can immerse yourself in nature and distract that busy entrepreneur mind to relax and let go a little.

6. Ask for a tour guide

When we visited the oldest kauri tree, we asked for a tour guide. We were fortunate enough to have an enthusiastic young indigenous man who was filled with both pride for his culture as well as strong botany factual knowledge. Being a qualified environmental scientist, I found our discussion both engaging and stimulating.  Before I knew it half an hour had passed, and I hadn’t thought about business once.

Having access to the guide provided us with details that were not available on sign boards. Having previously worked for an environmental protection agency, I was able to converse of the legislative controls and politics involved with protecting such magnificence. The research data alone that warrants creation of legislative control is incredible.

A guide provides you the opportunity to fully immerse yourself into an experience without overtaxing your time or budget. You also gain stories you may not otherwise experience if just reading tourism boards.

7. Pack board games for the trip

We travelled with active seniors who instigated an electronic device free time period each day. My daughter completed homework, I read or walked. We even have played board and trivia games. During this time, I didn’t miss the social media newsfeed highlights once – I was far too busy!!!

I will admit to doing a little social media here and there. But it wasn’t daily, and that was refreshing as it was a break from the normal grinding routine.

8. Step out of your comfort zone

Sometimes, especially when in a new place, you have to take advantage of the ability to try new things. Whether it be hiking to a waterfall, watching the sun rise or set, or going zip lining. When our senior friend joked about wanting to go zip lining and asked whether I would go I laughed and said “sure”. She jumped up and down with glee and was delighted she finally had someone to go with her!

Once we hit Queenstown I was almost relieved that it was offseason and the zip line was closed. So we took a trip on the gondola instead and walked back down the mountain.  Same same but different!

9. Quote of the day

Part of our recent trip, my daughter had to keep a travel journal for her school studies. We included pictures of our travels.  For her maths homework she calculated distances travelled each day and the time taken for each leg of the trip. We also discussed fuel consumed and it’s associated price, as well as budgeting for various activities.

The highlight of these journal entries included documenting ‘quote of the day’. There was no shortage of frivolity or laughter both during the event or re-telling the story. Now that we are back and sorting through 1,000s of photos, my daughter’s story book is turning into a wonderful adventure to share with family and friends.

Quote of the day also enabled me to focus on being present. This focus brought me into ‘now’, rather than my ever evolving ‘to do list’. It is proving to be a new thing we will have in our household. I’ve realised you can’t put a price on the health benefits of laughter and shared some of the funnier stories in my private coaching tribe – #changetribe.

10. Technology addiction

I surprised myself with my avoidance of my phone, which is always on during business hours, checked and clients responded to. However, I have a new-found awareness that I enjoy scrolling through my news feed looking for updates from friends and family, or sharing pictures via messenger. I’ve also enjoyed capturing pics via Instagram.

It was refreshing to unplug and simply focus on me. Focus on my family. Focus on the adventure.

Who would have thought this technotard would embrace technology and social media so much? But when internet became patchy, or worse my international roaming didn’t work I found myself relieved. There has to be a balance somehow of immersing oneself into the trip, versus sharing the stories every minute of it.

11. Plan ahead and where possible automate or schedule

Prior to leaving for this latest trip I created and scheduled over 150 social media posts. The automation feature on Facebook for business pages was a godsend. You can also schedule posts from colleagues pages in order to vary up your content. I didn’t post anything random, it was all part of my strategic communication plan. Prior to leaving, I just knuckled down to ensure that from the outside looking in, my clients wouldn’t feel abandoned at my various sites. I still had a presence in a space I’ve worked hard to create.

12. Sew the seed of the next place you want to visit before this adventure ends

My family and traveling friends migrated throughout New Zealand so successfully over three weeks and 3,500 kms that we are now planning our next trip. This process started the day before we were due to return home. We spoke of our bucket list of destinations and why they were important. Openly acknowledging these dreams enables us to have clear communication about how we make this a reality. It helps us to goal orientate. It certainly helps me to return to clinic being grounded and centred, focused and balanced for both you my clients, but also for me.

Perhaps Paris in spring may be the next destination?

So my fellow entrepreneur, wishing you all the very best in planning and taking your next break from your business. May your experiences enrich your creative spirit and you return to your business with renewed enthusiasm!