I’m shutting down for two weeks – taking a vacation. There will be some relaxing at home, a nice cigar night out with a friend, and we’ll sneak a cruise in there too 🙂 No laptops, no e-mails, and the only people who have my cell # are family. Even the time I’m here at home, I’m unplugging, baby.
But anyway, my point isn’t to discuss my plans, but instead talk about vacations and a home based business. Especially if YOU are the only worker (like most home based businesses are.) This is because vacation always presents a dilemma for me.
For example, I’m usually scheduled two to four weeks out anyway. Throw a two week break in there, and it becomes very difficult to schedule things the month leading up to vacation. Because I need to give myself some buffer (for example, I won’t schedule a major project to start the week before I’m leaving… I usually leave the last week to wrap things up). And because I have some work already scheduled for when I return, right now, I’m telling new people “it’ll be November before I can start anything new”… that really limits business, because many people don’t want to wait that long.
Heck, I even had a guy ask me last week “how much would it take to get you to work on my project while you’re on vacation?” The answer to that question was “two hundred and fifty thousand dollars”. I was (kind of) kidding, but the point was, there is no reasonable amount to make me take my laptop or open my computer on vacation. Say the project was a $2,000 project. You could offer me triple that ($6,000 for a $2,000 project) and I still wouldn’t work on my vacation – Hey, I already have $6,000. I don’t have a nice, quiet vacation, however. But I will 🙂
He understood, but I lost the project. He needed it done next week, and I couldn’t deliver. Them’s the breaks.
It’s necessary to do this. I blocked out this two week timeframe, and I’ve stuck to it. Even though it cost me some projects. You almost have to do it this way, really. This is because clients are very liberal with your time. No matter what business you are in, if you allow it, you’ll work weekends, vacations, etc. We have a “must please the client” mentality, and that’s usually the correct mentality to have. But for me, it (generally) does not extend to weekends, and it never extends to vacations. I’m a copywriter – I’m not saving lives. There’s really nothing I do that’s so very vital that it cannot wait a week. Nobody ever says “QUICK – CALL DAN OR ALL IS LOST!!!!”
Now, I understand sometimes big clients REALLY DO need something now – say I was working for the NY Yankees (which I’m not, but it’s a good example), and they signed a major player on a Saturday when I’m on a Hawaiian beach. Well, in that case, I’d have to write the PR while on the beach. And I would.
But then again, in this little NY Yankee fantasy, they’re paying me that 250k to write their stuff and be on-call (hey, I’m definitely worth more than Carl Pavano).
Have a nice two weeks, everyone.