After the recent Summer break, I have been pretty much offline for my businesses. My photography studio is booming with more leads than I can handle, and I have plenty of work to do. The same goes for my coaching business where a lot of great opportunities are coming up this Autumn. But somehow I have been experiencing a lack of purpose. A lack of drive to go online and create content. I just hit a wall and got struck by a feeling of not wanting to keeping up with all online news. I have never had symptoms of FOMO, but still I knew something was going on now that I didn’t check my socials.
I decided to put a stop to my online content and my posts
As I did not know WHAT to post and WHY, I decided to put a stop to my online content and my posts, while searching for a deeper layer of my vision and my purpose and how to better convey it to you, my reader, my customer.
Once I finished all preparations before our month-long Summer Break, I noticed that I didn’t feel like drawing up and planning my social media posts ahead as I was used to doing. The whole “must-be-online” and “get-your-face-out-there” process felt generic and emtpy, as if I was just filling up my time and my schedule in order to create ‘enough’ posts to keep my accounts going throughout my journey to Italy and Switzerland. And then the thought occurred to me, to just let go.
And then the thought occurred to me, to just let go
I knew my planning for both my coaching and my newborn photography business were filled up pretty much for the rest of the year. I knew several cool occasions like online training and public speaking were on the verge of happening (more about that later). I knew that I had ticked my own boxes when it comes to my business goals and vision for the year 2018. But most of all I knew I felt so tired of all the hours of work that I had put in. Constantly performing at top level, performing at top speed to keep all of my work compressed within my 20 hour workweek while still balancing out the personal time with my family. In short: my body, my brain and my soul felt overflowing, exhausted and in dire need of a break of it all.
As I was scrolling on Instagram I thought: what if I just check out and not post anything until I have something meaningful to say? What if I take all social media apps off my phone for the holiday break and just disconnect? No posts, no live videos, no polls, no likes, no hearts and no comments? Would that give me more time to think? Would that inspire my brain to go deep and come up with new creative ideas? What if I don’t post 12 times a month per business and keep up with all the comments? Would the number of bookings diminish or just fall back to zero? Would people not be able to find me? What would happen to my business?
What would happen to my business if I took a break from social media?
I must admit: it was a scary thought as regular and scheduled posting online is a thing I teach my own coaching clients to build a bigger audience for a better conversion. It is a technique that I use for my own promotion and marketing. So what now, as my brain told me clearly that is was time to take a break of it all?
Well, I just stopped writing and planning and decided that this would be an awesome experiment for my business to learn from. Just opening up time and space in my own brain and see what would happen. I know that my best ideas come to the surface when I am relaxing, not at work at all. When I am walking in the woods, or riding my bike. Or singing in the shower or just mesmerizing over a cup of my favorite bean coffee. And as I felt so obligated to constantly be online just for the sake of being online, that break turned out to be EXACTLY what I needed.
That break turned out to be EXACTLY what I needed
The first week of my vacation, I was walking along Lake Garda in the North of Italy when my AHA moment occurred and I got a wonderful insight that I could implement on the online training that I am working on. Then a week and a half later my family and me were hiking down the gorgeous Fronalpstock, an impressive 2 km high mountain in the Swiss alps. The wind blew softly and we heard nothing but the cow bells and our own breath. Then the second light bulb moment ‘happened’ and I finally got it: It was okay to let go, to go on an undecided hiatus, to take a break from it all, to just be in the moment. And I have been in the moment, since we got back from holiday.
I have literally been sick with grief over the summer holiday being over. I have spent the first two weeks after my holiday completely and utterly miserable in bed with a huge migraine attack, while being sick to my stomach. I have been blocked physically and emotionally about going back to work, as I felt NO inspiration, NO drive, NO real angle on how to convey my creative message to my clients.
NO real angle on how to convey my creative message to my clients
But that was okay, and that down-time needed to happen. I look back on that down-time as a gift for my personal and business wellbeing. I learned to think things through, prioritize, re-focus, say no more often, dig deep and be honest about what inspires me and really filter out what hindered me from delivering the best service possible for my customers.
Truth be told, it has created a delay that I wish I could have prevented, but still it feels like a diesel train that needs time to pick up a solid pace, going slow at first, but then really making progress and going steadily forward. Right now I feel I am back with a good message for my photography clients and for my coaching clients. And that is why I wanted to explain what I went through during and after this Summer.
I am happy that I allowed myself time for reflection, getting my purpose straight and for just letting go. I can honestly say we all deserve a break from it all regularly.
We all deserve a break from it all regularly
My outcome now is that I only work on projects I love and I only take on what I have energy and room for. I have narrowed down my work time even further and now work 16 hours a week. I take the afternoons off to be with my kids and family. I turn off my phone when I work or want to relax. I check my social media 5-10 minutes a day, and sometimes skip a day. I only blog and post on social media when I have something meaningful to say (in my opinion). And I am unavailable more, because I know it gives me more quality time and concentration. And I now have every Thursday off.
This formula works wonders for me. I can work out 4 times a week and cook healthy meals. I can relax and I sleep 7-8 hours a night. I am present with my work, I am fully present for my loved ones and one day a week I take a day off. On that day I just go about and relax, allowing my brain to unwind. I plan nothing and go out for a quick run or a walk outside or I simply sit down with a book or a cup of tea. By letting myself do nothing, unplugging from social media and opening up time to ‘get bored’, the most creative stuff happens in my brain and it has lead to the best ‘answers from the brain’ up until now!
By opening up time to ‘get bored’, the most creative stuff happens in my brain
I am so excited to see what my down-time will lead up to. And I will do my best to put out valuable content for you, that you can benefit from. I hope this candid blog has given you some kind of value and I would love to hear your thoughts about your opinion on letting go of things and being unavailable.
You can contact me via the website as well for a free Discovery Call, should you have any questions you think I could help your business with.
Thanks so much for your time and for reading this post.