Running Your Business on Vacation

Welcome to Episode 353 of Hit the Mic with The Stacey Harris.

I feel an intense need to sing “School’s Out for Summer” right now because my mom did every year when I got out of school. The kid’s officially on summer break and I am also on summer break. Now full disclosure, I’m totally working right now, however, content for the summer has been created. It’s done, it’s ready, it’s waiting for you. It’s waiting for you because I want to be able to focus on, that’s right, summer stuff. Now I am totally working this summer, with the exception of a ten day trip we’re taking in July. I am totally in the office.

My schedule looks different in the summer, I tend to work weekends and take days off during the week because one of the perks of our flexibility is that I don’t have to try and entertain my kid when literally everyone else is trying to get their kid out of the house. We tend to go into hibernation on the weekends but it’s lots of trips to the beach and Disneyland and shopping and movies and bowling and Dave and Buster’s and all the things, plus a vacation in there.

How do I get content out consistently? How do I deliver you guys the value that I want to deliver to you, that I want you to have available to you?

Well, I plan for it, so today we’re going to talk about things, how I sort of manage to get all of this done within the time constraints of running my business per usual in the spring, getting ready for summer. I do the same thing in the fall, usually, in November I’m a little bit nutty because I’m getting ready to take December off. I, again full disclosure, am working this summer. We’ve got Backstage members, we’ve got management clients, we’ve got coaching and consulting clients, I’ve got spots available for strategy builds if you’re interested. I’ve got some coaching spots available if you’re interested, so I’m totally working, it just looks different and it’s less hours and to make that happen I work ahead. These are the three things I do.

These are the three things I do.

Repurpose Your Content

Number one, I repurpose the crap out of my content. Meaning, we’re covering things on Facebook Lives that we’re covering on the podcast. We’ve built the system of repurposing all the time so I’m never in a place where I’m like, oh crap, I’ve got to get all this stuff done. Guest posts go out based on transcripts from this show. Facebook Lives are often topics straight up pulled from the show, to be honest with you and vice versa.

Sometimes I’ll test something on Facebook Live and see what kind of traction it gets with you guys before I pull it in here. I’m repurposing, I’m not reinventing, I’m reusing, repackaging. The same can be done with offerings and I just, we just last month launched two new funnels, sales funnels, full disclosure, they’re sales funnels, opt-in kind of things. We’ve got brand new Facebook ads and a brand new launch podcast training. Well, guess what? Those are things that existed already. I merely repackaged them, I updated them. I made them look better, I made sure the information was on point and made sure the email sequence was better.

I improved it but I didn’t reinvent it. It’s not brand new, I never thought of this, I have to have a brand new idea every time. No, it’s something that’s been successful that I made better so it can be more successful and deliver more value so repurpose. Repurpose, repurpose, repurpose, I cannot say it enough. Literally, I could say 1,000 more times, it still wouldn’t be enough. You’ve got to repurpose your content. Use what you’ve got. I’m willing to bet, there’s one person who will download this episode of the show and they’re going to realize that they have an opt-in they created that they’ve never used.

Better yet, an entire program they created and they never sold to anybody because they’ve never told anyone it existed. I know you guys do it, I’ve done it too, so look in your Google Drive, your Dropbox, wherever you store this stuff, look what you’ve got hidden away and do something with it. This was actually, in August it will be two years since we actually launched Hit The Mic Backstage and so July of this year, so next month, is the two-year anniversary of when I got the idea to launch Hit The Mic Backstage and guess what?

Hit the Mic Backstage, the membership site, my favorite part of my business, the way that I love engaging with you, the next step after this, if you love this podcast, get your butt in Backstage because you’ll love it there too. It’s this plus. It all came from me having a less than successful launch in the spring, wanting to do something to up some revenue numbers to hit my Q3, my quarter three goals financially, but I didn’t know what I was going to launch. I really didn’t want to create anything new. I didn’t have the time or the energy to build something new.

It was summer break and I was working less and how was I going to do that? Well, I had launched this program, or this package of webinars about six months to a year before that called the Rock Star Bundle. It was, I think, 12 webinars because I take my webinars down a couple days after we do them live, that I literally just had sitting in Google Drive. They were just sitting there. I had done nothing with them post-webinar. They were just sitting in Google Drive. I had sold them as a package of trainings and people loved them.

They bought them up like crazy, so I was telling my accountability buddy and business BFF that I had these trainings and so maybe I should just relaunch this Rock Star Bundle and I’ll sell that again. She said, “Well is that what you want to do?” I was like, “Oh, I don’t know.” She goes, “Well what do you really want to do?” I go, “I’d really love to turn it into a membership site, because that would just be killer. I’ve always, always wanted one, but I just don’t have the audience for it.” She went, “Well that’s dumb. You totally have the audience for it.”

She reminded me of the advice I give people all the time, which is, it doesn’t matter how big your list is, it doesn’t matter how engaged your list is, and so guess what? I repurposed not only all of these free trainings I had done, but a package of trainings I had sold before and that built my membership site, which is the core offering in my business at this point. It’s the thing to join as far as a passive, not passive because it takes a lot of my attention, but as far as a recurring revenue, as far as a non-service based, a non-one on one attention based, it fills that hole, that revenue source is the Backstage membership.

It came from repurposed content, content that I had already been repurposed once before, so look at what you have sitting in Drive, look at what you have sitting in Dropbox, look at the things that you’ve thought about doing or have created and finished them, package them, do something with them. All right? That’s my rant about repurposing in a way I have not done before, so it’s a new repurpose rant. I repurposed my rant, do you see what I did there guys? Walking the talk. Number two, invest. I mentioned that this year we’re going to be taking a ten day vacation, we’re going to Jamaica.

I’m very excited, I’ve never been to Jamaica. We have, there’s WiFi at our resort, but it’s not, I don’t really want to deal with work for ten days. This will be the first time I’m ever taking a legit unplugged vacation. My phone will go with me, my laptop, in all honesty, will probably go with me, in case the wheels fall off of anything but I’m not working at all. That’s not the plan. Really my laptop is going so I can watch movies on the plane. That’s what it’s going to come down to. It’s a long plane ride guys. It really is, for me, completely being unplugged for ten days for the first time.

Invest in Support

A big, big, big way I’m doing that is, I’ve invested in support, I’ve invested in help. We have not just Charles, because he’s going with me on vacation, so he’s not helpful at that point. Well he’s helpful, but like in a carry my bags kind of way, not a check my email way. We actually have a VA team that supports us now. They joined us in January, I highly recommend them. If you want to know their names, let me know. Admin Ease is who we use. Kristy and her team are fantastic. We love them, love them, love them but guess what?

As they’re transcribing, or having this episode transcribed and they’re dealing with this episode, they’re going to realize that they’re going to be in charge while I’m gone. Yeah, totally in charge. They’re going to be checking the email, they’re going to be responding to your questions, dealing with any issues that come up for Backstage members, scheduling stuff, they’re going to be the only touch point available for ten days in July, but that’s because I made that investment and I built a team. Here’s the deal guys, I did that before three days before I was leaving for Jamaica.

Like I said, we started with them, I think it was January, it might have been February actually, earlier this year and it’s hands down one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. We have tried outsourcing and VAs and stuff before, but Kristy and her team are just a perfect fit. If you are looking to get support so that you can unplug, which is what’s going to have to happen to take time off, you need to plan now, you need to figure out who it is who’s going to be helping. Whether it’s scheduling social, whether it’s monitoring social, whether it’s making sure the content goes live.

We have content that’s going to go live during that time and not only are they going to make sure it’s all scheduled and ready to go before I even leave, because it’s already created, but they’re also going to make sure it actually goes live. That if anybody responds to that email, they reply. Again, if there’s an issue Backstage. Invest in support to be able to take time away. If you want to unplug from social, great, set yourself up for that. On the flip side, realize it’s okay to unplug a little. It’s not going to be the end of the world if you straight up take some time off. It’s allowed, it’s okay, I encourage it.

Now if you go quiet for a month you’re going to run into some reentry issues. I will have scheduled foundation stuff going out. I may occasionally post pictures from vacation. I’m probably going to do that because again guys, it’s me. Figure out what that looks like for you, invest some time in laying out that plan and invest some money in getting the support you need. It will be one of the most valuable investments you make because it’s straight up making you money while you’re gone, even if you’re still service based.

Okay, so they’re invoicing clients, they’re delivering possibly for clients, they’re handling incoming prospects, they’re sending out contracts. All of those things can happen while you’re gone. All right? Train your team to do whatever it is you need and ideally work with a team that gets it.

Schedule Some Sales

Number three, our final thing, schedule some sales. We talked about Backstage was really birthed by a desire to make some money in the summer. Figure out some sales stuff to do in there, you know, taking time off doesn’t mean you can’t make any money.

Now I wouldn’t plan a massive launch in the summer, in fact, Backstage was the weakest, quietest launch I’ve ever done, yet somehow one of the most profitable as far as long term because, I mean, we have members that were founding members that are literally still members two years later, but it was also the easiest because we didn’t put a ton of stuff behind it. We ran ads, we did emails, just sort of the low hanging fruit basic stuff. We had no affiliates, we did no webinars, we did no giant interviews, we didn’t do any of that stuff. I just kind of told people what we had and said hey, check it out.

Schedule those sales messages, schedule some ad campaigns to go to a passive income product. Make a sales pitch, write some sales sequences into your emails for your passive income or low touch stuff so again, even during this time off you’re generating revenue. If you’re hearing that and you have no idea what in your business you would direct, now is a really good time to again, go back to that repurpose step. Look at that stuff that you have hidden in your Google Drive, buried in the depths of Dropbox, maybe spread across both, yes, I’ve heard it all, and do something with it, monetize it and get it out there, because that is a really fun thing to do.

There’s literally nothing I like more than like making money when I’m on vacation or when I’m out shopping or out to dinner. There’s something extra fun, I like it even more than making money in my sleep and I like making money in my sleep a ton. Somehow when I’m actively like enjoying my income, it’s super double extra fun to make money then and that happens from scheduling these sales messages. Again, it doesn’t have to be an intense all out launch, it just needs to be something that makes sense for you, a sales sequence in your emails, schedule an ad campaign, whatever that is. Cool? All right, that’s it.

A little bit of a long one today, this is how I’m preparing. I really, really encourage you guys to take some time off and set yourself up for success in that time off. Cool? All right. The last thing, if you haven’t yet joined us Backstage, now’s a really, really good time. We have a brand new training that launched this month, all about taking time off and prepping for time off from a, specifically from a marketing perspective, so setting up those sales sequences, getting your emails ready, crafting your content, scheduling your social, what really needs to be there and what doesn’t. All of that is available now.

In the next few days, or actually next week, I’m sorry, next week, we’ll have our monthly live call. That’s your chance to come in, ask me literally anything. They’re even called Ask Me Anything calls, so that you can get exactly what you need right now answered on video live in front of you like magic. Join us, I will see you Backstage and I will also see you right here next Tuesday. Have a good one.

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