How To Take A Vacation As A Private Practice Owner
31st Jul 2019
“Work, work, work, work, work, work”.
Ironically even though your private practice is something that you love, any profession can slowly become prosaic and mundane if overworked and the word “work” can become something we begin to dread – no thanks to popular music icon Rhianna.
In therapy and coaching, imagination and inspiration are indispensable tools to reaching those breakthroughs with clients, however, due to this culture of “all work, no play” it can deteriorate our ability to think outside the box. Research commissioned by holiday firm Airtours revealed that 40% of the British workforce did not utilise their full holiday entitlement, giving “too much on at work to take time off” as one of the main reasons. This can be even more prominent in private practice as when you are running your own business, it’s easy to skip taking holidays altogether. It is proven that not gaining the right amount of time to recharge, lowers productivity and can dull the passion you have to care for your clients.
You might be thinking…
How can I take time off, if my clients need me?
Stop and take a minute to think about what state you are in. We are all like buckets of water. If you are not filled up through rest and self-care, how can you continue to pour out the motivation, happiness and hope that you are trying to bring to your clients? Your clients do need you, but they need the You that is taking good care of themselves.
Now that we know that you do need to take time out for yourself to ensure that you bring your best self to your clients, there are still other concerns that you may have:
How do I take time off without disrupting my clients?
How long should I be off for?
How can I get help in times where my clients want to reach me?
How do I manage my emails?
The keyword to all of this is – Preparation!
Inform your clients ahead of time:
Simply by giving your clients early notice about your upcoming excursion can help carry on that trusting relationship which you are developing and give them time to prepare for the period of your absence. An email and a physical letter ahead of time should work just fine.
Start with baby steps:
If your practice is in its infancy, taking off large holidays may not be conducive to your business, but that shouldn’t stop you from taking time away. Create extended weekends where you can just have a long weekend to revitalise yourself from the week you’ve just had. More frequent mini-holidays for the first few years can allow you to take time off whilst still maintaining the momentum that your practice needs in the early days.
Outsource of the work:
You can look at hiring a virtual assistant. Virtual assistants can help you cover the vast majority of administrative needs i.e. responding to emails, take calls and can be hired on short term agreements. This will make your clients feel a little more reassured that your practice is still active even though you are on holiday.
Get organised. Get Social:
If it doesn’t feel like you are quite ready to hire a virtual assistant just yet, then set up an automated “out of office” email. This will let new prospective clients know that you are away and informs them when they can expect to hear back from you. Social media can be an amazing way to give frequent updates whilst also having the added benefit of staying connected to your clients.
Have an emergency backup plan:
It is always good to be able to have another therapist that you trust on hand to be able to help if a very serious situation were to arise and your client simply cannot wait for you to return.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin.
All of this preparation is so that you can properly switch off on your holiday. The most important thing to remember when you are on holiday is that you need to be able to disconnect from your work. Remember that this time is for you.
Hopefully, these tips will help you plan your next vacay, prevent burnout and grow your practice to where you want it to be.