Now THAT is a blog post title that would catch my attention, how about you?  Who doesn’t want to take a vacation from time to time and oh… added bonus… NOT ruin their business?

This was the topic my friend Marty Fahncke talked about this week on his Midweek Momentum call.  He holds them every Wednesday (unless he is on vacation or traveling and can’t get to a phone) and he offers “Ideas, strategies and tactics to propel your business forward”.

I met Marty when I was learning all about teaching by phone and how to do the Ask Calls among other things.  He’s a great guy and a very savvy business person.  He’s not an artist but has worked with some of us.  He’s one of my go-to people outside of our industry for advice, new ideas and more.

The email he sent out before the call got my attention – here is what he said:

Today I’m hoping you’ll join me for Midweek Momentum where
I’ll be sharing “Five keys to keeping your business alive
when you aren’t in the office”

A lot of business owners rarely (or never) take vacations
because they haven’t set up their business to run without
them physically present every day.  That’s a shame.

So today I’m going to tell you a few things I’ve learned
after 13 years being an entrepreneur who actually DOES
take a vacation once in a while.  🙂

This seemed timely because I’m getting married next week and while we aren’t going on a big honeymoon – I will be out of the studio for a few days before and after the wedding so effectively, I’ll have a week where I will be MIA from my business.  I wanted any tips I could gather to help manage the whole thing.

One tip that really resonated with me was “Set expectations with your clients before you leave.”

I do that and am doing that but always seem to end up working at a frantic pace to get the things done they would like before I leave.  Maybe I should say I can’t but I don’t want to miss an opportunity either so if I can and still get a decent night’s sleep, I’m working away.

So I decided to ask a question (you can do that – I love these calls and need to get on them more often!) – “Marty, how far before your vacation do you start setting expectations?”  Perhaps this was my problem… was I doing it too late?

In Marty’s opinion, yes, it was too late.  I have been in the habit of letting my clients know 2-3 weeks before I’ll be out of the studio that I won’t be available.  I talk to the clients that I’m working on projects with so if they need any changes or additions, they aren’t surprised to find me unable to help for a chunk of time.   This often leads to a lot of work right before a trip and has caused me to believe that the best way to grow your business is to tell people you are going on vacation…

Marty recommends laying the groundwork for time away about 2 months before you pack your bags and head out the door.

That way, you can plan your time and leave no clients shocked that you would want to do anything but create art for them on short notice. (OK…. I added part of that but you can probably relate.)

Next time, I’m trying it and I’ll see if it changes how requests come in.

I’d love to hear how you handle these things – do you let your clients know and if so, when?  Or do you have someone lined up to answer emails and take care of minor things when you are away?

Here’s to your creative success and relaxing vacations!

– Tara Reed

P.S. Want to join in on the calls with Marty?  Head to – they are 30 minutes long and I get some tidbit from every one I listen to.