My wife had our new baby 7 days ago, and I am currently on leave from work. Except I work from home so I’m not sure I can really call it “leave.” But you get the idea.
My time off consisted of 3 days completely disconnected, and then about 30 minutes each day of email and maintenance (easy to do when everyone’s asleep). Lucky for me there aren’t any tasks that I’m required to do in a given time-frame. This is the time independence I’ve talked about in the past, and the beauty of being a Micropreneur instead of a consultant. No clients busting my chops.
I’ve viewed this time off as a test of the Micropreneur approach; to see if I could really pull back from work and let things run on auto-pilot. This is helpful to do periodically, as it always exposes potential improvements I can make to my processes.
I really don’t need an email notification every time I make a sale. Although it gives me a good feeling to get a “you’ve got cash!” email during my normal workday, my apps make enough individual sales that these emails really pile up.
I make a car payment to PayPal every month in commissions…that’s a lot of individual sales that I’m getting notified about, and a lot of emails I’m deleting. Waste…of…time.
My income has not been impacted in the least. It’s only been a week, but if I were consulting I would be several thousand dollars down by now. A nice testament to having income tied to products instead of hours worked.
After a couple years of Micropreneurship, it’s still difficult to accept that there are enough systems in place that I’m able to make money without working…at least for a period of time.
Not a single email has been do-or-die for any of my businesses. I’m confident I could completely walk away from email cold-turkey without giving notice, for two weeks. I’d just have a pile of email to sort through when I returned. I’ve also realized that I could run at this “30 minutes per day” pace for a month pretty easily. Maybe 6 weeks.
If I adjusted my current processes and outsourced a few more things (see below) I think I could pull off between one and two months at this pace (three feels like it would be pushing it). No need to do that now, but it may be something I attempt in a couple years once my kids are older and we take a (currently theoretical) trip to Europe.
I’ve made the painful and extremely helpful discovery that over the past six months since I last ran this test, that I’m handling a lot of emails that I should be outsourcing to my VAs. When you only have 30 minutes a day to take care of everything on your plate, it becomes apparent right away what you should not be spending your time on.
Within 48 hours of this experiment I realized that all the “little” email support tasks I’m handling need to be outsourced. I have a VA who can handle these emails better than I can. They’ve got to go.
Rest assured they will be off my plate within two weeks.