I have just returned from my epic trip to Everest Base Camp….

And having never taken a month out of my business for 20 years, it was an absolute revelation!

In fact, it was so much more than that in so many ways…….

By nature, I’m a workaholic, I work on my business during the day and on my business at night. It’s not at all unusual for me to clock up in excess of 80 hours in a working week, 7 days a week, for months on end, this is quite normal. But I’m getting older and I’m finding that my productivity is not what it was!

One of the reasons I joined ‘Renegades’ was to extract myself from my business and change my life!

The first step was to take time out!

So, originally I booked 3 weeks off to do Everest. I diverted all my calls to a call-centre with instructions for them to tell prospective customers that I was abroad climbing Everest and I would be back in a month.

I changed my answer phone message on my mobile to say: “Hi, sorry I can’t answer the phone, I’m on the slopes of Everest fulfilling a lifetime ambition to climb to Basecamp. No internet or telephone here, so don’t leave a message cause I won’t get it. But please send a text and as soon as I get it, I will reply. I’m back first week of November.”

So did the business implode? Did my prospects go somewhere else?

Surprisingly not!

In fact, I’ve done a record number of quotations and have more work lined up than I’ve ever had in my life before.

The Everest adventure has touched the lives of my customers in a way that I could not have imagined, and for many, I’m living the adventure that they could not or don’t feel that they can!

And what’s more, it’s memorable.

Every prospect I’ve called since getting back has asked me in detail about the adventure. Not because they are being polite but because it’s exciting and it’s something they don’t feel they could ever do.

So in truth, the time away has been good for business. I’ve got more discovery consultations booked in than ever before and discovery consultations lead to sales. So it’s good!

So, what have I learned from the experience……

Time out is not only important, it’s critical!!!! I’ve therefore decided to reevaluate my own life… And how I live it.

The adventures I want to go on, and the quality time I’d like to spend with my wife and family are the things I want to do together.

I’ve decided to work an ‘8 week on, 2 week off program’.

I’ve also decided to take the whole of October off every year to plan and live an adventure!

The dates that I’m away or when my workshops will be closed, are put on every single quotation sent out.

This has the event of creating an urgency! This, together with a 10 week lead creates a shortage, which in turn will create a demand.

I’ve closed many 10k deals after 11pm… Way after my competitors have closed shop!

The 2 week off every 8 weeks is interesting in that, while I do plan to go away on 4-7 day mini-breaks with the dragon (my long suffering wife), these will give me time to think and clarify my thoughts, so that after the mini- break I can spend time working on my business, putting new systems and processes into place.

I believe that working the system will also help me to more effectively manage the time that I have available to me in the 8 week, hands on work windows.

I have already started scheduling my days into activity windows.

My new PA, Kelly has been instructed to arrange all of my prospect call backs into specific time windows.

I intend to no longer be reactive to calls, but rather to train my customers right from day one, how communication with me works.

Believe it or not, after the initial conversation, I’ve always handled most of my customer post initial contact by text message.

There are several reasons for this, including: text messages always get read, they are to the point, grammar and punctuation is not important, which for a dyslexic git like me is critical! And you can communicate by text up until midnight!

I’ve closed many 10k deals after 11pm… Way after my competitors have closed shop!

So what’s the next big adventure for October next year? As soon as I know, I’ll let you know……………. I’m working on it!

Author: Jay Emery