Ep 219: Prioritizing Time Off With Calibrate Your Year Creator Kelly Higdon

The Nitty-Gritty:

  • The day Kelly Higdon realized she couldn’t keep working at the pace she was working at
  • How she plans her year to prioritize her life—and then fits her business in the space left over
  • What she’s changed to allow for taking 3 months off from her business per year
  • How her business is different today thanks to her new working style

We recently asked What Works Network members how many vacations they take per year.

One vacation was a pretty common answer—always quickly followed up by the fact that work travel is often fun, too.

Some said 2 was their minimum—plus plenty of long weekends.

A few people admitted that they don’t regularly take vacations—and I’m sure plenty of other folks were silently nodding along with that side of the conversation.

And a few others totaled up their vacations as accounting for at least 4-8 weeks out of the year!

Sean and I normally take one vacation, one trip with light work—like the trip we’re leaving for in a couple of weeks—and plenty of weekend outings. I’ve cut back on the work travel in recent years but it looks like that’s gearing up more this fall and in 2020.

Today on the show, we’re not measuring time off from work in terms of long weekends or weeks.

No, today, we’re talking months.

Kelly Higdon is a business and lifestyle coach who prioritizes her time off so much…

…that’s she’s worked up to taking a full 3 months off from her business every year.

Unfortunately, Kelly’s inspiration wasn’t a well-timed shower idea or download from the universe—it was a trip to the hospital.

You see, Kelly wasn’t always so good about making space in her business for her life. At one point, she was working full-time as private practice therapist, growing a business on the side, and growing a baby. She was working all the time—and it caught up with her.

Kelly shares that story and her process for planning that much time off. She walks me through how she plans for life first and then makes her business fit in the space that’s left, as opposed to the other way around. She also shares how her business is different—and how it’s growing differently—than when she was working all hours of the day & night.

Now, let’s find out what works for Kelly Higdon!

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By Tara McMullin

Writer, Podcaster, Producer. Founder of What Works.

Jul 2, 2019

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EP 299: How To Design Your Own Sales System

This week, I’ve got 4 more stories to share with you from small business owners who have intentionally done things their own way when it comes to sales and selling. They’ve found what truly works for them–even if it bucks the prevailing wisdom or would make a bro marketing expert role his or her eyes.

These stories come from business coach Ashley Gartland, marketing expert Amy Lippmann, designer Mel Richards, and work reinvention coach Lydia Lee.

Listen for how they incorporated these same considerations into finding their own unique sales systems. They designed their systems with personal values, strong relationships, reduced anxiety, and agency in mind.

EP 298: Creating A Less Harmful Sales System with Wanderwell Founder Kate Strathmann

This show is called What Works for a reason.

Sometimes it’s a declaration: this is what worked for this small business. And often, it’s a question, “What works?”

Today’s episode is very much a question, many questions, really:

What works when it comes to selling when you want to avoid manipulative or exploitative practices?

What works when your values conflict with many of the best practices of selling online but you still want people to buy your stuff?

What works when it comes to sales in a business that is actively anti-racist and anti-capitalist?

And even more bluntly: Can you even sell things without causing harm or perpetuating harmful systems?

My friend Kate Strathmann is the founder of Wanderwell, a bookkeeping and consulting firm that grows thriving businesses while investigating new models for being in business.

Recently, Kate took a bit of a detour from how she’s used to building her business, which is 90% referral based and fueled by deep relationship- and community-building. She decided to offer a small group program called the Equitable Business Incubator as a way of exploring anti-capitalist business practices and how they apply to the small businesses we’re building.

To fill the program, Kate need to sell differently.

Which led her to asking the question: Can you even sell things as a anti-capitalist?

While that might not be your specific question, I have a feeling that you too have wondering how you can effectively sell your offers without causing harm, perpetuating harmful systems, or damaging relationships. And that’s why I knew Kate and I needed to explore this topic on the show.

This is a conversation about what a kinder, less harmful sales process could look like—and it probably contains more questions than answers. But I’m confident those questions can help you find the answers that are right for you and the sales system that you want to build to make your business stronger.

We start out by defining what we’re really talking about when we talk about capitalism and anti-capitalism. Then, Kate shares how the Equitable Business Incubator came to be and how she ended up selling it. And then we dig into what makes many of the sales formulas and best practices being taught today problematic—and how to think differently to create your own alternative practices.

Now, let’s take a look at what works for creating less harmful sales systems!

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