Taming the Terror of Unexpected Time Out of Your Business

Feb 09, 2023

I’ve been ill. Of course, I haven’t actually visited a doctor, but my old friend Dr. Google tells me I’m having some kind of inflammatory response. My bones hurt, my eczema has flared up and my eyes are so sore I can barely open them. Plus, I’m exhausted.

We’re just back from a weekend at Centerparcs where I reverted to my 12-year-old self and insisted on riding the outdoor rapids at least 50 times over the course of the weekend.

I think the exertion and the chlorine have knocked me for 6!

I sat down this morning with my daily top 3 (the 3 most important things I want to achieve today). I prised my stinging eyelids apart and opened my content calendar…




I can focus on - Nothing.

So, I turned the laptop off and went back to bed.

You are allowed to be ill.

You are allowed to take time off.

The world won’t end.

Yesterday I felt so poorly I had to cancel & reschedule 2 precious client coaching calls. Something I HATE to have to do. But here’s the thing, my clients deserve me to be on my ‘A’ game. As a coach, anything less just isn’t acceptable.

You need to stop trying to ‘show up no matter what’. If I had to cancel 2 client calls… those being the work I value the most highly in my business, you can rest assured I did nothing else yesterday, but rest and give myself time to recuperate.

As business owners, we’re terrified of taking time out, of not showing up, of breaking our consistency streak, but the truth is we’re doing no one any favors by pushing through and trying to ‘keep calm and carry on’!


Abundance vs Scarcity


The way we feel about taking time for self-care is closely tied to our abundance vs scarcity mindset. When you cultivate an abundant mindset, you know that it’s ok to take time out. You understand that nothing will ‘break’ in your absence. You’re comfortable with the space you have in your business to accommodate you taking time off, and you’re confident that the value you bring to your clients, and the relationship you’ve nurtured with them, is such that all they will feel about it is concern for you and relief that you’re taking the time to recover.

When your mindset is one of scarcity/lack, you catastrophize the impact of taking time out. ‘My ideal clients will forget about me’ ‘My existing clients will go elsewhere’ ‘My marketing’s no longer consistent - everything’s ruined’.
Yet another way our thoughts determine our actions:

Abundant mindset = giving ourselves time to rest and feel better before coming back feeling ready to go

Scarcity mindset = pushing through, sucking it up, and ending up doing C- work and taking way longer to recover than we needed to.


Engage Your Team


If you have a team, even if it’s just you and your VA, be sure to talk about what happens if you’re sick. Maybe you set up a protocol where you send her a single WhatsApp message, and she takes over in your absence - rescheduling calls in your calendar / scheduling social media / sending emails/invoices, etc. Decide between you what the minimum activity in the business is and document an ‘in case of emergency, break glass’ process for her to follow in your absence.

Once you’ve done that, taking time out won’t be so anxiety-inducing and you’ll recover much quicker!

So, no more panic when you don’t feel up to working.

Rest, Recover, Return - it’s what you (and your clients) deserve.


Suggested Listening

#023 - 5 Things I'd Do Differently If I was Starting My Business Today

#047 - What Happens In Your Business When You're Sick?

#009 - When Losing Control Is Good For Business