Overcome the Fear to Travel as a MompreneurJan 15, 2020
Over the years, I’ve heard from many of you about how difficult it is to make the decision to leave your kids and family for travel that is important to your business. #BizMoms in all my past leadership positions have shared with me their feelings of worry, of the stress to prepare before traveling, and of feeling judged about their priorities by family and friends. This constant pressure to dismiss their feelings of isolation, burn out, and disconnection in order to comply with a cultural norm of what a working woman can and can not be in our world.
And I get it. I’ve felt it too.
However, maybe it’s my spontaneous spirit or what some would call my “old-soul wisdom”, but I don’t believe in making ourselves feel guilty for wanting to be seen in the world as an individual instead of dependent on others is a healthy way to be an example for those you love.
I was recently on a solopreneur momcation while my daughter was away for eight days at Elite Space Academy in Huntsville, Alabama. This is just one way I’ve traveled solo over the past ten years. Some trips have been completely on my own, navigating airports and foreign city streets via my Google GPS. Others have been meeting up with colleagues or traveling with a child for them to participate in some sort of educational experience. All of these solo stays away from home have helped me uncover more independence, grow my self-motivation muscles, and reconnect with the pieces of myself most valued by my family. Never has a solopreneur momcation made my family worse off. It’s only made all of us more prepared for our futures, so I wanted to share a few insights as to encourage your next solopreneur momcation and ways to feel empowered by it instead of turning it away due to being stressed out.
If you’ve never traveled alone without your family, the easiest step to dive into solopreneur momcations is to meet up with your #BizMom girlfriends. However, I want to encourage you to resist a jammed packed schedule of activities and late-night outs. One of the best parts of traveling alone is to refuel from the burnout of your life in general. Having a few excursions and team up dinners is grand but be sure to have days scheduled in your trip for sleeping in for goodness sakes without the need of an alarm. I remember the first time I woke up in a hotel bed filled with pillows and comfy linens I didn’t need to wash or think about crawling out of right away to wake someone up for school. It was pure bliss.
If your work gives you justification for the first time to solo travel but to have it be with a bestie #BizMom girlfriend, a few women colleagues at a convention or rewards trip, take the leap and do it! Just be sure to pay attention to your self-care level. My first rewards trip as a direct seller I went from a jam-packed schedule traveling right back into a backlogged schedule leading a team. The next year I invested the money (was "highly-encouraged" by my husband because I was a hot mess after the last one) in a layover for three days completely by myself. Those three days, "laid-over" momcation in Amsterdam is today the top experience I’ve ever had traveling. Don’t go home just as burned out as before you left because you’re pleasing others mode never had the chance to turn off.
PREPARING YOUR PARTNER
I know you’re thinking about it already. “How is my spouse going to handle these kids without me?”
Mama, I promise you, you didn’t join your life with someone who didn’t realize you have a brain of your own. I promise you they have one too. They may sound harsh but I needed this reminder at first too. No matter what the situation, you and your partner have the brain capacity to figure out a system and external supports to give them the help they might need while you’re gone. Create the to-do list which will help them get the job done of caring for your family while you’re away. Then do them a favor, and the biggest expression of love you can offer.
One of the main conversations I have had with women who are running their own businesses from their homes over the years about solopreneur momcations is the worry that their LIFE partner can’t handle the day to day life of what she does for her family. That if you go away for a long weekend, your kids will be immediately in the ER or your spouse will somehow forget you exist. You are powerhouse mamas with businesses. You are a woman who can communicate with others so effectively that you can earn world travel for free! Yet, you are afraid of being able to empower your partner and family with the responsibility of the after school schedule for a few days?
I know the feeling but trust them.
I want to encourage you to be innovative and the grown-ass woman you are in your business to see where your family deserves time with you out of the picture. Only with you not in the everyday cycle, will those in your life rise to the challenge. With you missing they will see you for all you do, possibly for the first time. Your kids and spouse will create connections with loved ones you possibly are over-shadowing.
This is, of all the lessons I’ve learned being a mompreneur, is the biggest lesson for me in my role as a caregiver and wife.
Yes, he might forget to bathe them. Yes, she will feed them cookies whenever they ask. No, your dishes might not all be done when you get back. And yes, your kids will learn important skills that you aren’t the right person in their life to teach it to them. All the while your partner is reminded how much they are thankful for your support when your home.
Trust them and go.
WORK WITHOUT DISTRACTION
Once you are over the hurdle of your first leap into solopreneur momcations with your #BizMom girlfriends, and you’ve settled your nerves on how your life at home will keep going on without you. I believe you’ll be like me, and see solopreneur momcations as a way to reignite your motivation, create more compassion in the world, and reset your priorities when they feel unfocused.
This doesn’t mean you won’t miss your kids, have moments where you feel stuck creatively, or heck even feel lonely while you’re away. I have felt all these emotions, and you know what? It sucks when it happens but isn’t that what being grown-up is all about? Isn’t it what we want to model to our kiddos?
Learning to be independent, self-sufficient, non-co-dependent adults who are enjoying life.
This last trip to Alabama, while my teenage daughter was at Space Camp, was the first time I said out loud while on a solopreneur momcation, “I miss being distracted because someone needs me.”
Yep. I missed distractions. I missed the feeling of being needed by someone.
You might not be at this point in your solopreneur momcation journey. The point where your spouse is used to you traveling, your kids are in a routine and have developed their own independence. Where you’re seasoned in the cycle of your business and where the lack of distractions will be what you will need to overcome to enjoy your time away. I promise you, it will come. I about begged to be distracted!
Overcoming this takes bravery in a way that I’ve allowed my anxiety to take control of in the past. It requires stepping out of comfort zones and knowing the signs of what it feels like to be restless, not anxious. It will require you to prepare more than you think possible to achieve in the time you have to work and to think about the one thing almost every #BizMom I have lead has had the biggest problem with figuring out.
What do you do to feel joy or to have fun?
Ugh. It’s so hard to figure out, but at this stage, you are going to need to know how to fill your time because your husband isn’t going to call or text you every five minutes to find something or remember the schedule. Your teenagers are busier "snapping" to their friends, and your work will only entertain you for so long before you feel like you worked what you do in one week in the matter of one eight hour day. No one is going to bother you, annoy you or keep you busy but you!
And for me. That was scary.
So, if you’re in this season with me. I want us to rest easy and remember a few tips to keep reminding us why going on solopreneur momcations are so important to our businesses - and to our own personal growth:
- Hotels are great if you find one on the cheap, but there is just something about cooking yourself a solo dinner. Find a cute condo or small guest house on Airbnb and make sure it has a nice kitchen set up. Make yourself the food no one in your house will eat when you make it, or would whine and complain about it. So worth it!
- Hello, BINGE WATCH! Watch the TV that everyone in your house is annoyed by you when you want to watch it. Make sure you have your Netflix, Disney+, Hulu and Amazon Prime log-ins ready and spend a day in your jammies, ordering from DoorDash, and watch all the shows you want without anyone complaining about it.
- Be 22 again! If you weren’t a 22-year-old who wanted to backpack through Europe you have the wrong blog to follow. This takes some courage (because for some reason 22 year-olds just have an extra dose of bravery) but once you muster it up it will feel like you are connected to yourself for the first time since you were 22...lol Research the local historical sites, shopping, nature and food before going away. Find two or three places you want to plan adventures to all by yourself. Yes, it will feel odd eating by yourself in a restaurant, and yes there will be things you wish your kids and spouse could see with you. I promise you, sharing pictures with them and stories about what you saw is modeling for them something you can’t teach them if they were with you.
- Get some real ISH done in your business! Prepare to do three things. Reflect. Connect. SPRINT.
- When I travel I listen to podcasts or audible books in the airports, while I’m listening to it I take notes about them on the notepad of my phone. I then use these as areas to reflect on whatever it is in my own life and journal it during the days I’m away. This last time it was all about money mindset, so I wrote a letter to money and a letter from money to me. I find this to help me think about topics I normally feel my head is too full of other things to think about.
- Talk to as many people as possible! I introduce myself to the person I am sitting next to on the plane, and I say hello to people at restaurants or stores I visit. If I attend any social events I push myself to be brave enough to ask to join other groups of people. I know, it’s scary. But, so many connections have been made for me this way, and opportunities for my children. This last trip, a couple we spoke with at the baggage claim worked for NASA and offered my daughter a direct link to an internship. Another group of people I asked to sit with at a New Year’s Eve event, we became instant friends and we shared a meal together before I left. Networking and Connection go hand in hand. Do it for your business but most of all do it for yourself & your family.
- Don’t be surprised when it’s time to sit and work that you feel lost of what you need to do. You’re out of your element, you probably don’t have access to all your tools and resources, so before you leave - sit down and create a solopreneur momcation SPRINT project. SPRINTing is a project management system I’ve used in every segment of corporate business and leadership to keep me focused on an end result. Decide what you want to be the end result of your trip and make a plan for it. If you want to learn how to SPRINT, join me on my Facebook business page. I share free SPRINTing lessons LIVE each month on how to set them up.
I hope sharing these different levels of solopreneur momcations with you has empowered you, and given you hope for planning and going on future business travel. Isn’t it one of the reasons you’re in business for yourself anyway, to have more freedom? Whether it’s going on your incentive trip you earned as a direct seller, booking that flight to the conference you know will take your business to the next level, or it’s time on your own while your kiddos are experiencing something that will help them see the reality of their dreams - take the opportunity to make solopreneur momcations a habit in your business. You’ll reconnect with the REAL you.
A priority that’s important to the success of your business.
@ivealwaysbeengena is a blog for women who believe the reality of their dreams is only as far as their skills and determination are willing to take them, who are raising their family while they are building their business, and for fempreneurs who desire the freedom of a life that is sustainable, purposeful, and profitable enough to invest in what matters most to them. Want to work with Genavieve Rose to learn how to keep your focus on both #MomLife & #BizLife?
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