Sometimes you need to take an Internet Marketing Holiday – and in my case a holiday from offline clients too.
Everything just got too much and you need to cut loose.
That's how it got for me about two months ago, so I went.
I took a two week holiday: 5 days in New York, followed by a 9 day crossing back to the UK on the Queen Mary II.
Then I had a week back working on my businesses, online and offline, followed by a week with my Dad for his 94th birthday. See the blaze of candles on his birthday cake.
Here we are (my Dad, my son, and me). Held in my Dad's hands you can probably just see the little dog, Luna, a new addition to the extended family.
Funny how dogs know just what's required of them for everyone they come across. Luna knew that Matt was for “rough and tumble” and wouldn't give him five minutes peace. But she knows that my Dad needs to stroke her, so she nestles up close to him and goes to sleep with her head on his knees.
We had a great time with my Dad and I know he enjoyed our visit.
94! He doesn't look bad for his age does he? And his brain is so sharp! (Updated 2019 – he's 97 now and still bright as a button.)
But back to to how to take an Internet Marketing holiday….
Scary Holiday Plans
Being a bit of a workaholic, from a family of workaholics, I have never, in my whole life, been away for two weeks. Nor have I felt the need to before, but a stressful year was starting to take its toll.
Even my twelve day absence last September freaked me out, and my son and his wife laughed at the number of texts I sent them, saying I had “keyboard withdrawal symptoms”.
But that was in the USA with free wi-fi access to the Internet, and texts that wouldn't break the bank. This holiday was to be different…
Once I got on the Queen Mary II there would be NO Internet. Getting ready to take a holiday from both my businesses for a 10-day spell with no Internet and phone was really scary.
Remember – I'm fully self-employed, upset my clients too much and I'm history!
OK, I could have used the Internet on the ship, but at “scary number of dollars per hour”, I decided I'd better live without it. Last time I collected my emails on a cruise it cost me £30 to download 4 days worth and it was 90% junk anyway. That was a few years ago. Perhaps technology has perked up a bit, but on a cruise ship you're a bit of a captive audience.
So I decided to leave all the technology switched off – except my Kindle. Where would I be without that?
How I Prepared To Take An Internet Marketing Holiday
I scheduled a batch of blog posts ahead of time – appropriately enough about time management.
- I used Buffer to post to my Facebook business pages.
- Thanks to Sabrina in my main business team who agreed to handle that business for me while I was away – easy because I just changed my “Pretty Links” to use her ID instead of mine
- There were already auto-responder series in GetResponse
- Thanks for blog updating cover from James McAllister of JamesMcAllisterOnline
- I told my off-line clients I'd be away for two weeks, with no phone(!), gave them a helper's number….
- And fled.
You'll probably think I'm nuts but I actually found it pretty scary to do this – and to think of the world going on without me, like a parallel universe.How to take an Internet Marketing Holiday Click To Tweet
As an aside it got me thinking that this must be what it's like to be dead. After the initial shock, people adjust to you not being there and life goes on just the same without you.
Is This What It's Like To Be Dead (And In Heaven)?
Before anyone starts wondering about me, let me just say that I mean “dead and in heaven” – ever hopeful that I make it there.
Because while the world carried on without me, in my little version of on-board heaven:
- Food and drink appeared with no effort, even breakfast in bed a couple of days!
- Cleaning and bed-making happened equally effortlessly
- Many Kindle books were read
- I watched a new release movie daily – all included in the price
- There were yoga classes (my exercise of choice) but plenty of others on offer
- Seminars (not webinars) were attended, or ignored, without me feeling guilty – and particularly enjoyable that they were on topics that was completely new to me, not “50 Shades of Marketing”
- The seemingly limitless view of the ocean was there for 9 blissful days. The weather was pretty rough (Force 8/9/10) but QMII handled it effortlessly
So now I've reincarnated, back from my little taste of heaven.
Back To Normal Life
- The family survived without me (most importantly my Dad who missed me more than anyone else in the world)
- Some affiliate commissions came in from the training programs I promote
- GetResponse obligingly sent follow-ups as people joined my list from adverts placed in advance
- WordPress posts were published and no-one hacked my site – the guys at Pressidium are keeping it locked up tightly
- Thanks also to a few blogging friends who I warned that I'd be going away, for still commenting on my posts. I don't like too much advance publicity about being on holiday – it's a bit like inviting burglars round!
- Special thanks to James for handling my comments and upgrades, and to Tony and Sabrina for looking after my other business
- Also, to the whole Facebook support group, because everyone looks after any-one's prospects and members, even crossline
- An offline client only made one phone call realised I really meant it, and kept their problem for later.
Everyone Survived Without Me
The “empire” survived – with just a few crises to pick up on my return. Phew.
Because I had invested some preparation time in advance of going away, and bought some tools to automate the processes, I was able to go on holiday and things ticked over quietly without me.
This is how your online business can be, and should be when you have the right systems and tools in place. Otherwise it's no more than a J.O.B.
I'll admit I still have a way to go to be totally relaxed with this, but in 30+ years I have NEVER been away from my business, with no phone, for two whole weeks.
Too Many Connections?
It's funny really, because it's only for a few years that we've had this “permanent worldwide connectedness”, and it's silly really to get as worked up as I was, about leaving behind the phone and keyboard for a couple of weeks.
What got me really thinking about it was when, a couple of weeks before I went away, I got into a total flap that I'd gone shopping in town and left my phone at home. Now really – what was going to happen in that 3 hours that wouldn't wait until I got home?
No wonder people are on edge all the time.
Back To Normality (Insanity?)
So here I am, back from my floating cyber-free heaven.
- There are alarms going off on my phone, texts, and WhatsApp messages from groups – business and social
- Facebook notifications and messages popping up
- Will I like “this” page that I have no interest in? Yes, if you'll like mine (Bad practice …. I know)
- Invitations to watch “that” training event – because it's FREE so I really can't miss it
- Then a panic because I realize someone I know/like/trust better is already promoting the same thing
- People adding me to groups I don't want to be in, worrying if they'll be offended when I leave
- Folks saying “Hi” in Facebook (which is usually a laboured way to start a conversation in the hope that I will I join their businesses / buy their stuff).
- Calendar reminders popping up too
- And of course – more welcome – on Facebook, cute dogs, jokes and pictures of the littl'uns in the family.
Is this how everyone lives today, or is it just “Internet Marketers”? No wonder my poor Dad feels bemused by it all.
Anyone else feel it's all gone a little too far?
Of course, it would be churlish of me NOT to acknowledge that the same technology I am moaning about, allowed me to call on a small army of friends and tools to “keep things going” while I was idling my time away.
One of the things I did before I went away was a mass unsubscribe of mailing lists and I left many groups. Just a handful survived.
I apologize if I'm no longer on your list or in your group, but going forward I just want life to be a little less involved and more like the quiet “heaven” of the ship.
I already have my online strategy so the less temptation I'm exposed to the better, because I don't want to buy anything else or join anything else. I have:
- My offline businesses
- My affiliate marketing
- The Internet Marketing College (affiliate link) training programs to improve my marketing – that's plenty
By the way, these training programs work for any online business, and have a low start-up cost, so if you're interested in learning Internet Marketing contact me and we'll discuss which is best for you.
Life In The Slow Lane?
Having fixed the initial crises I found on my return, I want to slow down to something more approximating the pace of life on-board.
Of course I will still be working, but in a calmer and more structured way.
So that's a good lesson learned from taking an Internet Marketing holiday. With the right planning and systems, it can be done, at least short-term.
I'm not sure how long it will be before I'll be able to attain this peace and calm long-term but that for me is the Internet Lifestyle I am working towards.
What are you looking for from your online business? Please share in the comments below.