Today I want to talk about the practical + energetic steps that I am taking right now so that I can take a full 5 months of maternity leave as a solopreneur, in hopes that YOU can do the same!
A little background…
My business consists of me and my assistant, Brenda, who is amazing. And we work with independent contractors for things like help with our website, graphic design, Facebook ads, etc.
But mostly, it’s me doing the sales, marketing, content, and coaching and Brenda doing all the rest of running the business.
SO #1 is….
1. Hire Support
If you don’t already have someone in place that can support you in the day-to-day tasks of your business while you are taking care of the baby, that’s a big priority.
ACTION STEP: If you don’t have support, you can still automate things, but knowing there is someone to protect you and your energy and your headspace from clients, tech issues, etc is worth its weight in GOLD.
2. Create Recurring Income
We LOVE recurring payments through payments plans for both our courses and 1:1 clients because it means you have income coming in consistently (and potentially even when you are on maternity leave!).
ACTION STEP: Make sure you have payment plans in place for your services or ways for people to purchase your product or service without you needing to physically deliver it while you are away.
3. Set Up A Waitlist
We are bringing income into our business through payment plans and having 1:1 clients place deposits to save their spot for when I return. In this way, you know you have a set dollar amount coming in when you are back and not just hoping you will sign new clients or needing to completely put your business on hold indefinitely (I DO NOT recommend this!)
ACTION STEP: Do not put your business on hold indefinitely. Choose a day to turn off all work, and a day on your calendar when you will return. Book clients for your return date so that you have cash coming in and accountability to show up.
4. Create an Automated Offer
In addition to payment plans and deposits with locked-in clients/income for when I returned, I also wanted an injection of cash into my business savings account. Launching our signature course (The Aligned Female Entrepreneur) in January allowed me to bring in $30k in 30 days, which set me up to have all of my business and personal expenses covered for maternity leave. The course is now all ready to go for when I come back as well so we can just launch again and make another 5-figure month and not have to worry about exchanging dollars for hours.
ACTION STEP: If you don’t already have a course or automated product/service that gets your clients great results without YOU needing to personally walk them through it, then you will want to think about how to create this for your particular business.
5. Build Your Audience on Autopilot
We are also focusing on automating our audience growth while I am on leave. As you know, it is SO important to always be bringing new people into your world so that you always have new people ready and excited to purchase your products or work with you. We are doing this through organic growth strategies like email newsletter sign ups on our website and Instagram but also through bringing people into our email list through Facebook Ads.
The way we do this is we have a SUPER high-value free offer: How to Get Your Next 5 Paying Clients (Without a Website, Email List, or Massive Instagram Following). When people download it, they get added to our email list and automatically receive some of our best content, tips and strategies through an automated email sequence that will also direct them to learn more about The Aligned Female Entrepreneur and get on the waitlist. We will also share really valuable content through the podcast and newsletter every other week so that people who haven’t met me personally can get a sense of what it is like to work with me and get some really great traction in their business for FREE.
This way, we will have new students ready and excited to work more closely together when we re-launch AFE in the late summer/early fall.
ACTION STEP: How will you bring new people into your world and cultivate a relationship and genuine connection without you needing to be there live? Hint: if you don’t have an email opt-in for a free resource available on your website, get that set up now.
6. Pre-Create All of Your Content
We are focusing on creating content that will go out weekly/biweekly to all of our peeps. This means I am recording podcast episodes in ADVANCE, drafting the e-mail newsletter and social media post copy and having it ready to go while I am away. This way we you can deepen those connections and people are still learning from you so that you are on top of mind when you are taking on new clients and open for business when you are back!
ACTION STEP: create an editorial calendar with blog/social/podcast etc post topics, pre-create the content and schedule for while you are away.
7. Limit Expenses
Some people choose to keep selling their courses or showing up in their business regularly while on maternity leave to keep the continuity and cash flowing. I personally had to decide on whether to keep AFE running and hire someone to coach folks in my absence.
That was stressful to me and I wasn’t sure I could guarantee the quality of results people have come to expect from me. It was also clear to me I wanted to just UNPLUG completely. So I chose to not have to rely on big windfalls of cash coming in while away.
Instead, I went into my personal accounts and tallied up my monthly personal expenses, minimized or unsubscribed from ALL extraneous expenses, and put aside the amount I knew I would need to pay all my bills and a little extra to live off of.
I did the same thing for my business, let go of anything extra, automated all bill payments, and made sure I had enough to cover our monthly business expenses as well.
Because I did the above action steps already, I was able to get realistic about my financial “runway” and realized I don’t NEED to make any additional money for at least 4-5 months. We get to take this time stress-free because I consciously created the plan and took the actions necessary to relieve all the financial pressure and stress.
ACTION STEP: clarify your income and expenses. Shut off anything draining your bank account. Get clear on what you need, put it aside in its own account and automate all bills to draw from that account.
This is really just the beginning…
There is so much more we are doing on the personal front, which I will put in another podcast, but this is the biz basics.
And of course, I share all of this with you to be 100% transparent and show you ONE way of doing things – of course this might not be the way YOU do things that is totally ok!
One thing I am passionate about is helping women have more OPTIONS. And when you have a business that you know how to scale, an offer that converts, the marketing know-how to bring in clients on demand, and the right foundation in place, ALL of this becomes 10x easier and totally possible.
This is EXACTLY what I teach you how to do in The Aligned Female Entrepreneur. So if you haven’t already, pop over to learn more and get on the waitlist! I’d love to help you create a business you LOVE and the financial freedom you desire.
I love you guys. If you have questions please put them in the comments on the blog and we will get back to you!