how I had a freedom-filled summer (and still grew my income)

I don't know about you but at my house, we are in full on back to school mode. We're stocking up on supplies, shopping for school clothes and sneaking in a few more trips to our neighborhood pool and favorite picnic spots. 
 
It's been a good summer, for sure. But, more than that, I can finally say it's been a freedom-filled summer, which is something I didn't always think was possible in my life as an entrepreneur. 
 
You see, for many years, I thought that you could either have freedom and flexibility OR you could have success. 
 
This year, a little experiment showed me you can have both. 
 
At the start of this summer, I decided to see if I could enjoy the freedom of working for myself without negatively impacting my income. Honestly, I didn't know how it would turn out so I am excited to report back that it's possible – and share how I made it happen so you can use some of these simple strategies to bring you the freedom and success you desire. 
 
Here's how you can make it happen:
 
Set your intentions.
Before you can create a life of freedom, you have to understand what you want that to look like for you. So lay out some specifics like how many hours you want to work and what kind of activities you want to have time to enjoy as you're also building your business. For me this season, that meant coming up with a family bucket list that represented all the activities and experiences we wanted to fit into our summer so I knew exactly what freedom looked like for us.
 
Make a plan.
Having intentions gives you a starting point but it's easy to let intentions live in isolation if you don't also create a plan to execute them. That means you have to take the time to plan out specifics. You have to plug work hours into your calendar and schedule the activities you want to enjoy into your days. We did just that with our bucket list when we brought it down to a practical level; first we scheduled activities in our calendar and then I shaped my work hours around those activities. The goal was always to make sure I was riding that delicate balance between enjoying time off and working enough in my business to drive the results I desired. 
 
Ask for help.
This almost feels like a cliché to share but it's true so I'm going there. The reason I was able to enjoy more life stuff this summer was because I outsourced more tasks in my business than ever before. I got immense support from my online business manager and a major boost throughout the summer by working with a talented designer too. Asking for help in multiple areas created whitespace to enjoy the freedoms of being my own boss AND it gave me more time to work on creative, growth-oriented projects so my income didn't suffer when I was out of the office. 
 
Say no to many things – and yes to the right things.
This summer, I had some exciting opportunities cross my path – and if I'd said yes to all of them, that bucket list would have fallen to the wayside. Instead, I learned to determine which opportunities were the right fit for my current pace of life and which ones I needed to decline or revisit down the road. I also learned that I could say yes to opportunities without going overboard executing them. For example, I did a webinar for The Rising Tide Society but didn't spend tons of time marketing it because that wouldn't have been in service of my goal to enjoy a freedom-filled summer.
 
Stay focused on high-impact activities.
Because I wanted to cut back on my working hours without affecting my income, I knew that I had to make the most of every hour I worked. So I skipped the fluff and distractions and focused only on activities that would help me grow my business, namely serving my clients and building relationships with potential clients. This simplified strategy kept me focused and it worked.
 
As we head into fall, I want to encourage you to reflect on where you're at and what you'd like to change. Then see which one of these strategies you could try so you can enjoy the freedoms of being your own boss while growing your business too. 

And if you're doubting that it's possible, don't forget: I too used to wonder if you could have success AND freedom. In fact, I'd love to set up a time to talk to help you see where and how you can have both.
 
With love,
 
Ashley