Schedule Downtime

DSCN1841“I’m home”, echoed through the house, as dad arrived home from another week of travel. He was a National Sales Manager whose job required a lot of travel. Gone for several days at a time, he would spend as much time with the family as he could. He would say, “They have me for 24 hours on the road, at least I can is take some time off and spend it with the family”. Since he did his own scheduling, he would try his best to give a week in between trips. He wanted to be able to regroup, re-energize, and prepare for his next conference or meeting.

You have to make hay while the sun shines – I have lived most my life as an entertainer doing just that. I book myself as much as I can, but as I get older I see my father’s wisdom. It is nice to be making money, but if you do not take the time off to regroup, re-energize, and get ready for the next event, the quality of the entertainment and your health will decline at an alarming rate.

This past week I had nine multiple hour events, with 1 to 1.5 hour drive in between each event. Two of these events were schools, me versus many; others were private events, and a restaurant’s grand opening. When it was all over, I was exhausted. Thank heavens I have two days off to recuperate.

On Facebook, you can read posts by entertainer’s who book for weeks straight, running across the country performing. Many hours spent traveling, performing, and eating at fast food restaurants along the way. Lack of sleep, physical strain from entertaining, let alone the stress travel can cause. It becomes a badge of honor to say, “I worked 200 days straight”.

Plan Downtime

As a full-time entertainer I must be aware of my business and how I book myself. If my schedule becomes full, I have to ask myself if it is worth it to take on more work that month. Can I raise my prices by 10% and see if clients will pay more? After all, I must be doing something right that I am in such demand. Can I increase my price 25% or even 30%? If I get half the clients with a 30% increase, I will work fewer events, be more energetic, more profitable, and have more downtime to enjoy life.

Every month, I look at my schedule and say, “Do I need to increase prices?” Do I need to cram one more event in or is it more important for my health for me to decline a gig or two and spend time with the family. After all, you do need to make time to stop and smell the roses. If you are one of those badge wearing entertainers, good for you! For me, I like big bucks, short hours, and chasing dreams.  That does not happen when you are stuck in traffic chasing after another $100 gig.


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