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Because I love my business so much, I sometimes need to force myself to take time off. It’s the same with two of our closest friends. Years ago we made an informal pact to take “vacations” at each others’ homes (we live in different cities, but only about 90 minutes apart). Sometimes we even take real vacations together.

Copper Queen Hotel, Bisbee, AZThis last weekend we shut down the computers, forwarded the phones, and headed off on a road trip to Bisbee, Arizona (“Mayberry on Acid” reads one bumper sticker).

Our first morning found us sitting on the hotel porch, basking the lovely weather, sipping espresso and snacking on pastries.

As we’re sharing our dreams from the following evening, I hear a little “ding” and our friends high-five each other.

“What the hell was that?” I ask.

“We just made money.”

Then it dawned on me… I had been making money the whole time, too!

What makes this even harder to believe is that they’re performers and I’m a software developer. Both of these businesses typically require you to be “on duty” to be making money.

So how did we do it?

More importantly, how can you do it?

The answer is the same, all around. We’ve built systems to automate portions of our income.

My part is easy to understand. It’s built-in to what I do. As a developer, I’m constantly writing software to automate tasks… everything from marketing to sales to customer service.

Likewise, I’ve built ticketing software that my friends use. In addition, they have a team of people answering the phones and email while they’re gone.

What about you?

While I may have a background in magic, I can’t read your mind. But here are a few thought experiments to get you thinking:

  • Do you have knowledge and experience that would be beneficial to others? (Hint: we all do)
  • Could you teach, train or coach others in what you do?
  • If you’re a speaker or performer, do you have your own systems to help market and promote your speaking engagements?
  • Have you ever considered working out an affiliate deal to help fill seats at events where you’re being hired to speak?
  • Could you host your own live events, coaching sessions or mastermind groups?

I could keep going, but I’ll stop here (for now).

The goal is to start brainstorming now. Get a list going. Don’t worry about how it’s going work (more on that later). Just take stock of your intellectual assets and be creative about how you could get more out of them.

I wish you many high-fives and long, lucrative vacations…
(just promise to stop before your hand gets so sore that you can’t pick up your pastry)

P.S. I’ll tell you how to setup your phone for these sorts of alerts in an upcoming post.