Want to Build Your Own Business? Take a 'boliday' by yourself.

I recently returned from a quick 'holiday' in beautiful Phuket, Thailand. During my six days in Kamala beach, I discovered a few things about myself and my business that might be handy for those working on their own corporate escape. Here are my top three takeaways.

Andrew Ford, Social star, BYOB


The reason I put 'holidays' in parenthesis is that it's not really a holiday, it's a boliday. A business holiday. I go by myself to work on my business plan for the next year. I see some sights, swim, drink too many beers, but overall I am 'working' about 5-6 hours a day. It's a bit lonely at times, you get a few funny looks having your laptop at breakfast, but that's the point - to get away where there are no distractions and let your brain work out what's next on the journey. I have had a few of these and have a few tips for people wanting to try one. Hope they help.

Tip 1 - Actually Get Away

The first problem to overcome is actually getting away in the first place. I'm sure it sounds nice, but how does a small business operator even get away in the first place? Between partners, kids activities, business commitments and of course the cost I know many small business owners who would never consider taking a holiday by themselves - ever. I tend to work a lot and don't take many breaks so I have to have a system in place for me to take regular bolidays.

The system for me is to be in a travel club where I pay a small amount each month which gives me points towards a holiday. It's a package deal so you have to go somewhere nice and actually be on a holiday. The points expire so I use it or loose it! Great motivation to book a trip. By the time you get to the boliday, it's mostly paid for so the money excuse is gone too. This trip, I used my frequent flyer points for flights and the package part cost me $250 for 6 days.

So tip 1 is set up a system to ensure that once a year you take a boliday alone to work on your business.

Tip 2 - Set Intentions

Before I left for Thailand I already knew what I wanted to get done. My first book 'Creating a Powerful Brand' (written in Bali a few years ago on my first boliday) has been out a few years and I have a bunch more material I want to share. So time for book number two. The problem was I was so busy with work and kids, that I wasn't clear on what it should be about. I needed some space to reflect before I committed a year of work on that project.

Day one of being in Thailand, I sat by the pool with my notebook and wrote my intentions. I had to finish a few work and University items before I could focus, I wanted to read Daniel's Priestley's book 24 Assets to stimulate my thinking, prepare for two courses I was running and get my book plan done. I also checked in with my team and ensured the business was all okie dokie.

This might now sound like a holiday, it isn't. It's a boliday. The benefit is that after work instead of the long commute home to cook dinner, do the washing and do emails in front of the TV. I would walk down this beach (see drool photo above) and have a $10 pad thai on the beach with sand in my toes and a few beers. Not so bad after all.

The tip is to be clear about what you want at the end and write it down, review regularly and take the actions.

Tip 3 - Your Brain Will do the Work

Day one of a boliday I am always a bit anxious. I try to get clarity, I force myself to relax and will my ideas to come. Doesn't work.

This trip, I just did the work I had to get done first. This helped my brain relax as I knew once it was completed I could genuinely relax. I put myself into a relaxing environment by the pool, had a few drinks if I felt like it, read some of my book, did some exercise and cruised. It's amazing how many hours there are in the day once you take all other distractions away.

After a few days of 5-6 hours work on my stuff, I started to unwind and let my brain think about the future. It's funny how when you set an intention, your brain just starts working on it all the time without you even knowing. Then you're at Phi Phi island enjoying the sun, taking selfies and you get a moment of clarity about your book - awesome!

The tip here is, you can't make it happen, you have to set the focus and let it happen.


Boliday's are not for everyone, but for those considering starting your own business, I highly recommend it to get some clarity. If you have any other tips on your annual routines to plan your year, love to hear them!

P.S. My next book & podcast is all about Being Your Own Boss #BYOB coming soon!


Like this blog? Check out some others I think you would like on my website. Here is one on my Vietnam trip.

Andrew Ford

Marketing expert Andrew Ford, the founder of Social Star, has discovered the secret of ‘Powerful Branding’. With a fire for unleashing people’s inner brand and developing business models to generate profit from an individual’s passions, Andrew leverages ground-breaking digital and social media marketing techniques to create digital strategies for clients to attract maximum opportunities. Having established a strong name for himself in the field, Andrew blends traditional business techniques with now-necessary tools for entrepreneurs to achieve scale, quality, and influence in their niche. Andrew’s comprehensive business background and qualifications consist of a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) (RMIT 2003), a Graduate Certificate in Management (MBA Executive Program, University of Sydney 2005), and a Masters of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (Swinburne University 2011). Continually on the cutting edge of his own education, Andrew has tested his marketing theories in forums such as the BCG Business Strategy Competition, which he won in 2005 against all Victorian MBA schools, and the Venture Cup Business Plan Competition (Swinburne University 2003), which he won in the Masters category. With experience working at Hewlett-Packard, Sensis (Telstra) and IBM, Andrew also has mentored dozens of junior staffs to help them achieve their professional goals. Meeting and influencing high-profile public figures helped Andrew to realise just how many professionals require more understanding and control of their public brands or appearance, and need help with the skills to use the many amazing free tools at their disposal to generate success. At Social Star, Andrew consults with clients to uncover their personal brand – both where it is today and where it can be tomorrow – and refine and define how that should be displayed in social media in order to attract their perfect target audience. Andrew mentors his clients to rapidly grow their business’ audiences, resulting in larger potential client bases and higher revenue. Applying formulas that integrate over twenty years of Andrew’s business experience and fifteen years of formal business education, Social Star specialises in building clarity and velocity for clients’ brands using the ‘Understand, Build and Leverage’ methodology. ‘Having a Personal Business enables people to have an authentic, congruent connection with their valued clients and partners, using their brand as the bridge,’ says Andrew. ‘I’m highly driven to work with the new breed of entrepreneurs and small business owners – people who have a passion for making the world a better place. Traditional business models are stepping aside as people follow their innermost dreams and my role is to see them operate within their values while creating wealth. Some people think you have to sacrifice what you love to be successful in your business, yet it is actually the opposite. Follow your passion and success will come.’ Lecturing at Swinburne University from 2009 to 2011 on brand dynamics and digital marketing, presenting at numerous conferences, and consulting to hundreds of clients, Andrew has seen his philosophy work that if you follow your unique path, based on your skills, experience, values and goals, you will automatically attract the opportunities you desire and achieve the success you deserve. Living his mantra, Andrew has created a successful business and attracts high-profile clients including musicians, athletes, authors, models, entrepreneurs, professionals and small business owners, helping them find their ‘why’ in their business and fulfilment in their lives. Business for Andrew is more than work, it’s personal. Running a personal business means that he is able to fulfil all of his values rather than separating his life from work. It supports his two boys while providing social opportunities, educational development, fitness opportunities, spiritual fulfilment and many valuable friendships. Social Star has now become the vehicle for Andrew to crystallise his mission in the world, to help people love what they do, supporting his ‘why’, that if more people loved what they did, the world would be a better place.