Back to Blog

How to take time off your business and create a paid waitlist of clients

freelance remote work Mar 06, 2024

So, how do you take a month off from your business? There are 4 options…

I just got back from a month away with my kids traveling through Europe. A few questions came through asking if I was working while away, or really taking a break. And, if I’m taking a break, how can I afford not to work for a month?

Here are 4 ways I’ve handled my business while trying to take a vaction:

  1. Stop taking clients leading up to your vacation so that your calendar is totally clear.

2. Pause current client work with plenty of notice and super clear communication about your time off and limited availability.

3. Work limited hours while on vacation, such as a few hours early morning before the day gets started.

4. Create a waitlist of clients who pay a deposit in advance and ready to get started when you’re back on the ground.

DISCLAIMER: I’ve done all four. None are easy.

Here’s the pitfalls to watch out for:

1. Works great, but no revenue for a month, plus the 2–3 weeks ramping back up is a luxury for most freelancers.

2. A great option if you communicate way in advance, very clearly, and stick to your boundaries.

3. Sucks all around. Option most freelancers take because it ‘seems’ the easiest but honestly is lose-lose-lose for your clients, for your family and you.

4. Paid up front, clients waiting for your return… pure magic

Milan Italy

4 steps to create a healthy waitlist of clients who pay upfront…

Sounds too good to be true, right?

In my previous posts I talked about how I’m taking 4 weeks off my business and the options you can take (or combine) to make this happen.

One of the options I highly recommend is creating a waitlist of clients who pay a deposit upfront.

Here’s the 4 things you need to put in place to make that happen:


You need to have worked with clients before and show examples of what the finished product, service or deliverables are when someone works with you.

This is social proof as well, so testimonials are crucial for portfolio that stands out.

Your portfolio should also clearly outline your process (of which many freelancers don’t even have one, so you’re already ahead on this one).

And, your portfolio should build value, an irresistible picture of what kind of results they will get if they are LUCKY enough to get a spot on your waitlist.


The sale is made on the DC, so never skip it.

Clearly outline your process.

Build incredible value (make it irresistible)

Create a sense of urgency (only 2 spots left etc)

And let them know upfront they will need to secure their spot with a deposit.


Close the deal by sending a detailed and customized proposal 48 hours after your discovery call.

Over communicate the steps of your process.

Reconfirm expectations about starting date, timeline, upfront deposit.

Build urgency, give them 5 days to respond.

Let them know they can get started right away, while you are off.


Get them started right away with an intake form or some type of initial assignment

Build excitement and remind them of the vision and outcome.

Set the first call date, upon your return.

Possibly record a welcome intro video or simple training to supplement your work.

Don’t get me wrong, I never recommend a waitlist during your normal work schedule. (I have other coaching for that).

But if you want to truly enjoy time off, have money in the bank in advance, and come back to excited clients and work… try the steps above and see the magic happen!

[Quick question: do you feel confident you have a process that will wow clients and allow you to create a waitlist with a deposit? Let me know in the comments below]

Don't miss a beat!

New moves, motivation, and classes delivered to your inbox. 

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.