I was inspired by the story of a successful business owner who had been working seven days a week to the point of exhaustion. His coach pointed out that the owner needed to take time to recharge in preparation for transition.
The advice he received was to take six weeks off. At first he was incredulous thinking his business wouldn’t survive, never mind grow faster if he took time off. But he took a leap of faith and went to Europe for 6 weeks. His business got better, then, encouraged by that success he took three months off. And his business got better.
Recharge in Preparation for Transition and Innovation
He explained, “I got my most creative ideas and thought about better ways for reinventing my business when I was away. They enabled me to grow in a way I couldn’t have imagined when I had my nose to the grindstone.”
In my absence, these people rose to the occasion and took responsibility to do what had to be done. They implemented ideas that they had been sitting on. The overall effect was a significant increase in revenue while at the same time we reduced costs. It was so successful, I decided to take three months off every year and do volunteer work overseas!” That sounded so good to me that I decided to test the theory and take six months off.
A Sabbatical Would Fulfill Many Aspirations
It would enable me to do some things that I had always wanted to do. like a road trip around North America. We would visit places we’d read about but never been.
The sabbatical was an opportunity to spend some quality time with my wife, enhancing our relationship and make sure that we would continue to be best friends as we grew older together.
Would I be able to look at the business as something separate from myself and reinventing myself as needed? It would be a great opportunity to do some research for a book and a new program on how successful entrepreneurs transition from building their business to some form of retirement or a new career. I could learn from others and learn while doing. which seemed perfect.
A break would recharge my batteries and give me an opportunity to look at the business from a different perspective and consider new ways to grow.
We recommend thinking about the opportunities a sabbatical offers you, then think about it as a ‘pre-transition test’ to measure:
- How well you’ve built your management team.
- Your ability to let go.
- Your ability to try new things.
- The quality of relationships.
- Your inner strength.
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