My sabbatical didn’t go exactly as I planned, but I still made it happen! I’m back from my month-long sabbatical to share everything I learned in preparing to step away from my business for an extended period of time. Listen in as I highlight the positive things I took away, along with a few lessons I learned for next time! You can also grab my free sabbatical planning guide to help you plan your own sabbatical!
If you haven’t yet listened to episode 71, where I share all about what type of sabbatical I’m taking and how I’m planning for it, then Listen Now – Episode 71: Planning for a Sabbatical.
Positives that I Walked Away With From My Sabbatical (1:29)
My Biggest Takeaway: If you have things set up right, you can truly remove yourself as the business owner and it will still run and be profitable. (4:16)
What I Worked on During My Sabbatical: layleeemadi.com/shop (5:06)
About a Working Sabbatical (6:23)
Lessons Learned in My Sabbatical (8:15)
Unpopular Opinion: You can take breaks in your business and there is very little that will break your business. (11:49)
Review the Transcript:
Welcome to so here’s the thing where we share candid conversations that lift the veil on what it takes to find success, even if that means sharing a few unpopular opinions. I’m your host Laylee Emadi, grab some coffee or cocktail. And let’s get real. Hello friends, I am so excited to be back for my sabbatical and to be able to share with you guys a few of my key takeaways from that time. So first off, I want to invite you to go download a free sabbatical planning worksheet, you can find that at layleeemadi.com/80, or you can go to so heresthethingpodcast.com. And take the long way, find it through our show notes. But I wanted to go ahead and provide that resource for you guys. I’m really excited to be able to share that with you because it does help to have a plan. So I’m going to talk you guys through a few of the things that I walked away that were really positive for my sabbatical. But I’m also going to share at the end of the episode, a lot of the things that I learned, because this was the first time that I’ve taken an extended break from my business. And if you didn’t catch the episode where I was talking all about planning for my first sabbatical, I encourage you to go and take a listen to that. Especially partnered with this episode, I think it’s going to be really interesting to see what panned out from back then to what I’ve actually walked away with now.
So the first positive that I really walked away with was that this time away really reaffirmed processes that my team and I had in place already. I think that it’s really interesting. When you get into the routine of things, sometimes you think like, is this routine, actually helping anything is it actually the best use of my time, especially when things become really repetitive. You do them every single week. And this really did affirm for me that certain processes we had were really helpful. For example, we have a Monday meeting every single Monday at the same time with the key members of my team so that we make sure that we’re all on the same page. And after a while you start to think are these Monday meetings really necessary? Or could this have been done via slack or Asana or wherever it is that you meet with your team, you just kind of catch yourself thinking like is this the best use of our time. And it really truly is, I realized that now because there were so many times where I was like this could have been just solved so much easier on a call.
And so I’m really excited to be able to walk away with that reaffirmation that our Monday meetings are important. The second thing is that it really opened the door to new processes that we put into place while I was gone, that I will definitely be keeping For example, we kind of created this process where we checked in on Tuesdays or Thursdays utilizing Asana, which is kind of a like a online to do list. If you’re unfamiliar, there’s a lot of platforms that you could use Asana is the one that we use, it’s free. There’s Trello, which is also free, there’s usually a free version of all of these, there’s one called clickup. There’s several more that that you could look into. But we found that utilizing that more was really efficient and effective in cutting down communication time cutting down time of me being stuck in my inbox, which leads me to the third positive that I really found in in my sabbatical, which was that not being tied to my inbox permanently is a real possibility.
I have always had pretty good boundaries around my inbox, because let’s be real, we can all get like, sucked into that rabbit hole of emails on emails. But now I’ve put into place even more boundaries. And it’s been great for me, I think one of the biggest takeaways is that like, there’s usually not a massive emergency sitting in my inbox. And if things take a little bit longer in there, like that’s okay. So that was huge for me. Now, the biggest takeaway from this time that I want to share with you guys, I’m going to give a quick disclaimer about I usually do not share a lot about our company finances publicly or on here because I think that there is a potential for like toxicity in the whole six figures, seven figure coaching culture.
But in this situation, I want to be really transparent as a way to encourage you guys who are listening in the biggest takeaway from this time is that if you have things set up, right, if you’ve built your business over time, and you’ve done it in a way that is sustainable, you can truly remove yourself as the business owner as the front person of your business, you can remove yourself from that business, and it will still run. And best of all, it can still be profitable. We had our most profitable month ever. That’s in nine years of business. That’s not just like in recent times. I was shocked when I came back and I took a look at our finances and I took a look at our numbers. And I realized that we brought in the most revenue to date
collectively over all of our revenue streams in a month that I was not actively in my business. I was not actively marketing my business. And this was a month that I was able to step away. The coolest part about this is that it was a month that I was able to step away and create products that I was then able to release the following month. That’s my shop I’m talking about, if you didn’t get a chance to look at it, we released that earlier this month, you can find it at layli mati.com slash shop.
And the coolest thing is that now those products opened up a whole new evergreen revenue stream for my business. And it’s a whole shop of products that are there to help the people who need help, which is amazing. And it’s there to help in all different kinds of ways. There’s podcasts, pitching guides, there’s many courses on time management. There are many courses on becoming a mentor in your creative industry. And all of these things I’ve been wanting to do for so long, I had put on the backburner because you truly can’t find the time to work on creating things for your business, working on your business, if you’re working in your business, every single day, day in and day out. So in always It was a win is a win win.
Plus I got some much needed rest, which of course I can’t put a value on that is so pivotal, it’s so important. If you are the face and the name behind your business, if you are everything to your business, you need to carve out time for rest. So as I mentioned in the previous episode all about planning my sabbatical, this was meant to be a working sabbatical, it wasn’t just a vacation, it was supposed to create some balance. For me, it was supposed to take me out of the day to day so that I could build the shop products, so that I could create the things that people were really wanting for me. And it just worked out so much better than I thought it would have, I truly thought, I’m not gonna lie to you guys, because you know, I’m always keeping your real on here, I thought I would take a hit financially.
And I was okay with that, because I knew that I would be able to make up for it when I came back. But it was such an amazing surprise and such a validating experience to come back to our highest revenue month in nine years of business. That is huge. And of course, that’s not going to happen every time. I’m realistic enough to know that every time I walk away from my business for a month, I probably won’t bring in massive amounts of money. But it really was comforting and it was encouraging that I could take more breaks, I could take more planned time away. And so can you. So that’s really exciting. So if you’re established in your business, and your business is kind of in a place where you can step away, I would say 1,000%, do it 10 out of 10 recommends. And if you’re still in the building phase of your business, don’t worry, I want to encourage you that it will always have to be just you working your business and that the things that you’re putting into place right now.
So all of those processes, all of the automations, the workflows, all of the like nitty gritty that you’re working on, those will all be the things that are going to be setting you up for future opportunities to have profitable months without you having to wear all of the hats and doing all of the things doing every single task on your own. I hope that you’re hearing that encouragement, I hope you’re receiving that and that you’re able to kind of move forward in the building phase of your business, knowing that there’s so much potential for opportunity to take some time away in the future. Alright, that was a ramble. But I’m excited about it really quick. Before we wrap up, I do want to talk about the things that I learned that I’m going to be doing differently next time. Again, it was my first true extended sabbatical. So I got a lot of things wrong. And I do think that moving forward, like the resource that I put together for you guys, like I mentioned, it’s at laelia motti.com, slash 80, you’ll be able to find a free worksheet to help you plan your sabbatical, I realized that as much as I thought I was prepared. And as much as I thought I was prepping way in advance. I wasn’t.
So let’s talk about it. One, I learned that there’s a lot that I do in my business that no one else does, or even knows that I do. So while I have a small but mighty team, there’s a lot that I do day in and day out that they don’t even know I’m doing because it’s second nature to me, I have spent years and years building up this business, doing all of these things. And, and I didn’t really even track it. It’s just kind of a natural progression. And so next time I do this, I need to be more aware of that more aware of the tasks that I’m doing that nobody knows about, so that things don’t get dropped by my team while I’m gone. In that case, it’s not really their fault, because at the end of the day, we only know what we know.
And if they’re not aware that I’m doing the tasks that are no longer being done, that’s on me to communicate so and vice versa, if there are things that my team is not doing, because they’re unsure about like that’s on the other to communicate the rest. And so I thought I was being really clear about certain things before we took the time away. But it turns out that I wasn’t. I mean, it’s nothing like you know, showstopping, it’s nothing that’s going to really negatively impact my business in the long run. But it was definitely a learning lesson that communication is so key and even when you think you’re being a great communicator. There’s probably ways to improve there. The second thing, of course, as I mentioned, is just prepping way in advance. And I thought I really did this as well. But I ended up getting a late start to my sabbatical,
we had bad weather here, I had things get postponed, I had to kind of push everything back. And while doing that was okay, like it wasn’t the end of the world, it did give me kind of a frazzled feeling like, it didn’t feel like a really strong start to my sabbatical. And so because of that, it felt a little less prepared than I would have liked. And I’m a little bit Taipei. So if you’re more type B, this might not bother you. But I really wish that I would have been able to kind of put a pin in every single thing that was happening, even though it was postponed, I wish I could have just kind of pushed everything back and had it match up to my calendar, I didn’t prepare the way that I would have liked to. And so I learned that lesson for the next time.
And the third thing that I learned is that while it wasn’t working sabbatical, my intention was to also get a little bit of rest and to balance that in there. And I don’t know if it’s because of the late start, I don’t know if it’s because like I mentioned, I had that kind of frazzled feeling, I didn’t get quite as much rest as I would have liked. And so I think moving forward, I would have to really take some time to carve out intentional, like marked days that are like this is when I’m going to be resting. This is when I’m going to be working and what I’m going to be working on. Now, full disclaimer, I thought I did that. As I mentioned, I really thought Taipei lately got this stuff done well in advance. But it turns out that I wasn’t as specific as I really wish I would have been. So those are my learning lessons.
Overall, it was a great experience. As I mentioned, I would definitely recommend it, I’d say 1,000% do it, go for it. And if I had to choose an unpopular opinion for this topic, because you guys know that that’s obviously the theme of the podcast, it would be that you can take breaks in your business and there is very little that can happen that will permanently damage your business. I think that is such a huge fear. And such a huge misconception that a lot of small business owners and entrepreneurs have is that because our businesses are our babies there are built from us like we created and grew this beautiful thing that if we take a break, something terrible could happen and everything will be lost.
And that’s just not the truth. I I really do believe that there is a chance for balance there is a chance for breaks and very little can happen in that time that will you know irreparably damage your business and your livelihood. So that’s all I got for you guys. I hope that you enjoyed this episode and I will see you guys on the next episode next week for show notes and resources mentioned on today’s episode head to so here’s the thing podcast.com and if you’re enjoying the podcast, I’d love to read your review on iTunes. Thanks so much for listening, and I’ll catch you on the next episode.