A couple of months ago I realized that I needed a sabbatical (well, really that I wanted a sabbatical.)
It wasn’t that I was exhausted or burned out. This wasn’t in reaction to having overdone it.
This was simply a soul nudge reminding me that I haven’t taken long pauses from work other than during my maternity leaves (and anyone who’s been on one of those knows they’re not really a break in any way, shape or form.)
Plus, my youngest daughter is starting full-time PreK in the fall and I realized this was my last summer with her in the sweet, ephemeral stage of life when her sister, her dad, and me are basically her entire world.
So what did I do when I found myself thinking: “I need a sabbatical?”
I gave myself permission to want it.
Ever notice that you have a desire arise and then immediately your consciousness is flooded with reasons you can’t have what you want? Yeah. Me too.
The anxious part of me had all sorts of reasons I couldn’t take a sabbatical:
How will the company make money without you working?
Who will be in charge while you’re gone?
You’re not allowed to take a break while other people are working. Who do you think you are?
I noticed those thoughts, thanked the anxious part for sharing, and chose the following perspective instead:
If my true desire is to take an extended break, that means this break is for me and that means there’s a way for it to happen.
I also chose this perspective:
I’m a critical part of my company. I’m a critical part of my family. Getting my needs met (and even my desires met) ensures that the entire business and family ecosystem works optimally. This is for me and for everyone else.
Then I told my husband about it.
“I want to take 2 months off of most of work this summer and only focus on the Mastermind and enjoying summer with our family,” I said.
“Great honey! That’s an awesome idea,” he said.
It was a pretty simple conversation, but his buy in made it feel real.
(I’m so blessed to be married to my biggest supporter. It’s extraordinarily rare that I have to talk him into any of my ideas. He’s on board. If you’ve got a partner who could use the guidance and support of other men who are in relationship with big energy, ambitious women, Mike is enrolling for a program about that very thing right now. Learn more here.)
I looked ahead on the schedule to find a time I could take it and wrote it in.
I took a look at our company and family calendars and saw that I could start my sabbatical in about 2 months from the time I had the thought, “I need a sabbatical.”
This year we’ve been doing detailed planning one quarter at a time so there was more immediate flexibility than if we’d had plans set in stone too far in advance.
(If you want to find out how we plan to ensure the most important things get done in a way that honors the ebbs and flows of cyclical energy, join us for Plan the Rest of 2022 with The Origin Company, a live workshop we’re teaching at the end of this month.)
I told my team.
I let the team know that I’d be taking July and 3 weeks of August off from the company’s usual day-to-day activities other than running the Origin Mastermind.
We all started thinking through which of the things I usually do could simply not be done and which of them could be done by someone else.
We began preparing.
Jumping off from the list of what I usually do and what could simply not be done and then which could be done by someone else, we started to prepare.
We knew we had wanted to shake things up inside the Origin Membership and do something special for our members so TaKisha, our Head Empress in the membership, came up with a festival-themed program for the summer inside the membership called Hot Empress Summer.
Instead of our regularly scheduled programming in the membership, our members are going to get an all access pass to an array of “stages” where our in-house faculty and guest teachers will be teaching on topics that will help them grow their businesses in streamlined, friction-free ways.
The stages include topics like How to Access Capital with Arielle Loren, founder of Matriarch Techonlogies, How to Leverage LinkedIn to Grow Your Business with Ivana Brutenic, and Attachment Theory and Entrepreneurship with TaKisha August.
This incredible Coachella-like 2-month business growth party came out of my desire for a sabbatical. See what I mean about everyone winning?
(Want in on Hot Empress Summer? Join the Origin Membership waitlist so you’ll be the first to know when you can join us!)
We made a launch plan that honors all of our ebbs and flows.
Not only did Hot Empress Summer get birthed from the sabbatical conversation, we also started looking at how we could really go for it in June to give more space for me and the rest of the team in July and August.
Remember: The Do Less Methodology is about ebbs and flows and seasons, not going slow all the time. We love to leverage seasons of bigger activity balanced with seasons of slower movement so we’re covering all of our bases and running our company from wholeness.
We knew we wanted to do a mid-year promotion of Heal the Way You Work and we decided to layer it with a couple of other options for folks to meet them at their level of hunger for this work: appetizer-sized, small meal, regular meal, or banquet.
Since we just wrapped up our Regenerative Business launch and delivery which was a brand new program and launch strategy, we knew we needed whatever came next to not require as much time and energy.
Luckily, we’ve launched Heal the Way You Work a bunch of times so we’re re-using many of the launch assets from prior promotions and simply updating them so they’re current and relevant.
The launch kicks off with me teaching a free training for ambitious entrepreneurs that’s received rave reviews in the past:
How to Stop Toxic Work Habits
After the free training, we’re offering 2 options for folks who want to go deeper:
Heal the Way You Work LIVE which will be a guided group going through the program with Deb LaFlamme, our Marketing Specialist (with a bonus live session on Egg Wisdom with me!)
Heal the Way You Work Self-Study for folks who like to do their own thing.
We also have a bonus for those who join us for Heal the Way You Work Live within 24 hours of enrollment opening that they get to come to the live Plan 2022 with The Origin Company for free.
Then after the enrollment period for Heal the Way You Work, we’ll invite folks to join us for Hot Empress Summer in the Origin Membership if Heal the Way You Work wasn’t for them this time around or if they’re banquet-level hungry and want to do all the things with us (which is true for a surprisingly high percentage of our customers!)
So, that’s the plan!
If you find yourself thinking, “I need a sabbatical”, come on back to this post, walk yourself through the steps, and see what you can take from my experience to craft the dreamiest sabbatical you ever could dream.
You don’t need to do anything to deserve a break. If you’re longing for one, that’s evidence enough that it’s time.
OVER TO YOU:
Have you ever taken a sabbatical? What did you do to prepare? Do you want to take one in the future? Let us know what questions or insights this post brought up for you!Kate Northrup is an entrepreneur, bestselling author, mother, and founder and CEO of The Origin Company, which reaches hundreds of thousands globally. Kate is committed to supporting ambitious women to light up the world without burning themselves out. She’s the author of Do Less, the Do Less Planner System creator, and runs The Origin Membership, which helps business owners grow their business while doing less.