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My 2007 Sabbatical:  Business Reflections

View Alaska and Yukon Highlights

In 2003, when my husband and I took a three-month road trip around much of North America, I presented seminars along the way and completed assignments for clients, working an average of three hours a day and spending the rest of the time touring.  On our 2007 trip, other than keeping up with my email, I wanted not to work at all, yet have enough passive income coming in to cover our considerable travel expenses.

That goal (which I did meet) required lots of preparation.  During the six months before my sabbatical, I concentrated on creating several new information products and a printed product catalog.  I also had to write 10 weeks' worth of Marketing Minute newsletters ahead of time.   The most tedious task was writing very, very detailed instructions for my virtual assistant on how to fulfill the orders that my husband and I normally handled ourselves.  

Not only did the preparation pay off in a stress-free trip, it greatly shortened the time needed for such instructions the next time we take another long trip.

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Although the word "sabbatical" usually describes a year off from one's usual routine, my ten-week break was long enough to produce these additional business benefits:

  • The radical change of scene and routine brought up a solution to a business problem that had eluded me for years and fresh product development ideas.

  • Immersion in some technologies I'd had no experience with, particularly wifi, made it easier to think about taking another long trip overseas next year.  

  • I also got my first taste of digital photography, which I can use in one of my upcoming business projects.

  • The relationship with my virtual assistant solidified, so I feel comfortable giving her even greater responsibilities during our next big trip (to New Zealand, I think).

  • A potentially bothersome health problem completely cleared up, eliminating the need to spend time and energy away from my business to treat it after my return.

While I dropped a couple of hints in my Marketing Minute newsletter that I was planning some time off, I didn't announce my sabbatical plans publicly.  Most of my long-time clients who contacted me for help during that time had no idea I was gallivanting around the farthest reaches of North America.  I worked out a delayed start with them or, in a few cases, referred them to a colleague who could help with their immediate need.  

Interested in gearing up for a similar road-trip sabbatical or a winter lolling around on a tropical beach?  Visit these three links:

Learn how to manage your business while traveling.

Discover how to create a marketing plan that makes your dream trip possible.

Get step-by-step guidance on creating and selling information products so you too can enjoy a money-still-coming-in sabbatical.


 

 
   
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