Sabbatical Recap: Reflections from Taking a Month Off from My Business

Are you ready for a break from your business? Whether you’re feeling burnt out, want to spend a little extra quality time with your family, or looking for clarity, a sabbatical might be the right fit for you! In today’s episode, I’m sharing about my own sabbatical experience: including the good, bad, and ugly.

Called to Both is brought to you by Joy Michelle, mom of two and multi-passionate entrepreneur who’s on a mission to help others find balance between the worlds of motherhood and business. Called to Both is the podcast for women who have big business ambitions and also want to be intentional and present moms. At Called to Both, we truly don’t believe you have to choose between these two worlds tugging at your heart You can be Called to Both.

You can stay up to date with the Called to Both Podcast by subscribing on Apple Podcast App, Spotify, or your favorite podcast player!

Before we dive into today’s episode, I wanted to share about The Business Babes Collective Podcast by my friend Danielle Wiebe. This podcast is for women entrepreneurs wanting to scale a profitable business. You can even hear me in episode 110. Make sure that you find Danielle’s podcast on your favorite podcast player and give it a listen!

Today’s episode is brought to you by my Affiliate Marketing Jumpstart Guide. I’ve developed an affiliate marketing strategy that has brought me freedom in my business and I’m sharing this strategy in my free guide! 

Taking a Sabbatical from My Business

My sabbatical wasn’t actually in my original 2023 plans. My sister-in-law, who is also my nanny, told us that she would be taking a trip and out for the month of June. Initially, I thought I could simply replace her for the month, but then I played around with the idea of taking a sabbatical—after all, this type of flexibility is why I run my own business.

In making the decision, I had this peace about pausing everything to take an entire month off from my business.

I had hit a place of burnout in my business, where every Sunday I felt this burden of everything starting over again the next day. I had a thousand things on my to-do list and it didn’t feel good anymore. Hitting pause allowed for me to realize that I wasn’t building a business that supported my life.

Timing also aligned really well in that my team had shifted, providing me with an opportunity to hit pause on scaling or growing and just see if the business I’d built would continue to run.

Approaching my tenth year in business, I knew I needed to take a step back, spend time at the beach with my kids, and rest at home.

The Truth Behind the Sabbatical: Rest, Recharge, Reflect

I went into my sabbatical with a lot of expectations. Things never go as planned and honestly, this was my first sabbatical in business, so there was a lot to be learned.

Preparing for Sabbatical

Prior to my sabbatical, I did had to coordinate quite a bit of things in order to allow for rest.

  • I had to batch out all of my content creation, including Youtube content, podcast content, blogs, brand deals, and newsletters.
  • I hit pause on hiring new team members when there were shifts to my existing team.
  • I communicated with the team members I worked with to ensure we were on the same page.
  • I paused subscriptions I wouldn’t need for the month of June to create a lean business.

Additionally, after shooting weddings for eight years, I never got to enjoy the summer months in this capacity—this allowed me to break out of that mindset. Additionally, it gave me the space to step away from my business. Hitting pause for an entire month was so wonderful.

What I Focused On During My Sabbatical

I did envision having the capacity during my sabbatical to find clarity in my business—yet that was too much pressure in retrospect. I didn’t have any childcare during this time, so the only time I thought about business was for my client work.

I didn’t get nearly as much rest as I envisioned, because spoiler alert, two toddlers isn’t easy.

While I struggled with not having the mental capacity to find clarity in work, I was able to focus on things I normally wouldn’t get to—enjoying the ocean, exploring new projects with my kids, and appreciating this time together. This time felt different, because there wasn’t a pull to get back to something in my business.

Like the entrepreneur I am, I did have to resist the urge to work.
I had to accept rest.

Would I do another Sabbatical?

I would absolutely do another sabbatical, but I would approach it differently by taking a longer one and getting childcare two days a week to do more self-development. This would give me the space to pour into myself and my health.

What I took away from my sabbatical:

  • I need to carve out more time for creativity on Mondays.
  • I need to create a list of important projects I want to work on.
  • I need to have a list of projects I can work on once the first list is completed.
  • I have to focus on my own health and what my body needs.

This allowed me to learn what my business actually needs from me in order to be the type of business that works for me.

If you’re enjoying the content we’re creating on the podcast and want to connect with others who are called to both, make sure you come join us in the Called to Both Facebook Group!

Mentioned in This Episode:

Affiliate Marketing Jumpstart Guide

Your Dream Life Starts Here

Dream Life Journal

The Joy of Missing Out

Walking Pad

Standing Desk

Connect with Joy:




Coach with Joy:

If you decide to use any of the links above and buy through them, I’ll receive a small commission back. All of those affiliate income commissions really add up over time and help generate revenue to help support this podcast.

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