How A Month-Long Sabbatical Brought Me Business

Sabbatical

Gratitude Thought Leader: Lori Saitz

A month-long sabbatical? You’re taking off a whole month?”

Yes, yes I am.” 
And you’re taking the cat on a road trip?” 
Yup, 19-year-old Panther is coming with me.” 
“What are you going to do?”

“The irony of all this is, I teach people to get quiet enough to hear their inner voice and learn to follow it.

An Obvious Disconnect In My Own Life:

I’m not 100% sure yet. What I do know for sure is continuing on this current path is completely unsustainable.” 

There was very little fun or joy in my life. I was tired—physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. 

The irony of all this is, I teach people to get quiet enough to hear their inner voice and learn to follow it. I also guide people on how to deeply FEEL gratitude so they can manifest faster. 

But there was an obvious disconnect in my own life.  How did I let this happen?! How did I get here?

My 22-year marriage ended before the pandemic. During this difficult and emotional time, I moved across the country and back again trying to gain perspective. 

Why couldn’t I have been a better person? 

Delivering The Results:

Now that I was living alone, I threw myself into my business. 

It was my habit to get on my computer by 9:00 am, write a LinkedIn post, share content on Facebook and Instagram, check and respond to email, do four virtual coffees back-to-back, host interviews or write the show notes for my podcast, guest on other people’s podcasts, attend networking meetings, and add a multitude of other activities to my calendar. 

“None of it was delivering the results I hoped for. But I kept doing it.”

As a dedicated and disciplined gym rat, I’d drag myself to Pure Fitness around 6:00 pm for a workout, then come home, make dinner, and sit in front of the computer working until bedtime at 11:00. None of it was delivering the results I hoped for. But I kept doing it. 

If I just put myself out there more, show up in more places, and reach out to more people, things will change.

When a business coach promised to help me get more high-ticket clients, I pulled out the only credit card that wasn’t close to maxed out. If this woman tells me to bark like a dog, I’m gonna do it. 

The Sabbatical Idea:

Now I was sending 50 LinkedIn connection requests a day and starting conversations with people who accepted, in addition to all the rest I was already doing. 

In theory, those conversations would turn into sales calls and then into clients. The problem was this method wasn’t my style at all. So, I struggled to find the time and interest in doing the reach outs. 

My phrase for the year was “ease and flow” but I wasn’t even close. I wanted to find it and knew I needed to make a change to get there.

The sabbatical idea reared its head during a conversation in May with Julie, host of the podcast “Wake Up with Gratitude.” “I’m shutting down my business and taking the whole summer off,” she shared. “I’m disconnecting from all social media and spending the time relaxing and rediscovering what brings me joy.” 

“Life is supposed to be fun. I’m not having fun. What’s the purpose?”

14-Week Sabbatical:

Julie had been inspired by a Brené Brown’s article titled “Creating Space,” in which Brené wrote about taking a 14-week sabbatical. 

I’d like to take extended time off. But I can’t. I need to do all the things. And what do I do with the cat?

A few weeks later, I interviewed Chris Schembra for my podcast. The author of “Gratitude Through Hard Times” and “Gratitude and Pasta,” he shared what led him to an act of non-suicidal self-injury.“I’ve preached it. I’ve taught it. I’ve promoted it for all these years. And yet somehow, I’m the ungrateful man. I became the most recent victim of ingratitude.” 

By mid-July, I began to see I was losing connection to gratitude too. I can’t go on like this. Life is supposed to be fun. I’m not having fun. What’s the purpose?

Year-Long Journey:

During one of the many virtual networking coffees I scheduled, Elaine excitedly mentioned the sale of her house. 

“I’m eager to set off on a year-long journey in my motor home,” she enthused. 

What the hell?! Am I the only one not taking some fucking time off to find myself?! What would happen if I stopped living like I was always pushing a rock up a hill?

That’s when I decided to say, “Fuck being fine,” and started planning my journey back to a gratitude-focused life. This trip would be an experiment in learning to allow ease and flow—following my intuition and staying open to possibilities. I blocked off the month of August from any new appointments. 

Now, where to go? 

The answer was largely determined by where I could go with my 19-year-old cat. 

The Sabbatical Life:

Cincinnati isn’t first on everyone’s summer vacation list, but it was on ours because my friend Jen welcomed both of us with open arms. From there, we set off in the direction of south Florida to visit other friends and see my dad.

Sitting at lunch with my friend Evan, we discussed this sabbatical idea. 

“This is brilliant. I want to live the sabbatical life too.”

“I feel like I already live the sabbatical life,” he said. “I have breakfast with different friends a few times a week and work until about 2:00. Then I go do something fun and relaxing. If I feel inspired, I may come back and work for another hour or so in the evening. That way I’m always refreshed for the next day.” 

This is brilliant. I want to live the sabbatical life too. Not just a month-long road trip, but everyday life. Thank you for this viewpoint, Universe. Once again, things work out when I allow myself to live joyously and in gratitude. 

Joy And Gratitude:

A few days later I got a call from an acquaintance I met at a conference five years ago. He invited me to partner with him on what sounded like a fun and lucrative project. 

I wasn’t out there looking for this opportunity. I wasn’t pushing to make anything happen. Because I was living in joy and gratitude and flow, it “randomly” showed up for me. 

Another week in, sitting with my toes in the sand, basking in the beauty of the sun reflecting off the water, I took out my phone to take a picture. That’s when I saw the message: “I was referred to you. My organization has a large group of clients who can use your services. We would like to partner with you to develop programs to teach them to reduce stress and incorporate more gratitude in their daily lives.”

“Tears filled my eyes and gratitude filled my heart.” 

Once again, I wasn’t out searching for this opportunity. It came to me when I was living in gratitude, ease, and flow. 

Unproductive Routines:

On my last day before we started our journey home, I sat, reflecting on the previous month’s events. Tears filled my eyes and gratitude filled my heart. 

How lucky that Panther and I got to live this adventure! All these synchronicities and coincidences happened when I wasn’t even trying. 

It turns out that working hard and doing more isn’t the path to success, even though that’s what I was taught. Breaking out of unproductive routines, finding the courage to say, “Fuck being fine,” and replacing bad habits with more gratitude and joyful activities is.

This is an abbreviated excerpt from my chapter in the book “Love Warriors, the Conscious Expert’s Guide to Healing, Joy, and Manifestation,” publishing in early January 2023. I welcome you to join the launch team – to read the rest of the story before then by messaging me at [email protected].

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Lori Saitz Gratitude Expert

About the Author:

Lori Saitz loves sharing the power of gratitude and meditation with entrepreneurial professionals who hire her to help them boost business success and achieve life goals faster – without working harder. She is the CEO of Zen Rabbit, host of the podcast “FINE is a 4-Letter Word,” and a sought-after speaker. When she’s not working, you can find Lori in the weight room at the gym, because she also loves baking and eating. See more at the Zen Rabbit website and connect with her on LinkedIn. Let’s get on a free call and I’ll help you! Use this booking link to set a time: https://calendly.com/zenrabbit/call-to-connect-45.

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