key to success - taking time off

Surprise, surprise! I’m an avid student of success. I read books and blogs about success. I listen to podcasts on success. And when I meet people who are truly successful, one of my first actions is to ask them to lunch in order to learn more about their secrets to success.

Over the years I’ve discovered that most truly successful people are action-oriented because taking action is probably the most important ingredient to success. This is why I endorse movement over mediation as a key to success.

Yet taking a break from your business is also a key to success. For me, that means taking a break from blogging, podcasting, and even saying “no” to speaking engagements.

Please hear what is being said and what is not being said. Sleeping in until noon and watching eight hours of TV a day isn’t going to help you become more successful. You can’t just check out of life. Instead, we’re talking about taking a strategic break from your business and work in order to recharge your batteries and reconnect with other important areas of life. During these breaks, you must be as intentional as usual, but the difference is you intentionally choose what actions not to take in your business so that you can free up time and focus on being intentional about other things.

Here are five reasons why taking time off from your business will help you become even more successful.

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5 Reasons Taking Time Off from Your Business and Work is a Key to Success

1. To Love and Value Your Family. Most people say they love their family. I sure do! But do we really? Do we value our family enough to take time away from business in order to be with them?

I’m a driven guy. Taking time off from business activities is a challenge. However, as the old saying goes, if I truly love my family, then I’ll “put my money where my mouth is” and back it up with actions.

Therefore, when I take time off from work, one of my greatest priorities is to be present with my family. For example, my twin daughters came home from college over Easter weekend. Instead of spending time working, I was intentionally present with them and my wife, Kathy. We ate meals together. We watched movies together. We took our dog Buzzy on car rides together. We talked together. Nothing extravagant or big, but since BIG is Little and Little is BIG, all these little acts of being present demonstrated how much I value them.

2. To Give Your Brain a Vacation. I love running, and one of the best things about running is it gives your brain a mini-vacation several times a week. Additionally, Kathy and I walk around our neighborhood together several times a week. Sometimes we’ll listen to music, but most often we spend our time talking. It’s a great way to take a mini-vacation from the day and connect with one another.

With that said, our brains cannot function optimally on mini-vacations alone. We need extended vacations in order to reboot our brains. That’s why taking extended time off from work is so important; it gives our brains a much-needed break from all the clutter and allows us to return to a state of optimal thinking. And let’s face it, optimal thinking is a key to success in any endeavor.

3. To Gain Inspiration. It’s difficult to unplug from emails, content creation, marketing, and all the other details of running a business. But disconnecting creates space for new inspiration, new energy, and a new focus. All three of these are critical keys to success in business.

4. To Appreciate Others More. When I take a break from the people I do business with, I come back with a new appreciation for them and their insights. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve missed them, if it’s because I’m refreshed, or if it’s a combination of both. Whatever the reason, I found this old saying to be true as well: “Absences makes the heart grow fonder.”

5. To Allow Others to Appreciate You More. I think the same holds true for others about me. When I step back and give others a break from me, my hope is that my contributions are missed. But even more, I hope I come back with better ideas and insights to share with others.


Hard work is obviously a key to success. However, it is just as important to take a break from business for a while. So I encourage you in the near future to step away from your work for an extended period of time and become intentional about other areas of your life. Not only will this recharge your batteries, but it will also help you become more successful in all areas of life.


3 Empowering Choices You Can Make Every Day

3 Empowering Choices You Can Make Every Day

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1 Comment

  1. Kent Julian on November 27, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    I hear you, Kimanzi. And just know, as a veteran of the road, pounding the payment too hard can come back to bite you.