For the past 6 weeks, I have been on what I like to affectionately call, a sabbatical.
A sabbatical is a period away from work, agreed with your employer (I am my employer, kind of. lol). The word is sometimes used interchangeably with 'career break' or 'adult gap year', but the specific feature about a sabbatical is that you will come back to the same job.
Many people found it shocking that I decided to take a break from business, just after celebrating my ONE year anniversary. Well, as I stated in my previous post, entrepreneurship is hard! You constantly feel the pressure of wanting your business, your passion, your baby to thrive! But at the same time, you are also tending to life's other demands like your actual job (in my case, lol), your family, your health, and your social life.
There’s a glamorization that comes with being an entrepreneur. For those cheering you on or admiring you from afar, there’s a belief that “You have it all.” And as much as you try to keep up appearances, to keep your supporters believing, deep down you know that every day tips on the edge of loss: loss of time, cash, credit lines, customers, and even relationships.
I found myself feeling like I was losing my creative touch and not being enthused about my "work after work". Crazy because, it's only been a year right?! That's because today's world makes it extremely difficult for people to be completely "logged off". Even if we’re out of office, the proliferation of cell phones makes it easier than ever to check and reply to emails, catch up on news via social media, and keep up with professional chatter through services like Slack. As our society becomes more and more technologically connected, this omnipresence of information is the new norm. I would find myself out with friends and glued to my phone, checking business e-mails, researching marketing techniques, and even creating social media content all while at the table waiting for dinner to be served.
A few weeks ago, while speaking with a good friend discussing work, she used the phrase "put a pin in it". I had never heard this before! (I'm sure I'm tardy to the party).
But, it stuck with me. “Put a pin in it” is a term that means to “hold onto that thought/idea and we'll come back to it later”. One might assume that it comes from thumb-tacking an idea to a bulletin board. And I realized, that was exactly what I was doing. Holding on to my thoughts, ideas, visions, to take a pause and come back to it later. Me putting a pin in my business, was my sabbatical.
I was reading an article where Mayank Kachhwaha, Founder of IndiaLends, said, "Taking a break is an important stage in the ideation and innovation process. Consciously disconnecting and stepping back for some time can actually help in the synthesis of new thoughts and ideas, in addition to the obvious mental and physical benefits of taking a time-out." After putting a pin in MIH for a little while, I am so glad I did. Taking time to travel, enjoy my family and friends, and have time to just be still helped me to realize a lot. I reconnected with my reason behind starting my business, dove deeper into other passions, I found inspiration from new channels, and I actually relaxed.
I encourage everyone to take a step back, entrepreneur or not, and try to disconnect a bit. Whether you take a day off or you go for 6-week sabbatical like I did, use your time away to gather your thoughts and charge your mind and spirit. PUT A PIN IN IT.