I'm taking a sabbatical.

Why I'm taking some time off and what I hope to learn from the experience.

I'm taking a sabbatical.

Yesterday was officially the start of my two-month sabbatical from my video business.

I realized that I hadn't really taken any meaningful time-off since starting my entrepreneurial journey. This was a record-breaking year for both businesses; I'm sooo grateful for all the awesome people I've got to collaborate with this year.

To keep me on my A-Game (and combat potential burnout) I'm taking some time off to recharge my creative batteries. 🔋

I'll be catching up on sleep, relaxing, hitting the gym and exploring a few fun side-projects. One of those side-projects is writing more, as I quite enjoy it, so expect to see a handful of new posts here on the blog during this time.

If you have any video-related questions/projects during this time, check out the resources in my auto-responder at the bottom of this post. 👇

What I'm hoping to learn

Over the last three years of running my own business, the distinct line between work and life has started to become blurred. The pandemic only exacerbated this, as I now life & work full-time from home. With the lines blurred, I often don't really know how to "check-out" from work.

I've always been a workaholic, but I also think the 40/hour workweek is fundamentally broken, so when I decided to go the self-employment route, I was excited about setting my own schedule and having reduced working hours.

Most days I end up spending anywhere from 2-4 hours doing deep work. The rest of the time I bounce between creative projects, hobbies, family and exploring Victoria. However, with the pandemic stripping away a lot of my social and recreational activities, I find that even when I'm not "working", my mind still defaults to work-mode.

The tricky thing is that since I'm not actively working, I can't help but feel a low-level guilt most days instead of actually enjoying my leisure time.

So what happens when I strip away work completely? Will my brain still default to "being productive?". Will I learn to enjoy the time-off if there's no actual work to do? Will I get bored out of my mind and create projects to stay busy?

I'm hoping to gain some insight on is where that line in my life should be. For me, being self-employed is a marathon, not a sprint. The benefits and freedoms of self-employment far outweigh the cons, so I plan on being self-employed for the rest of my career. I might as well learn how to fully enjoy the biggest benefits of being your own boss, and hopefully this sabbatical can help teach me how.


My autoresponder

I always find the act of writing an auto-responder a little awkward. You have to balance a few conflicting ideas, like the fact that you're really fucking excited to take time off work without making it sound like you hate your job.  

I also wanted to let clients know there's options if they need video production while I'm away. I partnered with a few friends in the industry to pass them my video production work (while taking a small commission) so that it's a win-win for everyone involved.

I also decided to not include my phone number in this auto-responder. I learned my lesson last time I took a vacation and ended up on a 15-minute call with a potential client during a camping trip. 🤦‍♂️ If it's a real client emergency, my clients have my phone number and can reach me directly.

Here's how my autoresponder turned out:


Hey there!

Our team is currently on a two-month sabbatical that will stretch from November 1st, 2021 until January 1st, 2022. We’re taking this opportunity to recharge our creative batteries so we can come back full-steam in 2022. As such we won’t be taking on new projects or answering work related emails during this time.

If this is a client emergency:

Get in touch with us by phone. If you’re a client, then you’ll find our phone number in the footer of all of our past emails. 😉

If you’re looking for video production (In Victoria):

We recommend getting in touch with One Island Media. Neil the whole team do exceptional work; you won’t be disappointed.

If you’re looking for video production (In Vancouver):

We recommend getting in touch with Checkmate Media. Aron and his team do phenomenal work and will make sure you’re in good hands.

If you really want to work with us (which we would love!):

We’ll be back in the office on January 1st and responding to all project inquiries then. We’re going to have have limited capacity for January projects, so we recommend getting on our waitlist by filling out our Discovery Form so we can learn more about your project. We’ll get back in touch the first week of January to discuss.

I wish you the very best and hope you have an enjoyable, stress-free rest of the year.

Cheers,
Justin


Have you ever taken a sabbatical, or an extended leave from work? If so, what did you learn during the process?