If you find yourself stuck in a rut, you may just need to take a break. In his book, Breakaway: Discover Your Ultimate Career through the Journey of a Lifetime, Jeremy Behrmann says taking a break can help you refine your values, challenge your beliefs, broaden horizons and discover new passions.
“For generations, we’ve been sending explorers out to go discover new things abroad,” says Behrmann. While he argues most of the world has now been discovered – the seas have been charted, mountains have been summited, species discovered – what remains is using the powers of exploration to innovate. “The Steve Jobs' and Elon Musk's of the world – these are really the pioneers of the 21st century in terms of exploration,” says Behrmann. The space to innovate, however, often doesn’t occur in the midst of our daily routine. For that, Behrmann argues, we need a breakaway.
While taking a break from your business to grow your business may seem counterproductive, Behrmann says there are many benefits a breakaway can provide:
“We often confuse action with effectiveness,” says Behrmann. While going to the office every day and following the strategy you laid out at the beginning of the year may seem like making progress, Behrmann says real success comes from learning every day. “We often need to step back from what we’ve been doing (in the day to day) to look at what we’re actually achieving and then go back to the office with a greater sense of creative renewal, focus and perspective.” A breakaway, whether travelling to a new locale, or exploring something new in your hometown, offers these opportunities for new thoughts and ideas to emerge.
2. Letting go of control lets the business grow.
A common struggle for entrepreneurs is to separate themselves from their business, but Behrmann says, often handing over responsibility and leadership to other people is one of the best ways to allow a business to grow.
3. An opportunity to innovate.
Travel, Behrmann says, is a great way to open the doors of innovation. “Going overseas and discovering something existing in another country and replicating it in one’s own homeland is a very successful entrepreneurial strategy,” says Behrmann. But you don’t have to pack your bags and hop on a plane in order to have a successful breakaway. Exploring something new in your hometown, taking a course in something unrelated to your business, or simply switching up your routine can help you become more innovative.
“The essence of innovation is going against routine, doing things differently, not following the same patterns. When we open ourselves up to that kind of experience, we discover things that we never would have predicted and that’s usually where the most profound innovation comes from,” says Behrmann.
4. Tap back into excitement for your business.
Turns out, the expression “absence makes the heart grow fonder” is true. While starting a business, you were likely hungry and passionate about your project, but over time the desire you once had for your business can start to wane. A breakaway offers an opportunity to remember why you started the business and tap back into your passion by taking yourself out of your routine and igniting your adventurous, exploratory spirit.
By removing yourself from the day-to-day tasks of running the business, you allow yourself the space for reflection and contemplation. Ask yourself what you really enjoy, what you’re good at, and what’s missing in your life or in your business’ life.
Related: The Surprising Benefits of Laughter