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How One Entrepreneur Discovered the Cure for His Burnout After losing his entrepreneur mojo, a founder decided to get away from everything.

By Adam Dailey

This story appears in the September 2017 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Viktor Koen

In 2013, I had what could only be called a dream job. I was the founder and CEO of a $7 million company. It was a sports-travel firm called Ludus Sports that organized hospitality packages to the world's largest sporting events and counted Olympic athletes and Fortune 500 companies as clients. To the outside, I looked like a success. But in truth, I struggled. One year prior, during the London 2012 Olympics, we made some missteps that led to losing $1 million in a matter of days. It dealt me a serious case of self-doubt that I hadn't recovered from. I lost my entrepreneurial mojo and was afraid of taking risks. I'd been building this thing for 10 years, and the thought of doing it for another 10 terrified me. So I sold my company and stayed on as president.

Related: How to Recognize and Beat Burnout

But one day soon after, en route to an industry conference, I was overcome with anxiety. I worried about who I might run into, who I might have to talk to. I didn't know what to do, what to say. That's when I finally accepted that I needed a break. I needed to clear my head, refocus and reignite my passion for work -- which meant I needed a full escape. So I convinced my wife of something crazy: Our family, which included four kids under the age of 7, should spend the next year traveling the world. Even crazier, she agreed.