David Bach is the bestselling author of “The Automatic Millionaire,” — a book that has advised millions of people on financial success — as well as a contributor to the “Today” show and a motivational speaker. I caught up with David while he was on sabbatical to find out why he took some time off, what he learned from it and why summer is as good a time as any to look for a job.
You made a major decision last year to take a sabbatical for 2013—what lead to that and how is it going?
Last year after writing a dozen books in 10 years, doing thousands of speeches and thousands of television and media appearances, running a company and traveling more than half a million miles, I reached a point where my soul said “Enough is enough; you need and deserve a serious break.” It was hard to listen to my soul, being addicted to “doing it, doing it, doing it.” Deciding to take a sabbatical was truly one of the most difficult decisions I have made in my 25-year career. It was ultimately probably one of the most important decisions, and the best I have ever made. I can’t believe how refreshed, re-energized, relaxed, present — and creative I now feel.
How did you unplug?
It’s about learning to say “no,” which is incredibly difficult when your life has been about saying “yes.” My answer to everything has been simple: “Sorry, I am on a sabbatical and not working until the end of 2013. “ The response almost universally has been “That’s amazing, good for you; I wish I could do that, too.” I’m learning from this experience that people really need and want a break more than they realize or share.
Do you think summer is a good time to look for a job?
It’s really not about a time to look for a job — it’s about you being in a place to be of the most value to the largest number of people. Employers are always looking for great employees that can help them grow their business. What is unique about summer is that many business owners and even large companies are now planning for 2014 — so getting in now and talking to people who are hiring while they are slower can be the perfect time to connect and make an impression.
— Dan Schawbel is the founder of Millennial Branding and the author of Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success (St. Martin's Press). Follow him on Twitter @danschawbel