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a number-one best-selling author, success and book coach, and speaker on a mission to help leaders use the power of writing to uncover their unique stories so they can scale their impact.

I'm Stacy Ennis,

Hello there!

How I am taking a month off work

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I'm a number-one best-selling author, success and book coach, and speaker on a mission to help leaders use the power of writing to uncover their unique stories so they can scale their impact.

Hi, I'm Stacy

When we moved to Portugal, I noticed something wild. Each winter, people would close their businesses. As in, shut the buildings up tight, stop answering the phones, and completely shut off communication with potential customers.

At first, this took me by surprise.

How? I thought. Just how?

As an American, the idea of taking a month or two off work was completely foreign. We work ourselves to exhaustion all year, then take a week off, fly to Hawaii or Mexico, and lounge in a chair by the pool to recuperate.

Hustle culture is so entrenched in the American mindset that even a week or two off a year can feel like an indulgence. We’ll sneak away to check our emails or “just take this call really quickly.” Because, in our culture, our value is measured by our contribution. Resting provides zero contribution to anyone other than ourselves.

But here’s where we get it wrong. Rest is actually one of the most important things we can do to become better contributors. And I’ve found that my most creative work—my best writing, strongest coaching, and greatest speaking engagements—follow a period of rest. That’s why I take about eight weeks off per year. And this year, for the first time ever, I’m taking nearly a full month away at one time.

How I’m taking nearly a full month off

So here’s the plan: I’m taking nearly all the month of August off. My family and I will be traveling back to the United States to spend a blissful summer with family and friends, with lots of space and time together. I can’t wait!

But when I share this with American colleagues and friends, their eyes pop open.

“Really?” they ask, incredulous. “How?”

It’s true that it takes a lot of work and planning to take this much time away. But it’s worth it!

So with that said, here’s how I’ve structured my month to ensure I can step away from my business.

1. I set the intention and blocked off my calendar a year ago.

To be honest, I tried to take a month off last year but only made it three weeks. This year, I’m going for gold: four weeks off. To achieve this, I blocked off my calendar early and actively started prepping at the beginning of this year.

2. I’ve prepped my team to support on all projects that don’t require my direct touch.

Along with managing ongoing projects (ghostwriting, etc.), my team will communicate with me for urgent needs that require my input. My prep included onboarding a new VA that will specifically keep an eye on my calendar and inbox.

3. I communicated with clients, including informing new clients and messaging existing clients.

Clients also know how to get in touch with me for urgent needs, and my team will support on anything that doesn’t require my help.

4. I paused a few clients in August and will restart with them in September.

When taking on new clients, we defined at the start that we would pause in the month of August. A couple of clients can’t pause because they have momentum on their books I don’t want to squelch.

5. I’m working two days in August for coaching calls.

For those clients who need to keep going in August, I’ve defined two working days for calls. Plus, current clients have access via WhatsApp for urgent in-between-call questions/needs.

6. I’ve lined up my next coaching program (and I can’t wait!).

I’ll be running a powerful group program right after I get back, which I’ve fully prepped for before leaving.

7. I created all content through the end of September.

That includes my biweekly emails, weekly podcast episodes, social content, and more. It’s been an intense season of content creation—but it’s also been so much fun. And I’m proud of the work I’ve done to support my community while I’m away. I also gave myself a content on-ramp so I’m not thrown into the content machine right when I get back.

8. I already have a well-organized machine.

This is critical. We have so many solid systems already that make it much easier to step away. And this time away has given me more reason to get even more areas of the business dialed in.

9. I save money regularly to ensure a financial cushion *just in case.*

While I’ve carefully planned my client load and cash flow, I’m also a realist. Sometimes planning doesn’t work out perfectly. That’s why I’ve been putting aside money every month—both in the business and for my family—in case I need a cash flow buffer.

10. I’ve worked on my mindset so I can fully lean into my time away.

This is important. I am serious about my personal boundaries around time off. I don’t work weekends, except in rare situations, and regularly take time away during the year to be with my family. I also recognize it will take some time to be fully “in” on this time away and will give myself grace for the transition. Personally, I find it often takes me up to a week to disconnect from work.

Your action step: Block time away on your calendar

Now, a point of clarity: This won’t be the first time I’ve taken a full month off. The last time was an emergency situation—my daughter had a life-threatening infection on the back of a two-week vacation. One of my best friends stepped in to run a group call, my team stepped up to run my business, and I returned to work with nothing out of place. It was a beautiful thing to return to order after the chaos of my daughter’s ordeal.

This time, I have the benefit of early planning. I have a robust team who really cares about the work they do and the clients they serve. And I’m beyond grateful to get the time and space to reset, refresh, connect with my family, and enjoy my time in the United States.

If you’re contemplating taking extended time off, I encourage you to take the leap! I set this goal a year ago. I blocked it off on my calendar, and I’ve been talking about it since then, planning work around my time away, and working hard to get everything in order to make my plan happen.

Whether it’s a week, a month, or even a year, I encourage you to set a goal, create a plan, execute the plan—and then actually take the time away!

When was the last time you took extended time away? What action step will you take to ensure you follow through in the future? Share with me in the comments! I read and reply to every single comment and love hearing from you.


Comments +

  1. That’s awesome Stacy! Sounds like a well organized system. just like Gertrude Stein said, “Genius requires the time to do absolutely nothing!” But you have figured out a way to stay engaged! Congrats!

  2. Sage says:

    Good for you!! Sounds like it will be a lovely vacation and great to spend time with your family. My husband and I run a dumpster rental business so we’re unable to take the summer off as it’s our busiest season. I’m trying to convince my husband to take a month off this winter to travel and spend time with our family. You are so inspiring!

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