EO Partner Presents: Taking a SIXT Sabbatical

Article by:

Charlie Holder
EO At Large - U.S.
Charlie Holder - EO At Large - U.S.

For most entrepreneurs, taking a vacation is akin to hitting the lottery— it rarely happens. And yet, removing yourself from the day-to-day grind is integral to one’s health and wellbeing. That’s especially true when you work in a high-demand environment that requires you to recharge your battery on a regular basis. Recently, I was able to do just that, thanks to the support of my colleagues and EO’s strategic partnership with SIXT.

I found my inspiration to “let go” after a fishing trip with Robert Wagnon, an EO Houston member, friend and mentor. In between baiting our lines, we talked about the processes and people he had put in place at his company, which afforded him the freedom to move beyond the daily operations. By putting the right systems in place, Robert was able to spend valuable time with his family. The conversation really resonated with me, as I had been thinking about how I could set my own teams up for success while removing myself from the operational weeds.

Around this time, I came across Verne Harnish’s website, Gazelles.com, which contains several free resources on better business, including information on sabbaticals. I dove deep into the learning and walked away with an ambitious goal: take summers off to be with my kids. A year out, I began to brainstorm ways I could make my vision a reality. I explored how to set my businesses up for success in my absence. I hired a top accounting firm to handle our books and reporting; gleaned ideas from my Forum on how to run parts of my businesses on auto-pilot; scheduled daily meetings with executive teams to review KPIs and establish a communications rhythm; and used EO’s partner benefits to my advantage.

I’ve been an EO member since 2005, and over the years I’ve seen the tremendous value associated with engaging EO’s partnerships. I was determined to maximize the opportunities available to me and create a once-in-a-lifetime experience for my family. Once I had my business teams in place and my processes on track, I was able to embark on a one-of-a-kind trip throughout Europe. For starters, we used EO’s British Airways partnership to travel to London, and then we took a high-speed train to Disneyland Paris, where we picked up a rental car from SIXT. Alan McClain, another EO Houston member, told me the best way to see Europe is by driving. Looking back, we agree!

By leveraging EO’s partnership with SIXT, we were able to make our trip truly memorable. Not only did we save a lot of money, but we didn’t have to worry about changing rental cars, which helped us have a seamless experience. What’s more, the BMW X5 we were given had navigation functionality and access to the internet, which made searching for hotels and restaurants even easier. All in all, we were on our excursion for the greater part of July and saw a total of nine countries. We travelled more than 4,000 miles and spent 150 hours behind the wheel. Looking back, signing up with SIXT proved not only to be cost-effective, but it helped our family enjoy the vacation of a lifetime.

How did my companies do in my absence? It turns out everyone was able to manage without me. What’s more, revenues grew in all three businesses! I was reminded that sometimes as business owners, the best thing we can do is get out of the way and give our leaders the freedom to lead. As Michael Gerber wrote in his book, “The E Myth,” the goal is to work on your business and not in it. Thanks, EO and SIXT, for letting me do just that!

Charlie Holder is an EO At Large – U.S. member. SIXT is a global EO partner that sponsored this trip. To learn how you can take advantage of this partnership, or others, please contact Simone Echeverri-Gent, EO’s Director of Strategic Alliances, at secheverri-gent@eonetwork.org.

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