June 2021 Newsletter

Lessons Learned On My Sabbatical

by Tim Fulton

Ten years ago, I took my first one-month sabbatical. Upon my return, I wrote this article for the newsletter. Since then, I've taken a month off each summer. I have traveled to Spain to walk the El Camino Santiago twice. I have traveled with my wife to Italy twice and France one time. I have seen Costa Rica and Mount Rushmore. A baseball tour and a Napa wine tour. Miami and New Orleans. New York City and San Francisco. As I read the article below, it is quite interesting how much my mindset about sabbaticals has transformed.

This year I'm heading to Portugal to walk the El Camino from Lisbon to Santiago, Spain. Almost 400 miles. Many of you will be on my mind as I walk, and I promise to write of my travels upon my return.
For now… "Buen Camino!”

Webster’s Dictionary defines Sabbatical as a break or change from a normal routine.
Last month I took a full 30-day work sabbatical. No meetings. No clients. No phone calls. Very limited email. Pretty much a work detox - and it was WONDERFUL.

I have worked for 30 years and felt like it was time for a relatively brief break. I have never taken over one week off at a time. I had heard of people taking a work sabbatical before but knew little about it other than it sounded great.

I began preparation for the sabbatical almost six months ahead of time. I made arrangements for colleagues to chair my Vistage group meetings. I couldn’t help but think of the abuse substitutes in my junior high school classes were exposed to when my teacher would take a brief sabbatical and hoped my substitutes would have a better experience.

Part of my preparation was also to alert my clients and members of my plans. The response I got from both groups was very positive, supportive, and even envious. Very often I heard “I could never do that”.

Allan Adams has been the State Director for the Small Business Development Center at the University of Georgia for over 16 years. Prior to becoming the Director, Allan held various positions for the SBDC. In addition, Allan served as an Aid in both the U.S. House and Senate. He earned a degree in Political Science from UGA and an MBA from Brenau University in Atlanta and has been a friend of Tim's for 20 years.

In this episode, Allan Adams joins Tim and Taylor to discuss how the SBDC can help your small business, minimizing the risk of failure, serving over 20,000 small businesses during the pandemic, and the role luck plays in small business success.

A World Without Email by Cal Newport

Do you remember sending your first email?

I don't remember the specifics of that first email but I remember thinking what an amazing, groundbreaking, new technology it was. To communicate so quickly and so easily to just about anyone at any time. What a gift!
Fast forward to today’s world. A relentless barrage of incoming messages and back-and-forth digital conversations define our days.

Author Cal Newport describes it as follows, “A state of constant, anxious chatter in which nobody can disconnect, and so nobody has the cognitive bandwidth to perform substantive work.”

We have gone from innovative communication to what current research suggests is a “hyperactive hive mind” that has also become a productivity disaster. And even worse, it makes us miserable. Humans are not wired for constant communication and yet that is exactly where we find ourselves today.

In A World Without Email, best-selling author and computer science professor Cal Newport makes the case that the current approach to work is broken. The author lays out a series of principles and concrete approaches for fixing it. He makes the case that a world without email is coming and questions whether you will be ahead of this trend or sadly lag behind it.


ProfitSense with Bill McDermott: Episode 22
I recently had the privilege of appearing on Bill McDermott's podcast along with several area business leaders. Joining me was Neeli Shah from The Law Offices of Neeli Shah who discussed her decision to start her own firm and how she assists business owners with succession and estate planning, and Richard Grove with Wall Control who described how his family business developed around their vision of a new product and its subsequent success. I shared about my work with SBM and the benefits of CEO peer groups.

ProfitSense with Bill McDermott is produced and broadcast by the North Fulton Studio of Business RadioX® in Alpharetta.


Imagine if you had one hour a week to hone your skills as a leader.

Imagine if you had one hour a week to prioritize your most important weekly action items.

Imagine if you had one hour a week to work with and support a growth-minded peer group.

Hosted by former Vistage Chair and SBM President Tim Fulton, the SBM MasterMind Group provides:

  • A weekly one-hour virtual group meeting
  • Quarterly one-to-one individual coaching sessions
  • An annual group retreat
  • Ready access to a growth-minded peer group

All for the small investment of $295/month!

Mastermind group member Mary Ritz shares her experience...
For additional information or to register for the group, 
contact Tim Fulton at tim@smallbusinessmattersonline.com.
-Available on Amazon-
From Emily Barone at TIME Magazine

“It was a year ago that the COVID-19 pandemic seized control of our lives. While essential workers remained on the job, the rest of America, confined to quarters, tried to come to terms with a life on pause. Working, learning, and passing the time almost entirely from home meant changes in habits, health, relationships, and plans for the future. Numbers don’t tell the whole story, of course, but these at least describe the contours of the lives we lived."

  • People passed time on puzzles; purchases tripled in 2020 according to distributor Puzzle Warehouse.

  • 40% of consumers tried home-delivery apps or curbside pickup for the first time during the pandemic

  • Sex-life quality declined last spring for 44% of adults, according to an online survey; 14% improved.

  • Vehicles traveled 430 billion fewer miles on US roads in 2020, a drop of about 13% from 2019.

  • A toilet-paper frenzy doubled sales last March. Recently, TP sales have sunk below pre-pandemic levels.

  • Air travel dropped from 4.5 billion passengers worldwide in 2019 to 1.8 billion in 2020.

Please let me know if I can help you in any way.

Remember, small business does MATTER.

President & CEO
Small Business Matters
(678) 427-9436

"Dedicated to Increasing the Effectiveness and Enhancing the Lives of CEOs"