No, I Have Not Retired

This has been an incredibly busy week. On Monday, I announced that I was stepping out of active management and turning over the CEO reins of Thomas Nelson to Mark Schoenwald.

White Sails of a Yacht Billowing in the Wind - Photo courtesy of ©, Image #14618329

Photo courtesy of ©

On Tuesday, Mark and I flew to Dallas to make the announcement to our Live Events team. That afternoon, I flew to Chicago and, on Wednesday, I attended a board meeting for a nonprofit ministry I support. On Thursday, I packed up my office at Thomas Nelson. On Friday, Gail and I began setting up my home office.

Needless to say, it’s been a busy, busy week. I am tired, to be sure. But, contrary to what you may have heard, I am not retired.

For starters, I am too young to retire, even if I believed in it (which I don’t). I believe that work is a gift, not a curse. Even before Adam fell into sin, God gave him an assignment (see Genesis 2:15). Work is part of the reason why you and I are still alive. We still have things to accomplish.

Admittedly, a very important chapter in my story has ended. I am no longer CEO of Thomas Nelson. But this does not mean I am going to spend the rest of my days playing shuffle board or golfing—though I do plan to play a little more golf.

Instead, I intend to focus my attention on five areas:

  1. Thomas Nelson. I remain the chairman of the Thomas Nelson board. In this capacity, I will preside at our quarterly board meetings. I will serve as an advisor to Mark and his team. I will represent the company at the conferences I attend. I will also scout for new authors and speakers.
  2. Writing. I will continue to blog here 4–6 times a week. I am also planning to write several books. Right now, I have identified five books I intend to write. With almost 1,000 blog posts already written (approximately 600,000+ words), I have a lot of material to draw from.
  3. Speaking. I really enjoy speaking, both at conferences and to corporations. Now that I don’t have the day-to-day responsibilities of managing a large company, I want to speak more frequently. (If you are interested in having me speak at your conference, company, or church, you can check out my speaking page.)
  4. Consulting. I hope to consult with organizations in the areas of leadership development, productivity, and social media—basically the same topics about which I blog. I intend to be very selective, but I want to leverage what I have personally learned in these areas for the benefit of other individuals or organizations.
  5. Governance. I currently serve on two nonprofit boards. However, I would also like to serve on a handful of corporate boards in addition to Thomas Nelson. I think my experience in both a publicly-traded company and in private equity could be useful to the right companies.

In the immediate future, Gail and I are taking a three-to-four-week Sabbatical. We really want to rest, reflect, and recharge. We both have a sense that we are moving into a period of greater contribution. We want to be crystal clear in our direction and aligned as a couple in moving forward.

Question: What advice do you have for me in this phase of my life? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • Alisahopewagner

    I hate change, but I know God’s movement is always flowing! Best of luck with all your endeavors!

  • Heather Knight

    Go walk the Camino de Santiago if you are seeking clarity….It’s about a 4 week walk if you go fast, closer to 5 or 6 weeks if you take your time….

  • JKR

    Open your heart and listen for God’s instructions.

  • Jim Whitaker

    I did not think that you had retired, but it almost seems like you are busier now that before, but that is probably just the transition. The five focus areas are great. I think that sometimes, we all need to step back and ask ourselves what are the big things in life that I want to focus on and how can I sharpen my plan to meet these needs. I wish you all the best in this transition and I look forward to great things from you and from Thomas Nelson.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Jim. I have been busier, just trying to get settled. I will be glad when this is past, so I can settle into a routine.

  • Jeremiah M. Wean

    This sounds like an awesome next adventure in your life. Appears that you may have taken on even more responsibility. Glad to hear that you’ll continue blogging, I really do enjoy reading your posts.

  • Anne Marie

    All that writing sounds wonderful and the time to do it in! Enjoy! I’m not sure what advice I could give you, but you certainly give us all inspiration and motivation and I’m glad you will continue to blog too. How is your grand-daughter? Enjoy this Holy Week!

    God bless, Anne Marie :)

  • Kent Richardson

    I’m glad you will continue to blog here! I would be interested in hearing how you set up your home office!

    • Robert Ewoldt

      This is something that I’d like to hear about, too, Michael. How is your home office different from your office office (other than pace)? How is your workflow changing? Do you find it harder to discipline yourself to write and be creative?

      • Michael Hyatt

        I plan to blog on it once I am totally set up. I am close. I am just waiting for some side chairs to arrive. Thanks.

  • Dayle

    Michael, congratulations on this new chapter. May it hold all you hope for, and much more. I agree. You and your wife are much too young to retire. My husband and I retired in 2008 (both in our 50s) and while I thoroughly enjoy the extensive traveling we do now, there are days when I miss the routine that a job affords. I have learned a thing or two about golfing, however.

  • Anonymous

    Michael, congratulations on this new chapter. May it hold all you hope for, and much more. I agree. You and your wife are much too young to retire. My husband and I retired in 2008 (both in our 50s) and while I thoroughly enjoy the extensive traveling we do now, there are days when I miss the routine that a job affords. I have learned a thing or two about golfing, however.

  • Jeff Dolan

    Congrats on a great run. It’s inspiring seeing someone up ahead run the race with success!

  • Laura Kramer

    Congratulations on starting a new chapter in life.

    Not to add more to your plate, but would love to see your revised weekly schedule in a future blog. I work/write from home and notice that self-discipline is a serious undertaking.

    I’ve been following your blogs for the last couple months and it has been a wealth of knowledge. Thank you for lending your experience to me and many others.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Laura. I have had this request several times. It is one of the things I plan to do on my upcoming sabbatical.

  • Tich

    Congratulations on the beginning of the next phase which God has for you. Undoubtedly you will be used to reach people further than you could have imagined. So in this time spend time seeking out God’s plan for you and your family. Meditate on his word as God instructs Joshua in Joshua 1 vs 8. As Joshua was tasked by God to lead the Israelites into the promised land God reminded him where the source of all the direction Joshua would need would come from. Be patient in this phase as everyone has been saying. Search, plan and prepare meticulously and when the time comes to carry out the tasks do so intentionally and with certainty for God’s glory.

  • Todd Burkhalter

    Michael congratulations! It sure feels funny providing you advice. However, in my practice we speak alot of leading a life of significance vs a life of success. With my limited knowledge of your entire journey you sure have seemed to get it right in both of these areas. I am thankful that you are going to continue providing your wisdom through the endeavors mentioned. I am hopeful that someday I will be able to have you speak at my firm. Again, Congratulations and keep pressing toward significance.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Todd. I am sure that I would love speaking at your firm.

  • Michael S. Gray

    I don’t suppose you want to go into public governance? This nation could use a leader like you.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Now you are scaring me!

      • Robert Ewoldt

        Maybe not public governance (if that’s not your thing), but there’s quite a few people in Washington who could use some leadership training :) Maybe there’s some consulting opportunities there.

  • John Gallagher

    Keep your Coach!

  • Aaron Armstrong

    Michael it sounds like you’re going to be busier than ever in this next phase. Excited to see what God does with and in you during this time.

  • Robert Ewoldt

    Michael, what non-profit boards do you sit on (if you don’t mind my asking)?

    • Michael Hyatt

      I chair the Evangelism Committee for my church. I also Chair Conciliar Media Ministries board.

  • Carlo Carrenho

    Travel to discover.

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  • JannFreed, PhD

    Since leading and living are my passions, your site is the best I have found.  I wish I had written every post.  You have figured out this blogging and social media game.  I learn so much from reading your posts.  I will read the guidelines for being a guest blogger.  I would be so honored.  You are in a period of greater contribution.

    I am on a mission to retire the word “retirement.”  We are moving on and instead of a mid-life crisis, we should be on quest for how we can make greater contributions.  Thanks.