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 ©iStockphoto.com/nikitje, Image #14618329

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/nikitje

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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  • http://twitter.com/DutchRiete Riete

    First of all, congratulations on this new phase in your life.
    As one of your readers but by no means a leader myself I thought of only a few things as advice … take your time, don’t rush into things and prayerfullly weigh your options.
    But most of all … take time to enjoy life. I know, when you do what you love it is a joy but also take time to sit on the porch (or wherever you want to sit) and listen to the birds sing, have a coffee with your wife … just relax.
    I wish you a wonderful time!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      This is the consistent advice I have received from those closest to me: take your time. I will! Thanks.

  • http://www.leahadams.org Leah Adams

    Congratulations!!! I hope that you and your wife are able to truly take a sabbatical and refresh yourselves in preparation for what God has for you in the coming months and years.

    With regard to advice….I think my only piece of advice would be to press into Jesus with everything that is within you. Only He knows what your future holds and can direct you in the way He desires for you to go. He knows the lives He intends for you to touch and the organizations that will benefit from your expertise. Offer yourself to Him as Romans 12: 1 commands and He will do amazing things in and through you.

    Thank you for allowing Him to use you to touch our lives.

  • Anonymous

    Congratulations, Michael. You’re an inspiration to so many of us. Take some time away from it all and unplug. It will all be there when you return, as you know so well.

    Excited to hear about your book projects and continue to enjoy your blog.

    Hi to Gail and congratulations on the new chapter.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Clay. I am planning to unplug. (Hopefully, I can get a few blog posts written ahead of time.)

  • http://twitter.com/AFEWS AFEWS

    As important as books, writing and publishing have been in your life, it might be worthwhile to explore the opportunities to promote literacy among children and adults. Your corporate experience and your stated interests (in items 4. and 6.) suggest a good fit with the needs of many community organizations, or even the tools to start an organization focused on unmet community needs.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Hmm. I’ll give that some thought.

    • Bwenman

      Along this same topic – I struggle with finding great books for my 13 year old son. He loves to read, but other than CS Lewis, what is out there for him? He read the Young Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews and loved it. He will read Heaven is for Real, but has to get through some “assigned” books at school first. Any other suggestions? Maybe this isn’t the right thread for this question, but I would love to hear your thoughts on that somewhere!

      • http://twitter.com/johnmfulwider John M. Fulwider

        You might try The Wingfeather Saga by Christian singer-songwriter Andrew Peterson, creator of the outstanding Behold the Lamb of God album and touring Christmas musical program.

  • Joel

    Praying that this change brings great blessings to your family and your theosis, as you walk the narrow path.

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    There are a lot of us out here that would like to escape the 9 to 5 and do something amazing with our lives. Yet the security of a job, health care, and retirement keep us plugging along. You have found freedom, and after a sabbatical, I would love to hear your story. Having the freedom of time will be a challenge, but I can’t wait to see where it takes you. This is a beginning of a new chapter that many of us want to take, but are afraid to jump. We value your leadership and guidance and really want to make a difference in the world.

    Thanks for leading the way!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, John. I plan to blog abou the experience, so that others may learn. Plus, blogging helps me process the experience to notice what I am learning! I appreciate you!

  • http://twitter.com/drfrankbuck Dr. Frank Buck

    I am a avid reader of your blog, but this is my first comment. I went down this same road two years ago, retiring from school administration at age 50 to pursue a second career with seminars on organization/time management, and writing (was able to get the second book finished within a couple of months after retirement). In that way, your move is bringing back some good memories.

    It’s already clear you have a purpose and a passion for this next chapter. I think Riete touched on the key…enjoy the ride. When you like what you do, the line between work and play becomes thin, and the joy you can spread multiplies.

    As far as concrete suggestions, I would hope that you will continue to write about the transition. What shaped your decision? How did you know this was the time to move forward? Your experience will help countless others who are at similar points in their lives. Good luck!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for taking time to comment. Yes, I do plan to write about the whole transition. It’s probably a series of posts. Thanks again.

  • http://www.happinesshereblog.blogspot.com Jennifer

    I’m happy and relieved that you will continue blogging. I’ve only recently discovered your blog, and I am gaining so much insight and practical wisdom. Thank you!

  • http://www.irunurun.com Travis Dommert

    Congratulations Michael!

    I thought of you this week (ironically, due to the LACK of posts…like “huh, Michael didn’t post today”). My pastor’s sermon this past weekend was on the practice of solitude, and I hoped that perhaps you were getting some. Sounds like no such luck!

    Well, it’s time now! Enjoy the respite, soak up some quality time with God and Gail. We look forward to hearing from you when the time is right!!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I actually do plan to continue blogging through my sabbatical. Writing for me is like painting for others. It is good for my soul.

  • Jackwatts

    Write more than the other four combined. If you do, your legacy will be assured. It’s taken you decades to learn and process all of your experiences. Now is the time to use them to teach the next generation.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Jack. That is a great perspective!

  • http://profiles.google.com/greentub Jonathan Riggs

    Congratulations, Michael. You continue to inspire.

  • http://twitter.com/JenniferLynKing Jennifer King

    Congratulations, Michael and Gail! It is very inspiring to watch and note two wonderful people stepping into a next chapter of life, instead of the usual alternative. Giving to others and using your gifts will always be a great plan. We need you!

    Your transition reminds me of Bob Buford’s excellent book HALF TIME. I’m guessing you’ve probably already read it, but it inspired me tremendously.

    Enjoy the time of listening, refreshing, and filling back up. Grateful for all you give in leading and inspiring others.

    -Jennifer

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I did read that book years ago. It would probably be great for me to re-read it. Thanks for the reminder!

  • http://twitter.com/teitr teitr

    Tweak your bucket list.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great idea. I haven’t done that in a few years.

  • Tiphanie

    Praying for y’all.

  • www.therextras.com

    So happy for you and Gail. And so happy you will continue to blog (teach) here.

    Barbara

  • Anonymous

    Mike – sounds like you’re ready to move into the life described in one of my favorite quotations:
    ” The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he is always doing both.” James Michener

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I love that quote. I have read it before, but forgotten about it. (You can even find it on my blog here!)

  • Sharon

    Well, Michael, obviously you and Gail have planned and thought this transistion through, and, by George, I’d say, you’ve got it! . It’s an excellent plan, somewhat similar to one my husband and I began to carve out for ourselves nearly two years ago when our son Michael passed away. This type of loss changes your heart and mind, but, I dare say, I am in full agreement with you in that there is no retirement in the Bible. These are the golden years, and if we have built our careers carefully, as you obviously have, it is an opportunity to serve God at an even higher level.

    You have so much to give, and I look forward to seeing where the Lord will take you. As to one piece of advice–since you asked–I would caution with respect to the speaking. It can quickly overtake your life if you enjoy it, as you seem to do. As a CSP (certified speaking professional), I know from personal experience that the act of speaking, even for the most worthy of causes, can become addictive. It has all the elements of a drug. You get the high from the affirmation. You are sought out by all the right people, etc. You get the idea. At one point, I was speaking in 150 cities per year, and what you begin to find is that you lose touch with people in your community and in your life. It’s kind of like that movie Up in the Air. Your life becomes the road. You’re on some kind of extended vacation, and though the work is hard, it is exhilarating. I know you’re smarter than I am and have already experienced enough of this industry to know better, but just my two cents for what it’s worth. You have the option to pick and choose your engagements, and I would do so wisely. What is your criteria for the engagements you will accept? How will you know when to say’ no’? I suspect you have already thought much of this through, so enjoy your tme with Gail and thanks again for setting such a good example on how to make these hard decisions. Blessings, Sharon Spano

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Sharon. I appreciate the encouragement.

      Thankfully, I have a really great speaking rep, who helps me sort through the requests. The way I am looking at it is kind of like looking at <a href="” target=”_blank”>My Ideal Week. I am asking, “How many engagements do I want a year and at what kind of average fee.” I am approaching it almost like inventory. It is finite and I don’t want to spend all my time doing it. When I have exhausted the allotted inventory, I am done.

      Thanks again!

    • DavidWills

      Great wisdom in your 2nd paragraph. Thank you for sharing.

  • http://www.jeremysconfessions.com Jeremy’s Confessions

    Congratulations on not retiring! Looking forward to more of your blog, ebooks, and talks.

  • http://twitter.com/jodylouise jody fernando

    Funny. The first thing I read on the internet this morning was this:

    “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” – Abraham Lincoln

    The second was this post. It immediately made me think of what I just read. Thanks for your willingness and example of using your power in such influential ways. I will be praying for you in this new endeavor.

  • http://www.theanimusproject.com Jamie O’Donoghue

    Eph 1:17-23, Eph 3:14-21, Col 1:9-14. If you’re after direction you can’t go wrong praying these kind of prayers. Very happy for you Mike. I’m looking forward to reading where you go next.

  • http://blog.christophercarter.com Christopher L. Carter

    Very Big Kudos Michael to you and Gail. I will never retire either. Not in the playbook. Moving into “greater contribution” is exactly how I see it too now that my kids are finishing college. I will join you and Gail in prayer as you seek Father’s will in this new season of your life.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Christopher. I am not sure how we ever came up with the concept of “retirement.” I see no biblical basis for it.

      • Suzanneburden

        Truly, I hope you’ll blog on this. I believe retirement may be so anticlimactic for many because it sidelines those God has called to continue to be used for His Kingdom. We’re not built for it. Hope to hear more on this…excited to hear about your future.

  • Anonymous

    I love your thoughts on retirement. When you are working a job you don’t like, or doing something God has not called you to do, it’s easy to want to retire. Once you find your dream job, in an essence, you have retired to fulfill God’s mission in your life and ‘work’ is no longer ‘work’. Have a great time! So excited for what God has planned for you.

  • http://twitter.com/wechoose1 Les Dossey

    Michael,

    Wahoo for you. . . . I love it.
    You’re instigating and starting something new and fresh. Bravo

    Just remember for all of us ( humanity) to keep on doing what you’ve been doing. Keep choosing to live vibrantly, to live out loud, to live purposed to live.

    Keep choosing to work out, keep choosing to eat to live, keep choosing those disciplines that nourish your mind, your body and your soul.

    But most importantly keep choosing to love. Choose to love in advance. Choose to love often. Choose to love life. Choose to love choosing love.

    Only the Best,
    -Les

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Good words, Les. Thank you.

  • Tim Dahl

    I’m so glad that you haven’t retired. So many of the guys in my church tend to get out of their position of significance and then atrophy. The idea of being of greater significance doesn’t even cross their mind. They’ve totally bought into the secular version of retirement.

    I especially like your idea of consultant work, continuing in your writing, and staying plugged in. At times I wonder if our greatest days aren’t the ones where we get to impact future generations. You have the experience, you have the platform, and you have the ability to communicate your wealth of experience. Thank you for staying engaged.

    I look forward to your upcoming books.

    Tim Dahl

  • http://twitter.com/davebaldwin Dave Baldwin

    What a humble guy asking us for advice! It should be the other way around. However, being a bit older than you maybe I do have one thing to share. I’ve been in pastoral ministry for 36 plus years. I’ve loved it! I really have (Not always stress free, etc. but know this is where God has called me to serve in His Kingdom). But last year He led us in an unexpected direction. I now am doing something I never thought I’d do, I lead a company that roasts coffee. And God has blessed us in this endeavor. It was His idea and we are trying to steward it for His Glory. It involves our 37 year old daughter who has Down Syndrome (she’s our chief roaster). And I’m still the Pastor of Ministries of a church that averages 2500 in attendance on the weekends.
    So I guess my advice is don’t plan your life out in too much detail. You never know what God has in store for you. He may still take you in a direction you haven’t anticipated!
    So glad to be following you and learning from you as you enter this new chapter of your life.
    Blessings,
    Dave

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That is such great advice. I really want to leave enough “margin” for God to surprise me. ;-)

  • TNeal

    You’ve upped the ante since January in relation to your posts. Meaning we subscribers have had more Hyatt posts in our email in-boxes. That’s been a positive for your readers.

    On the other hand, we’ve all wondered how you’ve maintained such a furious pace. A sabbatical seems appropriate for you at this point. I know because you are intentional and you’ve intentionally built up your readership that you aren’t dropping your blogging activities. I’m just curious how this blog as well as your other activities and your sabbatical fit together.

    In other words, what does a Michael Hyatt sabbatical look like?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      We’ll just have to see. For me, blogging is like painting. Writing is my art. So it is not like work in the usual sense. It is my place of creativity and discovery. I often tell people, “I don’t know what I think about something until I have blogged about it.”

  • http://twitter.com/DustyWRobinson Dusty Robinson

    I don’t have an answer for your question, but would love to hear what your time away with your wife looks like (no rush). Specifically how you and your wife plan out the next season together and make sure your aligned as a couple. I have been helped by your ideal week post, and am reading Creating Your Personal Life Plan, but would love some incite into how you practically lead your wife (and family) in that area.

  • http://twitter.com/johnmfulwider John M. Fulwider

    Michael, thanks so much for your blog. I’ve been reading less than a month, and it’s now part of my very small daily media diet.

    Regarding consulting: I’ve found Getting Started in Consulting by Alan Weiss the most helpful of the introductory books. Most valuable points:
    * value-based pricing (flat rates determined according to value you create, not an hourly rate)
    * proposal template (easy to write, quick for prospective clients to read, format requires you to establish a healthy partnership ahead of time)
    * the vanishingly small initial investment and, indeed, ongoing fixed costs

    A blog idea: I’d like to see a “My Ideal Week” transition post. Show us your pre-transition and post-transition Ideal Week charts, and provide a play-by-play analysis of what changed, and why.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      These are excellent suggestions. I just downloaded Weiss’s book onto my Kindle. That sounds like it will really be helpful!

      I am definitely planning to blog on my Ideal Week. Thanks.

  • Kevin

    I agree with your thoughts about retirement. Bravo!

    Advice? Measure twice, pray thrice, and cut once, especially now with all the opportunities that will find you. But I am certain you already thought of that.

    God speed!

  • Laurie

    You’re living my dream! I found your blog when I began planning my own transition to the next stage of my life. Intentional Leadership, with its great content and value, and in the spirit of imitation being the most sincere form of flattery, is the one I’d like my own blog to emulate. Your putting up this personal blog, cultivating it and now stepping down as CEO of Thomas Nelson is one of the most perfect examples of Thinking 2 Steps Ahead (the title and subject of my blog) I’ve seen yet. Congratulations and best wishes!

  • http://twitter.com/BarbaraThayer1 Barbara Thayer

    Congratulations to you and Gail for this next phase of your life. I, too, believe that we never retire as long as the Lord can use us to help others. You have many great ideas on how to utilize your gifts and talents. My only advice would be to pray before you say yes to any project or commitment. In my own life, I have found that too many affirmatives to good projects can lead to exhaustion. I also would encourage you to make certain you have adequate time with your family. Life is so short and we do not know when the Lord will call us home. Therefore, we have to make it a priority to spend time with those we love. I look forward to your contributions in blogging as that is a relatively new passion in my life. You are a good teacher! May God bless you, Gail and your family.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Barbara. These are all good suggestions.

  • Troysolutions

    Mike, there are many quotes that come to mind that I could share but one that I think is most fitting here is, “A great leader’s courage to fufill his vision comes from passion, not position.” — John Maxwell

    One of my college business profs who retired early from DuPont told me, “there are many who say they are going to pursue their passion and purpose in life, but many don’t because they stay in the current and then find it’s too late to puruse.”

    Knowing you Mike–as a past assoicate of Thomas Nelson–but more importantly seeing your leadership as a Believer, husband, father, leader, writer, and more–your a chain agent and thought leader who while laying the foundation for your own path have shaped the lives of many who you continue to impact along the journey.

    Now in this new phase, I applaud you for not letting “title” or “position” get in the way of God’s calling for you but rather courageously follow and be committed to accomplishing His plan.

    I believe you will continue to have greater influence and impact on both shaping people’s lives and also in advancing the Kingdom. In the words of Zig Ziglar, “It’s not where you start–it’s where you finish that counts.”

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      These are great words from John Maxwell. Thanks for sharing those. Best.

  • Anonymous

    I’ll give you advice from Kinko’s found, Paul Orfalea. He wrote in his book, Copy This, to take at least 4-6 weeks of vacation per year. He said his best ideas come while sitting on the beach. I see you are getting ready to take some time off and congratulate you on that.

    I am glad you will be spending more time writing! I look forward to reading your blogs and books. Thank you for all you share.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      This is excellent advice. I am going to start with my Annual Time Block, so I can put these quarterly vacation and reflection times in first.

  • Randall Spence

    I suggest that you consider a prayer retreat of at least one week in length on an annual basis. For over twenty years I have taken an annual retreat at a Trappist monastery where silence, prayer and reflection are the norm. It has done more for helping me stay focused than anything else I do. At times the retreat has been primarily a time for physical rest. At others it has been a time to plan, or to write. It always has been a time of prayer and reflection.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for this suggestion. Excellent.

  • http://www.danieldecker.net Daniel Decker

    Haha. You? Retired? I’d never stitch those two words together in the same sentence when referring to you. : ) Our best days are always ahead of us.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You do KNOW me!

  • http://twitter.com/promobrain Mike Freestone

    Congratulations on your next phase as well as your thoughtful direction of how to live you life. You now have even more of an ability to serve God with your life. I am excited for you and jealous all at the same time!

  • http://jancoxabetterway.wordpress.com Jan Cox

    My husband and I sold our company when we were quite young (well younger than we are now!). The past 10 years have been filled with God’s promises – not of golf, or sitting back all the time. Instead of the word retirement I like the word realignment. I must say that I have worked harder, longer and with more passion in these 10 years. Maybe I worked the same when our kids were younger – it feels like I am that age again, filled with purpose, excitement and commitment.
    Blessings as you move in a new exciting direction.

  • Carolyndyck

    Congratulations on the new phase you are beginning in your life! I agree – God has not placed us here to rest on our laurels….but to continue to ‘work’ until He comes. As long as you have your wife’s support & blessing (making sure that there is always time for HER) GO FOR IT!!! Eternity, I believe, is the place where we will be asked to use what He has tried to teach us to do during our lifetime, so the time we have here should be used with THAT end in mind!

  • http://www.gigimuses.com Gigi

    I admire you for taking a REST to determine and listen to what God is asking you to do next. That posture is rare in leaders. We usually think that the world will crumble if we are not DOING something. I affirm you and pray that God would add His blessings to your REST!

  • Blair

    Sounds like you have thought this out well. Great to hear you are taking some time off with Gail for rest and reflection. It’s always good to have a clear mind when starting a new adventure. Looking forward to reading about the new phase in your life. Keep enjoying the journey… as Paul stated ‘I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content’. Blessings…

  • Joyce Harback

    Pray more.

  • Anonymous

    I am delighted that you are being so transparent with us as you address your transition. I’m looking forward to the day when I can make a similar transition. In fact, one of my greatest challenges today is balancing the demands of my current role (trying to be an effective leader of a small engineering organization) with the call of my next role (some form of ministry which will include writing, reading, etc). I’m ready to get on with it!

    I know I’m not alone when I say, “we’re all eager to hear witness of what’s next for YOU!” Keep us posted (pun intended).

  • Tracy Hoexter
  • C Scott Parks

    Michael,

    This is my first post, and I too wish you and your family all the best as you move into this next chapter. Your blog has been an inspiration to me for the last 2 years and I have many times reflected on the insights and guidance it has provided me. You are bright light in the lives of so many and I can’t wait to see what great things you’re going to accomplish.

    All the best.

    C. Scott Parks

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your kind words, Scott. Much appreciated.

  • Ken Shaddox

    Appreciate the update on your life and calling. I will be praying for you in these new directions that you and your family are taking. No doubt there are exciting adventures and opportunities ahead. Thanks for your example.

  • neebee

    I am fairly new to your blog, but have been impressed on several levels–mostly, your veracity and candor. My advice, pay special attention to your pace. I believe that there is a rhythm that the Father wants us to live by. I believe that the cliche’ that most evangelicals use, “staying in step with the Spirit” is much more central to a life that brings glory to God and a deep satisfaction to our life and soul. Find the rhythm my friend, and stay in step with it!

  • http://www.godsabsolutelove.com Patricia Zell

    Michael, it’s sort of ironic–when I was 51, God moved me in the opposite direction from how He has moved you. I was focused on writing and on supplementing my income by substitute teaching. In fact, I had just made the decision to sub less and write more when God unexpectedly opened the door for me to teach high school English. What made it more remarkable is that all I had was an elementary education bachelor’s degree and a substitute certificate. To make a long story short, I had to take tests and undergraduate English courses, and I ended up earning my master’s degree. I admire God’s wisdom–through accomplishing what I had to do to keep my job, I was in a much better position to write the book that had been on my heart since the early 1990’s. So, I encourage you to press into the new calling God has given you and be prepared to be blessed!

  • http://RichardBurkey.wordpress.com Richard Burkey

    Always lead from rest. Great wisdom to follow Sabbath guidelines. Ending one chapter and beginning a new one, provides the perfect time to reconnect with God, your wife, and yourself in living your life plan. Thanks for sharing. Glad to hear you will continue to blog. You continue to help me lead well.

  • Michael John Cusick

    Mike, congratulations on this important transition! I’m glad you will still be a part of the Thomas Nelson governance since I will be one of your new authors (tentative May ’12). In working with pastors and other Christian leaders (mostly CEO’s and physicians) it has been my professional experience that most “sabbaticals” are too short, the average being three months or significantly less. I consistently hear pastors say that after the three month period they are only just beginning to decompress, or unplug, and that they wish they had more time. It’s at this exact point that some of the most important “soul work” gets done. For quite some time, the Lily Foundation, which makes grants to pastors for sabbaticals, would only fund those sabbaticals that were one year in length. The idea was that anything less than one year was counterproductive.

    So here are a few specifics to think about. First, regardless of the length, choose a formal start date and end date to the sabbatical. I strongly encourage you to not have a sabbatical that is open ended, like three to four weeks. Make it three or make it four (or longer).

    Second, define ahead of time what you will and will not be doing. For most, the things they will be doing is easy. In your case, some more golf, spending time with Gail, dreaming, strategizing. What people fail to be proactive about is what they will not be doing. It is essential during a sabbatical to close the door on certain activities and habits beyond just work. It is paradoxical, but you need to be as proactive in planning this season of transition, rest, and renewal, as you would any other aspect of life planning.

    Third, think in terms of rhythm. I like what The Message says in Matthew 11:28-29. “Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.” A sabbatical is a time to develop a new rhythm, which in and of itself has renewing and restorative power. Without the same time and scheduling constraints what would the rhythm of your ideal day look like? You ideal week? Who would you spend it with? What experiences might you pursue? Being intentional about rhythm helps balance the tension every leader I know struggles with–the tension between being and doing.

    Finally, consider spending a portion of the sabbatical–ideally on the front end, with someone trained in soul care, spiritual direction, and helping you take a 30,0000 foot/360 degree look at your life. If this can be done along with Gail, even better. There are a number of ministries and organizations such as my own (www.restoringthesoul.com) that offer such services for leaders in an intensive format.

    My prayer is that this next season of your life is filled with more joy and fruitfulness than any other. Your best days area ahead!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Michael. I am doing this sabbatical under the direction of my counselor, who is also a seasoned spiritual director. I also appreciate your advice. There is much to chew on here. Thanks again.

    • TNeal

      Your expertise in this area shines through. You’ve given excellent counsel and concrete information. Not in the least bit nebulous. Well written, well done.

  • http://www.blissassociates.com Bill Bliss

    Micheal,
    Congratulations to you and Gail as you intentionally move into the next season of this life that God has for the both of you. You said that you still have work to do – I take that as “God still has work for you to do before He takes you home.” To that end, I have one suggestion –

    A few posts ago, you provided your schedule to us that indicated where you had blocks of time to accomplish what needed to be accomplished and had it coded by color. I suggest you prepare a similar schedule, allowing for much more time for reflection, writing and hearing from God what He wants you to do. I believe that God gives us opportunities to have an impact for Him, yet we only recognize them when we have the “margin” to recognize them as opportunities.

    Actually, one more suggestion – I think you have talked about the value of writing your eulogy. I have given that assignment to some of my CEO clients asking them to write what they desire to be said about them when they die from several points of view – God’s most importantly, your spouse, your kids, your friends, your work colleagues and others who may be important to you. Each time I give this assignment, my client is so challenged by the outcome of this exercise for them. We talk about it and it is extremely helpful for them to put their time and priorities into perspective. Michael, have you reviewed this document of yours now that you are entering this new season?

    All the best to you and I look forward to receiving more wisdom from you in your writings and speaking. Thanks for all you have done and will continue to do!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks. I am planning to create a new annual time block, ideal week, and update my life plan. This is part of what I want to do during my Sabbatical, in conjunction with prayer and deep reflection.

  • Jim W

    Micbael
    Thank you for inspiring us. I am new to FB, twitter, and your blog. Everything you have shared has been helpful and inspiring.
    I was finishing the book of Ecclesiastes yesterday and posted these verses. Thought they applied to your blog today
    Ecclesiastes 12: 12-13 (Message) But regarding anything beyond this, dear friend, go easy. There’s no end to the publishing of books, and constant study wears you out so you’re no good for anything else. The last and final word is this:
    Fear God.
    Do what he tells you.

    Congratulations on the courage to move forward. I, along with all the others, wish you nothing but the best and await your sharing of the lessons learned along the next part of the path…

  • http://twitter.com/bigbluemug Margaret

    No advice, just a hearty congratulations on entering a new and exciting season of life! May the Lord continue to bless you and your wife and use you both in a mighty way for His kingdom.

  • Anonymous

    I’m excited about your next phase of your life as I know you’ll be sharing with all your readers. The reason I started blogging/writing 2 years ago is so that in retirement I would still have a job. I too think I will be ‘working’ all my life AND I am committed to lifelong learning. So I would only add to your list is keep learning new things: learn to play an instrument, new language and whatever else you want to learn. I know couples who do this together in retirement.

    I hope you and Gail enjoy the time off to refocus.

  • http://passionsforthesoul.typepad.com/vicki Vicki Small

    I once heard a missionary speak at the age of 80. He, too, had heard that he was “retiring,” and he refuted that notion: He was “re-firing.” These next several weeks should lead to re-firing for both you and Gail. That is a good thing.

    In December and January, several new avenues of service opened up through our church. Through my eight years as an active volunteer for my favorite Christian nonprofit, each time another opportunity has opened up, I’ve checked with the Holy Spirit: “Do you want me to add this?”–because, at no time, have I sensed His leading to back off from my primary area of ministry. Until a few months ago, the answer always seemed to be, “No. Focus.”

    So in January, I was facing three additional areas of ministry which seemed to call to me. To date, I have added one of them, but with other things going on in my life, I’ve realized that I was about to take on too much. So, for now, I’ll focus on the two that I have going and see how God leads through the remainder of the year.

    My word to you is this: You listed five things you want to do, or to continue doing. Two of them, at least, require considerable investments of time. Space additional commitments; pace yourself. Don’t try to jump with both feet into more of everything at once.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I love the concept of “re-firing.” Excellent! Thanks also for your advice!

  • Chuck Meadors

    Michael, Congratulations on this new chapter in your life. I am so thankful and blessed you found me on Twitter after I got an account to follow John Maxwell. I still remember that day I checked to see who this MichealHyatt was that was following me. I read several of your blog posts that day while vacationing in Wisconsin. I had to tell my wife about this amazing man Michael Hyatt. I was familar with Thomas Nelson because I had many books and Bibles published by them. Now I knew their CEO. That was almost 2 years ago and since that day you have become one of the most influencing people in my life. I still wonder how you are able to accomplish so much. Thank you for giving all of a glimpse into the life of a CEO.

    I look forward to see what value you will add to our lives in this new chapter of your life. I love how you challenge your audience and also ask for our input. I wish I had some profound advice I could give you that would add value to life and allow me to give back for all you have given me, but the only thing that comes to mind is keep doing writing, leading, learning, sharing as you have and take more time for yourself and family. I someday I have the opportunity to meet you. Thank you for finding me and for your influence. Best regards, Chuck Meadors

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Chuck. I appreciate you sharing your story and these thoughts.

  • http://twitter.com/levittmike Michael Levitt

    I’m thrilled to hear about the sabbatical. Leave the MacBook Air, iPad, iPhone, etc.. in your desk drawer and truly “get away” for a few weeks.

    Blessings to you and your family!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I’m not sure about the MacBook Air; that’s how I write! But I definitely plan to be less connected for this time.

  • http://mttoolsonline.com/blog Kathy Nicholls

    Michael, congratulations on the next chapter. I would second what someone said about re-reading Half Time. That book has been an awesome resource for me.

    I’m glad you will continue to blog. You touch so many lives with that. I will never forget the kindness you showed a little over a year ago when I found myself living in another country and being told my job had been downsized. There I was with a non-US citizen husband, no job, and we had 10 days to prepare to move ourselves back to the States. My “Christian family” had always been the people I worked with, who now were totally focused on trying to save a company and had told me I was no longer part of that. I had been reading your blog for awhile and for some reason reached out to you and just asked you to pray for us. Your response of encouragement and offering to pray for us touched my heart so much. And indeed, God always answers prayers. We’ve been back “home” a little over a year and life has changed in positive ways. We’ve been able to reconnect with family because we live close now. I’ve found a community to lead that has been an awesome blessing and experience. Much of what has happened in the past year has come about by the books you have published (two that come to mind are Andy Andrews’ books and Don Miller’s book, which I read after watching your interview with him on this very blog) and the writings of Seth Godin. I am truly grateful for that and am glad you will continue to do. I can’t wait to hear where this new chapter leads you.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for sharing this story, Kathy. It really touched me. Blessings!

  • Mmodesti

    At the risk of genuflecting, I have to say that you provide a shining example of a life well lived. When I consider my life, I’m very reluctant to offer advice, but my prayer is that you continue to be such a blessing in helping others, who will in turn help others.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks so much for your kind words and your prayers.

  • Dave Meyers

    Thank you for your wonderful advice. You have been a mentor to me in so many ways this past year. Please take your time, relax, recover from the grind and reflect. Your blog has been a key element in my life and I am using your Life Plan model for myself and with others. Little did I know how critical it was for me….

    …as this is now coming from a 47 year old para-church leader who is just recovering from a major heart attack 2 weeks ago! God spared my life for a purpose. I am grateful.

    Thank you Michael for your influence in my life. Resting, recovering and reflecting from AZ.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for sharing this, Dave. I am sure a heart-attack is a life-changing experience. Wow!

  • Debbie

    Michael, although my husband is at this point busy in the “day to day operations and leadership” of a company (as president and ceo of a premium pet food company — listen to Nelson Hyatt, I’m sure he’s asked for it :0) — Champion Pet foods) there will come a time that he will be doing as you are, I’m sure. Work is truly something he enjoys (right now he is having a blast and loving, loving, loving his job. I’m not sure it should even be called a “job” ) and he will never “retire”. You two sound like you could be brothers — oh, wait — you are! You both have God as Father. I look forward to following you and Gail as you navigate these new waters with God. Blessings!

  • drgoodman

    Love your heart and perspective on retirement. I think the concept of retirement, as our culture defines it, has hurt many lives and relationships. It would seem that in most sporting events, the 4th quarter is where we finish with a victory. I define it from 60-80 years old. So much can be even accomplished here, but most don’t think this way. O by the way, a quote from Archibald Hart, Ph.D. “Life is an apprenticeship and when you turn 60 you become an expert.” Something to chew on! Blessings my friend!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I like the Arch Hart quote. Excellent!

  • BLF

    Michael, I know what might give you much joy and fulfilment: sharing your leadership and productivity wisdom with young people in Eastern Europe. Especially in Poland, where I live.
    This a big topic, so I just signal it here. I you feel like working with teens and the teachers in the society where values were destroyed by the communism, you are most welcome to spend here some productive time.
    The economy grows here incredibly, however the desert of life principles is as huge as 20 and 30 years ago. This might be the field for a leader like you.
    Just an idea.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for this suggestion. It is not one I have thought about, but I will put in the bucket of “possibilities.”

  • Brian Tolliver

    With your years of accumulated knowledge and experience, I wouldn’t presume to be able to share something you haven’t already heard. Still, as leaders, we know that being willing to receive the input of others is not a weakness, but rather, a strength.
    My encouragement is simply to follow through with your stated intentions:
    1) REST is key to making sure your direction is clear. Giving yourself this opportunity to rest will clear any fog your busy schedule may have created.
    2) RECHARGING is also a key necessity, as it does us no good to give what we don’t have.
    3) REFLECTION is the most important facet of the 3. While it is of great benefit to reflect on the journey we’ve already taken (as past directions and accomplishments are a good indicator of God’s future plans), the most important reflection is that which we put into focused prayer AND listening(see 1 Samuel 30, e.g.).
    If we’d all be so thoughtful about the steps we take, I believe that the road ahead will always be one of “GREATER CONTRIBUTION.” And, of course, including your wife Gail is very wise…(our wives just have a sense for things we guys tend to overlook-we were designed to complete one another).
    Thank you so much for your past contributions, but I’m looking forward to seeing what the Lord does with you and Gail in the future.
    God bless my brother. And He surely will!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Brian. I appreciate your counsel.

  • Eric Simpson

    You make it all look easy. You’re an inspiration to me to rethink my (perhaps unconscious) beliefs regarding living intentionally, being motivated and making plans. Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/jcarlnelson Joel Nelson

    I love it. May you glorify God in all that you do!

  • http://bluecollarradionetwork.com James Dibben

    You’re hardly retired, just keeping up with this blog is a full time job!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You’re telling me!

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    Congratulations, Mike! Now you are free to pursue your passion without any inhibitions. It takes courage to take such a decision when one is at the helm of his duty.
    I am excited and eagerly looking forward to your future book projects. As Billy Graham said in his memoir, “The Best is yet to come” for you.

  • Marsha

    Deacon Michael, please pray about using your gifts to promote Orthodox publishing- especially church school and adult class materials. We so need comprehensive graded teaching materials for preschool through highschool age. Also, more Orthodox families are looking for homeschool materials from an Orthodox worldview. May God grant you many fruitful years in your new ventures.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I serve as the Chairman of Conciliar Media Ministries. This is an important work where I feel really called. Thanks.

  • Geoff Pound

    1. Congratulations to you and Gail upon entering into this exciting new phase.

    2. I hope one of your books is entitled, ‘Reinventing Retirement’.

    The conference speaker, statesman and author, J. O. Sanders said to me just before his 84th birthday, “You know Geoff, I think that the last 10 years of my life have been the most productive of my life.” I was staggered and inspired by his assessment as at that time I was living at a time and in a country where people over the age of 60 were deemed to have reached their use by date.

    3. I am impressed by your humility that you allow unknown readers like me to give advice to you at this junction.

    4. It seems strange (at least in my culture but even in biblical custom) to finish as CEO but remain chairman of the board at TN and advisor to your successor.

    I don’t know the full circumstances but for your sake and for Mark’s sake I would recommend that it is best to resign as Chairman of the Board and as Adviser to your successor.

    This would give you a complete mental break and release you for your new endeavors.

    It would give much greater freedom to your successor, not having his predecessor in two official positions with TN. You have stated in an earlier post that you believe Mike has all the attributes needed and more to continue the good work of TN and take it on to greater heights. Let him seek out his own mentor for this phase.

    Just as a young person needs to leave mother and father and cleave, there is a sense that the gift that you give and the confidence that you bestow as the predecessor is to let the new person go and grow.

    He seems too nice a person to tell you that you are not wanted and if he is a great leader he will come back to you in his own time and seek your wisdom but not because you have the titles, ‘Chairman’ and ‘Adviser’.

    Without these titles you will still be able to serve as an ambassador for TN and the fact that you do this in an unofficial capacity will make your commendation even greater.

    5. I look forward to reading your blog and books and recommending them to others.

    Geoff Pound

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Geoff, it is actually the norm now in corporate America for the Chairman and the CEO to be two separate positions. This is considered good governance.

      Regardless, I have moved out of the office, so as not to confuse people about who is in charge. I am available if he needs me, but it will be at his initiative. We are both aligned, along with the board, on our expectations.

      Thanks for your input.

  • Wireman

    My wife & I have just turned 60 and recently took a week long trip to Maui. We were able to connect briefly and spend time getting to know each others heart, not that we haven’t tried in the past, but with work, family, ministry and remodel we weren’t always on the same page. As the years seem to go by faster we decided that we want to support each other more. One of those ways we can do that is to discuss the “rub points” of our relationship so that we can be more in tune with each other, and more insightful for each other in ministry and personally. God’s gift of marriage is truly a wonderful, growing, event, and being the foreshadow of our relationship with Him one can only try to improve it. It seems like the closer I get to my wife the closer I get to our Lord. We’ve been through a lot, and it has taken a long time for my wife to help me gain insight to become the kind of husband I think the Lord intended for me to be, I’m not there yet, but without my precious gift of a wife I wouldn’t be anywhere near I am today.
    As a man who has been in leadership I would encourage you to continue to pursue your wife and family, yes we want to make a difference, but whatever our Lord calls us to do, that in its self should be sufficient. To be in his service is the ultimate reward. We are blessed mightily, to be sure.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      This is very wise advice. I consider my wife to be my partner now more than ever. Thanks!

  • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

    Advice for you? Hmm. Just try and stay out of gangs.

  • Brent Trickett

    Enjoy your rest. I just came off an eight month parental leave that helped me really think through my future and how I will contribute to our organization. A good rest clears the mind and clarifies priorities.

  • Joe Lalonde

    Have fun and enjoy the rest! May it be refreshing and a great time of peace.

  • Mary E Hood

    I’m getting older, too…Two things: Make your physical health a high priority, through exercise and thinking about what you are eating, but don’t discuss your health constantly with others. Two: Think about balance in everything…balance between work and ministry/family and other responsibilities. Create your own boundaries and stay within them.

  • http://twitter.com/RickWomack Rick Womack

    I look forward to your input into my life via your blog in this next phase of your life – you’ve always provided rich and applicable content, for that I thank you!

    Curious if you’ve read any of Dr. Bobby Clinton’s material? Specifically, The Making of a Leader? His understanding of the processing of God through the life of a leader is valuable…

  • Edwina Cowgill

    I’m delighted to know that you plan to continue the blog. I have found it to be helpful, encouraging and motivating.

    With respect to advice, I would encourage you to enjoy your time together and enjoy your time sitting quietly at the feet of Jesus, listening to His direction for you. If possible, turn off those pesky cell phones :) and leave a “I’m on vacation” message on emails. It’s these little time-stealers that rob us of the time we need to truly relax.

    I look forward to hearing what great things God has in store for you and your wife!

  • Coachdavepage

    Michael – Sounds like you may be a bit burned out. It will do you well to take the month Sabbatical. Come back slowly and then ramp up as you prepare for a new stage in life. You’re right … you’re not retiring your refiring! (quote from Ken Blanchard).

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I have been burned out before. I definitely know what that feels like. This isn’t burned out as much as just tired but satisfied. I am really looking forward to this next chapter.

  • Connie Osowski

    Congratulations on this next phase of your life! God is a God of increase; and His only way is up, from glory to glory. Even the trials are another step up, closer to God.

    At 60 years of age, 27 years of marriage, and with a husband who only came to the Lord less than 2 years ago, we’re only getting started. One thing I try to keep in mind is to “let the peace of God rule your heart AND mind.” If one or the other is in doubt, go without.

    The Lord once told me, “Don’t you know that if I’m going to take care of the little details, I’ll take care of the big ones too?”

    It seems to me that God’s people usually get in trouble when they don’t consult Him first. There’s no detail too small to ask our Father about. Things often look one way, but they are another.

    Enjoy this open door into the greater things of God!!

  • Audrey4j

    Deepen down with the Lord. Ask Him to teach you what He wants you to know (Ps. 25:4). Sit under the 24/7 webstream at IHOP.org and worship. Within six months you’ll hunger for the Lord’s presence even more than you do now. Guaranteed. These next few years will be the most productive years productive, peaceful years of your life.

  • http://twitter.com/kevinmwall Kevin M Wall

    Michael-
    Congrats on this new phase of life! I’m sure that there are many adventures ahead to be had for you and Gail, and glad to hear that this isn’t retirment. William Safire’s final OpEd piece in the NY Times spoke of this trend and he eloquently stated that the key is to continually renew your mind and keep fresh. It apparently was the secret that Walter Breuning shared as one of his secrets to living to 114 yrs old, so it must work!
    My best to you and Gail and I look forward to hearing you at one of your future speaking engagements!
    Be sure to stay moving,
    except when you’re not;
    strive to create more,
    and glad for what you’ve got!

  • Geoffreytalbot

    Congratulations on resigning the exact same day that I stumbled and found your most excellent blog. I am sure this next phase of life will even more rewarding than the next.

    I saw a picture of a seed the shape of a maple leap falling from a tree and floating on the breeze as the wind took it to a place of fresh soil. It didn’t have to do any work to find its new home. The way it was designed to catch the wind took it there.

    Be encouraged… Don’t be anxious

    Travel well
    Geoff

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I love the maple leaf metaphor. Beautiful.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chrismorton82 Chris Morton

    Congrats on your next step!

    I would suggest making a list of things you’ve never done before, especially things that will “get your hands dirty” in a missional sense. Consider having lunch, not serving lunch, with a homeless person. Or perhaps sharing your organizational prowess with an underprivileged kid who might not graduate high school. Or sharing your faith with someone who is actively working to oppose it.

    Imagine James Bond on a desert island, Batman learning to cook or Lance Armstrong running the Boston Marathon. You could grow tremendously, not to mention, come up with some good writing material.

    chrismorton.info

  • Richard

    Congratulations! You have a wonderful ministry, God is using you in a mighty way and I pray that He will continue to do so. Just one thought to share: easy back on doing, and give time to being! God Bless you!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Amen to that. In fact, I told my Mentoring Group on the evening that I stepped away from active management: “We are human beings not human doings. We are defined by what we are not by what we do.”

  • http://twitter.com/Juanbg Juan

    Hi Mike,
    My special request, never stop bloging about leadership and overall life experiences. You information is very helpful to a lots of people you might never even know or meet in person.
    Are you going to continue with your mentoring group?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, indeed I am. In fact, I met with them the night I made the announcement. I was tired and tempted to cancel, but I thought they needed to witness my experience in real time.

  • http://www.leliachealey.blogspot.com Lelia Chealey

    How exciting! Keep Christ the center of all your decision making and plans. In Jeremiah He tells us that He has plans for you. Allow Him to keep unfolding them with your obedience. Then in Proverbs 16:3 we’re told to commit to the Lord whatever we do and our plans will succeed. You are such an inspiration to this woman with a burning passion just to write. Thank you for this blog and your direction. I’ve decided to take you up on the advice you daily offer.
    So, unless God tells you in a very loud voice, please don’t ever give up the care you give to us that want to be authors when we grow up. And if you ever need an “experiment”, someone that follows all your advise to prove you really know what you’re talking about, call me! I’ll be your author-project! :) Blessings on your new chapter. Lelia

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I love working with authors and hope I can do more of that in this next chapter of my life. Thanks.

  • http://profiles.google.com/leliachealey Lelia Chealey

    Congratulations to you & Gail! I’d say continue to make Christ the center of your life. In Jeremiah 29:11 we’re told that God has plans for our lives. Allow Him to keep unraveling those plans in correspondence to your obedience. And unless God tells you in a really loud voice, keep sowing wisdom into the ones like myself. The ones that God placed a passion to write and speak about and for Him, but so often feels lost in the shuffle. And in this next phase of God’s plans for your life, if you need an author willing to take your advice to heart to prove you know what you’re talking about, I’ll volunteer for that position! ;) Blessings on this newest adventure! Lelia

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Lelia. I love Jeremiah 29:11.

  • Anonymous

    Michael, I’ve only been reading your blog for a few weeks now, but I’ve been really inspired by your posts. I found out about your blog from reading one of Don Miller’s posts about your life plan book.

    You’ve already encouraged me to start my own blog (http://christopherneiger.com/blog) and to pursue my writing even more than before. So if I could offer any advice, it’s keep doing what you’re doing. You’re inspiring people like myself to pursue what God’s plan is for our lives and to use the gifts that he’s given us. Thanks for that.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Good for you! Thanks.

  • Daniel Hayes

    Good for you, Mr Hyatt! I continue to look to you for great things. It is a terrific feeling to leave something when you’re still at the top of your game and pass it on to the next generation (much better than you found it). I did that with my military career…so many amazing memories and friends…but it was time to pass the torch and take new hills. Best of luck to you, Mr Hyatt. I’ll be digesting all you offer…

  • Jan

    May God Bless you with abundance and peace in this new stage in life!
    My only advice is in ALL you do, do it in LOVE!
    May Jesus always be your focus and purpose!

  • Selah Hirsch

    Congratulations! A great read is “Between Trapezes” by Gail Blanke. (perfect for your sabbatical) The book is currently out of print but available online. One of the few reads I have found for people in the midst of change in their lives… honestly, I think that this topic could add to your book list for future writes, not only because of your personal journey but to add value and understanding to so many looking for inspiration when ‘between their trapezes’.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great. I will add it to my list. Thanks.

  • Cheryl Settle

    Hi Michael!
    I like what you’re doing! I pray God blesses all of your endeavors! Sounds like you put a lot of thought into your move and I’m sure God will use you to help many people! Blessings to you and your family!

  • Brett Gracely

    Please, keep doing what you’re doing (except the CEO thing). Pray, fast, read, worship, serve, love, be still and know that HE IS GOD. Nothing new here, right? I really enjoy your blog though I don’t have time to read all of it. I also listen to your East-West podcast regularly. Great stuff. If upon return from your well-earned sabbatical you are “crystal clear in (y)our direction and align(ment), I hope you will continue serving God in some of the same ways you have been. You’ve been a blessing. Thank you.

  • http://PurposefulTimeManagement.com Marcia Francois

    Michael, I just want to say congratulations and I love how intentional you’ve been with this whole process.

    I’m looking forward to reading your blog posts about the transition.

    Enjoy your sabbatical with Gail – I’m sure she’s going to love having you all to herself for 4 weeks – unplug as much as you can and want to – and take the time to set up this next phase properly.

  • Nancyq

    It is great that you will take a month to recharge. You will be surprised at how your life’s energy will change. You have a greater purpose now. You will continue to inspire us and others who seek encouragement and want to live a purposeful life.

    I too think I may never retire. I love writing and contributing my ideas and knowledge about GOLF. But golf lessons turn into life lessons as our journey to excel hits bumps in the road from time to time.

    What is good is that you get to pick and choose your path. God will guide you. Enjoy this next chapter in your life and I look forward to seeing you at the golf course!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Nancy. It is amazing how both golf and running for me are such life metaphors. I hope to see you soon. I could use a tune-up on my game!

  • http://sacredsabbath.blogspot.com Marja Meijers

    I am exited when I read about your plans… a change in seasons is no more than natural! I would say: expect the unexpected, make room in your agenda… In a time of transition many new ideas will come, go with the one that has been deposited in you when you were a child… and keep us updated! Blessings.

  • Anonymous

    Enjoy! I love when decisions are made that show our faith and trust to allow God to guide our lives. I really believe we don’t start “living life” until we are 40. We know what we want and we are comfortable in our own skin. When the world and negative toxins leave we are free to think and be our creative self. Enjoy this new chapter in your life!

    Roslyn
    http://doubleportioninspiration.blogspot.com/

  • http://onecurveatatime.com Chris R. Smith

    Michael, I clicked on the link about speaking on this blog and noticed it still says you are the CEO. I noticed you did update your other pages. I know you make a huge effort to fix issues like these and thought I’d just give you the heads up. Congratulations on the turning of a page. I am excited to see how God uses you in this new part of His plan to impact the world.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for catching that, Chris. It is amazing how many places I reference this. I have changed it now. Thanks again.

  • http://twitter.com/KeepMovingMan Justin Hegwood

    That’s awesome! I’m excited for you! For some reason I feel like I felt this coming. Sometimes when God is trying to give you something new you have to let go of a little bit of the old. Thanks for the reminder!

  • Tara

    Invest in Young Leaders through mentoring and global influence :)

  • http://www.amyriep.com Amy

    I appreciated your reflection that this season of change in your life is about moving towards a greater contribution rather than reducing your sphere of both work and influence. The only advice I have to offer is more of a request – that you continue to invest yourself, your knowledge, and your experience into the generation(s) following you – because we are listening and we are learning.

  • http://www.faithimagined.com Alisahopewagner

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

  • http://profiles.google.com/heather.knight.pdx 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.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FJRLITL5IEFHDDFURAESLXOOZ4 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.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com 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.

  • http://www.jeremiahwean.com 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.

  • http://www.momentsofgracelotr.com 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 :)

  • http://twitter.com/kprichardson84 Kent Richardson

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

    • http://twitter.com/BobEwoldt 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?

      • http://michaelhyatt.com 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.

  • http://alittleofthisandthat2.blogspot.com/ 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.

  • http://www.jeffdolan.com Jeff Dolan

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

  • http://www.laurakramer.org/blog.html 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.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com 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.

  • http://twitter.com/toddburkhalter 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.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com 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.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Now you are scaring me!

      • http://twitter.com/BobEwoldt 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.

  • http://www.johngallagherblog.com John Gallagher

    Keep your Coach!

  • http://www.bloggingtheologically.com 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.

  • http://twitter.com/BobEwoldt Robert Ewoldt

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

    • http://michaelhyatt.com 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.