Right at this moment as I am preparing to have a midnight prayer meeting in church, I am prompted to write down my thoughts and learnings of the last 3 months of Sabbatical leave. There are so much to share, but it will take a life time to share my experiences.
Many asked : wow 3 months of Sabbatical leave! You are so lucky. I dont think it was luck, I know it was needful for me to take a step of faith, and leave the company to get refreshed and be ready for the next phase of the company. In fact, I knew very well that the 3 months of rest, will instill in me principles and reminders that I need to consolidate to go forth for the next 5 years.
Right after an eventful conference we have launched in Siem Reap in Jan 2016, followed by an intensive 1.5 planning for a 1300 pax wedding in March, everything went by so fast, that my team has not really rested since early 2015. As much as everyone was telling me 2016 is going to be economic crisis, is better to do as much work and get sales... my heart just refused to accept that. I know if I continue to run a business without reflection, we will not move far.
These 3 months were a test of stretching my faith, relearning the ropes of being a leader and an entrepreneur, and learning to let go and step forth into the unknown. I went about in the region, from Jakarta, to Surabaya, to Bali, to Shanghai and ended up in Hong Kong, learning to live like a resident in each city, and speaking and sharing my heart to my mentor, and pals that God has led me to come into contact with.
In the midst of all the travelling, I did some of the strangest thing :
- I renovated our office
- I gave 2 weeks of sabbatical leave in end April for all my team
- I left taking a big risk that sales may not come during my absence (especially the big accounts are usually handled by me), and the possibility of facing cash flow concerns.
- I think I was taking a dare to hear the cry within my heart - Where is the Lord leading me next? Am I ready for the next leap?
So what do I learn at the end of the 3 months :
- Business challenges are very real, but God is even more real. He provides you faith and tenacity that is beyond what you can imagine of yourself.
- I have more pals than I can actually realise. There are people that God surprises you with everyday, the grace and generosity that extends to you. I learn about one truth, you will reap what you sow. If you sow generosity, you will reap generosity.
- Don't be afraid to start all over again. A team that is complacent is not a team that will grow. So allow your team to plunge with you. If you want to see success, train your people to be winners and not managers.
- Finally, I am reminded about His awesomeness and ever faithfulness. There are so many incidents as I travelled, that I was just thinking of a desire, and not even uttering in a prayer to God, and next I knew the very thing I have thought of, was provided right before my eyes. These evidence of His goodness was so needful for me for the next era of Heaven's Gift.