Millo is unplugging & you should too (here’s why)

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When I was very young, I used to read the comics in the Sunday newspaper (an activity that I’ve unfortunately discontinued). I fell in love with comic strips like Calvin & Hobbes, Pickles, Baby Blues and others.

And for a short moment in life, I even aspired to be a comic illustrator professionally.

One day, when I was about 14, the top half of the Sunday comics in the newspaper were replaced by a touching article about a cartoonist and creative who recently died and, without a doubt, left a lasting impact on the world.

That cartoonist’s name was Charles Schulz. You know him as the creator of the Peanuts gang: Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus and all the rest.

Sidenote: Once you finish, read how 4 freelancers built recurring revenue models that changed their business. You'll love it.

One thing I read that day impacted me profoundly and permanently.

It was a quote from Amy Schulz Johnson, daughter of the legendary cartoonist. Here’s what she said about life with her dad:

“I honestly didn’t know he had a job most of our childhood. I thought he was just our dad.”

I was only 14 years old at the time, but it really hit me hard. How cool would it be if my kids didn’t even know I had a job while they were growing up?

What did it take, I wondered, to be so wonderfully successful all the while giving so much attention to your family that your small children didn’t even know you had a job.

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I think it was in that moment, I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur.

I had started a sno-cone stand at age 11 and sold drawings and other knick knacks at earlier ages, but it wasn’t until I read this article about Charles Schulz that I found a deeper meaning in entrepreneurship.

Being an entrepreneur or a freelancer isn’t just about the money or most of us would quit. It’s about something deeper. For some, it means experiencing the world while you freelance, for others it means freedom from a boss. For others, it means more time with family.

At the end of the day, it comes down to living life the way you want to live.

And fifteen years ago, the words on that newspaper page completely changed my life. I knew, immediately, that what I wanted was for my kids to know I care as much about them as I do about my work, my job, or anything else.

My family is my top priority.

Why do I share all of this with you?

Ok, enough story-sharing feel-good stuff. Why am I going on about some childhood memory?

Because for the next 10 days, we’re completely unplugging from Millo. We’re finishing up the year focusing on what really matters to each of us.

None of our writers are being asked to write articles or respond to comments, April is putting away the editorial calendar and turning on her email autoresponder, and I’m taking 10 days off to be with my family and plan for the new year.

And we’re not just unplugging to give ourselves a break.

I think you should unplug too.

If you can find a way, make an effort choose family, friends and life’s most important priorities over the next 10 days. Disconnect from your email, social media, and client phone calls as much as possible. Reconnect with your partner, kids, family, friends and loved ones.

Reconnect with the reasons you’re running a business. Why do you get up every morning and work on your projects? What makes you excited about work and about life?

Figure out how to make more of that happen for you in 2015. It’s worth the time investment.

Before you go…

Before we all say goodbye for the next 10 days (we’ve got some fun announcements coming in January), take a second and leave a comment on this post and tell me this:

1) Why are you an entrepreneur/freelancer? What’s the real reason?

2) How are you going to spend the next 10 days?

For the next ten days, friends, farewell. May you find happiness in making the most of the last days of this year.

See you next year (it’s gonna be a great one)!!

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About Preston D Lee

Preston is an entrepreneur, writer, podcaster, and the founder of this blog. You can contact him via twitter at @prestondlee.

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Comments

  1. I am a home-based entrepreneur/freelancer because I want to always be available for my girls, they are in school but calls home because of sickness or having a headache and needing some Advil…I want to answer. I want to be able to volunteer at their schools, if needed and wanted. I like the flexibility of being able to work when I want and need to. This is also the hardest part of working from home.

    I will unplug for a few days to spend some good quality time with my family. Also sneak in some creative time with my paints, pencils and whatever else I grab to get back to my roots ,so to speak, of my creativity.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

  2. wow! what a great & timely msg. I spend way too many hours working & if im not careful ill burn out. My wife already complains I don’t spend enough time with her/the family. Its tough sometimes being the only income provider for my family of 4, but proper balance is still a must. I will do some thinking on this issue. I will try to take as much time as I can off over the next 10 days. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.

    Merry Christmas to all! “For unto us a child will be born, and he shall be called prince of peace, wonderful counselor, everlasting Father, Mighty God! -Isaiah

    • Brett,
      I hope this message was helpful to you. If you have a spouse that is concerned about how much time you spend working, try Jon Acuff’s 5:00am club on for size. A quick google search will get you there. You’ll be surprised how irritated NO ONE is if you put in a couple extra hours of work at 5am. 🙂

      Thanks for sharing the scripture. God bless.

  3. hello all the way from peru 🙂 ! love your article, i’ve been working as a freelancer for about 6 months now and i find it so much better than been in an office. I have no kids but i’ve find out that been able to manage my time and been able to watch a movie with mom and dad or see my nieces is a blessing and i love it, but since i am new at this haha i still have to figure put how to make it even better next year. But for now i’m off to the beach to relax and have some fun with friends.

    Happy holidays for you all!

    • Hey, Adriana! I LOVE Peru. I spent 25 months in Chile and have lots of Peruvian friends because of my time there. Thanks for sharing with us and enjoy your time off at the beach!

  4. I will miss your incredible wit and expertise for the next ten days but we will survive without it. I admire your position and am very happy for your family and friends that you know how to prioritize! Have a wonder-filled holiday and enjoy yourself. Thanks for all your sage advice, you truly do help people fulfill their dreams. Love to your and yours. Kati

  5. Thanks for such an awe-inspiring article! I believe that’s why I wanted to be an entrepreneur! My dad was a contractor, and although I remember he spent a lot of late nights finishing the job, I also remember he had many free days to spend time with me and my sister.

    My friend who started his own business told me these very wise words: “Work hard, then play hard”

    I’ll be working hard right up until Christmas eve, then I’ll be taking a break =)

  6. Hello Preston,
    I have been following Millo for nearly a year now, absorbing every word you release. For the past 22 years I worked a steady, reliable blue collar job while flexing my creative muscles as merely a hobby. In 2013, that job literally quite nearly killed me and I almost lost everything (my wife and son). I have been in rehab since and am approaching the time to re-enter the workforce. But now my plans are to freelance from home trying to start a career in the creative field that I have been told by many to do for a long while. The first three to six months of 2015 are going to make or break this dream, and this article of yours only fuels the fire. Thank you all at Millo for the helpful, insightful, and at times even entertaining articles.
    Keith

  7. I freelance because I like to take ownership of my project from start to finish and dealing with the client and making the decisions that come with that. I will be spending time watching movies, reading, playing with my niece and nephews in the next few days….Thanks for this article! Happy Holidays, Susan

  8. What a great quote!

    This is exactly why I’m a freelancer. I drop my kids off at school every morning, and pick them up every afternoon. On the rare occasions that I have to put them into after-school club to meet a deadline, they are always surprised to hear that it’s because I have work to do. In theory they know that “Mummy makes websites” but they don’t see too much evidence of it.

    Alas, this means that they complain when I haven’t mended something for them, or done some other chore before the end of the school day, since apparently I “had lots of time”!

    • Alice,
      That’s funny. One day your kids will understand and they’ll be so grateful for the kind of parent you were to them. 🙂 Hope you have a decent break at the end of this year.

  9. Wow what a great and timely post. Thank you . I’m unplugging today , and can’t wait! Reading your post took away some of the guilt I have felt about not working for 10 days. I so wish my kids didn’t know I had a job. That is going on my wish list for 2015. Enjoy

  10. Preston
    I knew what this blog would be about from reading the title. Bizarrely it has brought me to tears – you are spot on with why I am an entrepreneur. I can pick and choose when and how I work, and still see my boys.
    I have not reached perfection yet, but at least when I am working, I am only in the spare room, and my 8 year old is fantastic at providing comments on my designs.
    Great blog.
    I unplugged for a few days already and this is my last check up before total shut down, and family christmas relaxation.
    The only thing – I love designing sooo much its often my own willpower that lets me down!
    Merry Christmas!

  11. Thanks for your hard work, guys, and I hope 2015 will be even better for all of us! Happy holidays!

    … Now that I think about it … I probably need a break like that as well. 🙂

  12. Hey Preston!
    I only do occasional work as a designer these days – too many years of too many hours has made it hard for me to sit at a screen without a pain flare-up. Which is another good reason for your readers not to overwork!
    I wish you had been around back when I was slaving for The Man (and The Woman!), especially when I did try to make the break and work for myself – so much good advice I could have used.
    Have a good break everyone.
    C:

  13. fabulous post! too often we get so busy and allow our businesses, blogs and brands to creep into every aspect of our lives. taking a break, a real break, is so irritant to our sanity and creativity and clarity. I can totally empathize with your story and I feel compelled and inspired. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one taking a break!

    to answer:

    1. to live the life I want. and because I don’t do the Monday to Friday office routine. and I can’t bring myself to serve people in the restaurant industry anymore. So I do it to have the schedule, life and structure that’s right for me.

    2. the last 10 days I watched he Jurassic Park trilogy. Twice. I walked, drank tea, cooked and photographed food, read books and did literally nothing online. except Instagram. I love Instagram.

    Here’s to a happy, healthy, balanced and intentional 2015!