I've learned so much from my own wanderlust that I decided to pass it on to my employees: Everyone gets a free one-month trip every five years. Here's why.
Plain and simple: Sabbaticals make business sense.
Bolivia, Morocco, Vietnam, and many other exotic locations worldwide, have taught me valuable business lessons. That's because I would throw most of my income from my first business into yearly treks that would flood my head with business ideas. These annual, three-month trips never failed to rekindle the fire in my belly needed to lead a fast-growing company.
My biggest light-bulb moment—the one that spurred the idea for my company—happened on Red Frog Beach in Panama. I was thinking that marathons and 5Ks had become, well, boring. It was time to inject military-style obstacles, mud, and beer. We created an event called Warrior Dash, which did just that. In three years it became the world's largest running series.
I gained so much from my wanderlust that it only made sense to offer this benefit to my employees, my Frogs. Every five years they (and a guest of their choice) get a fully paid one-month trip to the destination of their choice. One catch: North America and Australia are off limits (most Frogs already go to Australia for our events there). This isn't a cocktail-umbrella-on-the-beach sort of trip. It's a push-yourself-outside-of-your-comfort-zone, culture-drenched, that-just-changed-my-life trip. Those trips bring home game-changing ideas. Those are sabbaticals.
JOE REYNOLDS turned a $5,000 investment in an event production business called Red Frog into a thriving $45 million company in just four years. Red Frog Events was named the 2011 U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year. @RedFrogEvents