Norm Brodsky's 5 Most Controversial Business Ideas

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The Less You’re Around, the Better for the Business

Brodsky decided years ago that he wanted to take as much as 16 weeks of vacation a year. That meant that he had to train his employees to be autonomous and to not rely on him to get things done. So he started to prepare his company. His managers took on new responsibilities; customers got used to less face time with the owner; and outside investors saw Brodsky’s ability to step back from the business as a plus. Best of all, the entrepreneur says he was able to ponder the business’s problems with greater perspective. “It was obvious to me that I was a bigger asset to the company on my return than I had been when I left,” Brodsky says. (For more, read "Get Lost", June 2008.)