The Importance of Taking a Lot of Vacations

By Michael W. Sonnenfeldt, Founder and Chairman, TIGER 21

The ability to get away from day-to-day concerns can free the mind to focus on the bigger picture and to keep an eye out for other opportunities. I spend a lot of time away from the office — as many as 20 to 30 trips each year, and many are for multiple business reasons with a good amount of personal time mixed in as well. It can be helpful to get away from the office to recharge your batteries and think. Thanks to smartphones and the Internet, I am able to be reached 24/7/365. This allows me to be as connected as I feel I need to be. It is never too late to seek a better balance in your life.

Every year in the United States, half a million men and women decide to take the biggest risk of their lives in pursuit of a dream. They do this to start a business of their own and to be their own boss. Most successful entrepreneurs travel more than their peers — with the exception of salespeople, some investment bankers, and maybe certain types of support personnel, but my guess is that the travel of entrepreneurs is generally more varied because in order to be successful they need to know so much more about the world and how their products or services can thrive in it in addition to what competitive threats could emerge. Over the years, I have learned that leaving the office can also allow your team to do what you hired them to do.

A Global Workplace

When I was 25 years old, my partner and mentor who was more than twice my age, David Fromer, presented me with one demand that was non-negotiable: If we were to be partners, I would have to understand that he was likely to disappear from the office many weeks during the year — or simply put, as often as he wanted. David explained, “But you can contact me any time you want. I’m available 365 days a year.” And he was. The idea that your office could be wherever you are has had a profound impact on my own managing style, freeing me up to spend time on the other things in my life that I care about, such as family, philanthropy, political causes, art, and travel – particularly to one of my favorite destinations, Japan.

Life After an Exit

Michael W. Sonnenfeldt, Founder and Chairman, TIGER 21

The initial reason I created TIGER 21, the premier peer membership organization for high-net-worth wealth creators and preservers, was the unique situation that entrepreneurs find themselves in when they have a liquidity event and go from having, let’s say, 1,000 employees to, all of a sudden, having a lot of money and no employees at all. This is the perfect time to take a breather and uncover new opportunities for the next chapter of life.

Diversity Makes You Smarter

Great entrepreneurs are innovators by definition. They are always looking out for the next opportunity. Participating in travel and meeting diverse people can expose you to different cultures, different economies, and different ways of doing things — and to lots of opportunities (and threats) you would never have seen from your desk.

Access to Global Perspectives

TIGER 21 started 20 years ago with a single Group of six entrepreneurs in New York City who had all sold their businesses. Since then TIGER 21 has expanded its footprint with Groups located across the US and Canada, in addition to the UK and Switzerland. As TIGER 21 grew we found that Members visited other Groups quite frequently across the globe. This access to different perspectives and insights have heavily benefitted Members and is a huge advantage of membership.

Finding a Balance

For those reluctant to spend any of their inherited or accumulated wealth on travel and recreation, I often ask “what’s the point of creating or inheriting wealth if you don’t spend it wisely and well — but also enjoy it?” It appears that most of our 700+ Members live annually on roughly 2-3 % of their net worth, probably even less for those on the upper end of the wealth spectrum. To some this will seem like a lot because in absolute dollars it might be. But to many others it will seem like far too little. For people grappling with a starting point, the “2% rule” has proven to be one of the best, and while finding a balance can be one of the most difficult to come to grips with, it is incredibly liberating when you do.

To learn more about the advantages of TIGER 21 Membership visit:

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