Episode 169 – Taking a Sabbatical as an Independent Consultant with Ashley Ryall

In this episode, host Melisa Liberman speaks with Ashley Ryall, founder and principal of UntapSocial, about the rare but impactful concept of taking a sabbatical as an independent consultant.

Ashley shares her own experience of taking a sabbatical after experiencing burnout, the planning required to step away from her business, and how she navigated the logistical and financial challenges. 

The conversation dives into how taking a break can rejuvenate creativity, renew client relationships, and ultimately benefit both the consultant and their clients. 

Ashley also discusses practical steps for preparing for a sabbatical, setting expectations with clients, and the personal and professional revelations that can emerge from such an intentional pause.

00:00  Introduction and Guest Welcome

00:42  Ashley Ryall’s Background and Expertise

01:49  Diving into the Sabbatical Experience

02:06  The Seven-Year Itch and Burnout

03:58  Preparing for a Sabbatical as an Independent Consultant

07:50  Managing Client Expectations and Contracts

15:57  The Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage

19:10  Reflections and Lessons from the Sabbatical

21:54  Realizing the Need for Change

23:41  Facing Burnout: A Personal Journey

27:30  The Impact of the Camino Experience

30:22  Reengaging with Business Post-Sabbatical

34:31  The Importance of Self-Care for Consultants

37:31  Encouraging Sabbaticals for Independent Consultants

41:36  Final Thoughts and Connections


  1. Discuss working with Melisa as your coach – Click here to schedule your consultation.
  2. Buy the book – Grow Your Consulting Business: The 14-Step Roadmap to Make Your Independent Consulting Goals a Reality
  3. Watch my YouTube Podcast Channel
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