Regarding quitting a job or leaving clients there is always a risk and a trade-off. In my husband’s case it’s the second time he quits, the first one was in 2008 to do an MBA (that’s where we met). It was hard to find a job in 2009! We managed though. I figured, now with more experience and better economy should be easier. We just need to be ok with the risk of few more months of unemployment or landing a less than ideal job. For us the Sabbatical was worth that risk. He works in product management, tech. In terms of future Sabbaticals, we don’t know. We just focused on organising this one.
I hear you about how difficult time off is for a small business. I want to believe that when there is a will there is a way. Something I know can help is working with a coach. A good coach helps clarify what’s important for us and think through the options. Good luck!