stressed business woman sitting at table holding the bridge of her nose over laptop

Burnout: The good, the bad and the ugly

Burnout is a dirty word for everyone, but for entrepreneurs, it can flat out be detrimental.

 Not only for your business but for your overall happiness. Most people fall into one of two categories:

  1. You either do nothing; are constantly giving up, procrastinating, not taking any action. You are often driven by the fear of being too busy and not having a life outside of work.
  2. You work, work, work until you finally crash and become overwhelmed with all the things. Burning yourself out because you are working too hard and ultimately not achieving balance.

So how do we avoid this? The answer is MUCH simpler than you might think.

Let's get personal

I had a vision for my life, as most of us do, and for me this looked like a big important job at a fancy office, in my fancy stilettos, leading a team of people. However, one day I found myself standing in my fancy office on the 18th floor with my team sitting just down the hallway, making an impact in over 22 countries – having achieved my vision and more. As I looked out the window, I felt sad, defeated, unimportant and unfulfilled. I was exhausted to my core, a feeling that still to this day is hard to explain. I was experiencing burnout at it’s finest. 

After leaving my “dream job”, I freelanced for a few years before fully pouring myself into the vision that is now Oakes Creative House. However, those years were a struggle. I had to actively work each day to not fall right back into my old habits of going too hard, too fast. The problem was that I had a convoluted idea of what success looked like. I thought success meant working as hard as I could, for as long as I could, putting everything else aside until finally, I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore – then waking up the next morning and doing it over and over again.

I’m telling this story because I know as entrepreneurs, sadly, this is the normal mindset of how to achieve success with our businesses. The issue is that we are allowing a scarcity mindset to drive our thinking. 

The Ultimate Problem 

We so often associate time and energy with money and success. I hear all of the time… I can’t have my business grow larger, or work on marketing more, because I can’t handle the extra work. The fun fact? This is so untrue! Actually, the opposite is closer to the truth. It is highly likely that during times of high stress you are doing more production work than value work. This is why you will see people who experience stress and burnout, no matter what size or stage their business is at. The solution is changing the mindset of busy work vs value work.

Most people think that the key to not experiencing burnout is to work fewer hours. So. Not. True! Some people work many hours and never experience burnout. Some people only work part time and still experience burnout. The issue is with HOW you work and the overall outlook you have towards your work.

Burnout is caused by three things: lack of priorities, poor planning, and scarcity mindset.

Solving the problem

So now we get to the ultimate question, how do we fix this problem? 

The ultimate cause of burnout comes from the lack of a plan. When you go through life jumping from task to task with no end in sight you are constantly reacting to everything, putting out fires and ultimately chasing your tail. It is this mental exhaustion surrounding your day to day habits that wears you down. 

Think about it this way, say you are riding a bike as fast as you can, trying to get somewhere that is miles away. If you stop pedaling you will never get there on time, right? So untrue. Think outside the box. What if you took 10 minutes to jump in the car and program the address into a GPS. You will get there 10x faster with time to spare to check your email in the parking lot before you go in and take a perfectly lit car selfie (because your hair looks awesome today… duh). 

The solution – SPACE! What do I mean by this? Honestly, it’s not too far off from telling someone – Hey! I need some space from you right now! But in this case you are telling that to your work. It may seem counterintuitive to some because it would mean taking a few hours out of your day, week, month not to produce. Wouldn’t this mean less money?! Absolutely not!

Actually, by putting space in your schedule to plan, setting a vision for the things that truly make you happy, outsourcing tasks that you just don’t love doing, etc… you are creating mental space around your busy lifestyle. By looking at it objectively you are able to focus on the things that truly light your heart on fire.

HINT: these are the things that give you PURPOSE and ultimately will be what allows you to turn your passions into income without trading time for dollars. You need space to think objectively and become aware of the things that are taking your precious time away from you!

My challenge to you 

Find one project this week that you can delay until next week. Spend those hours objectively looking at your upcoming schedule to see how you can create similar space on a regular basis. 

Then ask yourself these 3 questions:

  1. Am I still aiming towards a vision that lights my heart on fire?
  2. Do I have priorities set that can guide me through each decision that I make?
  3. What is the ONE goal that will move the needle the furthest?

Go all in for that ONE goal and do what you were born to do… kill it! 

A few snippets in this blog post were pulled from Ep #182: The Truth about Burnout from The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo

Feeling stress and burnout in your job or your business?

I’ve been there! Let’s set up a one-on-one call to talk about how you can overcome this feeling with tangible tips that can work for you!

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