burnout in business

Once upon a time I used to wake at 6AM and start work at 6:15AM.

Once upon a time I used to eat at my desk, because I felt like I didn’t have time to stop and be present with and appreciative of my food.

Once upon a time I would sleep poorly because my mind was active and full of that day’s incomplete to-do lists and tomorrow’s upcoming tasks.

During these times, even though I felt sh!t and burnt out, I couldn’t see a way out. I felt like it was just what needed to be done. That the hustle was a normal and essential part of building and growing a business. That things would ease. Soon. That it was impossible to shuffle anything around in my calendar because people relied on me/I needed to hustle in order to progress my business/I’d made commitments/blah blah blah.

The thing was … it was all my own doing.

Everything that had landed itself in my sh!t situation sandwich had been put there by little old me.

I was the one who had said ‘yes’.

I was the one who had set unrealistic time frames.

I was the one who who stuffed my sh!t sandwich a little too full.

If these feelings are something you can relate to, don’t beat yourself up about the situation you’ve found yourself in beauty! Rather, feel empowered by the fact that it’s 100% in your control to bring about change. After all, if you were the one who put a few too many things on your plate, then you’re also the one who can remove them, right? How f!kcing cool is that?!

Obviously this then leads us to the golden question - where the heck do I even start?

The first step is to truly realise and accept that the power is in your hands to create change. Very often when we’re in the thick of things, it’s hard (heck, sometimes it even feels impossible) to see a way out. We make excuses, go into overdrive and are so deep in our mind (and thus so disconnected from our heart) that seeing possibilities and solutions seems impossible. But possibilities and solutions are there. You just need to get curious and be open minded.

Ask yourself -

What work can be postponed?

Can anything be cancelled altogether?

What am I doing right now that isn’t essential?

What support can I recruit (in my business and/or personal life)?

What time frames can be extended?

There’s always a way and even just a tiny breathe of air during a manic period is all you need to recalibrate, get your priorities straight and get back on track.

Sometimes it’s as simple as the busy biz woman who is also a Mum requesting that her hubby help out around the house more (or hire a cleaner or get Hello Fresh on board - haha).

Sometimes it’s as simple as saying to a client who has a non urgent task, ‘Hey, I can’t get that done for you as quickly as I’d hoped. Is it okay if we extend the timeframe a little?’

Sometimes it’s as simple as saying no. ‘No, I don’t have capacity at the moment. I’d love to book you in for a few weeks time though!’

From there (I know many of you are going to resist what I’m about to say), you need to step away from your business. Yup, I said it. Even just going to a yoga class for an hour (because let me guess - your self care has slipped as well?) will do you the world of good. I’ve always believed that we most need what we most resist and I’ll bet you a $1,000,000 that if you’re feeling overwhelmed at the moment, you also haven’t been looking after yourself. Sadly, the two tend to go hand in hand. Trust me, you will feel better for taking a break. You’ll feel more energetic. More inspired. More capable. More focussed. Just do it goddamnit!

Once the storm has settled (and let’s be real, this can take some time depending on how big a sh!t sandwich you’ve made for yourself!) it’s time to take a good hard look at your business.

Are you taking on so much because you’re not getting adequately reimbursed for the work you are doing? Do you need to show yourself and your expertise some respect and hike up your prices?

What non essential things are you wasting time on in your business? What can be passed on to someone else? What isn’t in your zone of genius that someone else could do in a quarter of the time? If writing copy is one of these things then holla honey!

Where are you leaking energy in your business? What things are zapping you of your energy and creativity?

What do you need to stop doing (i.e. tasks that don’t inspire you or low income producing activities) and alternatively, what do you need to start doing (e.g. raise your prices or package your offerings differently)?

My guess is that you didn’t get into business to feel stressed out and overwhelmed and get burnt out. My guess is that you started your own biz because you wanted to feel inspired, creative, free and abundant.

The simple fact of the matter honey, is that if your biz isn’t doing these things for you, then something’s got to change. The great news, is that the power is all yours.

are you going to take back control?