Most Entrepreneurs experience burnout at some point. But when we can recognise the common signs leading to burnout, we can take steps to alleviate it and help both our mindset and our businesses. In this weeks episode we also discuss how to help yourself if you do experience burnout.
Prefer to read? Here’s the blog version…
Hello, my loves. I am sitting at my desk overlooking the Atlantic Ocean here in Spain, and I am sipping on some herbal ginger tea and I just feel so good right now. I feel so good that I decided to record a podcast episode and tackle a heavy subject. And I can do this because I am in a place of overflow and I always tell my clients, you cannot pour from an empty cup, right? So I’m very confident to be delivering and sharing this episode on burnout from a place where I am inspired from a place where I can think logically and see the situation for what it is.
This episode was inspired by one of our lovely Digital Nomad Society members. She wrote me a really heartfelt message, and I think the situation, the problem is applicable to many entrepreneurs out there.
Burnout: Every Entrepreneur Experiences It
I truly believe entrepreneurship is a roller coaster and at one point or another we’re going to be faced with difficult decisions. We’re going to be burnt out, and the question is, what do you do? What do you do when you feel like you’re doing everything and it’s not working or you’re doing everything and you can’t go on any longer? So I’m going to read the question and then share my response and then also go through step-by-step what to do. If you are facing burnout or If you run into burnout in the future. So this member asked:
“How do I move forward when I’m struggling from burnout? Lots of emotional trauma and just not having the energy. How do you keep showing up when things are hard? Is it possible to create a sustainable business that doesn’t rely on constant content creation? Does the digital Nomad lifestyle require it?”
And so we’re going to break these questions down and answer them through this episode, but I just want to read my response because if this is something that you are faced with right now, this is what I would recommend:
“First and foremost, your health is most important. So if you need to take time off social media, give yourself permission to that is totally okay. You can’t pour from an empty cup and take your time to process and heal and whatever your mental health needs and whatever your physical body needs. With that being said, you’re probably hitting an upper limit of what your business can handle in terms of bandwidth because it relies on your energy, which is good news because now we can build new marketing systems that don’t rely on your energy only. Some examples are ads to a landing page for your products and services or adds to landing pages to generate leads for your one-on-one services, outsourcing social media management and or lead generation by hiring a va. Or you could batch and automate your posts and emails so you’re not creating them day by day.”
The Biggest Mistake When Dealing With Burnout
And then I go on to share some more customized advice. But if you are in the situation, the biggest mistake that entrepreneurs do when they hit burnout, which is like what led them to burnout in the first place, is to keep going and not give themselves a break. They think that by working even harder and by trying even harder and doing even more things, that that is the answer, that there’s no red flag anywhere of how it’s affecting their energy.
They think they’re not doing enough. And that is the biggest, biggest mistake because A, it led you to burnout in the first place. And B, we don’t want to be running a business where we are constantly in this hustle mode, right? We don’t want to be trudging through and doing all the things and feeling like that is our norm. We don’t want that. So by giving yourself permission to take a break, you actually get a chance to look at what you’re doing and look at the bigger picture without getting so involved into the day by day. You get to ask yourself questions like, is this how I want to be running my business? Do I have other options? Is there something I’m missing that will make this a lot easier? And the answer is probably yes. So let’s break this down into each individual question.
How Do You Keep Showing Up When Things Get Hard?
You don’t need to keep showing up. You get to take a break. You can step back from social media (I took 2 weeks off and you can see what I learned here). You don’t have to continue showing up. But if the question is how do you keep showing up and how do I stay consistent when things are hard, then that would indicate the need for different workflows such as batching, such as scheduling and automation.
Personally in my business, I show up for my clients and members 110%. I’ve never missed a coaching call. I’ve never missed a mastermind call. I’ve never missed a live, and thankfully I haven’t been in a situation where I’ve really needed to miss them because I schedule out my calls and my days so that I know that I can attend them. But if I was going through a really, really hard time in my life where I felt that my message wouldn’t carry across, that I wouldn’t be able to fully help my clients and members in my full capacity, I would reschedule and I would give myself permission to reschedule because it’s suing them a favor as much as it’s doing me a favor, right? And I’m sure that they would understand. With that being said, there is a difference between showing up for your clients and members and customers versus showing up online in the form of content creation and you can burn out from both.
I personally burnt out from clients a few years ago when I was only doing one-on-ones and I was just overworked and I had so many moving pieces. I was trying to keep track of all of my client’s ads and businesses, and it was just getting too much, and that’s when I burnt out from client work. I’ve also felt burnout from content creation, from just having to be in front of the camera all the time, take content, edit content, post content, find out what’s trending and everything content related that causes burnout. It’s important to recognize that not all money making activities in your business leads to burnout.
So it’s not equivalent. It’s not like the harder you work, the more money you’re going to make. And sometimes simply recognizing that gives you more permission to take a step back. If you’re like, I am feeling like I’m putting in so much energy into my content and I’m not getting the clients, then you get a chance to ask yourself, is it working? Do I need a different strategy?
Different Types of Burnout
So not only is showing up different for whoever is in your audience versus just showing up online for your brand, there is also a difference between the type of Burnout. Is it through client work or is it through attempting to generate leads?
Because once you can kind of distinguish where the Burnout is stemming from, then we can figure out solutions. My recommendation is to automate and outsource. So if you can’t automate and or outsource your content creation. You need to focus on the workflow and the strategy so that you can create a SOP – standard operating procedure – around it and you can hand it off to someone else. You don’t have to do it right now, but you need to start thinking in a way that makes it possible in the future. Think of how you create content and think of the content you do capture and think of how you edit, how you caption.
Can you systematize it? Write down steps and give it to someone else and or automate it, right? Think a step ahead and think bigger than what you’re currently doing sometimes with an exit strategy of how you can make it easier. It also makes your job easier knowing that it doesn’t have to be forever. If you are experiencing burnout from clients, whether that is taking on too many or you feel like you’re being overworked. This is a great place for you to set boundaries, and it’s also a chance for you to outsource and automate. Do you have a project management tool in place? Do you need to hire a community manager?Do you need to hire help? Do you need to hire an assistant? All of these questions will help make your job as CEO easier as you continue growing, because if it’s too much for you to handle right now, how is it going to grow even bigger, right? Or are going to iron out the bottlenecks. If you’re like me and a few years ago I experienced burnout with one-on-one clients, I encourage you to think of other ways to monetize. This looks like one to many. So this is when I started Momentum Mastermind because I was like, I have all of these one-on-one clients. Let me group them together and create a group program.
This can also look like digital courses, eBooks, templates, memberships, all of these different income streams that you can automate and scale (read about my passive income stream suggestions here). So introducing things that will enable you to not have to work one-on-one or be so dependent on your time.
How To Create A Business That Doesn’t Rely On content Creation
The next question that our member asked: is it possible to create a sustainable business that doesn’t rely on constant content creation? So content creation can be in itself like a form of monetization or it can be a way to generate leads. If you’re not getting paid to create content, then you’re probably using content to generate leads, right?
And the good news is leads can be either outsourced or it can be automated. I personally love paid advertising. I of course use social media to my advantage, but I’ve found that it gives you the freedom to take a step back because you know that more people are finding your Instagram or getting onto your email list new subscribers every single day that your business is running, plus all of those people who see your ads and follow you, but don’t subscribe. Like it just gives you so much more breathing room because if you wanted to just not focus on social media for a day. You know that people are still seeing you and subscribing to your email list.
Paid advertising can also look like directly sending people to your paid offers, either physical products or digital offers. You don’t have to constantly be posting about your paid products. You literally, like let’s say you’re selling something for $67, even if you spend $50 to get someone to buy, you are still making a profit. You can spend up to like $67. And this is excluding any order bumps, any upsells, any new subscribers on the list, right? All of those have monetary values, but the cost of acquisition, if you can get someone for less than what your product or service is worth, you are making a profit. And so just think about how you can use paid advertising to your advantage. If you already have a tried and tested product or service, look into Facebook ads because they are just so, so powerful and you don’t need a big budget to start.
You can start with $5 or $10 a day. And it’s just so exciting seeing your business grow without you having to do anything. And so If you do implement something like paid ads. It enables you to build and grow the sustainable business that doesn’t rely on constant content creation, right? Because you are constantly showing up to new people, but it’s your old content or it’s content you create for the ad. And you don’t need to be doing it every single day because Facebook and Instagram are doing it for you. And this brings me back to the episode that I’ve recorded about the pyramid parable. Which business system are you going to subscribe to?
Are you going to subscribe to being a full-time content creator (my tips on landing paid deals are here) where the nature of your business is content creation and you really need to do that every single day? Or do you want to take a step back? Do you want to be able to take a day or a few weeks or a few months off and still see sales come in. If you opt in for the ladder, you’ll need to be building those systems of passive income, of digital products, digital courses, memberships, and getting your sales systems, your funnels in place to make that happen. I’ve previously talked about all the income streams that I have at the Wanderlover if you’re curious to know more and gain some insights into my business.
Is Content Creation Necessary As A Digital Nomad?
Okay, the last question from our member: “Does the digital Nomad lifestyle require it?” – as in, does it require constant content creation?
So by now, the answer is no, because it is so possible to introduce these systems that allow you to grow even without showing up, that allow you to monetize even without showing up. I just had a private coaching session today and we went through setting up Pinterest and Tailwind for their Blog. And tailwind too is an incredibly powerful automation tool that just perpetually distributes your Blog posts to thousands and thousands of people every single day. So things like that, right? Building and creating those systems will enable you to take a step back. If you want to, but you need to focus on them.
And as a Digital Nomad, like I know how valuable time is, I am always either exploring or surfing or flying. And it really challenges you to find efficient ways to run a business because you’re not always working 40 hour work weeks from nine to five in front of a computer. Sometimes you’re on a beach or sometimes you’re in an airport. You’re almost forced to have systems in place or else you forget about things, or at least I forget about things because when everything is, you know, moving around me, the last thing I’m thinking about is like, oh, what should I be focused on in my business instead, having a system.
So having a project management tool, having notes ready, having a content calendar ready, it makes things so much easier. And I’ve found that living this lifestyle, because it is so different, you get to run your business differently as well. You don’t need to follow the cookie cutter advice of how to grow businesses. There are ways like if there is a will, there is a way. So if you’re looking for ways to make it easier on yourself, there definitely, most definitely is away.
So in conclusion, if you are about to face burnout or if you are facing Burnout, take a breather. You are most likely in a better position than your mind is making it out to be.
In five years time, you’re probably gonna look back and be like, okay, I was either overreacting or I just needed time for myself. But give yourself permission to just take a break, If you need it and calm yourself down. Like calm down the nervous system. Next. It is probably a sign that you are hitting capacity, right? So how do you reorganize your business? How do you do things differently going forward that will prevent this from happening, outsource, automate, or build a different system that will get you the results that you want and the time freedom that you want. If I hadn’t burnt out from one-on-one client work a few years ago, I probably wouldn’t have as many digital products in my business suite and automations that make it so much easier for me to take a step back, right?
That’s when I really had to ask myself, what can I do differently and how can I prevent this from happening again? And now I wake up to sales, I wake up to people signing up to my memberships or buying my digital products, and it’s not reliant on content creation. So I hope this episode is helpful. Please let me know, if you are experiencing something similar and I’d be more than happy to coach you through it or coach you out of it in my DM’s. And I will see you guys in the next episode. Have an amazing week.
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