🎙️Show Notes for Episode 088 of the IC PodcastNov 16, 2022
Your professional and personal life are beginning to blur. You’ve hit a wall. Your passion is beginning to falter. You’re feeling fatigued.
These are all common symptoms of entrepreneurial burnout.
It’s so common for independent consultants to experience burnout, either situational burnout or overall burnout.
But you're independent for a reason.
You're out on your own.
You get to set your own schedule.
You get to make up your own rules.
You get to make as much money as you want to make.
You get to choose and create a business where you're feeling fulfilled, where you feel that sense of joy, and where you don't have to recreate any burnout that you might have experienced in corporate, or that you think is just part and parcel of being a business owner.
It doesn't have to be that way.
In this episode, I share the formula to overcome and prevent burnout and specific strategies to implement for yourself so you’re able replace the stress, doubt and worry with feeling in control and fulfilled as business owner.
Key points in this episode:
- [01:35] An overview of today's topic
- [02:19] Today's agenda
- [02:56] Check out the Independent Consulting Productivity Assessment: ProductiveIC.com
- [03:56] Foundations of burnout
- [08:48] Recognizing burnout
- [23:00] 3 step solution to prevent or overcome burnout
- [23:31] Identify where you’re on the burnout scale–1 to 10
- [24:01] Identify what’s causing the stress
- [25:42] Establish short and long terms strategies for your business personas
- [31:42] Example of short & longer term strategies to reverse & prevent burnout
- [31:57] Example #1 - Constant worrying
- [36:11] Example #2 - Overworking (maximizing billable hours) without reset
- [39:00] Example #3 - Not feeling acknowledged or appreciated
- [41:35] Episode recap
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE —
- Check out the Independent Consulting Productivity Assessment: ProductiveIC.com
- I invite you to book a Strategy Consultation call with me. On this call, we'll dive into your business, get clear on your goals and challenges and determine an action plan for you so that you can create the business impact, income, and flexibility that you desire. To book yours, please visit https://www.consultmelisa.com
FOR MORE RESOURCES SPECIFIC TO THE INDEPENDENT CONSULTANT —
- Discuss working with me as your coach - Click here to schedule your consultation
- Check out my YouTube Podcast Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUrsHqeAFDkcI8Kqc4QssEQ
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**note: This is an automated transcript, so please ignore spelling errors and grammar mistakes*
Welcome to the podcast this week, we're talking about independent consulting, and burnout. Kind of that time of year. If you're, if you're listening to this in real-time, it's November, we, you know, you've gone through this whole gauntlet this year, and it can be really easy to start experiencing some burnout, either more situational burnout or general burnouts. And so that's why I want to share with you today the formula to overcome burnout to prevent burnout. And to be able to experience that fulfillment and satisfaction from your business, you're independent for a reason you're out on your own, you get to make up your own rules, and you get to make as much money as you want to make, you get to set your own schedule. And you get to choose and create a business where you're feeling fulfilled, where you feel that sense of joy, and where you don't have to recreate any burnout that you might have experienced in corporate or that you think is just part and parcel of being a business owner. It doesn't have to be that way. And today, I want to share with you the formula for you too, like I said, either overcome burnout, if that's where you're at right now, prevent it, or if you know that you're on the verge of it, we're just, generally speaking, to put the processes and steps in place foundation in place for your business so that you don't have to worry about getting burnout. So basically, if you are in burnout, now on the verge of burnout, or simply want to repeat it, this is the episode for you. I think that pretty much encompasses every independent consultant. But really, we're here today to help you with that formula to recognize and overcome and prevent burnout. So with that, our focus our agenda for today is, first we're going to talk about recognizing burnout. What does it look like? How, what are the symptoms? What are the impacts, I'll share with you a three-step solution to overcoming burnout and preventing burnout? And then I'll give you will end here today with a couple of examples, I think, three examples specifically for you to implement in terms of short and longer-term strategies to prevent and reverse that burnout. So I'll give you that solution. But that will also give you some very specific strategies to implement for yourself. So with that, let's talk about a tool that I wanted to share with you before we get started. It is called the independent consulting productivity assessment. When making these assessments it's so fun to create these assessments for you. And I get a lot of feedback about how valuable they are to help you recognize your blind spots to see what is working so you can amplify it. And just generally compare what you're doing for your business against some of the best practices that I've curated over my 10 years of being an independent consultant and working with independent consultants daily so that you can really see where you, you may have some opportunities for yourself in your business. So with that, I've created independent consulting productivity assessments. And you can go find that at productiveIC.com. So the letters I see the word productive, the two letters ic.com. And we'll put that link in the show notes as well. Okay, so now that we have that tool and that companion resource available for you, let's start in and just talk about some of the foundations of burnout. So I always like looking up the definition, what is burnout, because there are so many with it's a term we throw around so much, I think, in our society, and especially as it relates to work. And so I want to make sure we're on the same page about what is burnout. And the best definition I found looking out there on Google, our friends at Google is from the Merriam-Webster dictionary, and it simply defines burnout as the exhaustion of physical or mental emotional strength or motivation, usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration. I'll read that to you again, because I think there's so many key elements in here, exhaustion of physical or emotional strength, or motivation, usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration. The key here being feeling exhausted, emotionally, usually emotionally, also physically losing your motivation and caused by prolonged stress or frustration. So remember this definition because we're going to start tackling some of these elements of burnout as I share with you the strategies to overcome and even prevent the burnout in the first place, as a result, you're feeling depleted. You're feeling that fatigue, you're feeling that lack of motivation potentially. So I just asked you, as you're listening to this, think about where you're at right now, perhaps you're on the verge of burnout, or perhaps you are in burnout. Or perhaps you remember a time where you were in burnout, either as a business owner or in your corporate career. So think about that context as we go through today's episode. And you know, the impact but just to reinforce this, the impact of your feeling that mental and emotional exhaustion, as a result of the prolonged stress and frustration, of course, your performance is going to be impacted. Either your performance as a consultants delivering for your clients, or your performance as a business owner, or usually both. Oftentimes your personal life is impacted, kind of on the good end of the scale is your irritable and kind of short on the more challenging end of the scale, the impact of the burnout might be that you're avoiding your friends and family or that you just have completely depleted and have nothing else to give and you don't have that are unable to even muster the strength for that sense of, you know, balance in your life. You might be questioning if your consulting business is sustainable. I hear this. So often is this even sustainable for me? I'm going to if I'm going to create this dynamic in my business, where I'm constantly stressed and worried about revenue and cash flow, where are my next clients going to come from and what I'm charging for those clients. And having to feel like I'm, you know, need to maximize my billable hours, is this even sustainable? And of course, if you're thinking that you're starting to entertain thoughts of going back to corporate, I hear this a lot. I need like, a little respite from my business, you gotta just go park myself in corporate for a little bit and regroup. What I want to share with you today is the formula to overcome and eventually prevent this burnout. So that you don't have to worry about whether your business is sustainable or not. Whether this lifestyle as a business owner is sustainable. And ultimately, you don't have to worry about going back to corporate to relieve the burnout. If you want to go back to corporate no problem. And that's not the issue here what the issue is, is feeling like that's your only solution to to a situation where you've got gotten yourself into this burnout state. So let's just take a step back for a moment thinking about the what is what is burnout and the impacts of burnout for you whether you're experiencing it or want to really protect yourself from experiencing it. Let's think about the causes of burnout. And the definition really alluded to this, that's the word I'm looking for the definition alluded to the causes of burnout. But I want to really emphasize this because I think it's so important. A lot of times we think that burnout is created by the workload, or the nature of the work, or the fact that you've got to juggle both working on your business, as you know, and working in your business, you've got to juggle generating leads and creating revenue for your business and then delivering it. We think that burnout is caused by that we think about burnout is caused by this like constant need to feel that your need to maximize your billings, just in case the other shoe drop drops and you lose a client or you have a gap in revenue. We think that burnout is caused by not having enough time for things that are rejuvenating. Or we might think that burnout is caused by demanding people demanding clients demanding, you know, whatever's in our life. And so, a lot of times we think about those as being the cause of the stress and the frustration.
And so of course, if you're thinking that the workload or the demanding people, the demanding clients or the nature of the work is the cause, then of course, he would assume that the fix to the burnout is to change those things. That's where the idea that comes in play of well, maybe I'll just, you know, kind of wipe the slate clean and go back to corporate or maybe I'll wipe the slate clean and just take on easier projects. Or maybe you know, the only fix to my burnout is to increase my billings, you know, my pricing significantly to create more space for myself. Those are the types of solutions that You think when we, when we believe that the cause of the burnout are those external things, the workload that the nature of the work that demanding people, the amount of time we have or don't have. But the actual root cause here is how you're thinking about all those that workload, how you're feeling about that workload, how you're thinking about the demanding people, or you're feeling about the demanding people. And ultimately, those things that that talk track going on, in your mind over and over and over again, accumulates over time, it builds up the stress, if you're thinking about those things, create the stress, it builds up over time. And I'm going to give you an example of this to really clearly illustrate what I'm talking about when I'm sharing with you the root cause of your burnout, which is your thinking and your the way you're thinking about things in the way you're feeling about things. We talk a lot about mindset on this podcast for a reason, it's one of the best levers that you have access to control in your business. So as we're wrapping up this, this framework about what causes the burn out, I'll just summarize it by saying nothing needs to change about what you're doing in your business, your workload, the nature of the work, you're doing the demanding or not demanding clients you're working with. Nothing about that needs to change unless you want it to. Nothing about that needs to change in order to overcome burnout. What, you will want to implement I'll share with you more specifics about this, the shift to recover and prevent burnout comes from your ability to manage your mental and emotional states. So I'm going to share with you very, two very, a couple of very specific examples here. So to illustrate what I'm talking about, the first one is my own personal experience in burnout, it happened to me when I was in my soul in my corporate role. But it's so relevant here to any of us who are experiencing or on the verge of, or even wanting to prevent burnout as business owners. I had been at my SAS start startup company for about 10 years before, it was 12 years before becoming an independent consultant. But about 10 years in I experienced this intense depleting burnout that took me 18 months to recover from. So I want to kind of walk you through that and share with you how I know firsthand, in addition to working with so many clients, that I see the same patterns in how I know firsthand that it is all about the way that you're thinking and the feelings that are that emotional state of stress that's generated as a result of your thinking, and not about the external circumstances. So let me describe this to you. So I was I was working at that SAS startup company that I helped to build from the ground up. It was about 10 years into this, and that's a long time at a startup 10 years. That's a long time of just not knowing is this gonna succeed or fail and doing the work of two or three people. You know that's, that's the first 10 years were very hard, long hours, repeated travel, global travel local, you know, internet. Now, what's the domestic word travel, domestic travel, global travel, constant pressure to generate revenue, to create numbers that the board would, you know, would allow us to continue operating for another quarter or over a year. So many personnel challenges, challenges of hiring people into an unknown quantity, challenges of exiting people that weren't performing challenges of my own team getting burned out. There was, it was a lot you can relate to this is I'm sure. In your corporate experience, it was a lot of pressure. It was the work of probably more than one or two or you know, people I wasn't burned out. Those first 10 years I was not burned out. There was a lot of exhaustion, there was a lot of stress, there was a lot of frustration, but I was able to rebound because emotionally and and logically. So all of the thinking that was driving the work that I was doing was about what an impact I was making was about the my thought, you know, if we were to look at kind of a pie chart of the types of thoughts that I had at that time, it was probably 80 or 90%, thoughts that were productive thoughts about what a great impact I was making thoughts about how much the clients were benefiting from the software and services that we were creating thoughts about? This company's going to work? I know we're going to figure out how to make it work. Of course, that wasn't 100% of the time, but 80 to 90% of the time, they were really high-quality thoughts about how do we solve the problems that we're facing? How do I, you know, how do I make this easier for all of us? How do we make the to implement, for example, the software? How do we make it more impactful for our clients? How do we productize this was constantly problem solving and thinking about myself in a way that was productive, that I was making a difference, that people respected me that my opinions and recommendations were valued. So that's what prevented me from being burned out, even given those extreme, someone say extreme circumstances for it to go through for 10 years. Now, of course, there were ups and downs, I'm not saying it was all rosy, it definitely wasn't. But I never reached a burnout state. Because at the end of the day, my thoughts were very much in line with this is working, I'm good at this, I can make I can be successful people value what I'm doing. Now, under the covers, I'm sure there were a lot of people who didn't value or appreciate what I was doing, right. But those were the overarching thoughts that I had about the situation. And so in times of exhaustion, or stress or frustration, I was able to rebound. Now, look at the last two years at this organization; we had a reorg, I happen to be on on maternity leave,
going on maternity leave, had been married for, I don't know, 10 years, I guess at that time, go on maternity leave, and then I'm reorg no longer come back, no longer reporting to the CEO reporting to a COO who I that's a long story reporting to a COO that, quite frankly, I didn't respect we'll just leave it at that. And, and just felt like the rug had been ripped out from under me, was still in the executive team. But so much of the impact that I was able to make before going on this maternity leave that I had been making for 10 years, I felt like that rug had been ripped out from under me, we had a new CEO, we now I had a layer between me and the CEO. I felt like I was constantly fighting for influence and alignment, about what I believed was the best thing for the business. And this new CEO and COO were not interested in my opinions, or recommendations, or experience; quite frankly, the experience that I had accumulated over the course of 10 years was now seen as a liability. Because, you know, quote, unquote, fresh thinking was really valued at that time. I don't think I mentioned this, but in that same sort of period of time, that we sold the company, and so we had new private equity, a new CEO, a new CFO, a new CFO, and, and then you know, around that time, I went on maternity leave. So all of these things changed, all of the rules of engagement changed, I actually ended up with less workload, less pressure as a result of all of this. And that's the point at which I hit burnout. I didn't hit burnout, and all of those, you know, all of those other circumstances I was describing to you, I ended up hitting burnout, when when the amount the workload was less when I wasn't reporting to the CEO, and I had a layer in between us the reason why I hit burnout. And I'm sharing this with you to illustrate why burnout comes from the way you're thinking about things. I hit burnout because I started thinking if we go back to our pie, the pie chart I shared with you, 80% of my thinking, probably 95% of my thinking was all about how challenging it was and how what I was doing wasn't making a difference. how frustrating it was that the CEO and COO were running, quote, unquote, in my opinion, running our company into the ground, and I couldn't do anything about it, and how unjust so many things were happening. It wasn't about the workload, it was about the way I was looking at the situation. In one case, I was looking at the situation as I am making an impact. This is making a difference. I am able to, you know help shape the trajectory of this company and of the people on my team. The last two years I was thinking thoughts and taking this also personally, that now I've been marginalized. Now, no, no one who is making the ultimate decisions, has cares what I, you know about my experience or what I have to say. And, and that's what created burnout. So hopefully in my sharing this personal story, it helps to illustrate the difference of where burnout is coming from. It's, in my case, it was coming from all of this emotional and mental state that I was in worrying about the company, and the longer-term impacts of the reorganization not only on me, but also on so many of us who had built the company up until that point, and whether the company was going to succeed or not, as a result of all of these changes. There were some bad results that came from this process that I will tell you, I was right in some ways. But that's not the point here at all. The point here is, I wish I knew now, I'm sorry, I wish I knew then what I know now, which is if I had protected my mental and emotional states proactively, and not taking things So personally, I could have avoided that burnout, but took me literally resigning. I did agree to come, you know, to stay with the company as a consultant. That's how I started my business. But that's a story for a different day, it took me resigning, moving to Hawaii, and completely dismantling my entire career. And still after that 18 months to recover from the burnout. So again, I share this with you as an illustration to say, it's not the nature of your business, it's not the types of clients you're working with, it's not the billable hours, even that you're putting in. That's the creation of that's the source of your burnout. If you're in burnout, or on the verge of burnout, or even, you know, wanting to protect yourself or prevented the burnout. What it is, is you being able to protect that emotional state, and creating intentionally those productive thought processes, about the situations that you're in. So you can problem solve, creating those productive thought processes and problem solving. So that you see that this is not personal. You might be in a tricky situation with a client, it isn't personal. If you make it personal. I'm I'm, you know, they're not paying me as much as they should be, or they aren't appreciating the work that I'm doing. Or I could have done this work, you know, why am I keep doing this, I could have done this work 10 years ago, or, as a business owner, I'm not good at generating leads, or I'm terrible at sales, all of those types of thought processes, while without redirecting and managing them which I'll share with you in a minute what that looks like. That repeated over time, builds up the stress and the frustration and leads to burnout. Okay, so hopefully that gives you a really good example of, of the burnout of where it comes from, where it doesn't come from doesn't, doesn't have to come from how many hours you're working, or the nature of the work you're doing or or even whether your clients are difficult or not, or whether you're good at sales or not. That's not where the burnout comes from. The burnout is coming from that unrelenting second guessing the unrelenting self doubt that you might be running off of the unrelenting worrying, that takes place for so many of us as independent consultants, without managing that. Over time, it accumulates, and that's what creates the burnout. So the solution to the burnout is to look at, I'll give you three steps here. And I want you to take these three steps from multiple perspectives. Take the three steps from you, as the consultant working in your business, take the three steps, I'm going to share you with you in a second about you as your own manager. Take the three steps as you as the CEO. So really think about all the different roles you play in your business, and then go through these three steps I'm gonna give you. The first is to identify where you're at on the burnout scale, from a scale of one to 10. You might be really burned out from a consultant working in your business, the delivery version of yourself. You might not be as burned out as the CEO of the business like running the business and the things you need to do running the business or it might be the reverse. Think about which of those personas you're operating from There are multiple; which of those is really burned out? Is it all of them? Or is it just one of them? Or one or two of them? Then ask yourself why? Why are you burned out? Why is it that I should? Let me restate that. Why is it that number? So we did a scale of one to 10? Why is it that number might be a one? You're not burned out at all? Why is that number you want to amplify that? If it's a nine, do you want to really look at what is causing the stress? What are you thinking about yourself and your business, and your clients? What are you driving, like, for me, for example, as I was sharing with you, one of my overarching thoughts over and over again is they don't value anything I'm doing here; of course, you're going to be burned out, it doesn't matter. If you're working 20 hours a week, if you feel like what you're doing is not valuable, or what you're doing is not making a difference or if you're spinning your wheels, of course, you're going to create stress that builds up and create and ultimately leads to burnout. Is there anything about your business practices that is causing a buildup of stress? Maybe you're thinking like that, I have to be responsive to my client no matter what. And then you're, you're operating off of fear, which is building up stress the third? So that's the second step. Why is it the number you chose on that burnout scale? And again, we're doing this for each of your personas, you as the consulting work consultant working in your business, you as the CEO, us potentially the manager of the consultant working in your business, you're managing yourself, like think about the different roles, you're playing in your business and answer these three questions from those perspectives. And then the third. So the first one was, where are you at on that burnout
scale one to 10? The second is why is it that number. And then the third is, what are those short and long-term strategies that you can develop and implement in order for each of those business personas? To reduce the number back down again, maybe you want it to be a two; what would be the strategies for you to implement to make it a tool, for example? So let me give you an example of how this works in practice, and then I will share with you we'll wrap up here today with some very specific strategies you might consider for some common scenarios for you as an independent consultant. So here's an example of how this works in real life, applying the strategy that I just gave you. So I had a client who came to me she was incredibly burned out very much indexing her business on maximizing billable hours, building up a stockpile of money for herself, even though it was more than what she had budgeted from a revenue perspective, you know, for her goal, but she just was on this train really, of, I need to make as much money as possible. Really, it wasn't about needing the money to pay her bills, or because she had cleared of that bar. It wasn't about needing the money to save and create a reserve for her business. She had clear that bar, it was more about creating as much money as possible to feel like she was successful and good at this. So there was like a never-ending pit. But, like, there's never a time where you clear the bar with that frame of mind that you say you know what I've I'm doing great. It's like a never-ending pit that you can train to feed that never, that never says they're satiated, right. So she was overworking and under, we'll call it under taking care of herself in so many different ways mentally and physically. And even going on vacation here and there or taking off a little bit of time here and there. Not working on Fridays. None of that helps. The burnout for her was coming from this unrelenting second-guessing. I don't know what I don't know if I'm doing the right thing. What am I missing? I should the client, I should have handled that client meeting differently. I should be doing more to work on my business, not just working in my business. I should have a bigger pipeline just on unrelenting, unrelenting second-guessing, and feeling like she wasn't doing the right thing. And worrying about the business and whether or not she was doing it right. And whether or not the clients would think that she was qualified to be charging what she had been charging them, which by the way was undercharging them but that's a different topic. And just overcomplicating everything as a result of this insecurity that created all of the burnout. So going back to the example I gave you of myself, she could have been working all of these, you know, hours she could be working with more juggling multiple clients at once. That's not what was causing her burnout. What was causing her burnout is what I love to describe as like this unrelenting worry, and frustration and second-guessing that so many independent consultants have over and over and over again. And so that's where the burnout was coming from her, for her. And for you, it may be something similar, it might not be necessarily unrelenting, like just this constant talk track in your brain. But it could be something that's just they're subtly running in the background all of the time, almost like taunting you taunting you over and over again, do you know what you're doing? Are you going to succeed? What happens if the economy continues, you know, into a recession? What about what if the client decides not to work with you anymore? How is this whatever going to impact me, it's just this, it could be a unrelenting talk track, or it could be more of a subtle kind of background music going on at all times. But without managing that without questioning it, without really being aware of it, and redirecting it. That's what overtime accumulates, either quickly or over, over a longer period of time to create the burnout. And so, as I described to you with that three step solution, what the client and I did together was really tackled two things like really understand first and foremost, most for her where the burnout was coming from that root cause, what was she thinking and feeling which I just shared with you a lot of that, and then started tackling that what I call, it's catching these inadequacy cycles, and learning the tools to generate confidence and fulfillment on demand without any of those external factors, changing the concept of protecting the asset, you are the asset. So we worked on that, really, really, in a diligent way, the mental and emotional management skills and tools to overcome this taunting that was going on in her brain, that happens for so many of us. And then once we got that, you know, into a place where it felt it was it didn't for her, I don't think felt fixed, quote, unquote. But it definitely felt like we kind of created a foundation that wasn't so shaky. And we were able to start looking at some changes to our business model, we increases the increase the pricing, we changed the client filter about what, who she would work with, and who she wouldn't work with, and saying no to clients instead of, you know, taking quote, unquote, a bird in the hand. And then we got some support for her in terms of an admin and a junior consultant, to do a little bit of the work offline, and support her that way. So, but again, it came from first working on the mental and emotional side of this. So we can create a stronger foundation from which to make those, those shifts in the business model.
So let's wrap up here today with examples of those long and short-term strategies. Okay, so there's three examples we're going to walk through here just to illustrate these a couple of ideas, I will share with you for short and long-term strategies to overcome, recover from and eventually prevent burnout. So the first example is, you might be creating burnout for yourself through constant worrying, like, like we were talking about earlier, it might be more of a subtle chalk track going on, or it might be even just really, at the forefront, relentless, whichever it is, doesn't matter so much as knowing that that constant worrying as an example is happening for you, in your mind, and consciously and subconsciously. So once you identify that that worrying is happening, it might show up in the form of anxiety or fear, or just like a pit in your stomach, when you notice that that worrying is happening, you can then start designing using those three steps I gave you really, you know, first being aware of it, understanding why you're having it, what are the thoughts that are creating that worrying? Like, I don't know what I'm doing, or I'm not good at this, or you know, this is not sustainable, those types of thoughts. You from a short-term strategy perspective, a few of the things that you can be doing is noticing that you are thinking in this way that's creating the worrying so doing some journaling, for example, to say, you know, what am I thinking about right now? Let me put pen to paper to figure out what is generating this anxiety or what is generating this worry. Notice what you're thinking in order to create the worrying. Also, another short-term strategy is to sit down and really establish the true facts. So for example, if you've done this journaling, I just recommend it to you, you understand what is more at the heart of the worry and anxiety? And then really asking yourself, Is this true? How is this not true, and really establishing the true facts, because so often, the anxiety and worry comes from us our natural tendency as humans to catastrophize, to think about the worst-case scenario, to almost never give us ourselves credit for what really is. And just allowing this, this default thinking, which creates the worry to run rampantly, which usually there's a very little truth and whatever is running rampant in your brain. So getting control of that through journaling, getting clear on what is creating the anxiety, and then ultimately, what is actually true. So you can go to work on the facts versus on these out-of-control perceptions that are probably happening in your brain, then from a long term perspective, a longer-term perspective, that strategy, one of the strategies you might employ for that constant worrying is to establish for yourself as a business owner, a daily routine to manage your mind, what figure out what works for you, as it relates to creating and reinforcing and replacing your mindset, and up-leveling it into that CEO level mindset. So this is the type of work that I do with my clients, helping them to create and refine and develop a routine that works best for them as they are meant, you know, need to manage their mind on a daily basis to avoid this kind of run runaway trains that happen in our mind, if we're not doing that, that can be an incredibly effective long term strategy. I know I have a very specific routine that works very well to move out of anxiety, and into confidence and commitment, for example, into certainty. And I can definitely tell the effects when I falling out of that routine, on my emotional state on my mental state, and know exactly how to get back into what I know works best to, to make sure that I'm thinking in a really high-quality level as a CEO and business owner versus as you know, what my mind might give me by default, which is, you know, someone who's still figuring it out. That gives you an example. So for a long-term strategy to combat that constant worrying that ultimately creates burnout if left on manage, you want to create that type of daily routine for yourself. Let's use a couple of other examples as we're finalizing this burnout process here today. The other one might be that one of the fuel something that's fueling or causing your burnout is potentially overworking without resetting, mentally resetting. So you might be working, Mike, trying to maximize your billable hours and not really spending any time resetting I was just talking to a client a minute ago who's sharing, you know, I don't think she said I don't even know if I've taken a day off in the last couple of years I'm doing always doing something for my business. And that happens for so many of us as independent consultants, we don't give you that literal space in our calendar and which is the physical manifestation of it. But then when we don't have that then, we don't give our mind the time to take that break that it needs. And then we're fueling the stress and the frustration and creating the burnout. So the short-term strategy for that overworking we're not taking that mental break is to really set and stick to a revenue goal; for example, more isn't better. Especially if you're working on a daily or hourly rates, you're just setting, you know, you deciding like I'm just going to make as much as I can, very likely lead you to burnout it might take five years, or it might take five months. I don't know, depending on where you're starting from. But really, knowing this is my revenue goal. This is how I'm going to achieve the revenue goal and create a revenue goal in a way that you know feels really good to you with respect to what bills you need to pay and what you want to accomplish on, you know, professional level for your business and not getting falling into this trap that money Whereas better, you created a goal for a reason, set that goal stick to it. And don't get tempted into overworking as a short-term strategy; also setting and stick to your business calendar, create working hours for yourself and honor them, and create days off for yourself and honor them. Knowing that the entire plan you put in place is for a reason, partially for you to protect your asset from burning out, those are a couple of short-term strategies. And then in the longer term, you want to start working your business into, you know, into a model that does support you having space for yourself and for you to think as a CEO, for example. So you're not just on this hamster wheel. So that might look like from a longer-term strategy perspective, reducing dependency on your current clients and creating a better lead generation process. So you have the ability to pick and choose who you're working with changing your pricing model, so it's not, you know, attached to us spending time to make money. Those are some of the longer-term strategies. And then finally, the third example I'll give you, as in terms of how to create short and long-term strategies, is the example of just really not feeling acknowledged or appreciated, or challenged. In the type of work you're doing, you might have taken on a client that you can, you know, quote, unquote, do the work in your sleep. And then you feel bored, I hear I hear this so often, or I just don't feel fulfilled. And so it is really important to acknowledge, first of all, that this is happening. And that you know, that over time, that leads to frustration, which can lead to burnout, you either may be experiencing or we want to prevent you from experiencing. So a short-term strategy is to think about yourself in the personas, as I was just sharing a little bit ago; look, you're your own manager here. If your consultants, the person delivering the work, isn't appreciated, it's on you; it's on you, as the person who's running the company, to make the other part of yourself who's delivering feel appreciated, most likely, you're criticizing that person telling them they should be more efficient, telling them that you should, you know, be doing things differently, telling them that, you know, constantly be rating your employee, which is that is you, right? Are you constantly rating your employee as the CEO of your business? Are you rating yourself in the sense of the one the version of you who's delivering the work, but with those couple of hats on? And then think about it from the CEO's perspective. How would you create that kind of employee appreciation? If you had an employee, you were back in corporate, and you had an employee who was a flight risk, who you really highly valued? How would you be treating that person and start thinking about it for yourself in those personas that you're playing? And then from a longer-term strategy, you might, if you are in this situation where you're feeling bored, or not challenged or not fulfilled, or not appreciated, you may look at your business model and think about shifting the nature of your work or revisiting and refining who your ideal client is and what your filtering processes and learning. The third longer-term strategy is learning to create internally, that appreciation and that fulfillment, versus needing something external to happen to create it. That's the ultimate Empower as a business owner, an independent consultant. So that's what I have for you here today. To create to overcome and prevent burnout, I want to remind you to go take the independent consultants' productivity assessments. So you can see on a little bit broader scale where you might be
in you know, watering down your own productivity and be able to address it through, you know, after having that awareness and an action plan that I'll give you after you take the assessment. And then also, if you're interested in what it looks like to work with me as a private client, this is a great time to do it. I'm booking up clients for next year already. If you're listening to this in real-time, you can go to Melissa consult melissa.com and book your consultation, and we'll talk about your business and your goals, and what your current obstacles are. And if I know that I can help you as a coach we'll talk about what that would look like if I don't. If it's not a good fit, then I'll give you recommendations and strategies for you to go and implement. So it's worth your time to have that call and to explore if you've been you know, on the fence or thinking about is private coaching a good next step for me, especially as we're moving into next year all right, so thank you for tuning in and I will see you again next week take care.