Are you in a vicious cycle of burnout? In today’s episode, I am finally diving deep into the topic of burnout and practices to put in place in your business so that you experience it less often. I’ll also be sharing how to pull yourself out of the cycle.
The Shoot It Straight Podcast is brought to you by Sabrina Gebhardt, photographer and educator. Join us each week as we discuss what it’s like to be a female creative entrepreneur while balancing entrepreneurship and motherhood. If you’re trying to find balance in this exciting place you’re in, yet willing to talk about the hard stuff too, Shoot It Straight Podcast is here to share practical and tangible takeaways to help you shoot it straight.
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This episode is brought to you by Root to Rise, a four-month mastermind for female photographers who want to combine personal development with business growth. The program includes weekly calls, incredible guest teachers, a private Facebook community, and weekly Voxer hours. Plus, the mastermind experience includes a three-day in-person retreat. Join the waitlist today to get notified when registration opens.
Review the Show Notes:
Burnout is not something you have to feel (1:27)
What leads to burnout (3:36)
How to avoid burnout (5:25)
Recovering from burnout (8:38)
Root to Rise Mastermind & Retreat
Episode 12: What To Do When You’re Overwhelmed
Episode 13: Avoiding Overwhelm With Margin
Episode 14: Creatives and Overwhelm with Rachel Greiman
Episode 15: Is Your Business in Alignment?
Review the Transcript:
Today’s episode is brought to you by route to rise a four month mastermind and retreat for female photographers. That is where personal development meets business growth. During the four month experience, students have weekly calls focusing on a variety of topics that both better their lives and their businesses. Think topics like goals, boundaries, money, and marketing and many many others. The program also includes incredible guest teachers, a private Facebook community and weekly Voxer hours, where you get individualized guidance and mentoring from me on topics that matter to you and your business. One of the best parts of the experience is definitely the three day in person retreat. Consider this the most fun girls weekend ever.
We eat well do yoga, photograph three sessions, work through portfolio reviews, take headshots and build deep friendships. I can tell you that the women who have gone through this program have had some absolutely incredible transformations reached massive goals and changed the trajectory of their businesses. If you want to get on the waitlist to be notified when enrollment opens again soon, you can head over to the link in the show notes and get on that list. And now back to the episode. Welcome to the shoot it straight podcast.
I’m your host Sabrina Gebhardt here I will share an honest take on what it’s like to be a female creative entrepreneur. while balancing business motherhood and life. myself along with my guests will get vulnerable through honest conversations and relatable stories because we’re willing to go there. If you’re trying to find balance in this exciting place you’re in yet willing to talk about the hard stuff to to shoot it straight podcast is here to share practical and tangible takeaways to help you shoot it straight.
Welcome back to another episode of the shooting straight podcast. I love talking about burnout. In fact, most of the time, when I’m asked to speak at a conference or to be interviewed on another podcast, my host want me to focus on the topic of burnout. So why on earth have I never talked about it on my own podcast before? Honestly, I have no idea. But today on episode 36, we are going there and we are finally getting into the topic of burnout. Before I dive in, I do want to mention that I did a series on overwhelm back in episodes 12 through 15. And I mentioned that because overwhelm is often tied pretty closely to burnout. So if you listen to this episode, and you want more, I would highly recommend you going back and giving that series a listen.
All right, let’s dive in. So burnout is something that all creatives have experienced from time to time. If you have been in business for a year or more. You’ve probably been in burnout before maybe you knew what it was when you were in it. And maybe you didn’t. The thing about burnout is that it can at worst feels very similar to depression. And sometimes it leads to depression. But for many burnout never gets that deep and it just feels more like a funk. Unfortunately, like many creatives, you may just have settled for burnout, right? Maybe you have settled for it because it feels like it’s quote just part of the process. Or quote, it’s something that all creatives feel from time to time, almost thinking about burnout as like an assumed role that we have to take on from time to time. And that’s what I have a problem with. Yes, burnout is real. Yes, many creatives struggle with it. Yes, it should be taken very seriously. But no, you absolutely do not have to experience it. Okay, let me take that back. I don’t think you can always avoid burnout. The fact of the matter is that burnout comes from the stress of being a creative entrepreneur.
But it also comes from mothering. And running a household and taking care of aging parents, and life. Burnout can be caused by a multitude of things, some of which you don’t have much control over at all. But when it comes to your business, I think there are a lot of practices that you can put into place to help you stay out of it as much as possible, you will probably still experience it at some point because Well, life happens. But I don’t want you to be in a vicious cycle with your creative business where you are thriving one month and then drowning in burnout two months later, and then back to thriving all over again. And it just keeps going around and around. So if the goal today is to help you avoid burnout as much as possible. Let’s look at three things. Number one, what leads to burnout. Number two, is it possible to avoid burnout and number three, how do you pull yourself out of burnout or recover from it. So let’s take a look at the first thing, what leads to burnout. In my experience, simply put, it’s that you don’t have enough downtime.
For entrepreneurs, this is generally about doing way too many things, okay. But things outside of our business add to this pressure to, we’re saying yes to too much to all the volunteering to the lunch to the travels to all of the extracurricular commitments to doing all of the driving for carpool to doing all of the extra projects, to saying yes to helping your kids with every single thing, and helping your partner with every single thing. We’re doing too much. And we’re not asking for enough help. And we’re not willing to say no, all of that, all of that pressure that we oftentimes are literally putting on ourselves. Okay, all of that is sending us to burnout. And did you catch that? Most of those things I just listed again, are outside of our business, okay? Even if you weren’t in business, doing those things, that that vicious repeating, saying yes to everybody, and not being willing to say no, and taking on too much and not asking for help, that can send you into burnout, even without your business, okay. And then as a creative entrepreneur, you, you add into the mix, the pressure of clients, and deadlines, and all of the things that go with being a creative entrepreneur, and it just gets worse and worse and worse, right? We don’t have enough downtime, we don’t have enough time to think straight, we don’t have enough time to process, we don’t have enough time to take care of ourselves, all of that pressure that we are putting on on ourselves. Okay, the problems that we are taking on is causing us to go straight into burnout.
So going into number two, is it possible to avoid burnout. So again, I don’t think you can ever, really officially avoid burnout permanently and never deal with it again. But there are definitely things you can do to help you avoid burnout as much as possible. Okay? Again, it’s not going to be completely avoidable because seasons change, we move, people get sick, children have different needs, our businesses change and grow all of these things in life happen. Burnout is going to happen from time to time. But how do we stay out of that perpetual vicious cycle around and around and around, right? A minute ago, I said, what leads to burnout, not having enough downtime. Now, I’m going to take that a step further. The biggest thing that you can do to stay out of that perpetual burnout is to take control of your schedule, and stop over scheduling yourself. Okay, this looks like being proactive, okay, instead of just reactively saying yes to everything, and then putting your clients into every available empty spot on your calendar and just quote unquote, figuring out when you’re going to do all these things, you have to proactively pause and put yourself first you have to put yourself first on your on your calendar, before your clients, before your kids before your commitments before your full time job, whatever it is, okay? If you don’t put that time for yourself, that downtime, that whitespace on your calendar first, it is not going to happen. And that is the reason why you are burnt out. You don’t have any time for yourself.
Okay, proactively putting it on your calendar and then protecting it, protect it the same way you protect an appointment, okay? Or something that you’re really, really looking forward to protect that time, put yourself first and then after you put yourself first, then your family comes in, okay, the carpool commitments, the extracurricular activities, the school program, your vacation, those things. And then come your clients. And when you are proactive with your schedule and you are being very intentional with what goes into every single spot, you will see that at some point, you hit capacity, and you need to start turning people away, saying no to things and or getting help to take things off your plate. Okay, you cannot work 24 hours a day. And when I say work, I mean anything other than sleep, okay, working for your family, working for your clients working for your volunteer commitment, anything, anything other than rest is work in this instance, okay? You cannot be going constantly. You have to allow yourself time and space to breathe. Okay? If you are in this cycle of burnout, where you feel like at the same time every year you just get so you get hit so hard. You’ve got to take control of your calendar. You have to prioritize yourself first. You have to allow yourself to have downtime. Okay, so the third thing, how do you recover from burnout? Or how do you get yourself out of it? I bet you can guess what I’m going to answer here.
This is a really tough pill to swallow. But the biggest way to recover or to pull yourself out of it, is to allow yourself to pull back and walk away for a bit. Whether that’s taking a few weeks off of your business completely, or allowing yourself a whole month where you’re only shooting at like 10% capacity, or maybe you’re not shooting at all. Okay? Pull back from your commitments, pull way back, tell people that you’re so sorry, you cannot do this thing anymore. You’re so sorry, you can’t attend to this event anymore. You cannot do everything. And if you are deep in burnout, you have to pull away back and allow your body and your brain to heal and reset. The biggest part of this is pulling back from things. And then letting that space stay quiet and empty, letting yourself get bored. Letting yourself just fall into a rhythm of a whole lot of nothing. You can’t fill that time with other things. You cannot fill that time with taking on extra stuff for your kids, or adding in extra vacations. Or finally doing that home renovation project you wanted or taking time away from client facing work to do behind the scenes type work in your business. If you fill that space with something else, you are just replacing one struggle with another. Climbing out of burnout requires time and space. And depending on how severe it is therapy, maybe necessary. A lot of times deep burnout is actually depression. And that really can’t be cured without professional support. burnouts a big deal.
I think it gets treated like a buzzword sometimes. And I think that’s a shame because there’s nothing buzzy about it. Burnout is real. It is scary. And it isn’t just quote unquote, part of being an entrepreneur. There are so many things you can implement to support you personally and professionally, to keep you out of burnout as much as possible. And that’s what I want for you. I want you to have a business and a life that is set up for sustainability. And when I say sustainability, I mean where you can feel successful and be successful without landing yourself and burnout over and over and over again. Hope this episode was inspiring to you. I’ll see you next week. Thanks so much for listening to the shoot it straight podcast. You can find all the full show notes and details from today’s episode at Sabrina gebhardt.com backslash podcast. Come find me and connect over on the gram at Sabrina Gebhardt photography. If you’re loving the podcast, I’d be honored if you hit that subscribe button and leave me a review. Until next time, my friends shoot it straight