Today I want to have a truthful and raw conversation about something a lot of female entrepreneurs struggle with and that my friends, is burnout.

Hello, my friends, welcome to another edition of the Digital Business Breakthrough podcast. Today I want to have a truthful and raw conversation about something a lot of female entrepreneurs struggle with and that my friends, is burnout. I want to talk about it because I have been on both sides. I have been in high-level executive roles that have caused burnout. I have also designed my life in a way where now I feel like I have some really good boundaries in place and I don’t suffer from burnout. And I believe that that is a mindset shift that needs to occur. And so today I want to talk a little bit about if you’re stuck in that burnout.

Episode Highlights:

00:01:48 Multitasking
00:02:45 The Visionary
00:03:52 A conversation with a friend.
00:05:50 Social Media
00:06:20 If you don’t control your time, your time will control you.
00:07:44 Falling off, getting back up.
Follow us @kara.charron

Episode Quote
“You either invest with time or you invest with money.

Kara Charron

Read The Full Episode:

Hello, my friends, welcome to another edition of the Digital Business Breakthrough podcast. Today I want to have a truthful and raw conversation about something a lot of female entrepreneurs struggle with and that my friends, is burnout. I want to talk about it because I have been on both sides. I have been in high-level executive roles that have caused burnout. I have also designed my life in a way where now I feel like I have some really good boundaries in place and I don’t suffer from burnout. And I believe that that is a mindset shift that needs to occur. And so today I want to talk a little bit about if you’re stuck in that burnout.

If you’re stuck in that grind mode, how do you make that shift into enjoying your business better?

Because let’s be real, when you are in the grind and you are doing all of the things and you’re working so hard, you start to resent the very thing on a conscious or unconscious level. You start to resent the very thing which you are doing. And I see it all the time and I’ve helped people get past it. I want to talk about some of the key things that if you are in burnout or you’re working towards burnout, you can put yourself in check and hopefully do a bit of a U-turn and get back into something that is definitely going to allow you to enjoy your business and your life more.

So why does burnout even happen?

I think that is such an amazing question. And I think as women, we are so used to multitasking, right? We’ve got a baby on the hip and we’re cooking dinner and vacuuming with our feet, no we are vacuuming with our toe, right? But I honestly feel like women are natural multitaskers.

And so in business, we feel like we can do it all. Do you know what I mean? It’s like, okay, well I can do this and I can do that, and it makes sense for me to do this. But the problem is that when you do things like that and you consistently do things, you’re building a foundation of burnout. You literally are. And I am not saying that you have to, whenever you’re starting a new venture or even in your business, like if you’re bootstrapping that you have to go out and invest a lot – listen, you either invest with time or you invest with money. And I’ve said that before, but I do believe that no one else, and this is with 100% certainty, in your business can be the visionary. Sorry, other than you, that is one thing that no one else can be.

And I want to challenge you with this. There is no way that you will ever be an awesome visionary for your business, if you’re on process overload and you feel like you’re in the weeds, there’s just no way. You have to actually do some gardening and cut the grass and go out into the garden of your mind and do some weeding so that you can remain that high-level visionary in your business. Your number one job in your business is to have the vision to grow it. You will never have that mind space to be the visionary that you truly can be if you’re overwhelmed doing all of the things.

So then it becomes when you’re starting – and this is such a great conversation to have, I’m literally talking to you like I would honestly be talking to one of my best business buds, literally, if you’re sitting here and you’re like, “Okay Kara, like, I dunno, man, I’m making okay money, but it feels like I’m not making enough money for the amount of work I’m putting in. I feel like I’m killing myself. I’m doing all of the things and I don’t see a way out. I tried a VA and that didn’t work. And I just feel like, oh, I don’t know, like, how am I supposed to get out of here? You say get out of the weeds, but how do I actually get out of the freaking weeds?”

Episode Quote
“You will never have that mind space to be the visionary that you truly can be if you’re overwhelmed doing all of the things.”

Kara Charron

Okay, so let’s talk about how we actually get out of the weeds.

Well, the first thing is is that we can be busy, but not being productive. And those are two different things. You can feel like you’re running around like a chicken with your head cut off, but the actuality is, is, are you being productive in those things?

We can feel busy and we can feel overwhelmed. So the first thing I want you to ask yourself is, are you being busy or are you being productive with things? And most times when we’re in the weeds, when we’re feeling overwhelmed, we’re busy doing all the things, but there is no clear plan or path. And therefore we wake up and we struggle consistently. And it starts with you knowing your value and owning your time. That is so important. Okay, here’s the thing. So many people react to life, right? So let’s say you get out of bed, you look at your phone and there’s like 10 customer service emails or you’re looking at social at like some comments and you dive right in. So that is you not having control. You having control is you saying, “I’m going to get up and I’m going to do these tasks, I’m going to do these things.”

I schedule in social media – in all honesty, I am not on social media personally very much. I am on there for my work and for my business. But I am not there scrolling the feed in my spare time. I would rather feed my mind with a book, with a podcast, with something else. I mean, yeah, sure, I’ll Netflix binge, but I’m really not on there a whole lot. But here is the thing – I structure my day. And so if you don’t control your time, your time will control you. It is the same with money. If you don’t tell your money where to go, your money is going to evaporate. It’s the exact same philosophy. So if you are just going through the motions every single day and you’re feeling like, holy crap, I get up, I feel like I work my butt off, and at the end of the day, I’m not feeling accomplished…I have no idea, I’m just feeling like crap.

The first thing you have to do is start owning your time. And there are lots of ways you can do that, right? Start with actually planning your day. I time block. I like to time block my things. And guys, I am not an expert by any means. I don’t think that I am, but I know that this is what has worked for me producing at a high level and not achieving burnout. And I guess I shouldn’t say I’m an expert. I feel what I really want to say is that I’m not perfect. I am not perfect at this. And you will have days. It’s almost like when you’re in a good workout plan – how many of you have ever felt this? Like you’re in your jam. You’re doing really well. And then maybe you go on vacation (even though we’re in COVID – can I dream for a second?)

Let’s say we’re going on a cruise. Oh, that would feel so good right now. And you fall off of everything and then you have to work at getting it back. And I feel like that’s the same way with owning your time. But each time gets a little better. You will fall off the wagon. You are not going to be perfect, but here’s the thing that will help you through it: Knowing that you are not perfect and you never will be perfect. And that you are going to embrace the imperfect person that you are and just get back up and fix it.

Listen, I’m telling you, I mess up all the time with it. And I’m like, “Oh man, I haven’t planned my day for like three days in a row and I’m feeling it.” And I have to, I know that’s how I get my control back. So you’re going to fall off the horse, fall off the bike, whatever you want to say, but just get back up and keep doing it. Because part of the overwhelm and burnout is if you don’t get all the things out of your mind, your mind is always racing and you can never get to that visionary, clear-mindedness that you need to if it’s just bogged down with all of these unnecessary thoughts. And so the takeaway for that is that you need to own your time. So figure out a morning routine for yourself, but not only that, figure out how you’re going to structure your days, start owning it, and being like, no, I am not working past this certain time.

I am not going to go on social media during work hours anymore because that’s a time suck. Like I am going to show up in my business and be as productive as I can and the least amount of time to get the most amount of revenue. And when we start thinking about stuff like that, you know, I recently heard someone say like, “I’m working like 80 hours a week” and the coach said “just stop” and she was like “What? Just stop?” And it is really that simple, right? If you only had, 40 hours or if you only had 25 hours and that’s all you had, you would get it done. Your brain would adapt to what you’re telling it to do.

#1 Get clear. How many hours do you want to work in your business?

#2 Set realistic deadlines for yourself, because then when you can create the boundary, you can hold yourself accountable for the boundary.

Just like if you have a savings plan for your money. If you don’t have any kind of saving plan and the money just goes everywhere, there’s nothing to show for it. It’s the same with your time. Like how can you get very clear on this? How many hours do you want to work a week and set your schedule. Like for me, Tuesdays and Thursdays are days that I have total freedom. I have absolutely no calls on those days. Now some days a rare call might come up. If I’m wanting to talk to a Pinterest ad rep or Facebook or something, and their availability is limited, okay. But generally in my week, Tuesdays and Thursdays are the days that I get stuff done.

I turn off all my distractions and I get the work done. And that’s all I need. Mondays are meetings in the morning, planning my week, getting clear on that. I have a few coaching calls and then Wednesday is stacked – Wednesdays are coaching call day. And then I keep Friday kind of as this free personal day and an overflow day – I work, I may not work. I catch up with some friends who I mastermind with. That’s my week. And so on Tuesdays and Thursdays, it’s so funny because only having those two days, I get so much work done in those two days. It’s insane, but I’m a hundred percent focused. I know exactly what I need to achieve this week. I know that I’m just going to go through that list and get everything done.

And if I don’t get some stuff done, that’s okay too. I’m tracking it. And I know why I haven’t gotten it done. And I ask myself the question, like, is this a price? Because priorities also change. So I ask myself and I’m not hard on myself for it. You know, there are times where I have been past the deadline. It sat in my head by two, three, four weeks and it’s okay. Like generally I try not to make that a rule of thumb in my business, but I’m also so graceful with myself of loving myself through it. Not being like, oh, you suck, you know what I mean? Like, oh, you didn’t get this out. No, it’s okay if I didn’t get it out, why didn’t I get it out? What are the things that I’ve been working on?

Is this really a priority for me? Like, is there a reason I’m resisting not getting this out? Because in all honesty, if it was super important, I would make time. So what’s going on here that I’m not feeling that I need to make time for this and reevaluate it? Have those hard conversations with yourself and understand that it’s okay to pivot. If you need to pivot, just keep taking action and keep going. So I think those are the few things that I would say to a friend that if you are feeling burnt out, if you’re feeling like you’re just doing all of the things, I wouldn’t even start with, you just need to hire somebody. No.

What you first need to do is control your time and get very clear on everything. Get clear on all the projects and organize that mess because here’s the thing – if you hire somebody and you’re a mess and you’re hiring them to hope that they’re going to clean you up, man, unless you’re willing to pay a high level like OBM or whatever, then you’re just wasting your money and that’s on you. And I think so many people think that one hire is going to fix all the problems, but no, my friends, you need to fix the problems and then have people come in. You can’t expect someone to come in and just clean up everything again, unless it’s a high-level OBM and that is what you’re going to pay for. But most people, when they’re feeling that burnout, that’s not their first hire. Your first hire is like a VA or maybe a content writer or maybe an ads person or whatever that may be. But here’s the thing – you need to get in alignment with owning your time and then figuring out your plan.

When I was first looking at things for myself, even when I was making that transition, I was like, what are my top three hires? Who are they? What role do they provide? What service do they do? How are they going to help free up my space? And those were my three critical hires. So that would be the next thing – get your stuff in order, get your house in order, get feeling like, okay, now when you start planning, you will realize, okay, I’m only one person and I can’t do all this. So I need some help now – where is it that I need the most help? And you’ll be able to examine that when you start planning and then you can decide, okay, so this is what I need help with. This is who I’m looking for. These are all the tasks I want them to do.

I feel like they should be able to work so many hours a week in your mind, you can be like, okay, this is what I’m willing to pay you, you know? And, and go from there. And again, I don’t want to go into a whole thing about hiring people because that could be a whole other episode itself. But so many people bring on people and they don’t actually have the time or the skill to actually train that person correctly. And then they think that person’s failed. But really it is we as business owners who have failed because we didn’t give them a clear path or we just threw them into a pit of fire and we’re like, go figure it out. I’m drowning in this pool. You’re going to go walk into that fire. Right? How could that ever succeed? No, you need to lead.

You need to, even if it’s one person you need to lead, right? And in order for you to lead, you need clarity, right? So figure out your time, get clear, create a plan and then figure out what that number one thing you suck at and don’t want to do. Or number two, you feel like is just something that you just don’t like doing. I guess a time-suck or something that you don’t like doing, or maybe you’re not an expert at – stay in your zone of genius. So many people give that zone of genius away too fast. And it’s like, no, stay in your zones of genius. Start figuring out the things you’re not good at, and the things that you don’t like, and really build that out into what does this position look like? And it doesn’t have to be full-time.

It can be part-time. I know many multi-million dollar companies that have some part-time contractors working for them. Now I get the conversation about, “Oh, well, if they’re not full-time and they’re not fully invested …” well, I know lots of people who have had successful part-time people and they have turned into full-time people. And if you create a culture and an environment that is something where someone wants to be, they will grow with you 100%. I’ve seen it happen. And I’ve also seen it happen where an environment is so toxic people just turn over so fast, like before you can blink they’re out the door. So I hope that that this conversation didn’t overwhelm you, but I gave you those things to start.

Episode Quote
“If you don’t control your time, your time will control you.

Kara Charron

So let’s recap before we wind down here.

So you’re going to start owning your time and owning your time means you have a morning routine planning, your days planning your week, owning your time, figuring out your start and stop times, figuring out how many hours a week you want to work and holding yourself accountable to those boundaries.

For example, I don’t check my phone at night. I don’t, you know what I mean? And if that means my messages don’t get answered until the morning, that’s fine. I’m training people how I communicate and they know that, and they’re fine with that. Right?

Number two, you want to make sure that you have:

-listed out by planning what you need to hire out
-who are your top three employees
-get very crystal clear on what roles they are in your business
-exactly what tasks they do
-what that looks like for you and how that will help you.

Think about it from that perspective, “If I hire so-and-so, that should free me up like 5-10 hours a week. Holy crap. And I could probably get away with paying them X, why the heck am I still doing this?”

Get clear on that. And then once you’re super clear and you’ve got your planning, you’ve got all that, then bring on your first person and make sure that you’re working with them in an organized fashion so that they can help clean up an area.

If you just are like, “I’m such a nightmare, I’m a mess. I just need help, go.” That’s not clear.

So get clear about exactly what you want that person to do. And maybe part of what that is, is for them to create a system, or for them to create an easier process, for example, your social media, to get out on a consistent basis or your podcast to get out on a consistent basis or whatever that may be. Their job can be part of that.

But you have to be clear upfront:

-this is my expectation for you.
-this is what I want the outcomes to be.
-this is how I want you to help me.

And once you get super clear on all of that and you start getting those people in place, the last part that I will say before I go is being able to let go and let someone else do it and know that it might not be as perfect as you, but it’s good enough.

Now, sometimes it’s not, and that’s a different story, but there are other moments where it’s like, you think that no one can do it as good as you can, and guess what? Sometimes you’re right. However, sometimes people can kick butt and do it way better than you. Other times when you’re first learning to let go of this garbage, you have to give constructive feedback, but it’s like, I can live with that. That’s good. Like I’m happy with that. And not everything might be a 10 out of 10, when things start, you can grow and evolve to it. So just set that expectation that you’re going to get there and you have to learn to let go. And when you start doing all of those things, I promise you that burnout will start fading away.