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How to Overcome Burnout As An Entrepreneur (Are You The Bottleneck)

So how do you recover from burnout as a female entrepreneur? In this blog, we are going to cover exactly that.

My name is Sophie Kessner, the founder and CEO of The Sacred CEO brand. So what is burnout? How exactly does it happen and how do we start to create businesses and business practices that prevent us from continuing to perpetuate a practice of burnout? 

Understanding The Causes of Burnout

First things first is understanding the mechanisms of the actual root cause. When you are in the entrepreneurial space and especially in the online world, there is a tendency to want to go into the typical model launches. With a launch model, you go through seasons, there are seasons of feast and there are seasons of famine. What that means and what that looks like is, when you are in the season of enrolling, you are bringing in all the clients, you’re bringing in all of the money, you’re bringing in all of the sales and you are feasting. The downside of a launch model business is when you’re no longer in the feast, you’re in the famine.

You have to then salvage all of the revenue, all of the sales, all the money that you’ve made in that short period of time to last you the next three, six, nine months until your next launch. So you find yourself going in this constant cycle of having to be in a really, really heightened, really active, really present space where you’re going hard. And then after and if we were to look at the year overview of your money that’s coming in and the sales that’s coming in and the company, you would see the chart looks exactly like this. You’ve got a huge peak up here and then it dips and then it trickles a little bit and then there’s a huge peak for the next launch and then it dips. It is very reflective of what is happening from a nervous system level.

So when we stack menstruation and all of the juiciness that comes with being a woman and having a female body, and then we combine that with the combination of nervous system impact from being in a place of heightened stress, needing the extra caffeine to get through your days, needing to make sure that you’re taking the extra pre-workout and constantly feeling like you need to be on, you can’t slow down, you can’t rest. These are signs of you approaching what we would call your window of tolerance or of you potentially getting to a point where you’re going to be risking burnout.

Titrating Your Business Flow

What does it mean to actually create a business that is counter to this and supports you being in a much more regenerative space? What this would look like is instead of completely shifting to the other side of the pendulum, which we oftentimes see, we go from hardcore hustle to hardcore flow and we’ll talk about that in a second here, is actually developing a way of titrating, how you operate and how you run your company and your business and setting boundaries and parameters about the way in which you scale your business. But before we go into that, let’s talk about the other side of this pendulum.

First, what we’ve covered already is the hardcore hustle. On the other side, we have what I would say is this very flowy state with absolutely no structure and no discipline. Both of these sides of the pendulum are lacking the benefits of what each other offers. When we have no structure, we also have no real support. And so when we start to build a business that’s solely based on our energetic embodiment, then we’re also contributing to long-term impacts of burnout. If you’re here and you’re watching this video, it’s because in some way, burnout is something that you are curious about. I want to spend the last few minutes of this video, really guiding you and giving you support on really practical and tangible ways in which you can start to cultivate a business that supports you and actually healing and creating more restorative ways of doing business and showing up online and at preventing burnout.

Know Your Numbers

When we start talking about numbers, a lot of the times we want to just think about, well, I want 10K a month, or I want 100K a year, or I want a million dollars a year. But what we don’t think about are all of the little details that go into profit, expenses, cost, owners pay and everything in between. We also want to take into consideration, how do we make sure that our financial basis is covered for our basic expenses? And this might sound like something that’s not fun and exciting, but it’s the thing that’s going to be incredibly important for cultivating a felt sense experience of safety in your body and regulation so that you’re not constantly living on the edge of your seat and the edge of your bank account.

If you don’t know what your basic living costs are, you want to spend the next 10 to 15 minutes calculating what does my rent cost? What is my monthly mortgage? What is my car payment? My insurance? How much money do I spend on food per month? Whatever your current basic expenses are just to get by, childcare, all of the things, write them down, find out what that magic number is for you. And then we need to calculate, based on that number, how much additional for you to feel safe. So covering your basic expenses, how much additional money would you like to be having just to feel comfortable each month so you’re not feeling like you are just living paycheck to paycheck? Once you have those two numbers, go ahead and add them together. The amount of money that you’d like to make additional every month and your basic living expenses and that’s what your monthly minimum salary for your owner’s pay needs to be. This is what you pay yourself each month out of your business.

Now, what you need to look at next is if this is what you’re paying yourself, what can you actually afford to pay for additionally as part of the business expenses? Whether it’s coaching, support, programs, courses, what makes sense? How much can you afford to be paying out on credit cards? Other payments? The reason why we want to know this information is so that we can figure out what your baseline income needs to be to support you and your business growth in a healthy and sustainable way that does not put your entire nervous system into a space of fight and flight and freeze. This is what allows you to be able to show up in a much more full space where you’re not going to be exacerbating your energy and your ability to function and operate, which is what is going to contribute to you being able to build the business in a healthy way without risking burnout. Yes, you absolutely 110% can go through seasons of hardcore hustle, but they need to be short spurts and they not being something that you are constantly in.

Consciously Building Your Business

The second thing that we want to get into is all around simplicity and minimalism. This does not mean that you don’t do anything or have nothing, but it means we want to be really conscious and intentional about how we are building our business and how we are building our lives. When we’re starting to think about having multiple things or offers, we want to be really intentional about making sure that we have the capacity to handle and manage all of the systems that come with each individual product and offer that we have, which is why we encourage on our own belief system to minimize the number of different offers and products that you are running at any one given time and to fully automate and scale one to two max offers at one time so that you can actually manage it in a way that’s really healthy for you and not feel overwhelmed by it.

Having A Life Outside Your Business

In the entrepreneurial world, especially in the coaching industry, it’s really easy to get pulled into all of these different circles and worlds where it’s just a race to make more and everyone’s talking about how much money they’re making and how many sales they had and this big launch and this big that, and it can feel like you want to play that game. You want to compete in some way, it’s validating, it’s exciting. It’s like, wow, more money, more sales, all of the things. But again, what’s not taken into consideration in all of these is, how is that impacting you? How do you feel in this experience and how is it impacting the long-term sustainability of you and your company as a whole?

Having a life outside of your business. When you start to find yourself not being able to do things or live life, or have fun or have any sense of experiences that do not directly correlate to your company or your business growth, it’s a red flag. And in those seasons, what we want to start to do instead is bring the focus back to why are you doing this? What is the purpose? What are the experiences that you want to have? How do you want to experience yourself, your life, your day-to-day and what are the emotions that you want to feel? What kind of relationships do you want to have and how do we actually build a business in a way that supports that?

So if you want to be able to be more present with your children, then how can you start to build that into the way that you’re building your business, whether it’s through structure, whether it’s through timeframes, whether it’s setting certain hours for yourself? You are in complete control, it’s your company and you make the rules.

Setting Sabbatical Periods

Which leads us to the final piece around giving yourself permission to set sabbatical periods in your business. This is probably the biggest thing that you can do that will create a huge sense of relief where you can start to create times throughout the year when you are completely offline, unavailable for anything or anyone and you get to just be a human and reset. My encouragement is at bare minimum, once a quarter, every three months, you take at least one week off, completely off, not available to clients, not available for anything, not marketing, not selling, just living your life and being.

Preferably, you’re taking more than that off and what you do with these sabbatical periods is you build out a company calendar for yourself and you have it in your contracts and your agreements with every client that you talk to, however you’re doing it, and you build the business around your calendar, around your sabbatical periods instead of the other way around. And what this does is December 15th through January 15th, when everyone else is trying to figure out how to show up in this awkward season, you get to just go chill and live your life. And if you have automation set up amazing, but you get to actually just go be a human and take time off and reset. Around your birthday or whatever holidays you want to take off, that’s already in the calendar. You get to just plan to just be in a space of chill and relaxation and rejuvenation.

Let’s Recap!

Your action items from this blog, you need to know your numbers, you need to know what is your basic cost of living. If you want support with this, we offer a really powerful process inside of the business bottleneck quiz depending on what scoring you get and where you fall in the four different categories that we rank, you will be able to get an exact assessment of what the specific tools and strategies and exercises would be to support you with where you are. If you want to take the quiz, you can take it right here for free and it’ll only take you about two, three minutes. You’ll get a custom scaling strategy and you’ll also have my email if you have any other additional questions.

The second thing that we would recommend is to look at how you can simplify your business. How can you actually get rid of things that you don’t need or just create something that’s going to feel easier for you to manage so that you’re not perpetuating a consistent habit of burnout? Reminding yourself to move at your own pace, making sure that you are not going too fast or too slow and that you get to trust whatever season you’re in and find a rhythm that works for you.

Stay in your lane, don’t get caught up in all of the noise and find a community that aligns with you in the sense of values and pacing that feels natural and organic for you. Make sure that you are building the business around your life and not your life around the business. You want to make sure that you have space, that you have time, which is why the last thing that we want you to do is to go and sit down and get clear on what are your sabbatical periods, what days and holidays and times in the year, no matter what, you’re going to take off and start to communicate that right now, with any clients, with any new programs so that you can start to create spaciousness for you and your health and your wellbeing and your business.

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I'm Sophie Kessner

First generation Mexican American mama that’s gone from hood to strategic hustle. I’ve spent the last 10+ years inside the personal development space supporting 100’s of coaches in scaling 6 figure businesses online & supported 4 different companies in surpassing the 7 figure mark. Today, I focus on making scaling more sustainable by integrating the lenses of business, systems, automation and CEO Development through an Equity centered and Trauma informed lens.

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Sophie is the founder of The Sacred CEO™ Agency and has been in the service based coaching industry since 2015. She’s created and scaled 4 different multi 6 figure coaching programs including their latest course, The Online Business Automator.

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