Transcript: Facing Seasons of Burnout & Finding Joy in Your Business Again


Megan Martin 0:00
This is talking small business with Kat Schmoyer. And Megan Martin, a podcast for creatives who like to keep it real about what it actually takes to grow an online business,

Kat Schmoyer 0:09
where competitors turned to biz besties, who chat daily, and now we’re bringing you into the conversation.

Megan Martin 0:20
Hello, friend. And welcome back to another episode of talking small business. Today we’re going to get a little bit more personal than businessy. And we’re going to talk about something that one of our own listeners submitted, we love to get your ideas for podcast episodes, so please share them with us. This is straight from one of our listeners, Rebecca, and she said, I would love an episode on how to get passionate again, with your entrepreneur business. I know a lot of my business friends who are at the same point as I was about three years and who are burnt out and not feeling it. Ah, no, man like a collective gut punch, because I feel like you know, like, it’s so real. It’s so real, whether like you’re one year in or 10 years and like burnout can be real. And burnout shows up in so many different ways. It’s not just like tiredness, I feel like sometimes it could be like comparison problems or guilt problems or family problems behind the scenes that are trickling into your but there’s so many reasons that burnout can come into fruition in our businesses. And so I’m excited to have this candid conversation, just talking about our own experiences with burnout and how we’ve been able to rekindle a passion in our business. And like the practical things that we’ve done, to rekindle that passion in our business. So cat what, like, share with me and experience from your own business where you hit big burnout.

Kat Schmoyer 1:53
I tend to hit burnout when I’m overworked. And i i So I think first of all, to Rebecca, and to anybody listening that’s either currently in a season of burnout or was like either, you know, felt that recently, I think a question I would ask is, well, can you evaluate why you feel burnout, because sometimes we tend to immediately go from like zero to 60. And we go to like, everything’s awful. I just need to like, throw it all in the fire and like completely start over. Like, we just hit that wall of burnout. And we just want to completely start over and like reinvent the wheel, when in reality, at least for myself. Most of the time when I look back, and it’s been burnout, it’s just been because I got so overworked, that I didn’t allow myself any space to breathe. I didn’t allow myself a space to let my life run my business and my business was running my life. And I needed to literally just take a break to feel more rejuvenated.

Megan Martin 2:53
I think what’s really interesting about this is like when you were talking cat, I was just thinking like, when do I feel burnout in my business. And we just talked all about personalities a few episodes ago. But what I think is interesting to hear is like you’re saying, you get burnout when you are overworked, which is an unhealthy Enneagram three, when you go too far into the achiever mode, the goal mode, the to do list, putting your worth and work right. When I feel like I was just thinking to myself, I feel I get burnout when I stop having fun in my business, which like my strength as an Enneagram. Seven is like the fun spontaneous person, right? So I think it’s so important to look at the underlying why behind where the burnout is, and can you like, you might see a connection with your, when your strengths are not able to like thrive in a healthy manner in your business. Maybe you’re like swinging the opposite way to maybe overcompensate for something, whether it’s your clients and their expectations, or it’s a revenue goal that you’ve set for yourself that is maybe a little bit arbitrary, and you’re just trying to hit a certain number to hit a certain number. Or maybe it’s, you know, trying to look a certain way, whether that be to like show up a certain way to look in the industry. Or maybe you want to impress somebody, you know, whether that be a partner or a family member or whoever. And really getting to the root cause of that, why is so important to help you figure out like where you need to pull back.

Kat Schmoyer 4:34
Mm hmm. And I know I feel like we’re gonna have to link this episode in every episode, or like the personality one, but it’s just so true. Like, it just affects so much in our business from, you know, launch strategies to burnout, like it affects everything of how are we operating, and are we operating in a way that fits our strengths and our personality best and if we’re not, then that’s when we’re likely going to hit burnout. And so in terms of avoiding that burnout, feeling and making sure we have that passion back from our business, it’s obviously then just doing the opposite. So for me, it’s really looking at my calendar to watch that overworked workaholic tendency that tends to come out having some breaks, built in both my business and with Matt, like with my spouse, to kind of help me pump the brakes when I need to pump the brakes, because I will just go so fast for so long. And for you, it’s making sure that there is fun in the business and that there’s your way of strategizing and running the business that isn’t focused on the to do list, but that is focused on the projects that are bringing you joy.

Megan Martin 5:41
Yeah. I think from a practical standpoint, we should talk about like, what happens when you are in a season of burnout? How can you pull yourself out of that? I feel like, for me, the first thing that I have to do when I’m in a season of burnout is like put pen to paper and write down what I am not liking about my current season, specifically in business, we’re talking. So what is it about the current task load or, you know, suite of products, or whatever it is that I have in my brand ecosystem? What is causing me friction, and I have to list all of those things out in detail. And then I have to go back through that list and say, Okay, what do I absolutely, positively have to do? So I’m not breaking the law, because there’s something like, literally, there’s some things in business, like doing our taxes or bookkeeping, that, you know, like, may cause you friction, and you don’t like but you need to do it, because you’re gonna break the law if you don’t pay your taxes, right, like, right, or, you know, whatever the case may be like, there’s only a few things in business where it’s like, this is non negotiable, you have to do it. So you don’t break the law, right? So cross any of those off that list. But then you’re left with a list of things that you’re like, Man, these things are, Joy sucks out of the life of my business, right? And then you have a list of things to look at and think through what is absolutely necessary right now to keep my business running. Like if I were to stop these things, my business would like literally fail crumble, I would let my customers down. Like those things probably can’t leave. Right? The second, right. But I guarantee you that there are things on that joy suck list of yours that you can say, I need to hit pause on this right now. Like, I feel like when I’m in burnout, I get into this like burnout guilt cycle of like feeling overwhelmed, overworked, but I have all of this stuff on my plate. And this stuff, I’m putting in air quotes, because not all of it is actually necessary. It’s like arbitrary things that we’ve put on ourselves as ways that we have to show up in our business, right. So I think that they’re like you have to start giving yourself grace to hit pause on some of this stuff. I’m thinking like big burnout causers social media. How many of you believe that you cannot have a successful business? If you’re not on social media? Like? It’s probably a lot.

Kat Schmoyer 8:13
Yeah, probably a lot of you guys listening right now.

Megan Martin 8:17
I feel like most people believe that, like they can not have a successful business if they’re not on social media every day. And that creates this, like our Brit arbitrary rule in your mind, whether you hit it or you don’t hit it, it’s always a stressor in your mind, right? And so you start feeling burnout. And but you can’t stop that in your mind. But actually, you can, like you can hit pause on there. There are things in your business that you can hit pause on. And that’s like, my number one tip in burnout is like figure out what are the things that you can actually hit pause on that are not going to cause your business to crumble right now? Mm hmm.

Kat Schmoyer 8:52
And then, on the flip side of that, if you’re hitting pause on certain things, what are the things in general that need to come back in, that would potentially alleviate burnout, so whether like if you’re more like Megan, and maybe you’re feeling burnout, because you’re not getting products that bring you joy? Like I know, Shea Cochran talks about this, like she has certain hours of her week dedicated just to shooting for her own creativity, like she just genuinely is like, I need this as a business owner as a creative, I just need to shoot products for me. And I think that’s awesome. Like, that’s not my personality. Like, I don’t have that. But I think that’s great that she sees that and she carves out time, right to to have creation and have space for her to do that. And hopefully, I would think that would help alleviate burnout for her. For me with workaholic tendencies. It’s like okay, if there are things I can hit pause on. In my business, there’s probably things in my personal life that have gone by the wayside because I was a workaholic, like my quiet time with the Lord. Just walking outside once a day like go get some fresh air get away from your desk like Just some little things, but they add up and they can just rejuvenate you when you are feeling the burnout and that pressure.

Megan Martin 10:07
Yeah, I love that you brought that up like typically the concept of like, what can you add in would make you feel more overwhelmed when you think about it, but actually you’re talking about adding things in that just truly bring you joy. And like refresh your spirit. You know, I think that’s so important. Like, if you’re going to add things back in, please make sure like Marie Kondo everything that you add back in and make sure does this bring me joy, right? If not, don’t put it on your plate when you’re in a season of burnout. Like, the net last thing you need to do in a season of burnout is Go learn Pinterest marketing, because you haven’t been doing that, like, not help me, you know, right? Like add in things that bring joy to your day. So that way you can get a fresh perspective. I think the other thing that I do when I’ve hit seasons of burnout is like, look at what are the things that I’m selling? And are the things that I’m selling resonating with me and who I am now. And I think that clear, you’d be like, yeah, duh, you created it, like it’s yours, it’s your thing, but something served me in some seasons of life that products I was offering. And then if you actually if I was actually being honest, in other seasons, where I felt burned out, like I didn’t actually necessarily believe in those products anymore. And guess what, if you don’t believe in your products, then you should not be selling those eggs. Like, if you don’t fully believe in them, and the season of life that you’re in for whatever reason, like you need to take those off the table and re like go back to the drawing board. So for me, it’s also been like a season of pruning and the things that I offer to make sure like, Am I in a current season? Like, do I fully believe in this and do I want this to be the message that I stand on at this time, and if not, if I’m feeling a tug somewhere else, that it might not be burnout from overworking, it might be burnout, because I’m not. Again, it’s the cons, it’s moving the conversation into like getting passionate, maybe I’m just truly not passionate about this stuff anymore. And I need to revisit what I am passionate about, which again means hitting pause on some of these things, so that you can explore what you are actually passionate about, and how you could turn that into something in your business that you can sell.

Kat Schmoyer 12:22
Absolutely, absolutely. I think we all have seasons in our business. So we have, you know, times when we’re more fired up about certain things than we are about other things. And so being able to reevaluate like, are you still in alignment with everything that you’re doing is really, really wise. Along the seasons, I also think it’s important to remember that burnout is a season. And that doesn’t mean that it’s going to have the exact same start and end date for all of us, I could have a season of burnout that last three months, Megan could have won the last three weeks, like I have no idea, you know, it’s going to be different for everyone, depending on so many circumstances going on in your life and in your business. But the important thing to remember is that it is a season. And if you find that you feel like it’s feels like a never ending season like three months is probably a little long to like really be feeling that burnout, you know, then start to be a little bit stricter with what you can and can’t do to get out of that burnout phase.

Megan Martin 13:25
One thing that Caitlin James said once at a creative at her and one of her breakout sessions, they they were talking, she was talking about, you know, marriage and in business, and how sometimes it’s natural that our business can come, like become number one in our lives for a site for a season, right? I’m thinking through periods, like maybe live launching something or creating something new, or whatever the case may be maybe maybe not hitting your revenue goals, and you need to like put your head down so that you can take care of your family, right, like there are times that business Trumps other things for reasons. And one thing that she said to me in this breakout session, which like I will never forget, is she said that, you know, it was totally opposite of what we hear like hustling is bad, don’t hustle. You shouldn’t hustle in your life. And she was saying like, listen, hustling is a reality as an entrepreneur like I I’m personally have never met an entrepreneur who didn’t go through a season of hustle. So we hear these messages online that are like, Don’t hustle. You shouldn’t be hustling, blah, blah, it makes you feel guilty if you have to put your head down and work really hard, you know, right. The one thing she said in this breakout session that just has really left an imprint on me is that hustling is not bad, but there needs to be an end date on the calendar. And while you can’t always guarantee like a break or burnout end date, when you walk into seasons of hustle I feel like in my my experience and what you’re similarly saying is when you’re overworked is when you get burnout, which is when you’re hustling, right right, your hustle For whatever reason, so you can almost like pre protect yourself from the burnout. Like the endless cycle of burnout by putting an end date already on the calendar saying like, this is the day that I’m going to stop working seven days a week, right? Right. Like, this is the day like I have a launch on this day, and then I’m cutting it off. There is nothing else, I don’t care if somebody gives me the best pitch ever, in my email for a cool collaboration or a project. I’m putting a hard no on that day. And then I’m protecting that day that deadline with like everything in my power, so that I can step away from the hustle and get some refreshing rest back into my life so that I can step forward and keep going with my business again.

Kat Schmoyer 15:44
Mm hmm. You you hit it right there to not just about the hustle conversation, which of course, I wholeheartedly agree with, like we we all have seasons of hustle. And I think that’s, again, that’s the ebb and flow of our business is kind of knowing a little bit about what that rhythm is going to be. But I also think it’s important for all of us to remember that as business owners, we just have to say no, like, yeah, we just have to say no, I think it was maybe it was, I think maybe it was Caitlin, I was trying to remember who it was. And we’ll just bring in a name drop Caitlin all over the place in this episode, I guess, I think it was her. Um, we were talking about saying no in business. And she was she was the first one to ever kind of put it in terms for me of, well, if you’re saying, like, if you say yes to someone, you’re going to have to say no to something else. And like that Ying and Yang and the balance of that. And for so for the first half of my business career, I was constantly saying yes to business and no to family things. Like the whole first year that Matt and I were married, he was basically just married to my business. Like that was like the reality of our life, I was working a full time job I was trying to grow the business is working non stop. And so I think it’s important for all of us to remember if you are in a season of burnout, or you want to protect yourself from a season of burnout, making no a regular part of your business, so that you are able to say yes to family. Or maybe you say no to one thing in business, because you know, you’ve got this Yes, for the business down the road. And you’re carving out that time, just like you were talking about Megan and being protective of when you’re working and when you’re not so that there are true seasons, and ebbs and flows throughout the business.

Megan Martin 17:21
I think another thing is to like saying no, but also like not feeling held captive to every message and every inquiry that comes into your door, right. So like, if you’re a service based business owner, you might be getting tons of inquiries, and you’re like, totally overworked, overwhelmed. You are not held captive to those people in your inbox. It’s like the people I feel like in the wedding industry, there’s this like, statistic, if you don’t give back to people within like an hour, then you’ve like missed your chance. That is absurd. Right? It’s totally absurd, right? And I feel like if I were in the in wedding industry right now, I would hit burnout so easily with the stress of feeling like I need to respond in one hour to an inquiry, you know, like, I feel like you have to like, I’ve learned personally to let go of that guilt of like, just because somebody sends me an inquiry, or just because somebody sends me an email does not mean that I’m held captive to respond to that email. Right? That sounds awful. Like, totally awful. But I have learned in business, like I cannot respond to every single message in the world, like sometimes, you just need to hit delete and let things go. It’s okay. Especially the really random pitches that they don’t even like link their business name, they just ask you for a sponsored post, like, those are the things like you’ve got to start to learn to say no, and just delete, like, don’t spend any time and energy on it, you know?

Kat Schmoyer 18:45
Right. Right. Yeah, just so really then for both of us are, are in agreement that in a way to avoid burnout, or to get out of burnout is just being really protective of that time. And whether that’s trying to forecast a little bit and think through like, okay, now’s the season of hustle. But that’s going to end in, you know, May is when I’m going to get a break, and I’m going to give myself a break, you know, and you’re going to start to carve out time now and be protective of the break that you want to give yourself. Yeah,

Megan Martin 19:17
so how do you rekindle the passion?

Kat Schmoyer 19:21
I think it comes back to what you talked about with making sure that what you’re doing is bringing you joy like you hit burnout when you’re not doing the things that you are passionate about. And while mine is more workaholic tendencies, I mean, I I do love everything that I’m doing. So I’ve lost that passion, which is why I’ve I’ve hit burnout like doing too much of a good thing kind of thing. Yeah. And so then okay, how do I bring it back in for me, it’s just in taking that break. It usually just reminds me like Oh, I really do love what I do. Like ever. Like this really is so fun for me. I just needed like that week long beach vacation with my family to know Look at my inbox or slack or boxer and like now I’m ready to go kind of thing. And knowing what you need. So that again, you can like be protective of that time and carve it out to rekindle that passion.

Megan Martin 20:13
Yeah, I think for me, it’s, it’s like I shared the like, example of writing out you know, the things that are not right in your business, the things that are like, sucking the life out of you right now. But also like doing the flip side of that exercise, which is like, writing out without like, what other people tell you, your business should look like, what you know, you’ve you thought your business should look like or whatever, like, take the should off your shoulders, like, do a little like dreaming session, as opposed to like focusing on the bad stuff. Like, I would totally sit down and write out what’s my ideal business? What does it look like? What am I doing? Like, if I had my dream business right now? What would I be doing right now? And don’t like, don’t make this list something that’s like, I’d be earning eight figures. And I’d be like, flying to tonight? Of course, that’s a little stretch. Okay, we can be realistic with your dream realistic. Be realistic of like, realistically, if I could have my like, ideal business right now, what would that look like? And then compare it to what you are currently doing? What are the differences? And can you make changes in your business that’s going to help you move towards your ideal. I feel like that takes a lot of bravery. I know in my past, like I’ve literally let go of entire product suites them were money generators for me, like I remember, when I removed my marketing templates off of my out of my like, suite of products. Cat, you were like, Why are you doing?

Kat Schmoyer 21:50
I did, but I’m so revenue. Like, I was like, oh my god, Megan, what is

Megan Martin 21:54
your like? You were like, this brings in like $10,000 plus a year? Why are you letting go of this? Like, which was such a valid question, you know, but for me, somebody who was like feeling burnout, not feeling connected are aligned to the products that I had. I said, Hey, like, this is not what I want to show up and talk about day in and day out. Yes, it’s a money earner for me. But by like, letting go of some of those things like my business has exponentially grown. And I think that that’s why it’s so important to come back to when you’re trying to rekindle your passion, like, what is it that you ideally want to do right now? Like, what does that dream scenario look like for you? And that might mean letting go of some of the things that you are talking about you are focusing on? And also letting go of that guilty feeling of like, well, I’m going to be leaving people behind if I let go of that stuff, you know?

Kat Schmoyer 22:45
Yeah. Yeah. And I think for like to weigh in with some of what Megan is mentioning here, y’all, like if you’re looking at your list, and there are some things that you want to let go of, but revenue wise, maybe you can’t, just because of you know, you’re providing food for your family, you know, like you’re paying the bills. And so for you, it’s like, Man, I really want to let this go. But I can’t give up 10 grand right now, maybe you just start to make a plan for how can that be phased out? Or how can there be less of that and more of the things that are bringing you joy? So Megan’s the extreme, like Megan makes a decision and just like, does it, which I love her for it. I’m the one that’s like, no, let me weigh like all the options, like think about things and like create the like six month GamePlan for it. But in that in certain cases, depending on where you are in your business, and with a revenue coming in, maybe that’s what you have to do. And that’s where that you know, trendy little 2020 Word of pivot came into play. But that’s what you’re starting to do is make pivots in new directions, if what you’re currently doing isn’t bringing you joy,

Megan Martin 23:47
right. And it is, it can be a process like I I’m coming at this conversation from, to be honest, like our retirement is set, like when we’re working we’re working for today. And that allows me to make much quicker decisions than some other people, you know, like you figuring out what your ideal business really looks like. And the kind of business that you would be passionate about looks like may not be an overnight thing that you can get to it may take you six months, it may take you a year. But you are the only person that can change this scenario. And if it takes you a year, it’s worth taking you a year to get to the point where you are truly running a business that you love and that you thrive in because that’s the kind of business that your customers are going to thrive in. Right. Absolutely. It’s worth the effort. And, yeah, I mean, you’re the beauty of small businesses that you make the rules, like you have to do the same thing for the rest of your life. You can change, you can evolve and you will evolve and that’s the only constant thing that I know in my life is that we are all going to change we are all going to evolve. And giving yourself that grace and freedom to evolve with your business is I just feel like that just opens the door for you to like, relax, and say like, Okay, what I’m doing now may not be what I’m doing in five years. And that’s okay. We’ll figure it out.

Kat Schmoyer 25:11
Mm hmm. Absolutely. So really, y’all, it just boils down to finding what brings you joy again, like, well, I guess first of all, figuring out the, the stress point of your burnout, you know, and depending on your personality, and depending on the things on your plate, like, why are you feeling burnout? And then how can you do less of whatever it is that’s making you feel burnt out and more of the things that are exciting to you, and whether that’s more like my personality, where sometimes you just need to like, take that break, like take that vacation, take that time off. Whatever it looks like for you then making sure that you can create a rhythm that allows you to find a little bit more balance, and not feeling the weight of burnout, and the weight of the work that you’re doing so intensely.

Megan Martin 26:02
Alright, friends, this was a heavier conversation as we’ve talked through some hard things like burnout and rekindling your passion. But I just want to encourage you that if you are here and you are in a season of burnout that you will get out of this, it will end it might take some effort on your part, it might take some uncomfortable changing and tweaking on your part that you maybe weren’t looking forward to or hoping for. But there is beauty on the other side of burnout. Good good things can come from burnout, things that you didn’t even realize were there for you could be on the other side of burnout. So we are here for you. We’re encouraging you if you’re experiencing burnout, we would love to encourage you send us a DM on Instagram and just share with us where you are in your journey. And we would love to encourage you there will link our Instagrams in this show notes below. But I hope this was encouraging for you to know that burnout is real and burnout is okay. It’s okay to be in a season of burnout. Feel it? Go through it, work through it and we will see you on the other side. But until then, we will catch you in the next conversation.

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Transcript: Facing Seasons of Burnout & Finding Joy in Your Business Again

Transcript: Facing Seasons of Burnout & Finding Joy in Your Business Again

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