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How To Overcome Business Burnout

When I am working so hard on chasing and building my dreams, it’s really easy to get tunnel vision and leave ME out of the success equation. It’s easy to put the energy into my business, into my clients, into the next video and into the latest and greatest technique of helping people.

It’s not always easy to truly prioritize me. To take a break when I need to take a break. To turn off all electronics in the evenings and weekends so I can listen to me, to what I want and to what will make me happy. To do what lights me up rather than continue doing what I have always done.

The good news is that when I hit a low, I always learn something of profound importance to me. This time…

My biggest realization has been to look at everything in terms of energy.

When I go through my day…every activity…every thought…every action I engage in either depletes me or adds energy into my system.

When my negative energy activities outweigh the net positive ones, I am completely spent at the end of the day. The more depleting days I string together, the more tired I feel. And the longer this goes on, the more true fatigue sets in. And when I am fatigued, even the activities that used to give me positive energy are no longer serving me the same way they once did.

So the secret to avoiding burn out, or recovering when you’re already there, is to…

Be absolutely conscious of engaging in significantly more positive energy activities, thoughts and interactions than negative ones.

To help me with this, I have been doing a time log of all my activities and rating them from -5 to +5 (with -5 being very depleting and +5 being rejuvenating/energizing).

I have also been on a decluttering spree – letting go or minimizing my depleting activities and replacing them with my most rejuvenating ones. This has been a gratifying experience but not an easy one. Letting go and restructuring can be a difficult process.

Another important lesson in all of this for me is to…

Be aware of the INTENSITY in my activities

For example, I used to play a lot of poker. Playing poker was an intense hobby…it actually took away a lot of my energy because of how intensely I competed. Just because I love something does not mean it’s good for me.

I became more aware of the tension I build up during intense activities. Even watching a movie can be intense if it’s a thriller or horror movie.

As an example, I’ve been watching a lot of mindless sitcom comedies. These aren’t the kind of shows I’d ever normally watch, but I feel my body relaxing when I view them and it’s super important I keep my mind and body in a peaceful, low-intensity state.

This is the kind of self-care habit I want you to practice daily.

Another practice that has been incredibly rejuvenating is…

Keeping a gratitude journal.

I write down the things I’m grateful for everyday – everything from the people in my life, to lessons and realizations, to the little things in my life like the sun on my face, the trees in my backyard…

Gratitude is one of the most healing energies and I do everything possible to bask in its glow daily.

I’d love to share more of my daily self-care habits with you in the next few weeks.

In the meantime, please share your own ideas for self-care in the comments below.

This will be a great opportunity to learn from each other how to better take care of ourselves as we continue reaching for greatness!


  1. This is super helpful to hear. Thank you. Self care for me is about doing things that require less energy. Cooking nutritious food is one of the ways I drop into me. I appreciate you, Bill. ~ Brighid

  2. Thanks for this much needed article! I’ve been building my business(es) for the best part of last year and found that I never switched off. My brain was constantly working, leading to not sleeping much at night. This obviously led to stress and fatigue, but I thought I just had to push through it. I think I was on my way to total burn out!

    Took a week off in the middle of January and spent some true ME time. What a difference it’s making! I’m more creative & focused and have now started to plan much better too, allowing for downtime to replenish energy reserves. No more burnout here 🙂 Thanks Bill.

  3. In find watching stirring and excellent music videos on YouTube to be incredibly rejuvenating. Some of my favorites are Glee ones…lol. I used to think this was such an incredible waste of time and tried, for a period, to not do it so much. But during this season, which is my most busy, I noticed just what you are talking about in this post. I got more and more tired and could not seem to shake it. So I thought about what I wanted to do without any judgement. I popped open my laptop and spent a couple hours watching before bed and felt wonderful. Good advice Bill, thanks for sharing!

  4. I too am learning to notice my energy, whether it’s positive or negative, and to focus on “feeling good” or “feeling quirky and fun. I naturally have a generally positive mindset and tho, what I’ve noticed is that it’s the little things, the heaviness of a “being responsible” mindset that I tend to put on when approaching my day – and that takes all the fun out of my work. It’s kind of like meditating, when you have those thoughts that creep in and when you notice them you let them go… in this case, when I notice them, I ask “why?”. It doesn’t have to be heavy. And I remind myself that this is my choice, I like what I do, I’m good at it and it’s fun! So, thanks for reading so much… and have some fun today! 🙂

  5. Self-care to me means “nourishment’ and that to me means (my definition) “everything you put in, on, and around you.” That could be food, people/relationships, the content you consume (or not), moving your body, rest and sleep, time doing nothing, art and creativity and self-expression, spiritual practice, nature time, natural medicine and products, and more. It’s essential, foundational, and life is best when you get all those things working in concert for you. That’s when you can be charged to give your best.

  6. Noel Thorburn says:

    Yes I know the burn-out feeling too.
    I find an hour long walk in the fresh air, even in the cold, amazing when you walk, what you see that lights you up.

  7. Robyn says:

    The most important feature of all electronic devices is the OFF button!!!
    If you want to stay sane, you have to regularly disconnect from the electronic interferences, take the phone of the hook (literally & figuratively) & sit in a bubble-bath with a good book & a glass [or two…] of wine & just get away from all of the noise. And often without the book too – if your brain isn’t constantly processing inputs and/or deflecting noise, then it will have the capacity to wonder and dream…. and come up with the “Oh my” / “Aha!” ideas that are what we need in order to innovate & change the world for the better.

  8. Oh yes, what a synchronicity in you posting this article…feeling totally at ground zero as to my biz right now 🙂 Taking time off, totally from my biz, and realizing that I’ve been doing tasks for 9 major projects, and thinking I’m doing two…thats the time when I can’t see the woods from all the trees! Full stop and re-evaluation are needed. Thanks Bill xx

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