Have you ever heard about the time when I almost threw $36 Million straight into the trash?
Back in 2009 I was hosting a very special conference for online information marketing. The event was being held in Orlando, Florida right at the tail end of summer.
When I stepped off the plane and into Florida’s summer climate, I felt as if I had just slammed my face into a wall of warm, sticky water.
I’m not really one who enjoys any climate other than my dry, Southern California homeland, (well, to be perfectly honest, I absolutely cannot stand anything other than our beautiful sunny days here in SoCal) so I wasn’t happy at all about how things were feeling at that moment.
Standing on the sidewalk outside of the airport, 9:00 o’clock at night, with fat beads of sweat running down my forehead and soaking my shirt through, I was ashamedly close to turning right back around and buying a ticket on the first plane out of that hell-hole. Seriously, I considered it.
But it wasn’t just the weather that had me so upset. You see, I had been grinding for seven months getting all the material for that conference together. It felt like I never had a moment of rest between preparing for my presentations, planning all the events from half a world away, and still operating all my other businesses and ventures. And when I was finally ready to host the conference, I had to make sure the whole thing was completely sold-out.
So suffice it to say, I was fed up with everything and anything that had to do with that event. I just wanted it to be over and in the past.
I was completely burned out.
And when I stepped into that muggy Florida Air, I just about had a freak-out.
But after about one second of thinking I was ready to quit, I instantly snapped back to reality. There were hundreds of people relying on me, an entire conference that needed hosting, and lots of money to be made. I didn’t have the luxury of quitting. For my sake as well as that of all the attendees, not to mention my business partners, (Could you imagine Craig Ballantyne on a rampage? Now THAT is scary) I needed to be there and do my job.
That conference ended up being a massive success. Since then, the entrepreneurs and business owners who learned from us that day have reported collective revenues of over $36 Million.
And what’s so scary about this is that I was moments away from letting debilitating Burn Out stop any of that from ever happening.
So you can believe me when I say that Burn Out has the potential to produce massive disaster. That’s what I want to write to you about today: the dangers of Burn Out and what we can do to avoid it.
I recently had some readers comment on a post I made about being a lazy trainer. I told you all in that post that you need to make sure each day has some kind of improvement or some type of development that furthers, advances, improves and increases your business.
And I’m not backing down form this guys, this is truly how I believe the best operate. You don’t become a millionaire by complaining about having to work too hard or too much.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t ever relax! I would never tell someone they can’t take a break or have some time to get away from work and business.
This is crucial. You need that time to re-center, re-evaluate, and prepare yourself for returning to work.
This is my first piece of advice for avoiding Burn Out: take time to give yourself breaks.
A little bit of doing nothing goes a long way toward accomplishing a lot.
Short breaks between periods of work are essential. Some people prefer to go hours on end and then take a sizable break, others like to take a few minutes off every hour, and others prefer to come late, have a work marathon, and leave early. It really doesn’t matter how you decide to break up your work but what does matter is that you find what works best for you.
We all have different ways of dealing with stress so take some time, do some experimentation, and listen to your brain and body when they are trying to tell you that it’s time for a break. If you ignore those signs and work through your breaks, you might smash straight into a wall of Burn Out.
While short breaks are awesome, long extended breaks can be extremely beneficial as well. But I’m pretty sure you all know this so I’m not going to patronize you by telling you how to take your vacations. I will, however, share some strategies for staying on track with your constant improvement, even during long periods of break.
One thing I personally like to do in order to keep myself sharp and make sure I am always finding better ways to do my job is reading self-improvement and business books. Constantly encountering new ideas and challenging your believes with innovative processes and models is one of the best ways to stay mentally fit. And you will learn all sorts of new and exciting ways to live life and operate businesses. But what is most important about reading this kind of material is that you can do it anytime, even while on a break or vacation.
It’s still relaxing, it doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying yourself, but you can still make sure you are learning and improving each day, even if your business is a half a world away.
If this kind of reading does not appeal to you, there are shorter pieces of writing (like this blog, for instance) or even videos, audio podcasts, all sorts of different media that can provide you with opportunities to learn, improve, and become a better businessperson.
Now, I know some of you might object to this. You don’t want your vacation interrupted by anything that has to do with your work. You want to completely break away from any business thinking, discussion, or even mindset, so you can get away from it all and enjoy yourself. And as much as I understand this kind of thinking, I honestly don’t recommend it— at least not without a few minutes of each day dedicated to your professional advancement.
You see, when you go for an extended period of time without even thinking about your business or your work, you often return feeling disconnected, out of touch, and unaware of your business goals and needs. It may be the easy thing to do, but it isn’t the smartest.
But if you just hate the idea of doing anything that feels like work during your breaks or time off, there’s still a great way for you to be sure you continue on your path of daily improvement.
Anthony Robbins teaches something called an Incantation. This is a technique he uses each day to make sure he mentally has what it takes to succeed with whatever challenges, self-doubts or limiting beliefs he may encounter that day. If you don’t want to feel like you’re working or focused on work every day, try this:
Compose a phrase or series of phrases that encourages, motivates, and defines your purpose. Begin each day by telling yourself how valuable you are, how capable you are, and how you can do whatever you put your mind to. Go over your goals, short or long-term, and make sure you know that you have everything you need to accomplish those goals.
Do you see how beneficial this kind of behavior can be when combatting burn out?
What do we tell ourselves when we are suffering from a major burn out episode? You might feel like your work is pointless, maybe you don’t care about it, or maybe you’ve convinced yourself that you can’t do it, make it, win it, finish it. Whatever.
But just a few words of personal encouragement each morning can combat and defeat these negative thoughts.
Try it. It’ll go a long way toward making sure you avoid burn out and always find ways to improve, even during periods of rest.
Committed to your success,