Why my burnout was a good thing

Mar 19, 2020

I had a burnout. There, I said it. I don’t like to admit that because I’m an overachiever and I hate to appear weak, which is what led to the burnout in the first place!

I was working a great job, managing operations for a national company, but I ignored the fact that I was working way too many hours, taking on an exceedingly heavy workload, and putting way too much pressure on myself.

At the time, I would have argued that it wasn’t my fault, those were just the demands of the job and I needed to keep up or get out. I felt trapped because the last thing I wanted was to be someone who “just couldn’t cut it”. I was determined to outwork and outperform everyone, and hold it all together at the same time.

Eventually I reached a point where I felt paralyzed and could hardly drag myself out of bed in the morning. I felt exhausted, depressed, cynical, and hopeless. It was terrifying because I’d never experienced anything like it before, I had always been positive, optimistic, and driven. For the sake of my health and my sanity, I left my job and gave myself a chance to rest and recover.

I felt defeated and embarrassed (and putting this out into the world right now is super scary!) but it was actually the best thing that could have happened! First, it was a very humbling reminder that I can’t do everything and I do have limits. It also made me take a really close look at what I want, not just out of my career but also my life. I started to ask myself why I do any of it, and I had to figure out what’s really important and meaningful to me. This led to huge breakthroughs for me and big changes in my perspective. I realized that I was missing the passion and the drive that I get from being creative and feeling like I’m making a real difference.

My favorite part of any work I had done in the past, and the thing that made me feel the most charged, was coaching and training tons of small business owners. I couldn’t stop thinking about all the people I’d worked with over the years, so many of them struggling with things like planning, creating systems and processes, prioritizing, and managing their time. Sometimes, a little lack of skills in certain areas of their businesses would even shake their confidence in their ability to reach their goals, and cause them to feel overwhelmed and want to stop – even after investing tons of time and money - and the truth is, we all have those moments of struggle sometimes!

I wanted to help, so I founded Skill Savvy to help business owners boost the skills they need to start and grow their businesses and reach their goals. I’m not special by any means, but I love to learn everything I can about whatever I’m doing because I love the sense of confidence that comes from feeling competent. And guess what – it’s not rocket science! Anything can be learned with the right help.

I'm a much happier person since finding purpose and passion again. Instead of feeling tired and burnt out, I feel energized and excited! My mission is to share that perspective with other business owners and help them achieve their dreams without losing themselves in the process, because it is possible - and what's the point if you don't love what you do?

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