eBusiness Blog

6 Highly Effective Tips for Business Professionals to Avoid Burnout

Woman stressed working at the computer

As a professional and entrepreneur, I previously thought I could work on more projects simultaneously than is humanly possible, maintain a happy home life, and thought I could do it all and still maintain my sanity and health.

I was wrong.

I’ve learned that burnout is very real, very scary and very likely for most high-achieving professionals at some point in their career. However, you don’t have to suffer from burnout; there are easy ways to avoid it and I am going to show you how.

Before I get into how to avoid burnout, let’s take a deeper look at what is burnout exactly (and why you should care).

According to Wikipedia, burnout refers to long-term mental, physical and emotional exhaustion and diminished interest in work. It is most often assumed to be caused by an excessive workload and other life stressors working in tandem that eventually bring a person to their breaking point.

When you are experiencing burnout you may feel disillusioned, helpless and completely worn out. When you’re burned out, problems seem insurmountable, everything looks bleak, and it’s difficult to muster up the energy to care—let alone do something about your situation. The unhappiness and detachment burnout causes can threaten your job, your relationships, and your health.

Psychologists Herbert Freudenberger and Gail North have been studying the burnout process and have divided it into 12 phases, which are not necessarily followed sequentially.

  1. The compulsion to prove oneself
  2. Working harder
  3. Neglecting your own needs
  4. Displacement of conflicts
  5. Revision of values
  6. Denial of emerging problems
  7. Withdrawal
  8. Obvious behavioral changes
  9. Depersonalization
  10. Inner emptiness
  11. Depression
  12. Burnout Syndrome

Perhaps you have experienced one or more of the above phases. I know I have. In fact, I have experienced all them at some point including full-blown Burnout Syndrome (which needs medical attention) and I KNOW that I never want to experience that again. I hope you never have to.

Perhaps you think that working harder and ignoring your own needs makes you more productive.

It may in the very short term, but in the long term it actually makes you LESS productive and you risk not just your health and happiness, but also your business if you continue to burn the candle at both ends as the saying goes.

The negative effects of burnout will spill over into every area of your life—including your home, your business and your social life. Burnout can also cause long-term changes to your body that make you vulnerable to illnesses like colds and flu.

Like any other health issue, coping with the symptoms of burnout once they exist is much harder than prevention. If you can take steps to get your life back into harmony, you can prevent burnout from becoming a full-blown breakdown.

I would like to share with you my top tips for avoiding burnout so that you can live a happy and fulfilled life WHILE having the career and business you desire.

  1. Watch for the warning signs of burnout.
    Burnout is a gradual process that occurs over an extended period of time. It doesn’t happen overnight, and it can creep up on you if you’re not paying attention (and it gets worse and worse as time goes on).

    Signs could include things like: feeling tired and worn out most of the time, frequent headaches, feeling a sense of failure and self-doubt, isolating yourself from others, using food, drugs or alcohol to cope, taking out your stress and frustration on others, loss of motivation, etc. If you pay attention to these early warning signs, you can prevent a major breakdown. If you ignore them, you’ll eventually burn out.

  2. Take a break and time off whether you think you need one or not.
    Daily, weekly and monthly downtime is essential to your health and well-being and ultimately the success of your business. Set a time each day when you completely disconnect. Put away your laptop, turn off your phone, and stop checking email. Have a nap (I nap for 20 minutes almost every afternoon). Schedule your vacations first when you are doing your yearly planning. Be sure to have at least one long weekend every six weeks and a couple of weeks off each year.

    Having time off and being away from your desk not only refreshes you both physically and mentally, but you will actually be much more productive in the long run. It allows your creative juices to flow without the hindrance of a daily task list.

  3. Set boundaries.
    Learn how to say No. As a high-achiever and professional, you probably like to take on multiple projects and have your hands in many pots. But saying “no” actually allows you to say “yes” to the things that truly matter. If it doesn’t get you closer to your goals or light you up with excitement, just say no.
  4. Nourish your creative side and passions.
    Creativity and play are powerful antidotes to burnout. Try something new or resume a favorite hobby. Tap into the passions you once had but were too busy for. Get outside and play. Laugh. Be sure to choose activities that have nothing to do with work.
  5. Adopt healthy eating, exercising and sleeping habits (aka Self-Care).
    When you eat right, engage in regular physical activity, and get plenty of rest, you have the energy and resilience to deal with life’s hassles and demands. I can’t stress enough how important self-care is for your well-being and your business. You are the only one who can truly take care of yourself. If you don’t, you won’t be able to take care of others or serve as you desire within your business. Self-care is an investment in yourself and your business.
  6. Ask for help.
    A huge reason for burnout is taking on too many things at once. If you can’t say no to a task, learn to delegate and ask for help. This is not a weakness or failure on your part but rather a strategic decision for your business, health and happiness. I have learned that if I don’t excel or enjoy a task, I give it to someone else. This frees up my time to do the things I like best and keeps my day manageable.

Burnout is very real. Don’t think that you are Super Man or Woman that can continue at a crazy pace indefinitely and not suffer the consequences. Recognizing the symptoms of burnout within yourself is the first step.

Having been there, I urge you to take some easy actions now to prevent a breakdown in the future.

Heather

Heather Wilson

About the Author, Heather E. Wilson

Need help? Would you like to learn more ways to avoid burnout, add more fun, more success, and more joy into your life and business? Heather E. Wilson, is a certified transformational coach, author and international speaker who loves to share her passion for helping you take charge of your life and business so that you can have the success and fun you've always dreamed about.

Go to HeatherwilsonInternational.com to view more of her free training and to receive a copy of her FREE ebook: The Burnout Principle.


Stale, Tired, and Clunky… 10 Reasons Why Your Website Needs a Makeover Now

An abandoned storefront and car

Have you ever come across a website that looks old and stale? What impression did you get when visiting it? Was it favourable or did you get the feeling they weren’t quite up to your expectations?

Much like your wardrobe, websites need freshened from time to time. Think about that favourite shirt you wore 5 years ago, which was the latest fashion then. That same shirt would look dated and out of place today.

Unfortunately, many business owners don’t realize the importance of updating their website. After reading this article, you might want to give us a call to see if yours needs a makeover too!

Here are 10 reasons why to consider a website makeover:

  1. First impressions are important. The starter website you may have built a few years back may now appear to be unprofessional looking by today’s web standards. With many visitors judging your website within a few seconds, having graphics that are professional, appealing and engaging is critical. That’s why investing in an updated look and feel for your website is a smart investment. A new polished look can help you attract and keep a higher level of clientele too.

  2. Your potential clients are comparison shopping. The Internet makes it so easy for consumers to shop rates and compare options when it comes to buying online. That puts the burden on companies to keep their websites fresh and inviting. The company with the sharpest looking website, offering the best resources and information wins. A website redesign gives your company the edge with eye-catching graphics and a layout that grabs visitor’s attention.

  3. Improved website sales effectiveness. In the past, it was standard protocol to post a brochure-type website for your business. Websites today can be designed in a way that is more effective in turning visitors into customers. A professional web design firm can help you re-examine the layout and content of your website to boost sales conversions.

  4. Updated web technologies. If your website was built in WordPress or using a different content management system (CMS), it’s important to upgrade to the latest version of the software. Installing the latest security patches can prevent hackers from getting into your website. This can prevent data breach of your customer information. Plus it stops hackers from abusing your servers by installing viruses or sending spam.

    Similarly, old shopping cart systems are also very susceptible to hackers if they have not been maintained by the developers. This applies to either purchased systems or open source – both need continual upgrades in order to stay ahead of hackers and of the users’ needs for functionality.

  5. Shifted business focus. Over time, your business changes. You have new products and services to offer, which may mean you have a different market to go after. Your target market should be the driving force behind what your website should look like and the kind of information it provides so a shift like this may require an updated look and feel to match the new focus.

    Additionally, don’t forget to update the company information on your site too. New employees to add, new credentials to showcase in your bio or new contact information if you moved. It’s important to frequently review your website to ensure that the information on your website is still up to date.

  6. Google loves freshly updated pages. The freshness factor greatly influences your website rankings. When evaluating pages, Google weighs a page’s freshness when deciding how high to rank search results. That means that if your website is stale and hasn’t been updated in months or even years, it may drop in rankings.

    Moreover, you don’t want to lose those precious conversions where prospective customers are checking you out but decide they can get something better somewhere else. It’s either that your site is not appealing to the right market or once they get there, they are immediately turned off from what they see and experience.

  7. Improved site structure boosts SEO (Search Engine Optimization). There are several changes to the way your web site is constructed that can dramatically affect your SEO. A website redesign can improve site architecture, page names, image names, meta tags, and content so that it’s considerably more SEO friendly.

  8. It’s time to declutter. Over time, when you stick new content here and there your website can become jumbled, complicated, and less effective. Doing a website redesign provides the opportunity to simplify wording, layout, and navigation. This makes it easier for visitors to find what they are looking for without being distracted or confused.

  9. It’s not mobile-friendly. Over 17% of all website traffic that goes to your website is coming from a smart phone or mobile device. If your business website is not mobile friendly it could be costing you a lot of business. A website redesign means it can also be smart-phone, mobile friendly through a responsive design that is easy to navigate no matter the size of screen your visitor is using.

  10. Adds social media functionality. If your website was built several years ago you may not be set up to connect with customers on social media. Adding social sharing buttons allows readers to share your content, which boost SEO and your brand visibility. Plus, adding links to your social media accounts helps you build relationships with your prospective client. Moreover, it provides an instant way to share deals/offers with ready to buy consumers.

Does Your Website Need a Makeover?

A professional web and marketing firm can transform your website into a powerful online sales tool for your business. Not only can they update the look of your website, but they can increase conversions, boost SEO, and make it mobile-friendly.

To your success!

P.S. Let eVision Media unleash the selling power of your website with a smart, cost effective redesign that delivers results for your business! Contact us today for a free consultation.

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

How to Wake Your Entrepreneurial Dragon

Waking the entrepreneurial dragon

The fairy tales and legends teach us that dragons are dangerous, that they are creatures to be slain. Hogwarts (in the Harry Potter books and films) has the school motto of “Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus,” or, “Never tickle a sleeping dragon.” Smaug (in the Hobbit book and films) goes on a dwarf-killing rampage before stealing their treasure.

These stories show us the danger that is inherent in great power—and end up making us fear our own power.

As an entrepreneur, you possess great power. You have the power to grow a business, to create jobs, to innovate solutions, to change the world. In many ways, these are the “easy” powers of an entrepreneur. These are the powers that are universally entrepreneurial. These are the powers that you probably feel most comfortable with.

It’s your dragon powers that make you uncomfortable and even downright fearful.

What are your dragon powers?

Your dragon powers are your unique set of gifts and talents that make you different from all other entrepreneurs out there.

Your dragon powers enable you to command attention, to soar above the competition, to disrupt the status quo, and to ignite a burning desire in your customers and clients.

That sounds pretty awesome, right? So, what’s the problem? Why would anyone—especially an entrepreneur—try to hide their dragon powers?

We all hide our dragon powers because we’re afraid we won’t be able to control them, that we’ll end up doing damage with them. Imagine one fire-breath from a dragon destroying a house or a village.

Entrepreneurs try to hide their dragon powers because they—YOU—are even more aware of the responsibility and ripple effect of your power. Through your business, you not only touch the lives of your immediate customers and clients, you also touch the lives of everyone around them. Through your business, you create deep and wide ripples.

Knowing the effects of your power naturally makes you more cautious about expressing your full power. You want to be careful about how you express it, how you use it. You want to make sure that you only do good with your power, no bad.

And some parts of your power feel too big, too dangerous, too scary to let out. Some parts of your power really do feel like a fire-breathing dragon whose power can’t be controlled. And so you put your entrepreneurial dragon in chains. You lock it away in a dungeon. You try to forget it’s even there.

Here’s where the real danger starts. That chained up, locked away, long-forgotten dragon is not dead. It is weakened but alive. It is angry. And it desperately wants to come out.

Your entrepreneurial dragon may look like a type-A need for control. It may look like an obsessive passion. It may look like a deep intuitive knowingness of the best action to take.

While type-A personalities were all the rage in the 1980’s, today we’re told to “let go” of control, to lower our expectations, and to accept “good enough.” Type A’s are warned that we’re going to get a heart attack or a stroke and just need to calm down.

In actuality, it’s suppressing this dragon power that hurts the heart. Seeing the details, having high expectations, and orchestrating excellence are huge gifts. Just because most people don’t have these gifts does not mean that YOU shouldn’t express them yourself.

Type-A gifts are commonly locked away today because of the bad rap Type A’s have gotten over the years. Yes, you can get out of hand and become overbearing in your efforts to control everything. You can intimidate or anger people with your micromanaging. You can come across as arrogant in your knowingness and your propensity for being right.

So, are you just supposed to ignore your entrepreneurial dragon gifts?

Absolutely not. When it comes to your entrepreneurial dragon, ignoring it does not make it go away. Ignoring it makes it temperamental and makes YOU less good at using those gifts.

In contrast, the more you use your dragon gifts, they happier your entrepreneurial dragon is, and the better you get at using the gifts. You begin to master them, making you feel accomplished and ensuring that your dragon gifts are used for the highest good.

Your entrepreneurial dragon will know it doesn’t need to breathe fire indiscriminately when it can focus its fires as often as it likes. It won’t need to destroy a village when it knows it can tear down structures that aren’t working for you. It won’t need to steal someone else’s treasure when it knows that it can help you manifest your own treasure.

Rather than trying to slay your dragon, harness its power. Claim its power as your own.

Unearth those gifts that you’ve locked away. Own everything that makes you uniquely YOU.

When you first let your entrepreneurial dragon out of the dungeon, it may go a little crazy. (Ok, maybe even a lot crazy.) That’s all right. Just give it space to spread its wings, to breathe a little fire, and to have a little fun.

Then give yourself the space to grow into these powers and to master your dragon gifts.

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About the Author, Kelly Eckert

Kelly Eckert is an author, professional speaker, and shamanic leadership coach. She is a graduate of Harvard College with a bachelor's degree in biological anthropology and Tufts Graduate School of Arts and Sciences with a master's degree in biology.

Kelly is a certified MentorCoach® and a certified coach member of the International Coach Federation. She is the creator of the Fear Releasing Method™ and Coaching with Animal Archetypes™. Kelly speaks nationally and internationally on the topics of fear and unleashing the animal within. Her latest book, What's Your Spirit Animal?, is now available. Find out more at kellyeckert.com.

 

 

How To Get What You Want By Knowing What You Don’t Want

What I want list

In my previous article An Introduction to the Law of Attraction, I explained what the Law of Attraction really is and, how whether you realize it or not, it is always in operation. In my second article ‘How to Attract A Great Business Relationship‘ I took you through a step-by-step process showing you exactly how to attract a great business partner, client, strategic alliance or even support team.

In the third article ‘How To Get Rid of Negative People In Your Business Using the Law of Attraction‘ I shared some tools on how to get rid of negative people or at least change the vibration.

In this article, using the Law of Attraction I will give you some insights about why you do want to know what you don’t want and just how long you focus on what you don’t want! After reading, I’d love to hear your biggest takeaway in the comments section below.

Now for most people in business they want more ideal clients and they want to grow their business for a number of reasons. Many people want to make more money in their business so that they can create a life that makes them happy.

And ‘happy’ could mean having more free time for family, more time and money for traveling, more money to spend on themselves and their family, feeling more on purpose by helping clients achieve what they want, more me time, etc etc.

The Law of Attraction ‘3 Step Deliberate Attraction‘ model is the perfect tool to use to help you manifest what you want your life and business to look like.

The first step in the ‘3 Step Deliberate Attraction’ requires that you decide what it is you want to create or manifest. For our purposes we’ll focus on you creating ‘My Ideal Business’. Law of Attraction loves you to use sentences like “I am in the process of attracting my ideal business”. You could also use an affirmation IF you really feel it is true for you. (Affirmations are another topic in another article because they don’t always work)

Then you are going to go through a process called ‘Creating Clarity Through Contrast’. If you have read any of the Abraham books you know that they talk a lot about having the need for contrast to give us clarity. It’s how we created the world we live in.

The model I am using here was taught to me by Michael Losier and he explains that once we know what we do not want, then we can move in to knowing what we really want.

You might just want to write down all the things you do want right away, but I can assure you having used this ‘Creating Clarity Through Contrast’ process many, many times with a specific desire in mind, my ‘do not want list’ grew larger and larger! From knowing what you don’t want you become so much more focused and crystal clear on what you do want.

So take a sheet of paper and copy what you see here for the outline. You can do this in one sitting or take a few hours or even a few days to do this process.

I often get over 50 points on my Clarity Through Contrast worksheet and even after I’ve done the process I come back and add more! Go through the entire CONTRAST side first and then one-by-one write down what you do want on the CLARITY side. Put a line through the CONTRAST line after you write down what you do want in your CLARITY list.

I am in the process of creating My Ideal Business.

Finding Clarity Through Contrast
CONTRAST: What I Don’t Want CLARITY: What I Do Want
Working 7 days a week A flexible work schedule I decide
Squeezing my family in between my hectic work schedule Quality time to spend with my family
To work 60 hours a week To work 30 hours a week
Clients who do not value my work Clients who love and value my work and always send me referrals
Clients who cannot afford my services and try to have me reduce my rates Clients who can easily afford my services and are always happy to pay in full, on time
To feel stressed about making money to survive Money flowing easily and steadily to me with plenty to play with
Not attracting more ideal clients Continuous attraction of my ideal clients with many ‘word of mouth referrals’
To do all my social media work myself To hire qualified social media experts who charge fairly for their services and are great to work with
CONTINUE ON… You fill in what you don’t want CONTINUE ON… You fill in what you do want

Once you have completed this process fold over your paper so that all you see now is the CLARITY side. Only spend as much time as it feels right to you looking at the Contrast. This might be a few seconds or minutes but now you have clarity on what it is you do want in your business. Be selfish here (selfish = self-care) and really put out there what you want.

Now you need to look at this daily until you manifest what you truly desire. No putting it away neatly in your filing cabinet – that will not raise your vibration because you won’t even be thinking about it.

Once you know what you want in your business and who you want to work with you can use this to manifest other areas of your life that you would like to change.

After all we’re here to live happy, fulfilled lives and if we are not clear on what we want or how we can do that… well need I say more!

What’s your biggest take-away after reading how the Law of Attraction can get you what you want by knowing what you don’t want? Please leave a comment below!

About the Author, Dana J. Smithers

dana-smithers-ewb

Dana J. Smithers is an international Empowerment Mentor. Her mission is to educate, inspire and empower women entrepreneurs. She knows what starting up a small business takes and how to get it to the next level. At 50 she left a high-paying corporate job and became a successful 6 figure entrepreneur.

She believes the journey to living a fulfilled life is found through your mind-body-spirit connection. As a Certified Law of Attraction Trainer she teaches her clients how to use LOA tools to build a business by working on their 'mind'. As a Certified Sacred Gifts Guide she helps women discover their sacred gifts so they feel more connected to 'spirit' and are aligned to their purpose. Being an Emotion Code practitioner allows Dana to release trapped emotions lodged in the 'body'. She invites you to sign up for her enewsletter for tips, insights and inspiration and her FREE ebook 'The POWER of your WORDS' at Empowered Women in Business. She looks forward to making a real connection with you on www.FB.com/coachdanasmithers. Her NEW Law of Attraction Gratitude Journal is available on www.amazon.com.