Anyone else feeling tired in their business? How about having anxiety in business?
Business owner burnout is a common challenge, but with the right strategies, you can find renewed passion for your entrepreneurial journey.
Feel like everything costs so much more to run and it is harder to have money coming in? Please raise your hand in the comment section, fellow business owners and entrepreneurs, if you are also tired or deflated so I do not feel so alone in this experience!
I had a lot of notions of what it would feel like to be coming up to my almost 20th year with a birth & parenting business. I thought it would be easier and that I would be ‘winding down’ and building my succession plan to step back.
And to be honest, I may have if COVID and the world getting real weird did not happen. But it did. It kicked off a chain of events that bumped bebo mia back to a second adolescence. And, as a parent of a teen in the thick of it, I did not expect to be back there again with my business. I thought very, very wrong.
I was literally back in those questions that I had not asked in well over 8 years. Bianca’s inner voice was like, ‘Nothing is working?!’ and ‘What is happening here?!’ I would get to my desk with my never-ending-to-do-list and then the day was gone and I did not have much to show for it and yet I was so busy and yet my growth had backslid.
I had a moment when I knew I was way off the mark….
I got an email from a man I did not know saying he could fix my abc by only doing xyz for only $679 a month. Now, I probably get 20-30 of those emails every day but something about this one… I thought he would be my savior. I felt hope from reading it. That is when I knew, I was running in circles and had forgotten my wisdom and my why and my how.
I was suffering from business owner burnout
Like literally stopped everything and took a deep ass breath. I was lost. Spoiler alert: The first step to finding myself was starting with clearly stating I felt lost in my business.
The next 2 weeks unfolded in a magical and unexpected way
Problem numero uno became SO clear. I did not have a plan anymore. Yes, I had to-do lists, but not a plan. Not a goal, a clear plan. Not a meditation, a clear plan. And to be more specific, a clear plan rooted in values and principles. I always had a plan in the past. It was why I started a business with no money and no help and made $35K (which is like $50K in 2023) in profit in my first year with a newborn at home.
Somewhere in the shift of the world, and our staff, and the pandemic, and, and, and it had either fallen out of my pocket along the way or I outgrew it and was holding a map that was now wrong. Either way, I need a new one.
To keep this topic readable and in bite sized chunks, I am going to be releasing these in smaller bits. ‘Whyyyyy??’ I hear you wanting the whole answer right meow. And no, it is not to trick you into coming back over and over like marketing tactics do (although, I hope that you do come back over and over). Rather, one of the key parts was the fact it HAS to be done in bite-sized chunks.
And fairly slowly. No, it is not the forever-ever slow plan if you are in a time vs income crunch. But slower than you think.
I hear you: ‘Are you sure, Bianca???’
I promise, this takes quite a bit of reflection as you go. Wanna know how I know this? Well, I tried to do it like a fast action to-do item in February and I flopped because it is a whole overhaul. No joke, as I started working on my map I quickly saw that there were parts of my life that I was lacking in intentionality, clarity, focus, direction and therefore joy and ease. Yes, this included my friends and family and home and money and thoughts. All of it.
Before I lose you and you think that this is going to be so much work…
Well, it is. But less work than NOT doing something about it. One more time for the folks at the back of the room. This overhaul was a bit more upfront work. Yes. And NOT doing this work is a guarantee that you will never catch your breath.
Truth bomb: there is NO quick fix for a solid and secure foundation for your business. There is nothing you can do that is a fast and dirty method if your business is not, was and now isn’t, or never was, consistently profitable.
If you want some tested advice, read on. If you want to keep scrambling and stress sleeping and feeling like a discouraged and angry monster in the day and having no idea where to even begin, and having nothing working, keep doing what you are doing. The best part about all of this is you get to choose.
This will help you with coping with business stress as well as preventing it!
Well, looks like you are still reading, so let’s go through this together.
I am still in process. TBH, we are all always in process. I have not perfected this. And while I am out of my baby deer wobbly phase, I wanted to capture and support my community with my learning and hold out a hand to others who I know are in the same boat.
Here is where to start
Start by having a chat with you (this is a private step, as in, it is for you with you by you.) To be clear, ‘private’ doesn’t mean an IG live, or you post about it, or you even do it with a trusted friend. It literally means, you talking to you.
You are going to be doing a lot of this.
This is where you have to practice honesty. Like 100% honesty. You probably don’t know how to do this yet, we are taught to unlearn honesty as children. You remember telling someone you did not like their gift they got you when you were like 5 years old and some adult around you scolded you with some version of, ‘that is not nice, say thank you and you should never tell someone you do not like their gift!’ And you were confused because rather than learning tact, we learned a confusing and disorienting way of being which is anything but honest. Thanks, patriarchy.
I know that may seem way off from the origin of getting your business on track and I promise it is not.
Read about wildly simple, but impactful advice to help grow your doula business
Back to step one. Get yourself prepared to tell the truth to you. You will argue with yourself in your head. Your brain does a lot to protect you. Keep assuring your brain that you do not need to ‘do’ anything. Like, if you do not like your business partner. That is as far as you have to go. Saying (in your head), ‘I don’t enjoy working with my partner anymore’. That is all you have to do. If you want to write this in a journal, and it is safe to do so, then have at it. Again, this is for you, by you, with you.
Practice telling you the truth. Integrity is the key to the next portion. I invite you to share what this was like telling the truth to yourself.
In the interest of guiding y’all, I will share some of mine… yup, these were some of my thoughts when I was learning.
Me (in my head): I like hearing gossip and I am scared I am going to have to give it up and it is so fun in the moment.
Also me (in my head): You do not have to do anything about it. You will not participate when you are ready to do that part of your healing.
Me (in my head): Ok, just remember not to gossip when you hear it next
At the same time I was justifying and negotiating with myself about when it would be ok to listen to gossip.
Also me who is much calmer (in my head): Bianca, when your healing is ready, gossip will make you feel bad and you will not be giving anything up. When you are ready you will see there is not a loss relative to the bigger picture.
Fast Forward about 40 days.
My journal entry:
One of the greatest sources of childhood grief was when I discovered that the practice of teasing, speaking unkindly, mocking or ganging up on my siblings I got to do with my parents meant that when I was not in the room it was done to me. It was agony and it broke the trust with my favourite people.
This was a barrier of intimacy and trust. Over the next almost 40 years it allowed me to harm so many people, it showed them that I was not trustworthy. It confirmed not to connect. It gave me justification to talk about people and not to them. It stunted my growth and experience as a human. It kept me lonely and longing for deep trust and safety.
The zing of gossip is so short lived. It is empty. I don’t want it. I want people to know that they are safe and respected by me when they are not in the room.
I have learned the hard way when I was misrepresented and not believed and when people accepted only 1 side to a story or believed only one person. There are always more than 2 sides to a story. There is how something is perceived or processed. Humans are complicated. I am complicated. Give others what I was not afforded. This is so I can be happy and complete and have my integrity and trust be unwavering.
I am not ‘giving up’ gossip. I am unlearning a toxic survival technique that prevents my wounds from healing. That prevents me from having connections. This prevents my work from being limitless.
Be gentle as you unlearn this. This is familiar. It is just a habit. Give grace.
It happened on its own when it became a values-based clear choice for me. I did not have to ‘remember’ or ‘give up’ gossip. It felt like it harmed me to do it, like not wearing a seatbelt while driving.
Ok, so your homework is to do some private truth telling to you in your head. Try it on. Drop some truth bombs with you. Remember, you do not have to DO anything about these things. Ok, you may not be in love with your partner anymore. Or you secretly don’t really like one of your children. We work hard to stuff down big things and by doing so you cannot look at it in the light (privately) and see what else is there.
Get to it, and I will be dropping part 2 shortly.
Note: in my pause I also paused releasing season 3 of my podcast. I was debating releasing my life and business overhaul as a few episodes. Drop a comment below if you like the idea of listening and going on this journey together!
Planning Notes for next blogs:
Telling the truth to you
Spend 15-30 mins a day reflecting or listening and then writing
What I noticed as a parent
- How often I did not scaffold
- Where I was was because of the confusing messaging I told her
Then you will know what you do not like
Get your plan together – not your to do list
- Planning for the week and not the day
- Start with the end in mind
- Notice how often you lose your day to not important items
- Answering emails
- The week I ignored my email
- Fixing other peoples errors
- Use these as teaching moments that they think it is ok to dump on you
- Answering emails
- Set boundaries, find peace
- 7 Habits of Highly effective people
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