Click the player below to control this show’s audio stream…
Carlton’s original Rant on Burnout:
“I’ve counseled and advised a ton of entrepreneurs and freelancers.
The most COMMON thing that comes up (sometimes it’s not obvious at first) is impending burn out.
Entrepreneurs get bored when the challenges are gone.
Freelancers take every job that comes along, and get overwhelmed (and the wife leaves with the UPS stud).
Or, hell, modern life just intervenes. And you fry.
You cannot keep doing that without dying young.
The keys to surviving are:
(1) avoidance — have a good, balanced life (my motto is “moderation in all vices” — I have to avoid boredom, as well as overwork)… and
(2) have tools to combat burnout (like meditation, moving away from the rat race for a time or forever, having your Fuck You money set aside, knowing what relaxes you, exercising and GIVING IT TIME.)
Most folks don’t know what’s happening. And once it happens, they are ill-equipped to deal with it. So they self-medicate with booze and sex and drugs and more work… and guilt, and shame, and heart attacks.”
Kevin: To misquote a famous beat poet…
“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness… and burnout…
Brian McLeod’s Show Notes:
Imagine a lightbulb blowing out just as you flip the switch – there are no surge protectors for our brains.
It’s easy for even the sharpest marketers to become victims of their own success.
Carlton’s Best Reward = TIME OFF
HUGE Stressor: The trap of responsibility for other people involved in launching a product, tons of pressure, many overcommitments. Everybody expects and needs a paycheck.
What’s your max level of stress, anxiety and grief that you can take?
Kevin fell into the archetypal “bad client” relationship on a launch early in his career. Everyone ended up hating each other — but also had to finish the gig and get the job done, together. Miserable.
We all need deadlines to stay motivated, but impossible deadlines serve nobody.
Look at the parameters of your biz and ask yourself with total honesty, “What’s stupid for me to be doing right now?” What’s hard vs what’s easy?
We can only tolerate a certain amount of stress. We can adapt and handle and tolerate a certain amount of stress okay. But when we hit the limit everything falls apart.
Stress kills. Take it seriously. Your body can and will fail.
All the little distractions and escape mechanisms in our modern digital world accumulate and pressurize the stress level in our “Stress Tanks”. It’s so very easy to get addicted to our distractions. We set up our own bad habits, habitually.
When you have a clear goal, you’ll work very hard for it – and you can handle it.
Carlton’s “Immense Vats of Human Waste” metaphor for being the one capable of figuring it all out for clients. You’ve got to know how to do the job, manage the clients and the process, get great results, do work that works, consistently. Doing it for the hundredth time becomes no longer fun. “Yes, I can do it. No, I don’t wanna.”
FORMULA: Stress + X = Burnout. What’s your personal X? Everyone’s is different.
You can trick yourself into being productive (Need to start writing? Write some bullets!)
Once you get any good at this (post-rookie stage), you’re going to get offered a job — and your response to this eventual “opportunity” usually dictates your future as an entrepreneur or freelancer.
Many clients try to kill the goose that lays the golden egg by hiring them. Don’t.
Two types of burnout – the first is Deadline Burnout.
Know yourself and keep your stimulation in check.
There’s a dance between burnout and productivity. Find your boundaries. “Productivity” quickly turns into “too much to do”. As soon as you find your limits, respect them. Virtually nobody will ever do this.
2nd type of stress/burnout – Opportunity Burnout.
You get to a point where you figure out the game. You’re connected enough that everyone wants to work with you. Opportunities are everywhere, all the time. Can leave you feeling like you’re never doing enough.
It’s hard to find the line between living your own life or your business living your life.
Know your nut (your financial obligations plus variables that add up to your monthly costs of operation). Once you know what your nut actually and truly is, only then can you start to figure things out.
What people don’t take into account is your emotional nut – how much time with family, friends, kids do you need? What/when is “enough”? Some never ask themselves that question.
FORMULA: (Risk = Stress) + X = Burnout
One advantage of being a freelancer is you get to walk away from anything you want to. And every time you come out the other side of burnout, you find your groove again.
Being tired and resisting the work just wastes your time. Go to bed, play with the kids, take the dog for a walk. You’re useless otherwise.
Staring at the wall is often some of your highest-value activity, despite people who can’t understand it because they only have two speeds: going hard and fast or asleep.
Make some time for High-Powered Fucking Off.