February 8, 2024


Episode 5 | Navigating Burnout as a Creative Entrepreneur

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In Episode 5 of She Learns Video, I am diving into my own personal story of navigating burnout as a creative entrepreneur. I share a bit about how I overcame this challenge and provide some tips if you are having a similar experience, or want to avoid this situation in the future.


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Full Transcript:

Welcome to She Learns Video, a podcast for female creatives looking to grow their businesses with the power of video. I’m your host Kelly White, a Midwestern girl mom, photographer, videographer, and creative educator. Whether you’re a photographer looking to add video to your business or an entrepreneur looking to grow your brand with fresh new content, this is the spot for you.

After the show, you can see today’s full show notes at shelearnsvideo. com. So let’s jump in. Alright friends, today I want to pop on and talk about something that is a little bit vulnerable for me, and that is burnout and how to work through it as a creative business owner. I’m by no means an expert on how to avoid it, but I can share a little bit about my experience and hopefully guide you if this is something that you ever experience when you are going through, you know, the ins and outs and highs and lows of running a business.

All right, so if you’ve listened to the first few episodes of my podcast, I can promise you this is not the path that I intended for this to take. And to be honest, at times I thought about just taking the first three episodes down and pretending none of this happened. But it is something that I really wanted to commit to, and for me it’s just easier to share in this audio format on a consistent basis.

But the more I’ve thought about it, I really want this to be a place where I can show up. Authentically and share with fellow business owners that kind of the journey and really just keep it real on how it is and how it feels to run a creative business. I know this creative industry can be filled with so many stories of six figure launches and booked out calendars, but I’m hoping that there is some room for the messy parts that most of us.

myself included, tend to bury behind a screen and a smile and just kind of pretend they don’t happen. So for me in 2024, I’m trying to show up a little bit more authentic and real and I hope that can connect with you. All right, so while I thought this topic of burnout might be an interesting one to explore for all of the business owners in the room, it really seemed like it’d be a good chance for me to kind of work through my experience.

and my exploration into why the burnout happened. I’m obviously going to share a little bit about my experience, but hopefully everything I learned in analyzing this can help you to learn from the mistakes that I made and avoid putting yourself in the same space in the future. Perhaps some of my aha moments.

that I’ve had can really be helpful to help you find your way if you find yourself in a similar situation. All right, so here I am showing up like six months after I launched this podcast where I planned to have weekly episodes. I had content outlined. I had reached out to some educators to come on for guest interviews, but if you’ve been following along for any time at all, you realize I dropped.

The ball, I went dark, I logged off, so to speak, and I really had to get myself back into a groove. And for me, that just took a few months to figure out the path that I wanted this to go on going forward. So let’s back up a little bit and talk about why this happened. So most recently during July, early August, I bit off way more than I can chew.

I was, you know, Little Miss Do It All. I’m a proud Enneagram 3. I try and accomplish everything for everyone and I just ran out of steam. I was, during the course of four weeks, I was parenting children by myself while my husband was gone for about two and a half weeks. I packed up. For a long week trip that my family was going on, including a four month old at the time, and I call it a trip because traveling with kids is never a vacation.

Let’s be honest. I traveled to Chicago to speak at a conference. I shot multiple family sessions. I hosted a day of many sessions. I hosted my in laws for a visit at our home. I launched a new website with new branding. I relaunched my video course. I sent my first grader back to school and to top it all off, our baby, went through maybe her biggest sleep regression that she’s had thus far.

Now, I wasn’t doing all this personal stuff completely alone, of course. I have a great partner, and my mom is also a huge help. But the majority of the items that I just listed, a lot of them required A ton of my attention and my time and most of them were like self imposed things, you know, launching my course.

I could have put that off deciding to put my podcast and my website together when I was launching them. I probably could have separated those out a little bit, but I scheduled it. I’m to blame and that’s some things that maybe I wouldn’t have done. In hindsight, the other side of what I didn’t consider is around that very same time.

I had some setbacks. You know, I had some opportunities that didn’t pan out. I had some people that told me no when I was expecting to hear a yes and we went a different direction or not right now. And that’s something that we all are going to experience as a business owner, but when you get that combined with already being stressed to the max and overworked, it really just put me at like rock bottom both mentally and physically.

After this I got really sick, probably the sickest I’ve been in Ages and it just snowballed into a month of basically nothing. I didn’t want to do anything. I didn’t want to produce any content. I had very little business focus. I had a few sessions here and there, but other than pouring myself into those clients, that was it.

It started out with poor planning. I tend to cram way too much into the short periods of time that I have child care or that my husband is, is off, whether it’s on the weekends or in the evenings. And I really realized that I need to change some of the ways that I’m working and making sure I’m setting up healthy routines and good habits in order to avoid this overworked, burnt out, rock bottom.

Setting that I set myself up for and I’ll be really honest that it wasn’t just I wanted to quit the podcast. It was that I had fully considered just quitting my business and going back to work. This was by far the most burnouts that I’ve ever been and ever experienced. You know, I just had another child last March and I thought to myself, I don’t know if I can do this with two Children.

So if you’re a mom, um, specifically because I feel like Dads do so much as well, but moms tend to just take it at a different level. You know, the mental load that we all bear as mothers is completely different than I think a father has or, you know, a grandparent has. And I just want to not offer some expertise, but just offer you the ability to know that you deserve grace and you deserve time and You’re gonna have to give that to yourself.

It’s not something that you need to earn You just need to decide that this is something that you’re allowed to have you’re allowed to have time to You know, if you had a baby in March, you’re allowed time to get into a good routine, you know It took nine months to create this baby. It’s going to take you some time to change your previous routine with, you know, whatever, whether you’re going from zero to one or one to two kids, things are going to change.

Things are going to look different. And I had to give myself the permission to realize that’s okay. It’s going to take time. There’s no timeline that anyone else is putting on myself. It’s all on me. So what have I changed? In the past few months, I have taken more time for myself, I have realized that I cannot do it all, and I have decided that in 2024, I’m going to set up healthy routines that will help me to stay healthy.

You know, mentally focused and in physically good shape. Um, the biggest thing I think I’ve done in the last six months for myself is I have joined a gym where I go almost every single day for an hour. I don’t think at all about the work that I have to do. or the meals I have to cook or the kids I have to prep for.

It is my time to only focus on myself and my health and my strength. And I think it has been the biggest game changer for me. I don’t necessarily think that everyone needs to go out and join a gym, but you do need to find something You can do for yourself that is not related to your business and isn’t a hobby that you plan to turn into a business because that is what I do.

You know, I take up painting and I’m like, Ooh, I could sell these paintings on Etsy. That’s not healthy. You need to focus on something that is not always working or pouring yourself into other people. And maybe this is something you’ve already heard. Maybe this is not new information to you. But for me, it was something that took me going through the process of.

Go, go, go, go, go. 100 miles an hour, all the time. I can do it all. I’m rocking it to sick, rock bottom, mentally drained, ready to quit, in order for me to think, okay, something’s got to give. Something’s got to change. I can’t do it all. What can I do to make myself better and more focused on the things that matter, and giving everything else away?

So, the first thing was that I started going to the gym and taking care of myself a little bit more. Worrying about what I was eating and, I mean, granted, don’t get me wrong, I still eat like pizza and donuts every once in a while. But, for the most part, I’m really trying to think about how What I put into my body and the time I spend working on my body impacts my mental, physical.

and the success of not only myself personally, but my business, my kids, the energy that I have. The next thing I’m trying to do this year is to establish really solid routines. So on two days of the week, I have childcare, I have the ability to create content and the ability to work on client work, um, to take calls.

And those are my days to work. The other days, you know, I spend a little bit of time in the morning doing some emails, doing some social media. A lot of the rest of the day is dedicated to my family. I stay home with my youngest daughter, my older one, you know, she goes to school, but she has routines as well.

I have things I need to do for our home, whether that’s, you know, groceries or cleaning. And then there’s things that I’m going to start outsourcing a lot more of. Even just ordering my groceries online for pickup has been a huge game changer. Again, getting into routines of like prepping meals and planning for the week ahead.

This is something that I need in order to make myself successful. So I know that was a lot of rambling. It felt like I was kind of dumping everything on you, but I just want you to know that if you’re somebody out there who is similar to me, maybe you’re an achiever, an Enneagram three, you want to accomplish so much in your life and so much in your business.

You can’t do it all at once. As much as you feel like the harder you work, The more great things will come to you, sometimes the answer is going to be no. And sometimes you need to take a step back and work on yourself before you can move forward and start working on those goals and those aspirations you have for yourself.

The other thing to think about is I now, in retrospect, realize the no’s that I received were just giving me the opportunity to say yes to other experiences. You know, and maybe that is just yes to staying home with my family and not traveling for an event. Or maybe that’s the ability for one client to tell me no so that I can take another client down the line.

I think putting yourself out there is really challenging at times. You just have to know that sometimes the answer is going to be no. And as much as that can be really difficult to hear, sometimes it’s for a reason. I hope that if you find yourself in a period of burnout where you want to quit, you’ll take the time like I did to take a step back, give yourself a few months to figure it out and try to find a new path forward.

Try to make some changes and see if those changes that you make, whether they’re in your personal. or professional life can help impact the ability that you have to focus on your business and grow it in a way that’s sustainable and healthy. All right. So thanks so much for watching. I hope you enjoyed this.

I’m really excited for all the content I have planned for 2024 for she learns video. I promise I’m planning it in a healthy and sustainable way so that hopefully I can show up a little bit more consistently for you and I can make this content valuable and relatable so that you as a business owner can grow your business with video and with solutions for creative small business owners.

Thanks so much for watching and listening. Definitely subscribe if you’re watching us on YouTube, and if you’re listening on a podcast player, please subscribe for more content coming soon, and give me five stars if you connected with any of this. Thanks so much. Thank you so much for tuning in to She Learns Video.

I hope you found this episode enjoyable and value packed. You can find full show notes at shelearnsvideo. com or connect with us on YouTube and Instagram at shelearnsvideo. If you enjoyed the podcast, please show your support by hitting the subscribe button and leaving a five star review. It would mean the world to me and help us to reach more listeners like you.

We’ll be back next week with another episode until then have a great week and keep learning.

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