Cure Your Burnout Without Grinning and Bearing It

Jan 17, 2022

Growing your biz is exhausting enough, but when you add in a global pandemic, you've got a perfect recipe for burnout. In this episode I talk about how I cured my own burnout...and discovered that the answer wasn't just to "power through."

 Hello, and welcome to the Client Attractor Show. I'm your host, Jacob Ratliff, client attraction coach and author of the brand new book Client Attractor, available on Amazon and for free at

In the last episode, I shared a lot about how I was telling myself these really unhelpful stories about how unmotivated or lazy I was, and that when I really started to dig deeper, or at least when someone called me out on it and helped me to dig deeper, I realized that there was a lot more going on under the surface, that I was dealing with some burnout, that I didn't have an accountability structure to ensure that I was doing the things I said I was going to do and the things that I knew I was going to do, and I was lacking some clarity and structure on the process itself. I knew what I needed to be doing in my business, but there were some gray areas where I needed to get even more clarity. Over these next three episodes, I'm going to share a little bit about my experience with each of these three issues, and ultimately, how I overcame them and moved past them to achieve this really high-output business that I currently run today.

The first one that I'm going to talk about a little bit is my own experience with burnout. This is an especially relevant topic, in this particular moment right here, because here in 2022, we are all really burned out with the pandemic. And burnout has become even more of a significant issue since the pandemic, because so many of us entrepreneurs panicked when the pandemic hit in early 2020, and if you didn't panic when the pandemic hit, then chances are you still really poured yourself into your business. The fact that so many states were on lockdown, that we weren't leaving our houses, our lives were upended in so many ways, made it so that we were pouring ourselves into our businesses in ways that we might not have done before. And we did that because perhaps we thought that the pandemic—or hoped that the pandemic—would be over in a few months, and that we can all go back to normal, and now that we are approaching the two-year mark of the pandemic, this is the normal, and this is the reality that we're living in today. 

Burnout doesn't necessarily have to have anything to do with the pandemic, but as a society, we have collectively undergone this massive historical event and are still undergoing this massive historical event that has left us exhausted and tired. That was really the situation I found myself in around March 2021, about a year into the pandemic. Part of this burnout that I was experiencing at that point was deeply tied to the pandemic, but another part of it was the fact that I had been hustling hard at that point for about three or four years, so of course I was tired. So I was experiencing this level of burnout that was actually preventing me from sitting down every day and taking the actions that I knew I needed to take to work on my business. And at this point, I knew those actions worked.

I knew that my marketing strategy was so dialed in. In fact, I remember having this conversation with a friend and industry peer, and I was telling her about how I was feeling burned out, and how I was just not feeling motivated with my business anymore, and this was all coming on the heels of having just had my first $20,000 month in sales. But the idea of following up that month with another $20,000 month or even with a $10,000 month felt impossible, because I had worked so hard to manufacture that one $20,000 month, I had gone at it so hard, so committed to hitting that mark, that I really didn't stop to think about whether I would be able to do that consistently, whether I would be able to perform regularly at such a high level to produce such high results. So yeah, I was burned out, but at that point, I wasn't recognizing it as such. 

I was telling myself that I was lazy or unmotivated, even though if I were lazy and unmotivated, what I have just produced this $20,000 month, it's factually impossible for someone who was lazy and unmotivated to work so hard, to make $20,000 in a month. But that's the lie that I was telling myself. And because that's what I believed to be true, that I was lazy and unmotivated, I figured that it made sense that if I wanted to fix this problem, I would look at ways to increase my motivation, that I would look at ways to ensure that I sat down and did my daily driver tasks, so that I could continue to produce results. But when I did that and I still found myself paralyzed with inaction, that's when I began to suspect there might be something going on under the surface, that it might be more about burnout or the exhaustion than about simply being lazy. 

So I sat down and just made a concrete list of all the things that I knew I should be doing but that I wasn't, stuff like reaching out to prospects, engaging with prospects, engaging in Facebook groups—all these different things that, when I did them, I knew that they would make me money, that they would get me clients. And as I looked at that list that I had just jotted down on the back of a business card or something, it was almost kind of comical, because I looked at that list and I thought, Wow, I've been in business for four years at this point, and I'm still doing this. No wonder I'm not doing it. I'm sick of it. I'm tired of it. I don't want to be doing it. I looked at that list and I thought, There's no way I'm actually going to do any of this anymore. I'm done with this. 

Now, one of the common phrases you hear about being an entrepreneur is “Oh, you can give yourself a raise anytime,” and this similar concept that I was discovering was I wasn't actually giving myself a raise as much as I was looking at that and saying, “At this point, with as much time as these things take, that's below my pay grade.” It wasn't that “Oh, I'm too good for this.” It was more along the lines of “This is not where my time and energy is best spent. This is not where I can have the biggest impact on my clients and on the world.” 

For those particular things, I began outsourcing them, and at this point, I have a team that consists of an appointment setter, a salesperson, and an assistant. That has actually been such a big cure for my own burnout, because it almost immediately began to free up my time and energy to work with my clients and to have fun doing it. For me, that was the answer. And that may be the case for you, and it may not be. What was important is that once I realized that my issue was less around some sort of inherent character flaw in me, like being lazy or unmotivated, and saw that it was more about this burnout that I was experiencing as a result of hustling for years and as a result of a global pandemic, I was better able to start pulling together a solution to address my burnout and pretty much cure it within a matter of weeks. 

If you are dealing with some burnout of your own or you suspect that you might be, my number one recommendation is to take out a piece of paper and a pen, and to list out all of the things that start to create that feeling inside of you, that feeling of dread or of exhaustion or of “I don't want to do this.” And then, once you have all those things out on paper, start the process of brainstorming creative ways to get those things done or to keep moving forward. Because if you're burnt out, one of the best things that you can do is to change how you're approaching your daily tasks, or change how you are approaching your strategy in a way that is honestly more fun, more enjoyable, or just involves less time and energy from you. 

And with that, we will wrap up for the day. In tomorrow's episode, I am going to talk about accountability and how to really find an accountability system or structure that actually works for you and encourages and motivates you, rather than becomes a burden or just one more thing to worry about. Again, my name is Jacob Ratliff. Thank you so much for joining me for today's episode, and I will see you tomorrow.

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