(singing) Hi there, it’s Marie Forleo and you are watching Marie TV, the place to be to create a business and life you love, and this is Q&A Tuesday.
Today’s question comes from Ronnie, and she writes, “Dear Marie, I’m a solo business owner and just don’t feel excited about my own business anymore. I feel like my career path is blah even though I’m doing well financially and have a great team and clients.
“I’ve been feeling like this for over two years, but I’ve been a good girl, working hard, and I have to. I’m a mom, but it’s no fun and I frequently feel down and sort of lost. I thought I was burned out, but now I’m wondering if it’s time for a career change, which scares me. Is this crazy, and how does one differentiate between normal burnout and having outgrown one’s passion? Thanks so much.”
Ronnie, this is such a good question and I so wish that I had you sitting here next to me, because I would just dig into it with you and we’d really get to the bottom of it. But since we have this format here, I’m going to give you four questions to ask yourself to see whether or not you’re burned out and you just need to adjust some things or it’s time for a new career.
The fact that you refer to yourself as a good girl tells me that you’re very aware of what other people think of you. You don’t want to disappoint anyone or let anyone down. So number one, let’s start off with what I call the law test. It’s a great way to take people’s expectations out of the equation.
Imagine that a law was recently passed and you have to stop doing what you do and close your business. It’s the law. Everyone in your industry is going to have to do the same thing. No more business. Would you fight that law? Would you march at City Hall to keep your business open, or would you be relieved so you can move on and create your next thing without any guilt or the feeling that you’re letting anyone down? Your honest answer to this question will tell you a lot, but let’s keep moving.
Number two, let’s talk about time off. I’m curious, Ronnie, how much time, if any, have you had off in the last six months? How much fun or adventure or inspiration have you had in your life outside of your business? Even if we love what we do, if we don’t take time off to recharge we can start to get burnt and then start to question all of our decisions and think well maybe it’s time for a big change, kind of like a favorite food. I love mashed potatoes like nobody’s business, but if I ate mashed potatoes every single day pretty soon I’d hate mashed potatoes.
So if you’ve been working without a break, maybe you’re suffering from mashed potato syndrome. You’re doing it way too much, and you’re not going to get the love and the passion back unless you walk away and take a break.
Number three, the 80/20 rule. 80% of our frustration in business often comes from 20% of our business activities, so take a look for yourself. Are there projects or clients that you just dread? Are there things that you’re responsible for in your business that fall outside of your genius side? Are there appointments that you’re praying will be canceled?
The key to staying passionate in any career is to identify and remove 20% of the activities that are just getting you frustrated. One of the reasons I’m able to continue loving what I do is because I’m constantly changing things up. If there’s something in my business that I’m just not feeling anymore it goes away. That helps me to stay passionate and out of burnout.
Finally, number four, are you using your natural strengths the majority of the time? If you don’t know about it, you need to get your hands on this book. It’s called Now Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham. I read this book. I make my team read this book. It has completely changed my life.
Strengths are the things that each of us have that we’re naturally good at, so when we’re using our strengths the majority of the time we feel strong, we feel passionate, we feel engaged. When we’re not using our natural strengths we feel dissatisfied and we start leaning towards burnout, and that’s what makes us want to quit.
Oprah has an awesome free course on her site with Marcus Buckingham all about finding your strengths and using network. I’m going to put a link below this video so you can check them out. Now you’re probably going to want to watch the whole series because it’s awesome, but pay special attention to video number three, because it speaks directly to where you’re at.
You have to trust that small voice inside of you that’s calling out to create something new, to reinvent yourself, to move on to your next chapter. We’re all constantly growing and changing, and that includes our passions. Is it scary? Absolutely. But if you’re clear it’s time to move on you have to do it, and as Helen Keller said… And yes, it’s a Tweetable, “One can never consent to creep when one feels the impulse to soar.”
One thing is for sure. When your soul is ready for a change you can either do it consciously and courageously and with eyes wide open or you can pretend that you don’t hear the call and you’ll wind up sabotaging your business. You see, you have that creative energy inside and you start to stifle it, it’s got to get directed somewhere, and most of us will start to create destructive habits like maybe overeating or drinking or just creating drama in our life so we don’t have to face the real challenge of creating our next act. Ronnie, that was my 80 year cue. I’m really excited to hear your feedback on this one, so please keep us posted.
Now I know that Ronnie isn’t the only one who’s ever struggled with this issue, so now I’d love to hear from you. Have you ever lost the spark in your business? What did you do to get it back? Have you ever found yourself wondering whether or not it’s burnout or you should move on to your next thing, and what steps did you take to find clarity and to get it done?
Remember, the best discussions happen after the episode over at marieforleo.com, so go there, comment, and tell me your story, because I really want to hear it.
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Stay on your game and keep going for your dreams. The world needs that special gift that only you have. Thank you so much for watching and I’ll catch you next time on Marie TV.
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(singing) Like you don’t drink and you don’t smoke. What do you do? Clearly the internet wasn’t really around back then.