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Being a Leader in Challenging Times and 
Ways to Protect Yourself from Business Burnout

by | Becky Auer, In the Magazine

These times, they are a changing. 

Now that Covid19 has hit, life as a coach is a bit more challenging. Ok, a LOT more challenging.  But you’re a leader.  So, how can you lead your clients and your team during a crisis or when there’s a need for dramatic change?

As a business coach, we’ve all been trying to figure out our new norm, with many of us living with ‘stay in place’ orders while the virus slows down. 

Life as a coach just got a lot more challenging.  Why?  Because it’s in our blood to want to help others.  And sometime,s that leads to burnout for us!

So how do we lead while preventing burnout?

Let’s talk first about being a leader. 

Six Tips To Help You Focus When Helping Your Clients

1.  Focus on helping others, even if it’s just one.  What can you do?
2.  Evaluate where you are the best.  What skills will make the most impact?
3.  Connect with your clients: a phone call or a Zoom face to face.  Even a voice message on Facebook PM makes a difference in letting your clients know you are thinking about them.
4.  Focus on major challenges you can help with before moving to the little things.
5.  Lead by example in business and in your personal activities. 
6.  Do you have a team?  Can they help?  Can you help them learn new skills?

Next, you should communicate and engage with your audience.  To serve, your clients or customers have to be ready to hear your message. 

How do you know they are ready?  If you’ve been a coach for any length of time, you’ve built trust and been open with the clients. 

Here Are Some Ways To Engage

  1. Show up on social media.  They need you, and they want to hear from you.
  2. Pick up the phone!  Check-in.  Ask how you can help.
  3. Run daily live streams or host Q & A’s.
  4. Offer small group brainstorming just like a mini-mastermind group.
  5. Send emails to inspire your people.
  6. Offer content your audience can share.
  7. Host open office hours on Zoom

Then it happens! You’ve done everything right, and you get overwhelmed and burnt out. It’s one of the biggest problems of entrepreneurs today. Especially since we are online for 99% of our time these days, so let’s take a look at what it is, why it happens, and what you can do to prevent it.

The definition of business burnout is physical and emotional exhaustion that takes all the joy out of your business and saps away your ability to be proactive and engaged.

With our new norm, stress, and the feeling that your business is controlling you, rather than the other way around can happen quickly. 

And the moment you feel business burnout creeping in, the stress you are already feeling tends to magnify.

Some Warning Signs Are

    • You’re not feeling energized by working the hours you used to
    • You get frustrated easily because you can’t accomplish tasks that were once easy
    • Not wanting to start your work (or sit down at your computer)
    • Feeling angry with yourself at not accomplishing more
    • Procrastination
    • A decline in self-worth and self-esteem
    • Resenting clients and customers
    • Feeling overwhelmed and anxious
    • Feeling hopeless

Business burnout is real and comes with physical and emotional exhaustion. It takes a toll on your family relationships, your health, and your business … and is a kick in the gut to the freedom you were craving by going into business for yourself.

Seven Ways to Control Business Burnout

One:  Recognize You May Have a Problem
We all need help along the way.  If you do, there’s no shame. Get help.

Two: Make YOU Your Top Priority
Your own physical and emotional health are most important. You can’t serve clients and grow your business if you’re struggling yourself. You owe it to them (and to your family and friends) to put your needs first.

Make appointments in your calendar for self-care.  Some ways to include self-care may include working out or meditation and a daily self-care routine.

Three: Get Help
Make a list of the tasks you procrastinate on the most. It will be a relief simply to have these off your plate and out of mind. And if you can’t delegate, automate or outsource all of them at once, start with the tasks that drain you the most.

Four: Say No
Another important step to take in reducing burnout: Drop anything that drains you, stresses you, or doesn’t make you a good return on your investment in it.  Be choosey. Learn to say ‘No.’  You don’t have to accept every client or volunteer opportunity.

Five: Control Your Calendar
At the start of every week, take a hard look at your calendar and your commitments, and assess the coming week’s needs.

  • Decide in advance how many hours a day and a week you want to work.
  • Set specific daily and weekly goals
  • Block off your non-negotiables, including time for family, health, exercise, meditation, and personal development, before you fill in ANY client work or appointments.
  • Identify your top priorities from last week’s To-Do List, and block these off first.
  • Keep your daily To-Do list small.
  • Don’t schedule back-to-back meetings. Allow time to process and recharge after one meeting, as well as time to take a mental break; then prepare for the next.

Six: Review Your Client List
Do you work with clients that drain you; that makes your heart sink to the pit of your stomach when you realize today’s the day you have to see them?  It may be time to re-evaluate.

Seven: Review Your Pricing
Business burnout is often caused by working with too many clients at a time, just to pay the bills. If your client list is full and you’re feeling worn out and burned out, you may want to raise your prices. But if you’ve lost clients due to the current state of the world, your susceptible to burnout.

Yes, our world is a lot different right now as we struggle with our new norm.  But we’ll get through it. 

So go lead like you know how to do and reclaim the joy in your business and your life and spread that joy to others. 

We could all use a dose of it!

Being a Leader in Challenging Times and 
Ways to Protect Yourself from Business Burnout

 About Becky Auer

Becky Auer has started 3 multi-million dollar businesses. The last was a Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar that she took from $0 to $6.5M in just over a year and kept it there until she sold it. Becky runs group coaching and mastermind groups as well as coaching private clients. For Free Resources, go to

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