Burn Out | I've Burned Out, Now What?
Last week we talked about identifying the cause behind your burn out, but the point is to figure out how to eliminate the problem in a way that won't lead to future burn out. Today, we're just going to figure out differing solutions, and next week, we'll figure out processes to put in place year-long that will help you.
Here are some of the problems I've heard from others that lead to burn out and possible solutions to each.
Problem: Feeling like you aren't getting your ideal clients. Also, clients that don't appreciate you, or ones that you don't connect with.
Solution: Spend some time looking at your branding, maybe take a branding workshop. OR maybe you need to reevaluate your ideal client. Sometimes, we get in our own way by being anxious we're not getting the style of client we want, when we really need to focus on people that love our work. If you're not connecting with someone, maybe it's you.
Problem: Taking on too many weddings or sessions and becoming overwhelmed on the back end.
Solution: There are several options here. Purposefully take on less, up your prices, or outsource your editing. We’ll talk more about this problem next week, as there are systems to put in place so that this doesn’t even happen.
Problem: You aren't getting enough business.
Solution: Reevaluate your marketing strategy, and try something else. You have to get creative with your marketing. There are many wedding creatives that offering mentoring on this specific issue. My favorite, Tonie Christine, has a online course you can take as well as one-on-one mentoring. Fork over the money to do some paid marketing. Reach out to clients and offer an incentive if they suggest you to their friends and those friends book you. Take a look at your website and figure out if it's turning people away. Go to a workshop that helps you get more clientele. Ask fellow industry people out to coffee to build relationships and USE YOUR WORDS to tell them what you want. Literally, 'I want to survive in this business, but I'm just not reaching enough. Would you be willing to keep me on your short list of suggestions?'
Problem: You're tired of your editing, nothing excites you about your work. You feel uninspired and on the edge of burn out all the time.
Solution: This is tricky, because sometimes the 'nothing excites me' is actually burn out in and of itself and not actually you not liking your work. HOWEVER, you can still try some things. Buy a random preset to try out something new. Make a shoot with people you trust in front of the camera and go crazy. Try poses you've never been brave enough to do before. Let your friends know to let you just take a few moments between poses to get your bearings. Tell them to trust you back. Also, another good solution to this problem, is to step away from that part of your work for a few days, or a week. If you can just take a break from staring at your computer screen. You don't have to stop hustling in your business to step away from part of it that is causing the problem.
Problem: You feel imbalanced between work and play.
Solution: Set hours for your business, and days of the week that you work and DO NOT LET YOURSELF WORK OUTSIDE OF THOSE HOURS. Not even social media. If you post on Instagram at 6pm at night, then you work 10am-6pm and that's it. If you work a 10 hour wedding day, that means somewhere else in the week, you get off work 2 hours early. You are your own boss, you have to treat yourself like an employee you respect and don't want to burn out.
Problem: Social media makes you feel bad about yourself.
Solution: Unfollow the bitches who make you feel bad or get off that social media altogether.
Problem: You had a really bad interaction with a client that left you emotionally drained.
Solution: This one is difficult, because my initial reaction is to say 'take a break'. BUT I've watched people take a break after something like this and they never come back. So, I'm going to suggest something else. As the last email is sent, the last lawyer interaction is handled etc etc whatever it is...as the issue is laid to rest, have a night out with some creatives YOU TRUST and speak about what happened. I find that being open about what you did wrong, what the client did that was hurtful, how it all got settled is actually really cathartic. The truth is, shit happens to ALL OF US in this industry and speaking about it openly with other creatives you trust (ones that aren't going to go spread all the stuff), and hearing their own tales of woe will help you recover and move on in your hustle.
Unfollow the bitches that make you feel bad about yourself.
Problem: You're not being supported by your significant other to pursue your business, or they aren't taking you seriously.
Solution: USE YOUR WORDS. Sit down with them, tell them how they're making you feel and TELL THEM exactly what it is they can do to support you. Part of the time our people want to support us but don't really know how. If you're significant other wonders why you're home all day and the cleaning didn't get done, use your words to tell them what you do for those 8 hours everyday. That this is your job, not just a hobby and if you want it to be successful, you need to be able to devote the time to it.
There are instances where they still won't support your career. They won't even be nice in telling you they don't think you have a real job. At this point, it's beyond a simple problem that could lead to burn out. I suggest counseling for ALL couples, but if this is the situation you're in, I would definitely bring in an authority or mediator to speak to a larger issue.
Problem: You're lonely working from home by yourself all the time.
Solution: Create a group of friends that you can work with occasionally, schedule shoots so that you can get out of the house, or set up networking dates. If this is a continuous issue, you may not be happy sustaining an in-home self-employed business.
These are just some of the problems that lead to burn out, and hopefully some of these solutions have sparked something in you to be able to help yourself if you're facing burn out right now.
Next week, I'll be talking through some processes you can put in place to keep from burning out generally if you weren't able to identify one leading problem.