Business burnout and emotional collapse come with symptoms you can’t ignore. It’s okay to take a small break, so listen to today’s show and try out these self-care tips to avoid stress overload.
Listen: Business Burnout and Emotional Collapse
Watch: Business Burnout and Emotional Collapse
Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer. You can find this and 400 other answered questions in this series on our YouTube channel.
Business Burnout and Emotional Collapse
Business burnout and emotional collapse. How do you keep your business going when you’re in a state of falling apart? There’s a girl, who runs a house cleaning business, and she asked this question.
She said, “So, what does one do when they’ve been doing this for about four years, and they continually reach burnout, but has had the same repeat clients for the whole time, and continues to get more requests? You can’t go anymore. What do you do?”
This is a tough question, but the answer is what’s happening when you reach burnout is you have an emotional, physical, and mental collapse. It’s built on the thought that you have ongoing stress and pressure over and over again until finally, stuff just starts to crumble. And it’s a natural state. Our bodies slowly break down when they can’t take care of us any longer because they’re sending us signals. They’re saying, “Wait, pay attention to me.”
You Have to Stop and Regroup
And so, in this state of emotional, physical, and business burnout, what happens is you have to stop and regroup. People have been trained since they were very small. If you fall down, get back up again, just keep going over and over again.
Now, house cleaners are naturally people pleasers. So, when things go wrong, they get up, and do more. And then, they do more, and more. They keep going and going and going until finally, they burn out. So, burnout is a real thing.
So, you need to be very careful about the fact that it is a symptom. It’s like getting a headache. When you get a headache, there are things you can do like take some Aleve, ibuprofen, aspirin, or something, and it mutes the feeling.
The Headache is Sending You a Message
But the headache is actually sending you a message. It’s saying, “Hey, wait for a second, pay attention to me. You ate the wrong food. Your hormones are out of whack. You’re dehydrated. You didn’t get enough sleep last night.” And it’s trying to send you a message.
What it’s telling you is “I’m this amazing machine that can heal itself, and I can reason and think, and do all these amazing things. But a part of whatever’s going on inside of me is falling apart.
Thus, I’m going to send you a headache message, so you’ll pay attention to it.” And we go, “Wow, I got this weird headache,” and we pop a couple of pills, and then, we keep going again. We ignored the symptoms. And so, when you ignore the symptoms, it doesn’t necessarily make the headache any better.
Sometimes it Will Go Away on its Own
Sometimes, it goes away all on its own, but it could be that the food that we ate triggered it, then processed through our body. Therefore, the headache was gone. So, there are other things at play.
When you reach burnout, your body, your mind, and your business are saying, “Hey, wait a second. I’m sending you a message.” And so, the message that it’s sending you is, “Hey, do something different. What you’re doing right now, although it’s good and you have the same clients for four years in a row, if you continue on at this pace with this kind of energy, it’s not going to last.”
And so, it’s starting to slowly break down, like, “Hey, pay attention to me.”
I Recommend Cross-Training
One of the things that I recommend is cross-training. Let’s say, you’re running a marathon, and as a marathon runner, I’ve done 29 marathons myself, so I know a little bit about running.
One of the things that happen is when you train every day, and you start running longer distances, your body and mind starts getting bored with it.
Although you’re in a zone and you have endorphins going through your body, your body starts to break down in ways where mayb you twist your ankle, or you’ll pull a muscle, or something will happen, and your body has to slow down.
And so, during that time, we are forced, because we’re going to keep going, we are forced to then jump in a swimming pool, and we put a pull buoy between our knees because we bummed up our ankle, and now, we can’t swim. And you do all upper body training for a couple of weeks until your body heals, and then, you can go out and hit the road again.
You Have to Change Your Game
But what happened was you changed your game, you used the same physical body, used a lot of the same energy, and a lot of the same muscles, but you changed things up a little bit.
When it comes to burnout, what you need to do is still do the same things, but focus on something different. In your business, let’s say that you have all the systems in place, and it sounds like you do if you have the same customers for four years.
You’re cleaning the same toilets, making the same beds, vacuuming the same floors. You have it down to a system. But there’s something in there that can be shifted. Maybe you read a new book, listen to new podcasts, watch new YouTube videos about growing your business. There might be something else that can spark your interest.
Find Something Else to Take Up Some Time
Maybe you learn a new language, or maybe you take on a new something like you’re going to learn how to train employees, or learn the hiring and firing process. By focusing on something different, even though you’re still going through the motions, this part gets re-energized by the new information that you’re learning.
And so, one of the things that I encourage house cleaners is to listen to things while they are cleaning. However, there are a lot of house cleaning companies that don’t do this. They don’t like you listening to things while you’re cleaning because then, you are not aware, situationally, of what’s happening, and if the customer is at home and those things.
I Love One Earbud in While Cleaning
But I love one earbud in so that you can still be aware of what’s around you, and you can be learning while you’re earning. And so, while you are cleaning and going through the routine stuff, you can be learning some fascinating stuff that improves your education.
It improves your job. It improves you as a businessperson. And it improves your customer service.
So, it gives you new life into every day that you’re cleaning. And you get to the point where you start looking forward to the cleaning because you’re learning new things.
Take Regular Vacations
Another thing that I recommend is that you take regular vacations.
Plan your vacations a year in advance and pay for them a year in advance. It doesn’t seem like it’s a priority. You have other pressing issues to contend with so you don’t think it’s important.
But it’s not important until you get burned out and you need that little vacation. You need some time off so that you can go repair your mind, body, spirit, and soul so that you can come back and be a new, better business partner, and better business owner,
Book and Pay for Vacations a Year in Advance
So, book your vacations a year in advance and pay for them a year in advance. Ironically, what happens is that year will come and you won’t want to go. You’ll have every excuse in the world not to go. You’ll say, “This is the worst time of my life to take a vacation. I can’t believe I booked a vacation. What was I thinking?”
Yet it’s paid for, and there’s nothing else on your calendar because you’ve been planning for it. And so, you go, and it does you a world of good.
You’re like, “Oh yes. Now I see. It makes perfect sense.” I’ve been doing this for several years. You book your vacations out a year in advance, and then, everything else falls into place. And then, when you go, you actually need to getaway.
It Gives You a Renewed Enthusiasm
But building up to that, you go hard, and you say, “I’m going to get some time off.” And so, it gives you that renewed enthusiasm and energy because you know you’re going to get some time off as opposed to not getting any time off at all. So, you keep working, and working, and there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.
There are a couple of things that you can do. Take a vacation, cross-train your mind, your body, and your job.
And focus on what are you doing right in the business that’s allowed you to keep the same customers for four years in a row. Because that’s amazing, So, you’re doing all the right things and therefore keep doing the right things.
Your Body is Sending You a Series of Signals
Your body is sending you a series of signals right now. And you need to pay very close attention to those signals because those signals are symptoms, and you want to cure the symptoms. You don’t want to mask them.
So, it’s an ongoing thing, but as long as you’re in the business, this will keep coming up over and over again.
Right now, there’s a new skill set that you need to put in place in order for you to be able to continue 10, 12, 15, 20 years in the business. This is not the first time that you will be burned out. And it is certainly not the last time you will be burned out.
Burnout is a Rolling Thing
Burnout is like a rolling thing. Then, you start recognizing it when it comes. And you’re like, “Wait for a second, how long until my next vacation?” And you start thinking, “What can I do that’s different as far as introducing my mind to new and exciting things while I’m cleaning?”
So, if you learn this new skill set right now, which is how to cure that collapse of all the stuff that’s collided at one time, you will be better prepared to handle it next time it comes.
So, its awful that you are going through this, but it’s exciting that you’re looking outside for solutions because only when you start looking outside for solutions, that’s where the real magic lies.Resources
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