Shedding the Burnout Business Model

rsz_1burnoutIn a recent discussion with Linda Dessau, a writing consultant who helps wellness professionals attract new clients with a wellness blog, the topic of burnout business models came up. Linda was inspired to interview me about this and has generously given me permission to publish our interview here:

Linda: What is a burnout business model?

Mary: To understand what a burnout business model is, I think it’s important to first define “business model”. I like the succinct definition found at dictionary.com: “a design of the operations of a business which focuses on how revenue will be generated.”

A burnout business model can be characterized simply as one that attempts to attain income goals through an unsustainable expenditure of time, energy and resources, leading to burnout.

This is a complex issue, because there are a number of different contributing factors to a burnout business model, including:

  • how you price and package your offerings;

  • how you deliver your services;

  • whether you’re building the right revenue stream(s) for your business’s stage of development;

  • whether you’re using client engagement and enrollment methods that are the right fit/most effective for the type of revenue stream you’re building;

  • what level of business support, infrastructure and systems you have; and

  • all of the mental and emotional issues that play a role.

Here are a few signs that you’re a wellness professional who has a burnout business model:

  • you’re undercharging for your private, one-on-one services and selling individual sessions one at a time, instead of having a continuity package comprising multiple sessions or a multiple-session signature program;

  • you have not built a steady private clientele base yet and are prematurely trying to develop more leveraged income streams;

  • you have a waiting list and are overextending by taking on too many private clients, rather than limiting private clientele and building an additional new, leveraged offering;

  • you’re spending too much time on more indirect, low-touch marketing methods to engage and enroll prospective private clients, rather than strategically using high-touch, personal, direct, experiential and interactive methods; or

  • while marketing, enrolling and seeing clients, you’re still doing tasks that need to be delegated to others, such as bookkeeping and administration, and do not have automated systems and processes.

Linda: You talk about the challenge of walking a “path of balance” between learning and applying external business-building principles and strategies and tuning into and following your own inner guidance. How does being unbalanced with this contribute to burnout?

Mary: I know from my own direct experience and from witnessing clients moving through this, how we can get caught in a bit of a mental and emotional, either/or “polarity loop” with these approaches as we build our businesses, that can really drain us energetically.

We can bounce back and forth between extreme ways of approaching the development of our businesses. For example, we may spend hours learning and applying all the latest business-building techniques, mimicking what others are doing, without connecting with our own inspiration and guidance.

Then, we may dismiss these techniques if they don’t deliver what we’re expecting them to deliver, within our timeline, and go to the other extreme of only relying on our own perspectives and instincts. However, these perspectives and instincts can be clouded by conditioned ways of thinking and limiting programs that prevent us from accessing our deepest wisdom and inspiration. This vacillation, and the inner struggle that comes with it, typically results in feelings of depletion and burnout mentally and emotionally.

When we clear ourselves of the inner debris that contributes to this unbalanced way of being, we can reconcile the polarity loop between these extremes and act from a still point within ourselves. We’re able to balance learning and applying external business-building principles and strategies with tuning into and following our own inner guidance; they support each other, rather than being mutually exclusive.

In my experience, that’s the sweet spot or place of power for building a thriving business, with ease and joy.

Stay tuned for Part Two of this interview. In the meantime:

© Copyright 2017 Mary C. Davis, ANAM TURAS. All rights reserved.

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