151. How to Navigate + Prevent Burnout [ft. Burnout Expert, Emily Ballesteros]

How to Navigate + Prevent Burnout with Expert, Emily Ballesteros

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Dealing with burnout? Trust me, you’re not alone. The online business world can be a fast track to exhaustion. Often, it draws in ambitious individuals—go-getters, perfectionists, and visionaries eager to make their mark. Combine the addictive nature of social media, the challenges of recent years, and the inherent complexities of entrepreneurship, and you have a recipe for burnout. Today, Emily Ballesteros and I discuss the red flags and prevention strategies. Also, the crucial steps to ensure you don’t reach that breaking point. Even if burnout isn’t on your radar right now, this conversation is vital. After all, the objective is not to cope with burnout once it hits, but to avoid it entirely. Emily offers tangible tools to navigate and sidestep burnout.

In this episode, you’ll hear… 

  • The definition of burnout and how to identify it in your life
  • The five pillars of burnout management and how they help
  • Emily’s process to publication
  • Emily’s answers to your questions

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Who is Emily Ballesteros?

Let’s flash back for a minute. Emily Ballesteros was, in a word, busy. She had a hard time justifying rest. She had to work full time and take night classes to finish up her master’s in psychology. Emily did this while doing online coaching on the side, on top of two- to three-hour commutes.

She knew she was in a pickle when she found herself secretly hoping to catch a cold or get one of those nasty migraines. Emily was thinking of catching anything that’d force her to take a break. Discovering that her constant tiredness was actually burnout, she hit the web looking for help but mostly found crickets. So, drawing from her master’s in psychology, time in corporate training, and her coaching chops, Emily decided to whip up the burnout resources. These resources were what she wished were out there in the first place.

Defining Burnout

So, how do you know if you’re burned out or just super busy? Or maybe you’re just dreaming of a vacay? Let’s break it down.

We all need a break. But when we say ‘burnout,’ it can mean two things. There’s a short-term, in-the-moment burnout. This could be like in a workout class. You’d think ‘Better not go too hard now, or I’ll be toast by the end.’

Then, there’s the long-haul burnout. It can be like when you’re nearing the end of, say, a degree. You’re thinking, ‘Man, I’ve been feeling drained for months.’ That’s deep-in-your-bones tired.

Dealing with these? Well, for the quickie burnout, maybe just slow your roll a bit. For the long-term stuff? It might be time for a real break. Or maybe change some stuff in your life causing that drain. Build a life where you’re not constantly on the edge. And if you do tip over now and then, know how to pull yourself back. Truth is, most of us are still figuring out that balance.

My 3 Takeaways from Our Conversation

  1. Burnout is managed in real-time.

Burnout isn’t something that happens overnight and we just do one thing and squash it. There are small changes you can make along the way to prevent yourself from ever getting to that point. Once you’re there, it’s still a matter of changing one thing at a time until you can find balance.

  1. It takes a lot of self-awareness to manage burnout.

You have to be aware of the tendencies you have that are causing you to burn out. If you’re a perfectionist, you need to recognize that before you can make the changes needed to reverse or avoid burnout.

  1. Mindset is key to avoiding or managing burnout.

This is a long-haul commitment, and that means getting your mindset clear on how

Episode Transcript

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Sam Vander Wielen:
When Emily Ballesteros found herself yearning to get in a minor accident so that she could get a couple hours of rest, she knew something was wrong. Upon discovering her prolonged exhaustion was actually burnout, she promptly began searching for resources and came up empty handed. In response to this clear need and clear lack of resources around burnout, she combined her master’s in industrial organizational psychology, her background in corporate training and her coaching experience to create the resources on burnout that she wished existed.

Hey. And welcome back to On Your Terms. I’m your host, Sam Vander Wielen. I’m so excited today to talk to Emily Ballesteros about burnout. This was such an awesome conversation. I’m really excited for you to be able to listen to it because Emily had so many good tips and ways to avoid it and ways to manage it. And I don’t know, I just thought this was a really fascinating conversation. So I’m really excited for you to listen in.

I thought that this was a really important conversation to have about burnout because I think our space is particularly vulnerable to burnout because of the way that we market our businesses. Social media, just the way that social media works, having it be like, oh, the more you participate, the better you do. Like the dopamine hits, the addiction to likes, like just all the messages that we receive there, the amount of stuff we consume there. I just think our space generally lends itself to being kind of easy to go down a burnout rabbit hole.

I also think like — and this came up a lot in my conversation with Emily, but I think a lot of times entrepreneurship attracts a lot of go getters, high achievers, perfectionists, people who want to do a lot of incredible things with their life, with their business, people who really care about making a big impact on the world, on others. And people just like generally want to do their best, right? And you can see why obviously that leads to a lot of burnout as well. And I think like when we mix the dopamine hits of like being on social media with the difficulty of the last couple of years and just how difficult in general it is to run your own business and build a business, especially one that lasts and is successful for a long time, it sounds like a recipe for disaster, for burnout to me at least.

And I just think it’s something to be aware of. Even if you’re not currently experiencing burnout, I think you should listen to this episode because Emily talks a lot about warning signs and prevention and things that you should just be doing so that you don’t ever reach that point. The goal is not to reach burnout and then figure out how to deal with it, right? So I wanted to bring somebody on who’s working towards giving us actual tools to both manage it and to avoid it and everything in between.

Emily also has a book coming out called The Cure for Burnout in February 2024. It comes out February 13th, 2024. I put the link down below to start pre-ordering her book. I can’t wait for it to come out. And so I also wanted to have her on as part of starting to talk with you about like, in case you’re also interested in ever publishing a book in your space, I want you to hear from real people who are in our space, who are just where you are, who are now going to be or already are published authors. So that if that’s something that you want to do, you can start to figure out what steps do you need to be taking now to one day, also become a published author.

So we really got into it. And I can’t wait for you to hear this conversation. Make sure you listen all the way through, because at the end of this episode, I’m going to share with you my three takeaways from what Emily shared. And so you’ll want to hang on till the end to hear that one. All right. See you on the other side.

Hey, Emily. Welcome to On Your Terms.

Emily Ballesteros:
Hello. Thank you for having me. I’m so excited to be here.

Sam Vander Wielen:
I’m so excited for you to be here. So you and I have chatted back and forth on Instagram, and I love watching your stuff, your content, and I’m really excited about your book that’s coming out. I really love your book cover actually. I just sent it over. My publisher was asking if I have any book covers that I’ve really liked, and I sent them over a few and yours was one of them. I really, really love it.

Emily Ballesteros:
Thank you. My team will be very flattered. A lot goes into a book cover. You go back and forth about like everything down to the font, the color. Like, everything, the wording. Yes.

Sam Vander Wielen:
It’s a lot. I know. We’re going through this process on the front end now and I’m like, I have a whole new respect for books. As somebody who loves books already, I’m like, this has really changed my whole view on everything.

Emily Ballesteros:
Definitely.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah.

Emily Ballesteros:
Especially, if I believe you’re going through a big publishing house as well, you got to cross your Ts, dot their Is so they’re not messing around with all this stuff.

Sam Vander Wielen:
I see that. I was like, this is a real deal. Sometimes it’s a little too much real deal. I’m like, Oh my God. I just thought I was going to, like, write a book. And this is very serious.

Emily Ballesteros:
Yes. Yes. Well, there are those moments where you realize how big it is and the jarring. I have to bring myself back down.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah. Well, okay. We’re going to talk about that. I’m very excited for Emily to share with you all about her book, and it’s so exciting. But I was hoping that you could kick things off with sharing a little bit about your own background and maybe even a bit of your own burnout story with us.

Emily Ballesteros:
Oh, yeah, absolutely. So I got into creating burnout management resources after burning myself out for — at the time it was two years. And then burnout finds you gradually. I think some people are more predisposed towards burnout. And so it just has the tendency to find you, depending on if you have certain personality traits, like being a high achiever or people pleaser or things of that nature. And so at the time of deciding I was going to focus on burnout, I had been working full time in corporate training and development. I was in graduate school full time, in-person classes, in like night classes for my master’s in industrial organizational psychology. I was coaching part time through an online platform. And then I was commuting two hours to three hours a day on Chicago Public Transit.

So I was burning out from volume, which is one of the three types of burnout. And that’s just what you think of when you think of burnout. It’s being booked back-to-back-to-back. Your life feels out of your control. No time for rest, really had a hard time justifying rest. And so that’s just like the cut and dry schedule of it. Personally, I woke up every morning and like dreaded waking up, just like wanted to groan first thing in the morning, no matter what my day held. It wasn’t even that the individual pieces were impossible or hard.

I worked for a wonderful company. I really liked my degree, but I was just so tired. I was doing way too much, and it was unsustainable. But I was a high achiever, so I felt like my life looks perfect on paper, why do I feel like shit all the time? And that didn’t make sense to me until I did the research and figured out I’m burning out. This is too much for any person to manage and got to the point where one of the signs of burnout is like chronic kind of pains or anything like that.

And I was getting migraines. And I was looking forward to getting sick or getting migraines or getting anything that would take me out for a couple hours. And that’s a huge red flag. So anybody finds himself doing that, something probably needs to change circumstantially so that you don’t find yourself in that place. But after experiencing that for a period of time, I decided to just kind of combine that education and experience and focus on burnout and creating resources around it and solutions for it. Because this was pre-COVID, there were very limited solutions available and everybody was still working in person. And then we made this huge transition and it just kind of exploded from there. And I gained like 100,000 TikTok followers in a month because it was such a big topic that was only kind of used in passing but not actually focused on.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah, I feel like it became one of those like therapize buzzwords, especially during Covid, where everybody was using and tossing around like, I’m burnt out, I’m burnt out. And it always bugs me when people toss around kind of serious things like that because it delegitimizes what the people who are really going through it. But thank you for sharing your story with us. I think it’s always helpful for people to hear maybe, you know, people are identifying with what you’ve been through.

But you also touched on something that actually got a lot of questions about in my responses on Instagram when I asked people for questions for you and something that I’ve experienced a lot myself, which was like you were saying you hoped you got like sick or injured, I’ve definitely wished for that a couple of times over the last year or two. But I’ve also had a lot of moments where I like fantasize and a couple of people shared this with me, I fantasize about like going and living in the middle of the woods or like maybe I just end up on some remote island somewhere where no one can ever talk to me again. Is like fantasizing about that probably one of the signs?

Emily Ballesteros:
Oh, yes, definitely. I hear that quite a bit. Yes. Most people need a break. We’re in a very stressful time with elements that nobody’s ever experienced in history, and there’s no instruction manual. Everybody’s just kind of cobbling pieces together. And this desire to just run away and do have simplicity, have peace, have nobody asking for things all the time is naturally something that’s desirable when you have the opposite.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah, that’s something I feel the asking thing and I’m sure a lot of people can relate to that in many different ways, if they maybe have kids or if you have a business. I feel very like pecked at with the business sometimes where I feel like people are asking me lots of things and it’s just a lot of output and you want a break from that. But I feel like it can be hard to tell. Like to my point about people kind of overusing or misusing the term burnout, how can you tell when you’re feeling some of these things so far that you’ve brought up what the difference is between someone feeling burnout versus like being just overextended. Like you mentioned, you just have like too much going on. Any person would be overextended in that situation versus depressed versus like, I just need a vacation, I haven’t gotten to blow off steam.

Emily Ballesteros:
Yeah. So starting with depression versus burnout because a lot of the symptoms look similar. Burnout is circumstantial and depression is chemical. So if you are in a situation where you’re feeling a lot of burnout and if all of those circumstances were taken away and you were just completely relieved of your responsibilities, that burnout would go away and you’d be fine. Whereas you could take somebody who’s depressed, remove all their circumstances, put them on a Hawaiian beach, and they would still be experiencing elements of depression because it’s chemical.

And then being overextended versus just kind of needing a break, I do think that everybody just needs a break. But for modern burnout, I think that it’s used in two ways. And so that kind of — this will be a very roundabout answer. But it’s used to describe in the moment sensation as well as a sensation over time. So like if I’m in a workout class, I’ll even think to myself like, well, I don’t want to run too fast in the beginning because then I’ll burn out and I won’t have energy for later.

But that’s just like an acute like in the moment. I’m using the word burnout in that way and that’s not inaccurate. That’s just like what it means when you’re using it at a point in time versus over time. And over time, that’s like when you get to the end of a degree or something and you’re like, I’m so burned out and I’ve been burned out for a while and it’s kind of this like bone deep exhaustion.

And there are different solutions for in the moment burnout, you just kind of manage yourself versus burnout over time. You really do need that, taking a break or to remove enough circumstances from your life that are burning you out that the circumstances change so that you cannot be chronically overextended. And so that you don’t feel like you need to run away from your life so that you build a life that you can live in for years and years and years and not hit burnout. Or if you do burn out a little bit, you know how to bring it back down. And most people haven’t figured out what that balance is yet.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah, find that equilibrium. Yeah. So can burnout be different for different people? Like what might burn me out would be different than what might burn you out?

Emily Ballesteros:
Definitely. And I feel like even down to like people being introverted or extroverted and depending on the role that they’re in. Like I’ve talked to recruiters who are super burned out because they’re very introverted. And so just the industry that they’re in really burns them out. Or some people can handle really serious high stakes jobs like being in law or being in disaster management or being a nurse or things where you’re in high stakes jobs. It really doesn’t burn them out.

And then other people, they can only handle a week of it and then they’re a week or a month into their career and they’re like, oh, shoot, I hate this. Like, this is, I can’t do this for my whole career, but you don’t know until you know. And so many people are hard on themselves about not knowing until they know. And then at that point, you just have to make the hard decision about what am I going to do? What am I going to do differently?

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah, seriously. I mean, and for people listening who maybe are leaving a job to start their own business, I’m always encouraging people to be careful not to recreate your circumstances in your new business. So like, you have this kind of fresh slate opportunity, even if you already have a business like looking at the offers that you have and like how you work with people that can really impact. So if you’re maybe not as extroverted, maybe not having tons of like one-to-one clients or something like that, if you find that’s really draining, like that kind of stuff, I could see being very interesting. I was going to ask you, you said that there were three types of burnout, and the volume was one of them. Could you explain the three?

Emily Ballesteros:
Yes. So there is burnout by volume, that traditional back-to-back to back lifestyle. And then there is social burnout, which is having trouble regulating resources when they’re asked for, whether that’s personal or professional. You might have an abundance of people in your life who are requesting things of you. And if you’re a people pleaser, you’re not good at setting boundaries. You’re just a basket of resources and you can quickly run out of resources. And then people are still upset when you’re out of resources, even though you’ve given everything. And so that takes a lot of kind of work around people pleasing.

And then there’s burnout by boredom, which is being disengaged for an extended period of time and just kind of being on mental autopilot. Like you’re just going through the motions, which was really common in Covid because a lot of people were just living like Groundhog Day and your brain kind of switches. Like our brains need novelty and variety in order to be tuned in. And if novelty and variety aren’t present for long enough, even if you’re doing things that you enjoy, it can start to tune out.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah. Okay, that makes sense. And do you find that like, do some people get more than one type of burnout at the same time or all of them, if they’re really lucky?

Emily Ballesteros:
Yes.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Like the burnout lottery?

Emily Ballesteros:
Yes. You can have all of them. You can fix one without fixing the other. Yeah, it just depends on what you choose to work on first. And a lot, of course, it always goes back to how you grew up and certain things make you more inclined towards certain types of burnout. I feel like you can spot a high achiever and a people pleaser from elementary school. Like you could observe them in their house for a day and see like, oh, this kid’s destined for people pleasing.

Sam Vander Wielen:
It’s not going to be good people. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Oh, man. Okay. Well, that makes a lot of sense. Interesting. Okay. So I feel like we’ve kind of gone, you’ve mentioned a bunch of different signs here and there, but I always find it helpful as the person who like Googles something and goes to WebMD and immediately scrolls down to the symptoms. Could you give us the kind of the list off the top of your head of the telltale signs of burnout?

Emily Ballesteros:
Absolutely. I keep this handy.

Sam Vander Wielen:
I’m sure it’s in your book, too, so.

Emily Ballesteros:
Read them off. Okay. So signs of burnout, like ones that you would find on the World Health Organization website. So kind of more clinical, emotional exhaustion, physical exhaustion, cynicism or pessimism, especially if you’re usually really happy, chipper person, that’s always really hard on the spirit. Detachment, feeling hopeless, feeling trapped, anxiety outside of work, loss of motivation, troubled sleep or revenge bedtime procrastination, which I think we’ve all heard of by now.

But for those who haven’t, it’s when you stay up too late on your phone or doing a hobby or something because it feels like late at night is the only time nobody expects anything from you. Nobody’s asking for anything from you. So you kind of like covet and steal that time from yourself because you should be sleeping. But if you’re doing that excessively, it’s just really this internal need for more time to yourself and that’s the time you’re finding it.

And then brain fog, forgetfulness, lowered immunity, increased irritability, procrastinating, increased drug or alcohol use. And then physical pain such as recurring headaches, recurring like neck tension, jaw clenching, your jaw on your teeth, jaw on your sleep, things like that. And then alongside those symptoms, you’ll also have personal signs of burnout that you’re not going to probably find online anywhere. But things like you start ordering food more. Like ordering Uber, eats more. You start online shopping more. You start falling asleep on the couch more. You start getting too tired to take your makeup off before you go to bed every night. And you know that only happens when you are really starting to dwindle in your energy levels. So those are also the kinds of signs that might be more personal to you that you notice, that let you know that you might be reaching the end of your battery.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah, okay. Those are really helpful to hear. I’m sure you have that handy dandy list in your book, too. Yeah. People, I’m like a walking checklist for this. So it’s interesting. I mean, I’m always very honest and open about the fact that, like, I don’t know how you lose both parents in a year and not feel a lot of these things. And that’s where it always gets kind of like mushy for me too, because obviously I’m grieving. So a lot of those things can also be from that.

But I think running a business and especially a business that’s so outward, this was something that, like a lot of people had submitted in their questions as well that, well, hopefully they haven’t also lost their parents. But people had a lot of questions around like, okay, I feel all that stuff. And now like, what am I supposed to do? Like, how am I supposed to manage because I have to work and I have bills to pay. What do we do?

Emily Ballesteros:
Yeah. From like, big picture, I like to think of it as like, if you were to just observe yourself for a week and think of it as almost like you are about to coach yourself into a more balanced lifestyle, what do you observe about yourself that you know could be better or that you could be kinder to yourself about? And so I’ll start with that. And then the five areas, like the five pillars of burnout management so that you can alleviate it over time and then just stay not burned out are mindset, time management, stress management, boundaries, and personal care.

And so you can look at those five areas when you’re experiencing burnout and determine where the weakest link might be and what you could potentially do a little bit better or places you could make it easier on yourself. There are so many different directions to go with all of those, but it’s that combination of self-awareness and knowing what you need, like being able to observe yourself so that you can see how you’re already managing yourself and then knowing what you could manage better, which takes a little bit more work upfront, which sucks because that’s like the last thing anyone burns out wants to do, but then it makes your life easier going forward.

So like if you know, meals every week exhaust you, like it’s just decision fatigue. You hate doing that and you observe that, well, if I don’t get the food, then I just skip meals because it’s just easiest and that just exacerbates the burnout. That’s an easy area that you spot is a stressor for you that’s not being addressed as well as it could, which kind of falls into that personal care bucket, probably stress management as well.

Then it’s I’m just going to buy easy basically automated foods. I’m not going to feel bad about it. I’m eating the same thing for breakfast every day, getting smoothie packets, getting like salad kits, like just making it as easy on yourself as possible and trying that for a month and seeing if it helps and if it solves that one problem that’s exacerbating burnout. And that can be rolled over into that just kind of observation and then correction can be rolled over into so many different areas that might be causing that burnout for you.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah. Okay. That makes a lot of sense. I guess I call like what you’re describing pruning. So I always like when I start to feel that way, I’m like, what can I prune? Like, I think of everything in terms of plants anyway. So I’m like, we got to cut the dead stuff. Stuff is like not working for us. And sometimes that’s cutting things like saying no to things, backing out of things I’ve already agreed to, that kind of stuff, setting firmer boundaries. But other times, it’s also like I keep saying that since my parents died, I have less Fs to give. That’s just like my best way of describing it.

And so for somebody like me who I can imagine a lot of people listening are very similar. I’m very like, I really like health and wellness and fitness and food and all these things. And so I had certain like, let’s call them standards for myself before this all happened. And now, like, I would have been the person who wouldn’t have bought the smoothie pack because it had some sort of like additive to it and now less Fs to give. So I’m like, the smoothie pack makes my life easier. I can make a smoothie. This is where we’re going right now. And just being like kind and gentle and letting things go. Does that sound like a strategy to you?

Emily Ballesteros:
Absolutely. I love that. And I think that what you said about, oh, my gosh, I’m losing my entire train of thought, knowing when something is important enough to you that it stays during seasons of burnout versus just needs to be dropped and not caring about perception of it because somebody else looking at your life, especially you with all the different elements of your business, if you bring in somebody who’s like, no, you need to do everything. Like, what do you mean you’re passing up opportunities? What will people think if you do this?

And you have that voice, and that’s also kind of mindset. If that’s how you’re thinking about it, you’re going to continue to burn out because you’re just making yourself feel so bad amidst the existing burnout versus having that kind of kinder mindset that’s doing what you’re saying, which is like, this is not important. Like you know the things that are important to you, you’re doing them, forget perception, like forget everything else and just stay afloat. So that kind of goes back to mindset. But yeah, that’s once you get to that point, it’s so it’s almost refreshing because you realize what matters and what doesn’t.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah, you allow yourself to let stuff go. But I love that you’ve mentioned that mindset is the first thing because I can really see how when, obviously everyone listening is either trying to start their own business, has their own business, and so it is hard when you really want to have a business, you want it to be successful. Or you already have one, you want it to grow to be like, I have to do everything right now. And there is this sense of urgency, like built in urgency.

And passing up opportunities I feel like is the ultimate. That is tough because you’re like, this could have been something, but I am choosing not to because I’m choosing me over this opportunity. And like just yesterday I got a podcast offer for something and I was like, you know what, actually I have a friend who I think would be a better fit for this interview, and I referred it to her and passed it up. And that’s something that old me would have been so scared, would have had that scarcity mindset to be like, I have to take this or this is going to impact me.

Emily Ballesteros:
Absolutely. Especially the hustle mindset got you where you are, then it’s really hard to be like the hustle mindset got me success. How am I going to drop the hustle mindset? And then it feels like, well, if I drop that, will I be able to maintain this? And I think it’s just you need proof of time. Like over time you see, I’m actually fine just doing what I’m doing and everything else is just a bonus. And so I’m just going to select those bonuses carefully.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah. And do you think it would be helpful if people would also like speaking of time and having a mindset around time of thinking like I’m working on it, everything will come. Like it doesn’t have to be right now because I do think some of this of continuing to push ourselves towards burnout comes from this like I have to do this all right now.

Emily Ballesteros:
Yeah, absolutely. I think especially because we do so much social media marketing that you’re not allowed to struggle publicly in your business. It has to always look like you have it together, which stops people from asking for help and being honest with other people who might be in the industry about like, I made this much money in the last month, how can I make that better? Because we don’t want to say, oh, I made this much money. And like whether that’s high or low, people are hesitant to be vulnerable about what it’s actually like because it’s so public and we’re so concerned with perception, and then that limits us a lot.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah. Do you feel like it would be helpful if someone’s feeling a lot of the things that you’re describing to limit their like what they’re taking in? Like maybe talk to me a little bit about like the use of social media from a consumption standpoint when you’re feeling a lot of these things.

Emily Ballesteros:
Definitely. It’s so hard I will say because you feel like you need to be on it consuming in order to keep your finger on the pulse, to know like what’s popular, what to use in order to market and to see what other people who are doing well in your industry are doing. But that’s like if you’re on like ladder rung two and you’re looking at somebody on a hundred, like that’s maybe not the best leap to make.

So I would say also make sure that you’re seeing what people who are maybe one or two steps ahead of you are doing and don’t be afraid to connect and network with these people because you’re probably going to learn more doing that than — I mean you know how they say like you wouldn’t want to learn from like — it’s a basketball example. So most people probably heard this. I barely heard this, but it was like you wouldn’t want to learn basketball from somebody who’s in the NBA because you forget so many of the little steps that somebody who’s just starting doesn’t know because it’s just muscle memory too at that point. You don’t even see it.

So you might be seeing people who from the outside you want to emulate, but you don’t know a lot of the fine things that they honestly can’t even teach you at this point. So find people who are kind of in the same bucket as you but don’t over consume, because I think everybody knows when you make that switch, when you’re on media from I’m being entertained to this doesn’t feel good anymore. But I don’t know, I like almost feel like compulsively I can’t put my phone down, know that switch for yourself and try to create boundaries around it. Like we have to create boundaries with our media as well.

So know what that sign is for you. Like it’s a distinct switch for me, and I have to like throw my phone away from myself. And that’s my signal. Like, okay, I need to go get a glass of water or something else. So being careful of over consuming and being careful of consuming things that always make you feel bad instead of consuming things that are kind of within your pond.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah, it’s a lot of self-awareness. Like a lot of what you’re talking about is really checking in with yourself often and knowing like, hey, and taking responsibility, self-responsibility, which I think is a good thing. That’s really interesting. And it’s funny you said that about the basketball thing because my tennis coach always says like that watching professional tennis players is like the worst thing I can do because now that I play tennis, I get targeted on Instagram all the time with these tennis pros, like showing me like Rafael Nadal doing some swing or whatever.

And my tennis pro is always like, don’t watch those because he can do stuff like he can get away. He actually does things technically wrong, but he can because he’s Rafael Nadal and he’s so comfortable and there is so much muscle memory that they can do like open stance and not swing all the way through and blah blah, blah. So when I’m watching him, that’s actually not very helpful for me. It’s like helpful to watch somebody a couple steps ahead.

And I couldn’t help but think of like how that’s so similar in business that I’m very honest about the fact that like, I wouldn’t have been able to get away with what I’m getting away with right now, with not working the same way four years ago. Right. And I wouldn’t but the business is to a point that it’s it’s marinated long enough, as I always say, that we can get away with it. And so, yeah, and also I wouldn’t be able to get away with it forever but I can do it for a while. So I’m always like hesitant to share tips or tricks about what I’m doing now because they wouldn’t actually help you. If you did the same thing I’m doing right now, you would not be successful.

Emily Ballesteros:
Yeah, that’s such a hard point to be at also if you are a high achiever too, because there’s like two types of success. Like I’m actively achieving something, like getting a reward success. And then there’s enjoying like the fruits of labor you already did. Like you’re not actively getting anything, like hitting a milestone, but you’ve worked so hard to get to this point that the success you get to experience is getting to like take a step back when you need to.

Or if I’m like, I feel so exhausted after this week. I’ve done a lot and I’m like, I want to take a four-day weekend and I still feel bad about it because I’m like, well, my followers don’t get to and they’re really burned out and I should be one with the people I should keep working so that I can relate to these people. But it’s like, why did I do this? Why did I start my own business if I don’t get to let myself enjoy the success that I’ve already, like the fruits, the seeds I’ve already planted. There’s two types of success. I’m not getting the shiny bright prize today. Today, I’m enjoying past work, my past work that I’ve done to get me here.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah. The fruit of your marination. Yeah. And so much marinating. Yeah. I’m like, we are going to savor this for a while. There’s been a lot of marination. Yeah. This is all so fascinating. I hope this is helpful to everyone else as it has been to me so far. But I know that you also talk a lot on social media about avoiding burnout because I’m a big prevention person, so I’m like, hopefully someone listening to this is maybe ramping up or is just like, I could see myself getting to that place. How do we avoid this? What are some habits we can form on the front end?

Emily Ballesteros:
Yeah. So I like to say burnout is not like an on and off switch. It’s death by a thousand paper cuts. So it’s not usually one thing where we’re like, oh, that’s the one thing that’s going to push me over the edge. It’s the small decisions that we make day to day and like we can — I prefer to look at life in smaller chunks because it’s just too overwhelming to make these big decisions that you carry on for the rest of your life. But what each day are you doing, what stressors are you engaging with, what do you know you could do to make your life easier? The habits are mostly knowing yourself. So much goes back to self-awareness. So I’m so sorry if anybody’s not self-aware. That’s like you’re really –.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Well, I guess they wouldn’t know it. So yeah, that’s the irony.

Emily Ballesteros:
Yeah, but you avoid it one decision at a time. Like email comes in asking for something. Okay, I can accept that. And I know that’s going to make my schedule full. Next email comes in, even if it’s a more tempting opportunity, then you have the choice to like I saved the last one, I take that one or to say no to that one. But you know you’re going to burn yourself out if you take both of them. And then a third one is going to come in and that’s going to be another thing. And you’re going to have to decide what to do with that. But it’s like one decision at a time that you take on.

If the weekends coming up, you already know you’re tired. It’s like Thursday, you’re already tired. Somebody’s asking you to spend time with them on Saturday. Somebody else wants you to help them move on Sunday. You know that doing both of those things would just exacerbate your exhaustion. And you need at least one of those days, if not both of those days, to just recover from your life during the week. When you make each of those decisions, you know what’s going to bring you closer to or further away from burnout.

It’s so many like little things just throughout the day where you have to be aware of so many people just switch on that autopilot and just make decisions that without kind of thoughtfully considering everything else that’s already on their plate. So again, you kind of have to slow down to speed up, but you have to consider each thing in the context of all the other things that you’re doing instead of blindly accepting. Especially if in the moment you’re like people pleasing, you don’t know how to say no, blindly accepting and then feeling like you have to go back later and take back what you said or then plan around this mess you’ve kind of made for yourself. And so it really is like decision by decision, and you start there.

And then big habit wise, I would say look at what your biggest stressors are and try to create habits around those biggest stressors to try to reduce them. And just doing that, like if you get phone calls all throughout the week from people who just want to chat or just want to vent and you know you don’t have the emotional capacity to be doing that during the week and you know that’s a stressor for you, then it’s just blanket statement letting everybody know, hey, I have to take all my social calls on the weekend. I’m just going to try this and see how it works, but I think I need to do it just to manage myself a little bit better. And blanket statement not doing it, never feeling bad for not answering a call, just picking out your stressors and creating different habits around them.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah, okay. That makes a lot of sense. That was like a big killer to me when I first started my business. So I would suggest this to anybody else. I felt like when I first started my own business, all my friends and family were like very excited about the idea of me suddenly being available all the time. And so then it became constant phone calls and lunch requests. And I was "building" my business but I would get to the end of the day and be like, I spent six hours like socializing, essentially, which was very fun for the first few weeks. But you do have to start to set some boundaries, both for, I think for your business, but also your mental health, obviously.

Yeah, that’s really funny. Okay. So that’s really helpful. And it sounds like too, if you start to notice patterns over time, maybe you come up with some sort of system. Like I know, for example, for myself personally, I don’t like to have more than one like big social event per weekend because if I don’t get that night off of over the weekend, then I don’t feel great coming into the week. So can you think of maybe even like a business example for somebody who has their own business of a way they could kind of create a rule or structure around something for themselves?

Emily Ballesteros:
Yeah. So I personally had a really bad relationship with social media and had to contain it because otherwise, it can feel like you are always on your phone for one reason or another. And it’s not even like just for entertainment because you have DMs that are business DMs or you have comments that you know you should get back to. It’s like this weird tension. And so I knew I needed to contain it and I have like social media hours and the rest of the time it doesn’t exist. I would delete my app off my phone, but I don’t know my password and so I’m not going to bother with that. I can just keep it somewhere else and not go on it.

But that is something that was stressing me out. It was wasting so much of my time. It was this illusion of progress and convincing myself it was adding any business value, and it really wasn’t. And so that was a stressor where I just had to. And I will also say I have a lot of willpower where if I’m like, I’m going to do this, I’m just going to do it. If you can’t do that, then you need to create some firmer boundaries around it for yourself. The book, The Four Tendencies, is great about that. Have you read it by —

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yes.

Emily Ballesteros:
And kind of all over the place. And so it’s like I don’t know if you’ve already talked about this, but how you respond to internal expectations versus external. So like people who respond to internal, like I expect myself to just put my phone down when I want to or I expect myself to run a mile or like run a marathon so I’m going to practice every day. I don’t need external somebody like a coach telling me you have to show up and run this or somebody else taking the phone from me, I’ll just do it. But I also respond too if somebody, there’s that accountability. Other people do not respond to that internal expectation.

So if they say, I’m going to spend less time on my phone, but they can’t get themselves quite to do it, they might need that external somebody else coming in lovingly ripping the phone out of their hand and hiding it somewhere for a little bit. And then it’s a whole other like thing to not respond to either, but know how you respond to different expectations you set and try to contain elements like that, that are like email even. I used to respond to it the second it came in. And now I try to respond to emails at three times of day. So I’m not constantly this element out of my control as running my schedule and interrupting more important work. So containing that potential stressor. Those are two businesses that I know I have to do.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah, that’s super helpful. I guess for those people who need more of that external push, like could they utilize some of the tools and software that’s available for like setting time limits on apps or things like that to kind of have that momentary pause where they have to choose whether to go on or not?

Emily Ballesteros:
Yeah, definitely. Yeah. Apple’s got some stuff for you. It’s easy to ignore. They put a button right there for you to ignore it. There are other apps though, that are stronger that you can download that really lock you out, which again, for business, I’m like afraid that I’m like, oh, what if I actually, like, lock myself out and then something important happens? Like nothing that important has happened in the history of my business, but just in case. So yeah, there are apps for you, if that’s okay.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Okay. That’s super helpful. And what are some of the best stress management tools? I know you’ve talked about this a lot on Instagram, so I was hoping you could share some of your top stress management tools with us.

Emily Ballesteros:
Yeah. So I would start with your non-negotiables, knowing what’s non-negotiable to you each day and making sure that those are incorporated. If that’s a quiet time to have coffee in the morning, maybe you need to leave the house at least once a day to just get out of your head and leave the scene of the crime in case it’s like messy or something and just go remember there’s a world out there. Maybe it’s movement as much as like, exercise is like, the last thing I want to do a lot of days, I just force myself to sign up for classes like down the road, and then I have to pay a fee if I don’t go and that gets me to go.

So doing things begrudgingly, but that I know are good for me, I can do those things. And then like if you know you need an hour of time to decompress, a quiet time each night or you’re not the same person, then finding a way to make that happen, especially for people who have a socially demanding job, get home and are like any type of caretaker, then you know you need time to decompress, but it’s a lot of times hard to ask for. And so if you have like a partner who can take the kids or something along those lines, finding a way to make that non-negotiable happen for you.

And you can start small, you can have just 20 minutes a day. I’m going to take to myself and take yourself on a walk. So you’re like, again, leave the scene of the crime so that you can go do it and you’re a little bit less likely to be interrupted while you do it. But what are your non-negotiables that just make you a human being and how can you plug those in so that they happen each day? And that’s just kind of a starting point to feel like a person. And those should just be like two to four small, manageable things, or at least that’s what it is for most people. And that way, no matter how chaotic and stressful your day is, you know you have those small pockets of rest for yourself.

Predictable rest is really important. And a lot of us don’t have predictable rest. Like you can push so much harder when you know, okay, but next week I’m taking a day off, so it will be like a three-day weekend or the comparison I always give is like if you’re in a workout class and they tell you sprint, you’re thinking, okay, but what’s next? Like if I’ll sprint now, but how fast I sprint is decided by am I going to walk next or do I have to just go down to like a slower sprint next?

So I’m always doing this resource management and there’s less tension and we experience less stress when we know when our next pocket of rest is coming. And a lot of people don’t create that for themselves. So it’s just like, oh, I’m just giving everything and I’m going to have to keep giving everything and I don’t know when I’m going to get to recuperate my resources.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah, that’s really helpful to think of creating some daily non-negotiables that are intentional pockets of rest too, because I think it can be really easy to set up these non-negotiables that are actually causing like more to do, right? So yeah, I put mine in Asana or whatever task management tool you use. But I have my daily non-negotiables in Asana and then my weekly and monthly, and so I actually have to check them off. And that is very, very helpful to just remind myself sometimes or to just like hold myself accountable.

Emily Ballesteros:
Definitely. And it’s amazing what we have to put down. Like I have to put like drink enough water and half the time, I don’t do it. It’s like, oh my God, these things, these human things that we’ve lost that shouldn’t be as hard to do as they are. Like going outside, that’s like so takes so much energy. And it really, those are like human things, socializing so much. And we hardcore prioritize our work, which is not necessarily one of like the top human needs. So yeah.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah. One of the things I think I’ve found most helpful with burnout too is not because to that point, like you can easily, I think when you own your own business, it’s just so easy to like — and when you own a personal brand or business kind of thing, it’s so easy to like melt into that thing. And so I think separating your identity from your business, like I always say, you are not your revenue like you are not your business. And I mean that whether your revenue is really low or really high. Either way, it’s not you. You have a business. It’s separate from you. Yeah.

Emily Ballesteros:
Definitely. And it makes it easier to receive criticism, I feel like, in that way because which is why I’ve had this conversation with myself of like, I could not be a lifestyle influencer because it’s one thing to get back on your business where it’s like, you shouldn’t say this this way or you should do this other thing, or you’re excluding this group and it’s like, okay, that’s just feedback. Like, I can just take that.

But when you like post things about your personal life and everything you post on the Internet basically feels like it’s open for discussion or like people think that you’re asking them like, what do you think about this? When really, it’s like, I was just sharing. And then I can’t handle feedback on my personal life when I wasn’t asking, it would turn me a bad person. So I had to make that decision of like, this is business and then this is my personal life. And those are two different things. And just knowing, like really containing that business element of it.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah, that’s a really good point. I’m glad you shared that. So I could talk to you about burnout all day. But I, also, part of what I’ve been sharing on the podcast a lot in the process of writing my own book and what I did, my journey to getting the book published is that I would love for you to share about how the idea of writing your book came about.

Emily Ballesteros:
Yeah, I love writing. I have always — have you always loved writing?

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah.

Emily Ballesteros:
Okay. So I feel like I feel like there are people who have been writing their whole life one way or another. Like, I would write for an empty room like nobody ever — I never got to post anything online again. I never got to write a book. I would still be writing because I just love it so much. And then there are people who like writing because the opportunity finds them, and they’re like a celebrity and they’re like, do you want a book? And they just like pop one out, even though they’ve never read a book before. But I love writing. And remember when like Instagram was long form captions back in the —

Sam Vander Wielen:
Those were the —

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah. Now you have to like move that to like a newsletter and all of that. But back when I had just — I was probably a year into posting online about burnout and I was doing my long form captions. So you kind of get a sense of like my writing. Somebody happened to follow me who had left Penguin Random House as an editor and she was like, hey, I think your topic is good and I’ve seen your writing and I think that if you wanted to, we could put together a proposal if you were ever interested in writing a book. And like, she didn’t know that I was like very interested in writing a book and was already kind of working on it in the background. I don’t even want to read what I had at that point because it’s probably so much worse than what I’ve got now.

But I ended up like — then I worked with her, and we put together a proposal and this was worlds better. And then she knew agents who might be interested in the type of work that I was doing. And so it was really kismet. Like I felt like I was plucked by the universe to do this thing, which I — well, that’s a whole other thing I’ll get into later. But so I met with these agents and I found a wonderful agent and she helped me get do that.

So after you have your agent, your proposal is tightened up and then you send it out to publishing houses to see if anybody’s interested. And then those publishing houses that are interested, you interview with them and then they bid on your book and you have this kind of auction basically to see what like which house makes the most sense to work with based on like how they want to work with you. And then you select your house and you have your in-house editor. And so I have a wonderful editor now that is inside of my publishing house, Dial Press.

And then you write the book, you just like start from there. They kind of give you a deadline of where they’re thinking for your timeline and they’re as hands on as you want them to be, but it’s a very independent process. It’s just you and your laptop and you got to come up with a book. So they’re helpful, but you also are mostly in charge of yourself. So you have to be able to do all of that. But yeah, it’s been really great.

And the thing that I was going to say earlier but would really derail me was I feel like I only got the opportunity because I had been practicing. Like basically practicing. Like if I hadn’t been doing it up to that point and I was waiting for the opportunity to find me first before I started practicing and before I started doing it, I wouldn’t have been ready for it when the time came.

And I think so many people are hesitant to do something until they have the audience, until they have the opportunity because it just feels cringey to do something for an empty room, but because you have to be willing to do it for an empty room. If you wouldn’t do it for an empty room or a very small audience, you don’t love it enough to do it. And you just have to like get over that initial hump of it. But yeah, it was like so much kismet. And also the fact that you practice to get to that point so you’re ready for it when it happens.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Absolutely. I always think of this as like a street performer who like stands out in the corner and sings every day and people just walk by and ignore them. But then, like one day the Sony exec walks by them. They’re like, dang, you’re a good singer. And they pluck them out of thin air, you know? And I couldn’t agree with you more that a lot of people are like waiting for the audience to come to be like, I’ll perform once the audience arrives.

And it’s like, if you can’t perform for that one person and either get feedback or have them love you, then you don’t — like what makes you think you’re entitled to the room full of a hundred people or a thousand people or whatever. And also, you will not be ready because I’ll tell you, like people, everybody says they want this kind of business and this size of audience. And I’m like, be careful because you better have a lot of practice because if I just got the feedback I get now and I hadn’t gotten it all along the way and paid attention, this stuff would really sting. And it only gets worse. It’s only in more volume the more people you have. Yeah. Yeah.

Emily Ballesteros:
I feel like it’s so underrated to go to have a slow burn to a big audience because when I — thank goodness, I had had a small audience and I had already gotten in the swing of having products and services and like I had systems for everything. So by the time I just randomly blew up, when a dozen people wanted to work with me at once, whereas in the very beginning I was really ducttaping this together. I was really like sending links manually for everything. It would have been, you know, by the time I had 100 people interested in something at once, I had the systems for them to go through it really smoothly.

There is a huge benefit to starting on a small scale and then being really ready when you suddenly have — I couldn’t imagine just having a million followers launching my first product or service and something goes wrong, and you’ve got 100,000 people who are upset, and something went wrong. Like work out those kinks. Get better in front of a smaller group. That’s a good thing. But so many people, yeah, don’t want to show up until there’s a big group because then it feels less cringey. But it’s like, no, trust me, practice.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah, it’s so true. Have you been thinking about that at all as you anticipate your book coming out in February? Because it’s something that I’ve been thinking about, like, oh, this is going to be a whole new way and type of feedback and like, I’m kind of prepared. I’m a little bit like bracing for that part of it. I mean, you hope people love it, but everybody, they’re always going to be people. So how have you been feeling about all of that?

Emily Ballesteros:
Yeah, I decided I’m not going to look at any of the feedback. I’m going to tell my mom and my agent if you see positive feedback, text it to me.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Let me know.

Emily Ballesteros:
And I will never look at anything online that has to do with me. And it sucks because I genuinely try to get back to every single DM that comes in and I feel like that helps me be so connected to my audience. But also, in order to grow past a certain point, you have to basically like stop doing that. You have to take your finger off the pulse. You have to post at a volume that means it’s impossible for you to keep up with. Like, how are you going to post on every social media three to five times a day and then also be able to keep up with everything, and your business is outside of social media.

Like I don’t make money off of social media. My business is separate. And so that’s my priority. And social media is just something that happens. But there’s this kind of like sense of like debt. I feel like for a lot of people who have a platform because it’s like I’m so lucky to have this. I’m in debt to this platform. I need to be giving it so much per day, even though that’s not my day job. And so it’s finding that balance with it. And also people are so nice, they’re not like trying to bother you and especially pre-book. Like I have a lot of really wonderful people who have seen me online for X amount of time. So it feels like they know me personally.

Then you’re getting with their book a bunch of strangers and are not afraid to give feedback. And so like for my mental health, I’m going to have to take my finger off the pulse, step away. And I’ve even toyed with like turning my comments off for stories or turning my comments off for posts and then not — I’ll always care what people think. And so it’s almost like me trying to force a way that, like, I can’t even hear what people think. I’m just giving what I can and then not leaving myself super open to the feedback because I do take that personally.

And so after I feel like I’ve listened to a lot of just kind of podcasts from people who have big platforms and have been canceled and how they dealt with it and what they do now to like protect themselves, and a lot of them are just like, you can’t read the comments. Reading the comments is not worth reading the bad comments because the bad comments haunt you so you can’t do that. You have to just like if you trust people, have them send you the good things and then just don’t even look at the bad. And I feel like I already kind of do that, but I’m going to have to really double down on it. Like there are some people who, like, search themselves on Reddit. I will die without searching myself.

Sam Vander Wielen:
You and me both.

Emily Ballesteros:
I will never go seeking trouble, ever. Why would I do that?

Sam Vander Wielen:
That does seem like just asking for it at that point. Like, why do we? We don’t have to look for that. Yeah, that’s a really good point. I like hearing how you’re kind of thinking through it and I feel like that’s a good part to wrap up too, in terms of like how you’re planning already and like protecting yourself and setting certain habits into motion. And I’m sure you’ll have to adjust on the fly. But yeah, people don’t know until you go to write a book like it’s a different level of exposure. It feels very exposing. I’m like, oh, I’m nervous. Yeah, yeah.

Emily Ballesteros:
And it changes your business too. It depends on what you want to offer. But like, I know the kind of — I do a lot of corporate training and I feel like that makes the most sense is with that amount of exposure to get to speak to larger audiences like organizations as opposed to something like one-on-one coaching where the volume wouldn’t be sustainable. Even with a smaller audience, it got to the point where the volume wasn’t sustainable. And I don’t feel — I mean, people charge absolutely insane amounts of money for one-on-one coaching where I’m not positive they’re getting their problem solved.

And I still feel like I could charge X amount for one-on-one coaching, but what if I don’t solve their problem within that amount of time? And I feel that I would basically want to give their money back if I didn’t truly solve their problem. And so getting to a certain point, and that’s probably like a whole money conversation I could have with like talks about money blocks and like all of that. But and I know there are people who, like, go dance at clubs for like $10,000 just to stand there and look pretty.

So like, people who are providing value shouldn’t feel bad for charging something. But it is just like that one-on-one doesn’t make sense after that point. So yeah, you do have to make like business decisions about, with this new exposure, what makes the most sense to do? How can you help the most people and make it sustainable? And then I know I need to drop a bunch of other things in my business in order to make room for the traveling and the training.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah. Pruning, right? Yeah, for sure. Yeah. So we got a couple of really good questions on Instagram that I want to ask you. And some of these, they don’t have to be like super long answers because I know that you’ve given some of these already, but I want to make sure these people get their stuff addressed. So someone asked good practices to help avoid burnout at the beginning of a busy season.

Emily Ballesteros:
Yes. I would reflect on busy seasons in the past and what the biggest sticking points for you were and then like, let yourself just be a robot basically for that time. I mean, as much as I hate to be like, forget your life, but like, seriously, you’re going to you might want to drink. Like at the end of the day, you know that that will mess up your sleep and make you groggy.

So like, you parent yourself basically, and you’re like, okay, no drink. You might want to stay up on your phone at night, but you know sleep is more important during this busy season. You need to just like borderline delete your apps and just like sleep when you need to sleep. You might want to hang out with friends on the weekend. You know you need to spend that time getting your groceries, doing your laundry, tidying up so that going into the week you don’t have no clothes and have no food on top of being super stressed. There’s so many examples I could come up with, but yeah.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Those are good ones.

Emily Ballesteros:
Anticipate based on past experience.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah. Okay. That’s really good. I think that’s a really helpful tip. Someone else hit on something that we talked about earlier, how to find a sustainable balance, doing all the things while also paying my bills.

Emily Ballesteros:
I mean I personally — and again, I should probably talk to a money person because I don’t know if this is what you’re supposed to think, but I think that there’s so much like, how much can you make? Like what’s your new goal to make for the next month? What kept me sane for a lot of, especially the beginning of my business, was just knowing my minimum and knowing like as long as I make like I don’t know what my rent was probably like $1,200 I think that I needed to just sit pretty for the month. And I love Top Ramen, so I didn’t have a problem with just eating cheap while I was there. But I was like, as long as I can pay my rent, I’m fine. And I don’t have — it wasn’t like I felt like a failure until I reached a certain point. I was like, as long as I’m doing this, I’m fine. So know how little you can get away with. I’m like the opposite of like, the guru businesspeople.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Like do everything.

Emily Ballesteros:
Do less. Know how little you can get away with and be okay and at peace with that. And then just know once I like get through the season, like I’m still learning, I’m still having forward momentum and like you’ll start, you’ll climb, like your income will continue to climb if you focus on what’s working but be okay with just like bare bones. And if you can find peace with that, then you put a lot less pressure on yourself as you go along.

And then I’m trying to think of if there’s any part of that question that I didn’t talk about, but I would say that that’s kind of like one of the bigger shifts when I know I was in that place where I was like, how do I do everything and be making enough money? And then I was like, what is enough money? I need to be making this much and then being okay with that.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah, see what part of that is pressure you’re taking in from the outside of like what’s enough versus what you really need? I’m a big fan of the low and slow approach as well. Someone asked if having frequent nightmares is a sign of burnout.

Emily Ballesteros:
Yes. Yeah.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Can be? Yeah.

Emily Ballesteros:
Yes.

Sam Vander Wielen:
That’s interesting.

Emily Ballesteros:
Stressors should — I mean, if stressors are finding you in your sleep. And if you’re clenching your jaw in your sleep and you’re just have, like, residual tension, basically, that’s also sign you’re carrying a lot of tension.

Sam Vander Wielen:
That makes a lot of sense. Someone else — I thought this was a really interesting question. Somebody asked, how do you know if it’s temporary or if it’s a sign that I have to make a change and do something else?

Emily Ballesteros:
Good question. By considering what would need to change and in what timeline for it to be better. Whatever your definition of better is. Like, are those changes likely to happen? Like if you’re really, really stressed at your job and the only way that it would be worth it is if you got a whole new manager, your workload changed, and you got paid more. How likely are those things to actually happen? And just like consider those factors like what changes you would need to see and in what timeline. And if they’re not going to happen and you ask for them and they’re not going to happen, then it might be like you have to accept like, this is just what it is. So how long can I stay here if this is what it is?

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah. Okay. That’s really good advice. I so appreciate you and this conversation. This was so much fun. I’m really excited for your book, The Cure for Burnout, to come out in February. But will you please let everybody know where to find you, how they can work with you, and how to get pre-order the book before it comes out?

Emily Ballesteros:
Yes. So I primarily am on Instagram and TikTok, and my handle on both of those is @EmilyBRuth. And I have trainings. If you have a group or organization who is interested in burnout management, that’s like an hour long training that could be virtual or in person. I have a course, if you like, consuming things in a course format. And then you can pre-order the book at any number of retailers. But on my social media in the little bio is linked all of the retailers that you can get it at like Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Target, all of that. I think that’s all my stuff for now.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah. And I’ll share the link below to pre-order the Cure for Burnout from Emily if you’d like to. It comes out on February 13th of 2024, which will be here before we know it. I’m so excited for you. Thank you so much for doing this.

Emily Ballesteros:
Thank you so much for having me. And thank you, everyone, for listening.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Oh, wasn’t that a good conversation? I had so much fun chatting with Emily. I want to share my three takeaways from this episode. It was honestly hard to narrow it down just to three, but here are my three major takeaways from my conversation with Emily about burnout.

Number one is that burnout is managed in real time. So I guess something that just kept coming up for me as she was talking today was like, this is not something, like I said at the beginning of the episode, it’s not something we’re supposed to let blossom and then be like, oh, how do we squash that? Sometimes that happens and life gets away from us. But I guess what I took away from a lot of what Emily shared today was that there are also things you can do all along the way to try to not get to that point, try not to let yourself or your business or whatever else get to that point. And I thought it was really interesting how she was talking about how there are a lot of like tools and systems and processes that you can put in place in your own business to almost help you navigate that, right? Even coming up with like the daily non-negotiables and all that kind of stuff. So I thought that was so helpful. That was definitely my first takeaway.

My second takeaway is that it takes a lot of self-awareness to manage burnout or to avoid burnout. So it really takes us being aware of the fact that maybe something’s popping up for us. Like this is a perfectionist tendency that I have, or this is something I want to work on. This is something that I want to work on my mindset so that I don’t feel like everything has to be done right now. I definitely saw a lot come up about self-awareness.

And speaking of mindset, that was my third takeaway is that I guess I was kind of surprised about how much mindset plays a role in all of this and how mindset is key because you have to commit to taking the long haul. Like I think in order to avoid and manage burnout, a lot of it has to do with your your mindset about like how fast this is all going to get done, how quickly you’re going to be successful, what successful even means? The expectation around like never having any bumps in the road or any issues, right? Even the mindset or even just like working on the emotional regulation piece of like knowing that you’re safe, right, for example, so that you don’t need to constantly be promoting your stuff or you don’t need to constantly be making more and more money because you’re safe. You’re okay, like the universe has got you. You’re going to be all right in the long run.

So I thought that was a really helpful takeaway that I got from this episode. I would love for you to share with me one of your takeaways. If you want to DM me on Instagram at @SamVanderWielen or send me an email, reply to my emails if you get my emails and just let me know what was your takeaway from this episode with Emily. I hope you really liked it.

Also, I wanted to also mention that if you, about this like mindset piece, if you haven’t yet listened to episode 56 of my podcast On Your Terms with Jen Diaz. So she’s my mindset coach, but I had Jen on to talk all about mindset and limiting beliefs, and I think that would be like a great companion episode to this episode. With that, thank you so much for listening and I’ll see you next episode.

Thanks so much for listening to the On Your Terms podcast. Make sure to follow on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you like to listen to podcasts. You can also check out all of our podcast episodes, show notes, links and more at samvanderwielen.com/podcast. You can learn more about legally protecting your business and take my free legal workshop, Five Steps to Legally Protect and Grow Your Online Business at samvanderwielen.com. And to stay connected and follow along, follow me on Instagram at @SamVanderWielen and send me a DM to say hi.

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