The Real Female Entrepreneur

sarah hartley

3 Tips for Not Burning Out as a Busy Mompreneur

Lauren Frontiera1 Comment

ARE YOU FEELING BURNT OUT?

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"I was more tired than I’ve ever been...

...and I wanted to scream, to cry, to throw things. And then I wanted to curl up in bed, away from everyone and everything and hibernate for a few months until it all passed."


Burn out is a very real thing in the land of entrepreneurship. And yes, you can burn out even when you're doing work that you love! I googled "burn out" because I'm cool like that and really wanted to know how to define it for you, and here's what it said: "completely consumed and thus no longer aflame".

As the old saying goes, if you've been burning the candle at both ends and your flame has gone out, you, my love, very well may be burned out. Or maybe you're starting to feel the beginning signs of your flame slowing retreating (you can get the same physical knowing that burn out is coming on as you do when you feel yourself "getting sick").

Either way, you're not the only one. So here's some wisdom from a sisterpreneur who's been there, and burned out...


But, first. A little bumpdate.


THE BUMPDATE: HOW ARE YOU AND BABY?

At the time of writing this, I’m 32 weeks pregnant (though likely 34 weeks when you’re reading this) and let’s just say, I’m ready for this to be done. At 34 weeks with my first pregnancy, I went into pre-term labor, which was one of the scariest moments of my life. I had my son 3 weeks after that at 37 weeks. So, while I’d like him/her to cook a little longer, I’m also ready for this new chapter to start. Here’s to hoping the last month-ish flies by!

 

THE BIZDATE: HOW'S THE MAG?

Our January “Courage” issue just released on January 9th. I AM SO EXCITED. I’ve redesigned the core of the magazine and I’ve never been so proud of a design. The magazine is a little thinner this time around which means slightly lower shipping costs which is ALWAYS helpful to a publisher because aside from printing, that is without a doubt your biggest cost suck.

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I’m going to get a little personal with you today and talk about burn out.  


It’s something I’ve experienced a few times since starting the magazine but it hit me REALLY hard around mid-December. Is it the holidays, the stress of a new baby, or a consistently high level of things on my to-do list? Probably a bit of all of it.

I have a lot going on, but then, I always do. I tend to think that I’m Superwoman and that I can handle anything that is thrown at me.  In the last couple months, those things have been: my regular, full-time job, running the magazine (itself a full-time job), working freelance in both design and virtual assistance in my “downtime”, being a wife, being a mom to a very energetic toddler, and, oh yeah, growing a human.  Plus, I’ve been working on scheduling, planning, and doing from December through March so that I can take a little time off when the baby comes - and that to-do list is MASSIVE.


"I tend to think that I’m Superwoman and that I can handle anything that is thrown at me."


For the majority of my pregnancy, I’ve been handling these things just fine. Sure, I’m a little extra tired, but I attributed that to a living being sucking the life out of me from the inside out.  

But then one day, it all caught up with me. I was sitting at my day job just staring at my computer - my to-do list blinking back at me. I literally felt frozen in place as tears started to stream down my face. I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t know how to move forward, I didn’t know how I was going to get everything done. It felt like there was never going to be enough time, that I was never going to get caught up, that I was failing at E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. I was more tired than I’ve ever been in my life at that moment and I wanted to scream, to cry, to throw things. And then I wanted to curl up in bed, away from everyone and everything and hibernate for a few months until it all passed.


"I wanted to curl up in bed, away from everyone and everything and hibernate for a few months until it all passed."


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That’s when it hit me: I was burned out.  

I had been fighting that feeling for months, knowing that if I gave in to it, if I admitted my weakness, I’d no longer be the Superwoman I always fashioned myself as. I’d have to admit that I need help (something I’m terrible at) and that I don’t have it all together (something I like to hide from the world). But it was time. I knew I had to do something for both my own sanity, and the safety of my unborn baby. The extreme stress I was putting on myself couldn’t be good for him/her (no, we still don’t know what we’re having).


"I had been fighting that feeling for months, knowing that if I gave in to it, if I admitted my weakness, I’d no longer be the Superwoman I always fashioned myself as."


So, I texted my husband as nonchalantly as I could and said “I really need a mental health day where all I do is lay in bed and rest. I’m struggling so hard.” He responded that he would take my son out of the house the next afternoon after work so that I could rest. It was a nice gesture, and normally I’d pretend that would be enough. But at this breaking point I was in, I knew I had to ask for more - again, something I hate doing. So I told him what I really needed - a full day away from everyone where I could rest, I could work, and I could rest some more. Would that be enough to drag me back from the edge? Probably not, but it was most definitely a start.  

My husband booked me a hotel room for that Saturday so I could have all day and night to myself. I could sleep in, I could have peace and quiet, I could rest, and I could work through my to-do list - but only if I felt up to it.


So today, in case you are getting to the point I was, I wanted to give you three quick tips to help you through it:

  1. Know your breaking point before you get there: As I mentioned, I knew I was getting there, but I kept ignoring it, assuming it would all go away. It didn’t, and it only got worse. Listen to your body. Your body knows when you’ve had enough.

  2. Try to squeak out a little time for yourself each day: Because I have VERY little free time, I never fill that with time for myself. But I need to. My mental health depends on it, and so does yours. Even if it’s just a half hour run, or a 20 minute bubble bath, do it.

  3. Learn to say no: One big thing I’ve learned is that it’s okay to say no to things when I know in my gut that I just can’t do it, whether that’s taking on extra work, traveling for a weekend, or adding that one minuscule extra thing to your plate. It’s okay to think of yourself first once in awhile.

So, that’s my breakdown story. And if you’re reaching that same point, I hope you’ll recognize it and take steps to fix it sooner rather than later. Being an entrepreneur is SO hard. And it won’t do anybody any good if you aren’t functioning at your best. Take time for yourself. You’re worth it.


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Sarah Hartley

Sarah Hartley is the creator, designer and publisher of Holl & Lane Magazine, a quarterly publication celebrating women's everyday existence and opening the door for tough conversations.

Since 2015, Sarah and the H&L team has been dedicated to providing women with a platform to share their truths. From miscarriage and infertility to mental health and body image, Sarah believes in changing the media for good and celebrating women where they are.


MORE OF HOLL AND LANE

www.hollandlanemag.com

Holl and Lane on Facebook and Instagram

Free H&L Mini Issue


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4 Things You Can Do to Stay Sane While Running a Business During The Holidays

Behind the HomepageLauren FrontieraComment

Ready for a real update? 100% real. None of that fake crap.

Sometimes it feels like the only biz updates you get anymore are the sugar-coated, everythings-alright-yeah-it's-perfect ones. They're the ones we all give when we're forcing things to look better than they really are. Because the truth is sometimes hard and embarrassing and quite frankly, it sucks to share.

But life and business are real. They're imperfect and messy. And amidst the chaos and the mess, the real parts are inspiring as hell.

So, meet Real Updates. Our new series where we pull back the curtains and get real updates on life and biz and the happenings of real women and real business owners. 


HOLIDAYS GOT YOU STRESSED?

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"Not only is there so much to get done...

...but it feels like there is extra pressure to sell all the things. Everyone is having sales and if you’re going to stand out inside the online crowd, you need to be doing something bigger and better. It’s just plain exhausting."


If you missed September or October's updates, welcome! This is the second in a monthly series where the creator and editor of Holl and Lane Magazine, Sarah Hartley, is taking us behind-the-scenes on her journey of building and growing a magazine while also working a full-time job, being a mama and a wife, and growing her second baby (due February 2018).

This month, we're pouring a glass of something good and sneaking behind the holiday boxes with Sarah to chat about how hard it really is running a business during the holidays. And Sarah is sharing the 4 things she's doing this year to stay sane amidst the crazy Black Friday sales and keep her cool without drinking or eating away a comparison hangover.


But, first. Let's bumpdate ya.


THE BUMPDATE: HOW ARE YOU AND BABY?

I’m officially into the 3rd trimester now. Whattttt?! And if my last pregnancy is any indication (I’m due 3 days before my son’s 4th birthday), this last trimester is going to FLY thanks to the holidays. Thankfully, I’m still feeling good, aside from my back hurting. But when you’re carrying a bowling ball around 24/7, I guess that’s to be expected.

 

THE BIZDATE: HOW'S THE MAG?

Every once in awhile I get this idea that we need to offer something new and we need to do it now!  That happened to me this past month and now we’re offering a beautiful pastel collection of postcards with inspiring sayings, as well as a couple of prints to remind you of how important you are. Sales have just started, but I’m hoping it’ll be a little something extra we can have during the holidays since our next issue doesn’t come out until January.


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As a business owner, I’ve gotta tell ya, the holidays are some of my least favorite times.  


Not only is there SO much to get done, but it feels like there is extra pressure to sell all the things.  Everyone is having sales and if you’re going to stand out inside the online crowd, you need to be doing something bigger and better. It’s just plain exhausting.

I remember last time around the holidays when I fell into what can only be described as a seasonal business depression. I was very unprepared for the holiday season, I didn’t know what else we could offer to sell, and quite frankly, our sales reflected all of that. This year I had vowed to do better. After all, our magazine has seen a 400% growth, surely our sales will reflect the same, right?


"I remember last time around the holidays when I fell into what can only be described as a seasonal business depression." 


But, as much as I’m a glass half full kinda gal, I just can’t muster up the energy to fight the good fight during the holidays. Maybe that can be blamed on being seven months pregnant?

I want to do better, I really do.  But, I’m also just not a saleswoman. I don’t like selling or pushing people to spend their hard-earned dollars. Mostly because I know what it’s like to be pushed upon.

So instead, I’m doing these few things, and maybe they’ll inspire you to take a more relaxed approach as well:


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1. I'M FOCUSING ON ONE BIG SALE

Yes, we’ll have an ongoing sale on our subscriptions from Black Friday until mid-December. But the biggest (seriously astronomical) sale will be happening for Cyber Monday and it will only be happening for our newsletter subscribers. The decision to do this was two-fold: one, I really only have to focus on one sale on one day; two, it helps to get more people onto my newsletter list who will then hopefully fall in love with what we do on a weekly basis and become regular customers.

Side note: If you’ve ever checked us out and fallen in love with what we’re doing, I promise you won’t want to miss that Cyber Monday sale.


2. IT'LL BE BUSINESS AS USUAL ON SOCIAL

Of course we’ll mention our sale here and there. But I’ve found that people connect with us best through our personal posts rather than the ones that are just trying to sell them on something. I’d venture to guess that’s the same for a lot of other businesses, too. And connection is what sells.


"The comparison game is strong around the holidays, and I refuse to be sucked in this year. It’s been proven to me time and time again that what works for others may not work for us, so why spend my energy trying to figure out the exact strategy others are using?"


3. I PLAN TO STAY AWAY FROM WHAT OTHERS ARE DOING

The comparison game is strong around the holidays, and I refuse to be sucked in this year. It’s been proven to me time and time again that what works for others may not work for us, so why spend my energy trying to figure out the exact strategy others are using? I might as well spend that time focusing on what does work for us and figuring out how to make that bigger and better.


4. I WON'T STRESS SO MUCH ABOUT THE NUMBERS

Last year, I’ll be honest, I felt like a bit of a loser when sales weren’t what I had hoped. This time around, I’m going to set a goal (just because I like a challenge), but if I don’t make it, it won’t be the end of the world. My business will not crumble if I have 5 sales less than I had hoped. There is always next year.


So, fellow entrepreneurs, I’m wishing you a happy holiday season filled with all of the sales that you’re hoping for.  But please remember, the holidays are also supposed to be a time to enjoy your life with your family and friends.  Don’t let the hardships of running a business take that away from you.


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Sarah Hartley

Sarah Hartley is the creator, designer and publisher of Holl & Lane Magazine, a quarterly publication celebrating women's everyday existence and opening the door for tough conversations.

Since 2015, Sarah and the H&L team has been dedicated to providing women with a platform to share their truths. From miscarriage and infertility to mental health and body image, Sarah believes in changing the media for good and celebrating women where they are.


MORE OF HOLL AND LANE

www.hollandlanemag.com

Holl and Lane on Facebook and Instagram

Free H&L Mini Issue


the-real-female-entrepreneur-blog-series

want more real + inspiring convos with female biz owners?


the-real-female-entrepreneur-running-a-business-during-the-holidays-holl-and-lane-mag

Grab the latest issue of Holl and Lane!

In the 14th issue of Holl & Lane, the focus is on The Heart. Within this issue, you'll find true stories of romantic love, heartbreak, self-love, familial love, and so much more.  These pages showcase a wide range of stories on this one particular topic.  All related in their common theme, but yet so very different and inspiring in their own way.


KEEP READING!