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Question: How do we deal with marketing burnout?

Let me speak from my personal experience.

After 20 years at a big corporation, I decided to work for myself. It sounds romantic but, when you are in the trenches trying to make it work, there is nothing glamorous or romantic about it. I am my own secretary, IT, sales, marketing and HR. When I just started, I didn’t really have the luxury of turning down jobs. I provided multiple services from creating strategies, e-mail campaign even down to beautifying presentations for senior management as long as their quotes met my expectations. At the same time, I needed to promote myself. Between client work and marketing myself, it’s like having two full-time jobs. I work all the time.

Here is how I deal with stress and burnout.

  • Have a plan. Even when I just started out and was a one-person shop, I still did formal annual planning. I had my planning meeting with myself. I identified 2-3 new initiatives that I want to do, set up sales goals (realistic and stretch) and identify lead pipeline and a list of people and companies that I want to reach. Although my plan may have changed here and there, I had a plan to set direction. I learned from my corporate experience, it’s important to have a plan.
  • Prioritize: I don’t prioritize well. I took on several assignments and worked through weekends and nights to get them done. I am still doing that, but I make a conscious effort to prioritize. I divide my day so that 80% of my time is spent working on urgent items that are likely due in 24-72 hours. and 20% of my time is spent on initiatives which need be implemented in 2-3 months. It doesn’t always work, but I am making an intentional effort to follow the 80/20% rule.
  • Delegate: This is a chicken and egg question. I didn’t delegate initially, because I couldn’t afford to hire others. I ended up doing everything myself. Now, I can afford to delegate, but I don’t have time to hire and train others… So, I still ended up doing everything myself. If you have a team, you need to train and coach them , then delegate.

Here is what I do on the personal front to manage stress:

  • Exercise: This helps me tremendously! I do steps or cardio 2 times and yoga 3 times a week. Pumping some oxygen into my body. It’s good for you. You just need to prioritize to exercise.
  • Let it out: Find someone to vent to! Get your stress and frustration out. Find a friend or someone, talk it out. It helps.
  • Walk away: I can sit in front of my computer and work for 9-hours without getting up. Even though I can’t think anymore, I am still glued to my computer. I literally need to force myself out of my chair and go somewhere else. IT’S OK TO WALK AWAY.

Stress and burnout come with the choice I made. I am aware of that and accept that consequence. We need to manage them the way we manage our days, our relationships or our businesses.