October 10th is World Mental Health Day and to be completely honest with you, I never really heard of it. But if you’ve been following my posts, lately you might have read I had a burn-out just three years ago. So, mental health day appeals to me.
It was especially useful to see many Facebook groups which I belong too, created a topic about this annual day.
Because the groups I belong too are for digital entrepreneurs, like myself. I felt totally comfortable sharing my personal burn-out experience. I didn’t go into specifics, but I shared the positive side effect. So here’s the post I shared:
I shared this experience because I believe there’s nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, the burn-out actually improved my work-life balance in many ways.
After having a few sessions with a therapist, it became clear to me I was working too much, working for the wrong type of clients, not taking sufficient relaxing time, doubting my professional abilities, worrying about my income. Looking back, it was a messy period in my life.
The only way to solve my burn-out was to radically change my daily routine, in other words, regain the work-life balance I once had.
So here’s what I did
I stopped revenue being the decision-maker when taking on clients.
This may seem weird coming from an entrepreneur, but I managed success based on income. I actually had a revenue goal, carefully calculated in Excel.
Because of this revenue goal, I was totally focussed of reaching this goal. In other words, any client that would knock on my door, I would take on because it would help me achieve the revenue goal. Makes sense, right?
Well, just before I had the break-down, a large corporation called me up to come and help them create a new platform.
Wow, when a corporation hires you, it’s a fantastic feeling. Especially when you’re just in business and the money, well let’s just say it had to be good.
So I took the client on, but during the process of the project, I became miserable. Not because of the project but the crazy hours I was working. It’s was extremely stressful.
I worked at their office, and I remember coming home totally drained. I was tired and not very pleasant to be around. I feel bad again, writing about it now.
The only thing that kept me from continuing the job was mainly the money. I made sure the project was delivered up to par, for sure but I didn’t enjoy working for them anymore.
In this particular case, the project manager was a total scumbag. Not to me personally but this PM would feast on blaming others for mistakes made, gossip and so on. I hate when people gossip and blame others for their own wrongdoings.
Looking back, if I was as ‘strong’ as I feel now I would think of quitting on the spot. But hey, I was a revenue-driven business. I had to reach my personal revenue goal, remember.
A few months later, I burned-out.
During therapy, I shared this story with my therapist, and she asked me: Why didn’t you just stop working for them?
I replied: I needed the money.
She replied: But Scott, you told me you have enough money to survive for the next 24 months.
It was all about reaching a goal I set out for myself. Setting a revenue goal seemed to make sense at the time. Nowadays I don’t let revenue get the best of me.
Now don’t get me wrong, I also need to make a living so earning money is important. The only difference I’ve made is selecting who I want to work for instead of only looking at the revenue.
Define a problem and solution
I also came to realise that I wasn’t really creating a long-term business either. It was unclear why clients would ‘need’ innotrends. Yes, we can create websites, we offer SEO services and whatnot, but there are millions of other companies offering exactly the same services. So how can innotrends stand out?
Well, I’ll take you back to a conversation with my therapist.
She recognised it reasonably soon. I’m a person that is always ready to help people out in need. Hence, I was a firefighter volunteer, which in fact means we get the exact same training as a full-time volunteer. The only difference is, we have a pager on us, 24 hours a day. When somethings up, we get called in and within 5 minutes of the call, we’re on our way doing our thing.
The therapist explained to me, it was best to stop the fire fighting gig for a while because it was time to help myself and my family first. But saying good-bye to something I loved to do, was hard for me. On the other hand I knew the only way to get better was to follow her advice.
So I quit the fire fighting, and until today it still hurts me. Only now, I can reflect and admit it was the only option.
Anyway, when I finally took some rest and some couch time I spoke to other entrepreneurs and to my surprise after I revealed my burn-out, many others felt comfy enough to disclose they are or have been in the same situation. Others responded with understanding and compassion. But they all asked the same question besides, how are you doing now.
The question they all asked: So, what was your solution.
I’m going to share my solution with you. It’s extremely simple: flip the birdie to revenue.
innotrends as of the past few months
I decided to focus our service to provide solutions which improve the work-life balance for my clients.
Yes, innotrends still create websites, we continue to offer search engine optimisation and all of our other services. The difference with our service today is that everything we do evolves improving one’s work-life balance.
We improve work-life balance by optimising sites such as e-commerce, real estate and businesses in need of lead generation solutions. We don’t promise or guarantee specific outcomes. We only guarantee that whatever we do is in your benefit. Not ours.
Because we see it as your mission to find ways to improve your revenue and get you home earlier. And not to stuff our wallet and leave.
This is what I believe defines innotrends and sets us apart from other companies offering the same services we do.
I’m not implying they’re any better or worse, I’m just explaining why we won’t settle for increasing your revenue only. I profoundly believe and have experienced first-hand, you can’t live well, without the other.
I hope you now have some new insights and you can learn from the solutions I came up with.