What are the three things you really truly. What are the three things no one else can do better, faster, cheaper? And everything else must be either eliminated or delegated or systematized or automated, but everything else has to be off your plate or you will never break through the plateau.
Mickey 00:18 (Intro)
Most business owners and entrepreneurs are secretly sick of hustling. And if you are too, you're in the right place. Welcome to the hustle less profit more podcast with me, Mickey Anderson, where we're revolutionizing success because you should have it all. Business Success, lasting wealth, freedom, and fulfillment. Join me on this quest to uncover the keys to defining and achieving success on our terms, so we can all hustle less and profit more.
Scott Anderson is the founder and CEO of Doubledare, an executive coaching and consulting practice which dares entrepreneurs and executives to fully live their unique talent, passion, and purpose. In this episode, we talk about burnout, and the struggles entrepreneurs face when they suffer from impostor syndrome and chronic stress. We talk all about the simple mindset shifts, as well as actionable steps you can take to overcome and prevent burnout in your day to day life as an entrepreneur. I hope you enjoy this episode. I am so excited to have Scott Anderson on as a guest today primarily because of the unique skill set and combination of incredible powerhouse skills and tools that he has in his pocket. Not only does he have, is he a licensed mental health therapist, so a background in clinical counseling. He's also a consultant and business coach who has scaled and sold multiple businesses himself. And so he's got time in so to speak. Scott, thank you so much for joining me today.
Oh, thank you, Mickey. It's great to be here. I've been really looking forward to talking to you.
You know, I find your background so interesting and unique, but also powerful. Being able to combine the skills that you've learned in clinical counseling background, while helping entrepreneurs and executives scale and grow. I think a lot of us try and separate business from who we are, are our personal, right? That work-life balance. But there's no separation. I love that you bring both of those things together.
Well, thank you, I guess I would say that I've needed all of those things. I've needed knowledge about political therapy for my own burnout and my own issues. So I'd love to say this came from virtue, but believe me, it all came from necessity.
I feel like that's like the true testament of entrepreneurship right there.
And, you know, one of the things that I really wanted to talk to talk about today was goal setting, because I think a lot of us hyper-fixate on goals to the point where it's almost crippling, and you have a little bit of a different philosophy when it comes to goals. So I'd love to learn more about what that is.
Sure. Yeah. You know, being a type A Ultra ambitious, you know, entrepreneur. I mean, I come from generations of likewise crazy people who have the same…I think it's DNA. But what we tend to do every year I tend to do for years and years is just keep adding things on and adding things on and adding things on. And to my detriment in a lot of ways. I mean, it causes unnecessary stress. But it also causes unnecessary distraction. So what I do with my clients each year, as we begin the year by goal shedding, we don't go set, we goal shed, and we look at the list, which is always grown, it's never gotten smaller ever. And really try to take a… and this is so painful for entrepreneurs. I kind of liked doing it but take a highlighter and say, “Okay, what are the three things?”. I sometimes to make it easier, we'll say, okay, “Out of the 25 things of your goals, highlight the 10 You can't live without, and then cut that list to six and cut that list to three. And then let's prioritize those three.”. But I've really found that goal shedding is way more powerful than goal setting. And also is way more sanity-promoting than goal setting is.
it reminds me a lot of the book The One Thing.
Exactly right. Great book.
A great movie, right. But my goodness, but absolutely reminds me of that because I found for sure I personally was goal obsessed. I want to say there was always another one and another one and another one. And you never really got to celebrate achievement. And you were always just so fixated on the goal that you weren't even present in the moment either or at least I wasn’t.
Exactly. Yeah. So I mean, it really does have from a mental health standpoint, we're writing a ticket to frustration, anxiety, depression, burnout, whatever you want to call it. By creating this, you know, it's hard enough to do the three things. But to have a 25-thing list is a recipe for frustration.
Yeah, so for those of us who go through the process of goal shedding, we ditch all the arbitrary goals that we think we need to accomplish and come down to those two or three core goals. Maybe they're big, lofty goals. Are there things or practices we can do to allow ourselves to continue on that path of achievement without the fear, frustration, anxiety and worry that we might otherwise have with too many goals?
Well, the thing that I found personally, and one of my business partners very wisely pointed out to me, Scott, do you want to dig 25 shallow holes? Imagine that you're looking for gold. Do you want to dig 25 shallow holes that never really go anywhere? Or do you want to dig three holes that might really go somewhere? And by go somewhere? I mean, from an entrepreneurial perspective, generate revenue, generate profit, help people. But to really move the needle? And is it realistic to think that 25 shallow holes is gonna get you there? And that was really the aha moment for me, because I had to confess that, you know, as much a fan of bright, shiny objects as any other entrepreneur, I was really fractionalized in my effort and my results, and I just had to accept the reality that yeah, it's, you know. I want to dig deep holes, I want to make a difference. I want to move the needle. You know, it's, it's, there's sort of scratching an itch to dabble. But, you know, that was what I think that might have been the term my partner used, and it just cut to the bone. You know, you're dabbling, you're not actually doing anything.
Almost a hobby. That's the kind of yeah.
That got my attention.
No kidding. Oh, my goodness. And, you know, you mentioned goals, and I think a lot of us tie parts of our identity, or maybe all of our identity to our ability to achieve. Right? To those goals, to being the entrepreneur. And for me, at least that's resulted in some serious challenges related to self-esteem. Feeling like I've got impostor syndrome because maybe I haven't accomplished all 100 of those goals that are on my goal list. And so I feel a little bit behind. Are there things that we can do to face impostor syndrome and potentially overcome it?
Sure. You know, I think part of it is to realize that when I speak with entrepreneurs, whether they're five years in business, or 20 years in business. What I asked them is, do they have any lasting, enduring benefit from their achievements? And, you know, the shocking truth is no. I mean, you know, there was a momentary and we can go down the rabbit hole of how dopamine works, and what it's for, and how after we achieved anything, the dopamine, our dopamine levels go very low again, and then they have to restart. But there isn't one achievement, typically, at least the business that's willing to give us a permanent effect. And I think that's what we all mistakenly hope we'll have is, I'll build this business to x level, or I'll sell this business, and I've sold a bunch of them. And I found that it certainly feels good in the moment, but it's not a lasting effect. So you know, it's very much like digging deep holes versus shallow ones. And for me, it was just facing the reality, there's going to have to be if what I want is peace of mind, or to be comfortable in my own skin or whatever metaphor, it's going to have to be something different than just achievement, for achievement sake. Because that has a beginning, a middle and an end, but it definitely has.
I love that you mentioned that because I'll be honest, I've met a lot of high performers, I was an athlete for many years, and the most miserable people I know are the people who are the highest achiever.
I know so many Olympians, who finally hit the cusp and went to the Big Show and came home and felt lost and had to kind of reinvent themselves and go through this really troubling time. Because they could no longer like they had accomplished the thing. And so what's next, I love that you mentioned that it's you need to find something that's going to give you that lasting change that lasting feeling.
You know, one of the ways that I really discovered this was I…and one of the reasons I became a mental health therapist was that I started an organization. Kind of a treatment technology accelerator for families with PTSD for military families with PTSD. And it took a long time to build this organization. And one day, I was sitting at a lunch banquet fundraiser with 500 people, and a national figure speaking, and we had raised many, well, ultimately millions of dollars to fund this program. And this was kind of a culmination of a lot of work. And I remember just feeling like shit, and thinking, wow, you know, just thinking actually, there was something wrong with me. And what I've just had to come to discover is that we can go again, down the rabbit hole, how dopamine works, and how brain chemistry works. But you know, these things have a beginning, a middle, and an end. This is why so much of the work that we've done to help people with burnout, the focus our focus is on is to identify and adhere to personal values, because that we can do every day and it doesn't rely on whatever the achievement is that every day we can live according to values and feel a fulfillment that comes from living within values and that endures. It's the only thing I found that does.
You know, as a military wife, I appreciate your work and you know, there's not many other occupations that I've uncovered or discovered that match the intensity and then fall out of entrepreneurship like military life as well.
Exactly, oh man.
It's a balance for sure.
Well, one of the things that I found when it came to both imposter syndrome, but also you mentioned living by your values, and for myself, that's definitely something that I strive to do. But one of the challenges that I personally struggle with, in doing that every day is I wake up and I think of who I want to be that day, and I try and take action, then all of a sudden, I see someone and I start comparing myself.
You'll see online, especially in this age of social media, where it's everyone's highlight reels all day long. It can be really challenging as an upcoming entrepreneur, or even an established entrepreneur to not continue to compare yourselves to others. Are there things we can do to kind of recognize when we're doing it and maybe overcome that?
You know, I think you said it exactly is that I mean, what I found works the best, unfortunately, this failure, and when I've compared myself to others, you know, I always lose, I never compare myself to somebody who's, who's doing worse than me, whatever that means. You know, we just by definition, we always compare ourselves to someone who we somehow think is doing better than us. You know, the two remedies, first of all, is failure. It just doesn't work in I never, I never win. But the other part of it is, is that it's just, it isn't accurate. I mean, I don't know what's going on in their lives. And one of my mentors once told me, you know, you imagine that somebody else has a much better plate than what's on their plate is much, much better. But he assured me and we knew some people in common, you know, name someone whose plate you'd rather have. And I said, well, what about so and so? He said no, you really don't want that one. You really don't.
You know, that's been my experience. There are too many people's plates, once you really find out what's on them, you won’t want them.
I love that. And I think a lot of us we like, we go on with good intentions, we want to be inspired or motivated by people who are doing things that we want to do. But oftentimes, that's it's the opposite effect. It's almost demotivating.
I appreciate that you mentioned that it's a lose for basically everyone in that situation.
Right. But what you said earlier, I think is so powerful Mickey that, you know, we can decide and, you know, and it's really the key. I think, is that we could decide who we want to be today or the impact that we want to have today, or try to have at least. How we want to show up, how we want to be in today. And we can win at that on a moment-by-moment basis. And, you know, maybe not 100% all day, but we can have really fulfilling productive days that way, and really get lost in the people we're serving versus the people we might see as competitors are doing better than we are.
And the way that you said it to me, it ties it all back to goals as well, right? If you're setting these lofty achievement-based goals, about comparing yourself to others, instead of goals that are going to have that lasting effect—who you want to be each day. That's probably the root cause right there. And so maybe re-identifying those goals and judging yourself or watching your progress towards those goals instead of the arbitrary stuff that maybe you can cross off the list.
Yeah, so true. So true.
Yeah. And you know, another area that you work in a lot of stress reduction, obviously burnout, and those kinds of challenges that all of us entrepreneurs know a little bit too well. We're too familiar with those feelings in that word. And you know, that I know, personally, burnout has been a huge struggle in my life as an achiever, right? If you're not working, you're not working. And that's a problem, for most of us. But I know that oftentimes, it's too late. When you start to notice the burnout, you've hit rock bottom, you're emotionally exhausted, and you can't even like we all assume that one good weekend will solve our burnout problem.
Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. And, you know, that would be great if it were true. You know, I mean, that's one of the biggest problems with burnout. And I've seen and like you, I mean, I've crashed and burned a couple of times, but particularly, after I sold my, I sold an advertising agency that I owned with partners, and I sold my interest of it. And for some reason, well, I think really, I was burned out going into that sale, and, and probably should have left years before I did and was becoming a drag versus a, you know, the wind under the wings. But anyway, you know, just as you said, by the time I noticed that I was in it, I must have been in it for years. I mean, I just I was fighting that. Every morning, I was getting up thinking I've got to get up and do it today. I'm the only one that can but I don't know if I can. And my biggest fear was maybe tomorrow, you know, that'll be the day where I cannot do it. I physically cannot do it anymore. And I think you're right. I mean, by the time we noticed the symptoms. Most of us are well well into it. And one of the biggest frustrations of course is that all the things that seem like they would work not only don't work but according to all the literature they actually make it worse. Any attempt that we need to try to fix the feelings associated with burnout, whether it's the exhaustion or the isolation or the defeat. Anything that we do to try to fix it or avoid it, either one will make a comeback worse. And so taking a vacation or long weekend, or, you know, I've had a number of clients who have quit very important jobs, they work their lives to get or short businesses thinking, then I'll get relief from burnout. I've had a number of clients who have taken months of sabbatical, one in particular, in Poland, of all places who took a six-month sabbatical, and called me because she had a week left on sabbatical, and she didn't think she'd go back to work. So this is the problem is that the very thing that our minds typically come up with logically to solve this problem, make it actually make it worse. And by the time we notice we're in it, we've usually been in it for quite some time. That's so true.
Yeah, for me, it was almost like a toothache that I just got. Right. It was like the ache of chronic stress that was just there. But I think the assumption is, we all assume everyone is stressed. And so my stress is normal. Right? And I should just accept it, because that's life. But that's kind of sad.
Well, and it's also one of the things I found about folks that are especially entrepreneurs who are going through burnout is that… You know, one of the reasons we are entrepreneurs is that pretty broad shoulders. Were the kind of people who can take more on that's kind of our identity, or superpower or whatever. When other people would have maybe given up, we don't give up. I mean, that's when the work begins. And it's a superpower. But it can really be Kryptonite was for me, because exactly right? I mean, by the time you suddenly realize, oh, no, it's not a, it's not a toothache, it's a root canal. Or it's something much worse than that. But you know, our brains are designed, you know, to solve problems. And whether we, you know, whether it comes to changing a tire or splitting the atom, our brains are great at solving problems, but our brains are really not designed to solve troubling thoughts and emotions. Disturbing thoughts and emotions. Our brains can't, everything our brains do to try to redress that, they get worse. And that's why I think we get so far down, before we realize, Oh, my God, I've got to do something.
Yeah, you know, one of the things that you do when you're working with businesses, or my understanding is, is one of the first steps is recognizing that stress and starting to reduce stress so that they can scale and grow their business. Can you tell us a little bit about how we can start to reduce that stress? If the typical, you know, weekend vacation or sabbatical isn't going to help us reduce the burden. What can we do, whether it's proactively or reactively?
Exactly. Well, one of the things is that we sort of make up and I think this is part of American culture, or maybe Western culture, is the idea that we can work 50 weeks and then take two weeks off, and that ought to do it. And that's convenient for employers, but it's not the way the body and the mind work. And in fact, all the literature, and I've been very fortunate to be exposed to, particularly the work by Christina Maslach, at Berkeley, you know, all the literature suggests that the way that we need to relieve ourselves of stress is many times a day with micro vacations, that that actually will. And there's a technique that's not natural for most people, but that we need to be releasing stress on a hourly or half-hourly basis. And it doesn't mean necessarily half an hour of meditation, or a lot of the things that entrepreneurs refuse to do. But really, in 5 or 10 seconds, every 30 or 60 minutes, to really completely let the stress go is the answer. It's very much like, you get this as an athlete, that to train as an athlete, to be a high-performance athlete, we have to create stress on our muscles and actually create micro-tears that ultimately convert into muscle. But if you go beyond, if you don't recover, if you, your muscles don't recover, then they can't build muscle, and ultimately, they will tear. And it's very similar psychologically to what we do as entrepreneurs with burnout is that we think this is just, you know, I'm just getting started. Other people may have given up, but I'm gonna pull an all-nighter or whatever it takes, and you've really just thrown down the gauntlet when there's a challenge. And so that's a superpower, but it also can be really deadly. So but all of the literature suggests that what we really have to do is to let the stress first I know that it's there, identify it, see it, and to let it go many times during the day. And even if it's sort of by rote, I have an alarm and we watch that goes off. It has to go off on the hour for calls anyway. But that just reminds me to let it go. And one of the keys the Maslach research says in particular, that we have to let it go completely. Get half we have to completely drop the rock of whatever it is that we're stressed out about in that moment. And partial attempts will not work. So, you know, this is why waiting until weekend or whatever sounds like it would work, but it simply doesn't.
That's the first time anyone's connected like the entrepreneurial overtraining for me that just completely connected the dots. And I, I've never really seen it in that way. And I'm so appreciative of that, because it was a little bit mind blowing for me too, all of a sudden, oh, it makes sense now. Because you can't cram for a competition. Right? You can't. You can't take it exactly. You need to dedicate the time. And I think as entrepreneurs, we try and shortcut and crunch down the time to success as much as possible.
And maximize that time. Right. But I think it's mostly the opposite. And the thing that you just mentioned about having to let it go fully, it reminds me a lot of the conversations we've had here in the past on the podcast around task switching and distractions. And how if you're trying to multitask your recovery, it's probably not recovery. If you're still answering emails and checking your phone while you're detaching, you're not detached.
Exactly. Yeah. Entrepreneurs have a different view of, you know, as my wife has pointed out a million times, no, you don't understand what a vacation is. What a vacation is, right? And that means don't check the email every five minutes, etc. But for me this light day, right? But this is where superpowers can really bite us. Ultimately.
Mickey 21:27 (ad)
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It reminds me a lot about… There was some research done on creativity in the past and around the white space we need in order to really, to tap into that problem-solving and creative mind space. And if you're not allowing your brain that time to just relax and not focus and think. We're never going to actually work at our best. And I liked that you mentioned throughout the day, because I think that's almost the reminder most of us need. It's like if I want to be effective in this moment, I need to get myself buffers before now.
You've probably, you're probably familiar with the Pomodoro Technique.
Right. And it's just a great illustration of how to do this. But, you know, for anybody who doesn't know, the idea is to set a timer for 25 minutes and every half hour to really sprint for 25 minutes. And really work and focus, which we also in multitasking can't achieve. But if we really focus on one thing for 25 minutes, but then intentionally take a break for five minutes, and really get up from the desk, walk away from it, and come back to it. And this technique is you know, so simple but so elegant. And also, you know, by coincidence, or the Italian engineer who created it, I forget his name. Whether he stumbled into it, but it does conform exactly to the brain science around stress and burnout, and recovery and prevention of both.
Studying for finals, I have definitely used that technique many times. But also in my work, I have a timer on my phone, and I find it just so helpful. And the time blocking to write. We talked about the multitasking and focus in particular, and I think we as entrepreneurs assume that we're built differently. I can just do more. But we all have the same brain structure.
Yeah, there's a little bit of ego, right? That's the…you have to have, but it sadly, it's sometimes not always tight with reality. But it's a good thing to have.
Maybe a little placebo.
Now, what I'd like to connect the dots here is how to take these sort of techniques and concepts, and use them to grow our businesses. And without necessarily increasing the amount of stuff or workload or stress that we're doing. Because my dad used to have this thing where you know, your business grows and your problems grow like twofold. Like, yeah, that sounds familiar. And I know that scaling and growing businesses is in your experience, and that's something that you specialize in. So what can we as entrepreneurs learn about scaling and growing a business without succumbing to burnout?
Sure, well, you know, again, I mean, so much of this has to do with the strengths of entrepreneurs ultimately can become a weaknesses. So, you know, we're the kind of people with broad shoulders and tend to be perfectionist to confound it. And so, you know, it's much we're the first ones that would say it's easier for me to do it than explain how to do it and you know, which typically means especially early stage entrepreneurs will build a business that plateaus. And it has to plateau because there is one of you, one of us, and therefore the building, or the business can never build beyond that point. And it plateaus. And this is really frustrating. I mean, for me as an entrepreneur, it was the most frustrating thing to go through a plateau. It's just painful. But what I've discovered, and certainly what I advocate for my to my clients is that the way to take the next step is to actually do less, you know. It's very much in keeping with the theme of your show, right? It really is, it really is, the answer is to find the two or three things that you love to do that you can do better than anyone else, that no one else can do better, faster, cheaper than you. And it's humbling to discover it may be a short list. But to find those things, and to really pour your heart into those three things that really will move the needle. And this is the single deep hole, or the three nitty deep holes, that will really make a difference. But if we continue in the delusion, that that doing everything ourselves, or doing whatever we're doing at the moment that's resulted in plateau. That we're going to somehow be able to burst through a plateau by doing the same things is the definition of insanity. And can I think lead to insanity. So you know, the really the key and this is the inventory very much like the goal shedding is scope shedding, you know, we want to say a roll shedding, you know, what, what are the three things? I mean, really, truly, what are the three things no one else can do better, faster, cheaper, and everything else must be either eliminated or delegated or systematized or automated. But everything else has to be off your plate or you will never break through the plateau, it is physically impossible. And also, by the way, you don't have to die at your desk this way. You know, what your spouse or loved ones may be interested in? If nobody else is.
It's fun, entrepreneurs will suffer through so much short-term pain, right? In order to accomplish their goals. But I find this one area in particular delegating to others. That's one area that entrepreneurs struggle the most with that short-term pain of delegating and training someone else to take on a task to free them.
Well, we've become you know, and I've done this, to my, to my shame. I've done this so many times, in so many businesses, you think I would have learned something. But you know, we basically have two nods, or I do, one of them is I can work harder. And the other is I can worry more. And that's pretty much it. That's my two-trick pony. And I can work you into the ground. And I can worry more than you can. And I can care more. And I could be more of a perfectionist. But if we don't find another knob on the dial, we're never going to get. First of all, we're going to kill ourselves ultimately, but and make others…this is you know, and this is really the sad truth, we think we suffer, that we're the only one suffering but a lot of other people suffer. Number one. But also, we're never going to build the business that we want to build. We're never gonna break through the, not only burnout, but break through the plateaus that we create for ourselves if we continue doing what we're doing. And I'll tell you, you know, the shame piece for me personally. What I've put people through, namely, my spouse, and my family and co-workers and partners, because I was on I was so rigid that I wasn't willing to consider any other way of going. You know, it's taken me a long time to get my arms around the responsibility that I had for that. And so but this is what we're talking about. We don't suffer alone. We drag a lot of other people along with us.
Yeah. And you know, the one thing that I hear most frequently when people are at that place where, okay, I've worked myself into the ground, my family, my life, everything is suffering. I know that I need to delegate. I know that I need to give tasks away. But I'm not making enough money to pay someone else to do it. Yeah. How do you overcome that challenge when someone comes back and says, but I just can't invest in that?
Yeah. Well, there I sort of a practical answer, and also more of a more maybe a nuanced answer. But you know that I mean, the truth is…so, I was working, I'm working right now with an accountant, or CPA who has an accounting firm, and is very, very behind on a lot of basic processes. The role that he should be playing is at a very high level, giving his clients really high-level guidance and advice. But he, and that's the only thing you ought to be doing really some business development and high-level guidance. But he's in the weeds, and he's processing tax filings and extensions and all the rest of it. So, you know, the reality is, I mean, it… First of all, it's not sustainable for this gentleman and for any of my clients. You know, by the time they call me their health is compromised about their mental health and physical health is compromised. Their marriages may be on the line and their businesses are not nearly as solid as they think because it's not sustainable. So that's the first piece on a real practical level. You know, I mean today, it's really possible with automation with technology with a wide variety of outsourcing. In this particular gentleman's case, I found him a team of people. They happen to be in the Philippines, but there's also a team of people in Vietnam and other in of all places in Georgia, the Russian state of Georgia who are in Armenia is another place where they're just incredibly talented, hardworking, very knowledgeable, people. Familiar with the American tax code of all things, and in his case, and can really make this happen at $7-10 an hour. So you know, we have to get out of our comfort zone, we have to do things in a different way. But there is always is a solution, on the one hand, and on the other, there is no solution for the status quo. That is gonna kill you. You know, it's not there's not a happy ending. We imagined that one day something will happen, but it can’t.
It's true, we always imagine, but there's gotta be this one magic bullet or solution that's just gonna pop up and solve all my problems. The magic wand, right?
No, that's, that's not necessarily the case for us. And I find as well, one of the things when you're in that place is you become resentful of your work. You no longer actually enjoy any pieces of even the parts that you used to love you no longer. So I'm curious to know how you help entrepreneurs get back and find that passion, again, through the chaos of trying to scale and grow and identify those things that they should be doing?
You know, that's such an important question, Mickey. I really appreciate it because, you know, in my own experience with burnout, and certainly with my clients experience, one of the things and actually, you know. So the World Health Organization has designated burnout as a bonafide mental or mental and physical disorder. And the American Psychiatric Association is in the process of doing the same thing. And burnout has, even though the term has been thrown around for a long time. The term has, or the diagnosis has three very specific symptoms. The first of those is the one that you mentioned at the outset of our call this bone-tired exhaustion that doesn't go away. On the second one that you mentioned, is this feeling of isolation or disconnection, not from the people that we work with maybe the people that we love our customers, our investors, our partners, etc. Feeling really isolated and disconnected. But the third phase, which is really the most serious is where we begin to feel animosity or even resentment to those around us. We actually begin some of us, many of us to attribute our situation to other people, you know, I made the mistake in, in my advertising agency of attributing the burnout. I was going to my to the business itself, to my sometimes to my business partners, which, to my shame, you know, not proud of that. And yet, I know that is true. And so one of the things we found it's really essential in recovery, is to forgiveness, and to forgive or to forgive all the people that we mistakenly attributed all of these problems and deferred, but mainly to forgive ourselves. And in some cases, it's necessary to really ask for forgiveness or to make amends and to really fix the problem. But it's really important to, we found, and it's, it's the very last part of our program, because you have to have gone through quite a bit of change, to get to the point, you're willing to think about this. But what I found is that the resentment part of it is really deadly. And if you can't get through that there isn't any recovery from burnout. So that's a big part of our system is a very exhaustive process of forgiving others, and forgiving ourselves and for fixing anything we may have broken.
And you know, I like that you mentioned fix that anything was broken, because I think a lot of times we attribute forgiveness to fixing something when that's not always the case. They don't always go hand in hand. In my experience, at least. You can forgive someone but still have a broken situation. And I think we complicate it a little bit where we assume no, they have to fix it, or I have to fix it in order for me to forgive. Right? To get that close. But I don't think at least that that's the case.
Yeah, I agree with you. I mean, in some cases, things are not fixable, you know, they simply are not. But you know, in any pragmatic and in some cases, the best thing I can do for people I have harmed is to stay away from them. Never darken their door. But what I must do is to clear my heart of the animosity and the resentment and really let that go. And, you know, as I say, a big part of the burnout breakthrough system anyway, is focused on that. And for me, personally, that has been, I think the most transformative part of my own journey through burnout is to get to a place where I could begin to see my mistakes and particularly my mistaken perceptions that come from being burned out. And to forgive myself and where necessary to forgive others. But this resentment has to go away. There's no recovery from burnout without it.
Yeah. And you know that the shame piece I think is really important to talk about, because a lot of us feel ashamed of what we've done. And we assume that wallowing in the shame is the best way to prove that we're forgiving, or we're sorry. But you know, I kind of have a contrary and opinion where it's, you know, living up to the person that you want to be and stepping into that new person is really the truest service you can do that is forgiveness and stepping forward out of that, in a place where you are that dark space.
Yeah, totally agree. And, you know, the problem with wallowing in anything is that it may seem like to our brains, it may seem like the logical thing to do, but it simply doesn't work. And, you know, there's a sort of a bottom, I think that people that I had it in, before it made before I would be even considered doing any of these things. And stop wallowing really.
Yeah, and you know, one thing that I have noticed, I have to say, and especially with myself as a former perfectionist, and maybe a recovering perfectionist, I find as a perfectionist, it's really easy to slip into the wallowing. Because there's always things that you see, you could have done better. But I heard a great quote this week, and it was it's stuck with me all week. And it's perfectionism is the killer of excellence. And I personally think that's really true. Because in order to hit excellence, you got to fail, and you got to put yourself at risk, you have to be vulnerable. And you can't do that if you're being a perfectionist.
Exactly, yeah, it's a real inhibitor, right? What a great quote, I love that.
Yeah, I wrote that on my wall.
If you have to. I love it. You know, if you have to be a perfectionist the only thing that you can do, then, you know. And so many great, great, whether in business or other parts of our life come from blurting things out not knowing if it's gonna work or not. But I, you know, it's that kind of spontaneity that it seems, is where so many, so many good things come from. I think that's a that's a really good point. And yeah, you know, again, this, this perfectionism is can be a real blessing, and maybe early in our careers, and working more and more and more hours, when you're 20, or something, and you don't have much experience, then you can compensate by working, working, working and holding yourself to these high standards. But, you know, we get to be 30 or 40, or whatever, and you've got maybe 20 years experience, you know. It's no longer, we don't have to compensate for anything, we almost get superstitious, like I can't, this is what's worked. And so I don't want to change even though I'm 20 years down the road in my career, you know, I want to sort of continue to do what I did when I was 20. And that's part of it. I found there's a lot of people get really handcuffed to this. It's almost a superstition, that this is the golden egg-laying goose I have to, I cannot deviate from this.
Have you found that entrepreneurs in general who struggle with this burnout and challenging phase of entrepreneurship and life really? Have you found that they are maybe more fixated on the ‘How’ things need to happen and less about the ‘Why’ or the future goal? More and I want to say like controlling in the way that things have to happen?
Yeah, I think so. That's a really, really good observation. I mean, what, you know, so much of so much of, kind of to put my therapist hat on. So much of what we do is, is we won't admit this necessarily, but it's self soothing. We basically we're trying to make the anxiety go away. Our brain wants to solve problems. And if we're feeling really, really anxious than our brain will do whatever it is that appears to sooth the problem. The problem with our brain soothing problems, like impostor syndrome, or I'm not enough for other kind of negative thoughts is that trying to make them go away comes back, comes back even stronger. Everything that we do the self-soothing that makes things worse, I use the analogy sometimes of the obsessive compulsive disorder of handwashing. To begin with, you know, washing dirty hands makes perfect sense. The problem is that our brain hears dirty hands, dirty hands, dirty hands, dirty hands. And in our brain, you will fixate on that. And actually every time then after a while washing dirty hands becomes a trigger for the thought I have dirty hands. That the washing them actually makes them feel dirtier and it becomes this this constant loop. And unfortunately, when we you know you've probably heard this this example but you know, when we try to not think about pink elephants, not think about pink elephants, not think about pink elephants, we try to pink elephants, or dirty hands, or perfectionism or failure or so many of us entrepreneurs have a huge fear of failure. And will work and work and work and work and work mainly because we want the fear of failure thought to go away. And unfortunately, and this was, that was my undoing personally, but it just made the feeling stronger and stronger, very much like hand washing and dirty hands.
What a great analogy, you know, and I can so relate because especially as an athlete, the fear of failure was so powerful for me.It was one of the reasons why I continued in sport for so long, because heaven forbid, I quit and be a failure or retire and be a failure. And I think, the more I focused on that failure, the fear of failure, I avoided the fear, I avoided the failure, but the fear stayed with me always. And I never got to a place where I got to actually enjoy what I was doing and feel successful.
Exactly. And that's back to the idea of achievement. You know, as you said, earlier, we can, we can really succeed, and I'm sure you've had lots of success, you know, in sports and lots of other things. And I've had my share, but again, it's short lived, because if with what we're trying to do is to make the fear of failure go away. You know, again, it's it's don't think about pink elephants, don't think about pink elephants. And if my motivation in doing anything, is to try to self-sooth, the fear of failure, it's the fear of failure, that I'm actually tattooing in my brain, not the soothing. The fear of failure.
Yeah, my husband has a quote that he says all the time, and it's you go where your eyes go, right military? And but it's one that stuck with me, because I think it's so true. It's so simple, but it's absolutely true. What you look to and focus on is what you bring about. And so instead of focusing on the feel of failure, what do you actually want?
Right? Yeah, exactly. He said, That's so true. But again, you know, I mean, part of it is trying to fight the way our minds work. And when it comes to changing a tire, splitting the atom, our minds are really, really, or, you know, succeeding in sports or business. I mean, our minds can be really, really good at that. It's when we start incorporating, you know, this sort of commentary in our minds. That's the part that our brains, at least can't solve in the way that we solve other traditional problems.
And I find a lot of that commentary is inherited. Conditioning, like the voice in your head usually sounds a lot like a family member’s.
Yes. Isn't that the truth?
Maybe it's just me.
No, a therapist friend of mine used to have this great question. I'm sure she uses it a lot. But she used to say, Where have you heard this before? Whatever self-condemning statement that their client would make. And yeah,
I've heard that. Where did this come from? Yeah.
Where did this come from? Exactly. Yeah.
Yeah. Well, I you know, this has just been so enlightening. And I'm sure the listeners want to learn more about you and what you do, where can they go online to find you?
Well, well, thank you very much and I've really enjoyed it Mickey, it's been great. If they want to find out more about the science of burnout and the science of burnout recovery in particular, they should go to burnoutbreakthrough.com/hustleless and right? So yeah, it's HTTPS, colon, backslash, backslash, but it's burnoutbreakthrough.com/hustleless. And that's where you'll find the information. There's a masterclass explaining why our brand can do lots of things, but it can't make burnout go away in the traditional way that we think. But it's basically five shifts that really do work. And I guess the thought I'd love to leave with any of your listeners who are going to burn out right now is that, as horrible as it is, and I totally get that. There is a tremendous amount of hope you could knock it out in a surprisingly short amount of time and permanently, even if you've already tried everything. The and actually what I found on the other side of it is really a new Apple is a whole new dimension of life. All I wanted to do is not feel so terrible but yeah, that'd be great burnoutbreakthrough.com/hustleless.
I'll put it in the description and the show notes as well. And you know that the, for those of you who are listening who have maybe taken a sabbatical or a long vacation or two or three and you keep coming back and the burnout just continues to come back. This is your sign. Click the link, check it out. There is a better way. Scott, this has just been a wonderful conversation. I thank you so much for your time.
My pleasure. Thank you.
Thank you. It's been a pleasure.
Mickey 44:26 (Outro)
Thank you for joining me in another episode of the Hustle Less Profit More Podcast. Thanks to our season one sponsor Stereo Pursuit Marketing and Communications. You can find show notes and resources at hustlelessprofitmorepodcast.com. If you enjoyed the show, don't forget to rate and review us where you get your podcasts. Join us again next time to uncover more of the keys to achieving success, wealth, fulfillment and freedom. Thanks for listening.