I burnt out (again)
Last winter, I experienced my first serious bout of burnout. For a week and a half, I felt zero positive emotion and ran away to a cabin in the woods.
Luckily, I haven’t felt anything like that since. But I’m hyper-aware of the warning signs of overwhelm. Certain questions pop up:
am I avoiding things?
is there a ton of resistance?
am I excited by my projects or dreading them?
Since launching my new podcast back in August, I’ve been dancing with burnout once again. The show is called The YouTuber’s Guide to the Galaxy. I interview YouTubers with over 10k subscribers to dive into their creativity, share their strategies, and inspire new creators.
I was oozing motivation right out the gate. My expectations for output were high: one episode every other week, three clips per week, and three to five TikToks per week.
I kept that up…for two weeks.
It turns out, treating something like a full-time job is difficult when you already have a full-time job (my coaching business) and two side hustles (writing my book and leading my coaching community). There’s also this blog which is a fun lil proj.
But as I’ve been interviewing successful creators and entrepreneurs, I must admit I’ve been taken in by the glamor of sacrifice and hard work. James and Anthony Deveney sacrificed all their free time for a year to build their show, Raiders of the Lost Podcast. CupppaJoe5 has been working 100-hour weeks in his pursuit of becoming a full-time content creator. Ryan Twomey has uploaded a TikTok every day for almost two years.
Here’s what I learned while grinding away these last two months: I don’t want to do any of that.
It comes down to the essentialist question: What are the most important things in your life right now?
For me, my entire being is dedicated to building the life I want most. I have my dream job and work with incredible people. My physical health and relationships will always be my top priorities. I want quality time with my friends and family. I also need to work out at the gym and go to jiujitsu class. I’ve gone on a few dates with a woman I like and am curious to see where that goes. I play and study chess practically every day.
No matter how awesome it sounds to have a full-time podcast that makes me money and has a ton of listeners, I’ll never sacrifice these things mentioned above. I’m not willing to put in the level of work that my guests have put into their channels. And that’s okay.
So what will I do?
Well, the goal is still the same: 100 episodes. I have three episodes on deck and two interviews scheduled. The show goes on.
But I’m deleting the high-friction activities and doubling down on the low-friction ones. I hate video editing. So I’m changing the YouTube channel so that it’s only short clips of episodes and not full conversations. Then, I’ll be trimming down the podcast audios so they tell a much higher-quality story. Finally, I’ll upload one TikTok per week.
The goal here is to make things much easier for myself and to make it harder to quit. I’ll stop doing what I hate and do more of what I love.
I’ll leave you with these questions:
What are the three most important things that demand your focus right now?
What are you doing too much of that’s getting in the way of these things?
What aren’t you doing enough of?
This show has been my favorite creative project I’ve ever worked on. And it’s not even good yet. Just wait.
Awesome guests to come. If you want to check it out, all the links are here.