How Boundaries Block Burnout: By John R. Nocero and Molly Downhour

Today’s guest article features two thought leaders in the Boundaries and Burnout Space, Molly Downhour and John R. Nocero.  Their respective bios are at the end of this article, and I highly recommend you review their bios, and reach out to them on LinkedIn.  Their respective passions and experiences around burnout and the need for boundaries will help you navigate through your own challenges.

 

 John R. Nocero

John R. Nocero

John:

According to Alec Steele, the cost of burnout is higher than the loss of taking a weekend off. It’s the weekend, I’ve worked out and am waiting for the Yankees-Red Sox game tonight on FOX. With the exception of a couple LinkedIn requests (and posts; okay more than a couple posts), It’s perfect. I have started to prioritize my recovery, maybe differently than you do. I love what I do and I could not imagine doing anything else. I have worked with the absolute best professional partner of my life while managing a clinical research unit and am now transitioning into building a clinical quality management program. Twelve-hour days are the norm; but my diet and exercise routine are on point, I’m focused and thinking clearly. I am connected to my mission, vision and purpose in life - being a research administrator within the Duke healthcare system or a similar healthcare system here in North Carolina by 2019.

It was not always this way. About four years ago, I took a job in Erie, Pa as the Chief Compliance Officer and Administrator of Governance, Risk Management and compliance for the national institute of autism. Did I want to take that job? Honestly, hell no. I did it because my administrator was leaving and I didn’t want to be without her. The money was nice, my bank account was solid, the travel sucked, I commuted between Cleveland and Erie weekly on treacherous Interstate 90 in the snow; I thought it was what my career was supposed to be. It was an awful fit – I disliked the business, especially my immediate boss, but I did make a great connection who turned out to be my successor. I woke up one day and just quit – I hated it- and went back to Cleveland. 

Looking back, it was the best move I made. Now, I am calm and resilient, I listen to me and what I want, and continue to learn and grow in the role that I want. I make sound decisions, have good habits and do nothing self-destructive. I’m a producer, not a consumer. Most importantly, I love those who love me, professionally and personally, like they are free, and don’t chase those who don’t. It is my truest version of masculine energy - about purpose, drive, mission, succeeding, accomplishing, breaking through barriers and overcoming obstaclesI know that my real goal in life is happiness, and I will always have the right tools available to me to maximize my happiness. They’re everywhere, and they are free.

I’m still a work in progress – I’m speaking to you, Kraft Mac & Cheese (Michael note: referred as “KD” in Canada 🇨🇦) , you golden delicious emotional savior.  My goal, each and every day, is to try and get a little better today than yesterday. Take care of your body and eat a little healthier this week than I did last week. Focus on my career; and getting up and doing things that make you happy and make you smile, because when you’re happy and you love life, you’re going to smile more, feel better, feel more proud of yourself, naturally stand taller and you’ll be in a peaceful and relaxed state. When you focus on taking care of you, everything else will fall into place.

 


 Molly Downhour

Molly Downhour

Molly:

I was at a Womens’ Empowerment conference with a colleague.  The first speaker talked about being on top of her game professionally with salary and title, but she didn’t feel fulfilled. She quit her job and pursued her passion.  After she quit her job, she noticed her chronic headaches and intermittent cough had resolved.  She literally felt better and she found her passion and purpose.  I thought to myself, I have chronic headaches and always on Mondays.  

The next speaker spoke about personal brand.  I have heard before that you are your own brand and always keep that in mind.  But her next statement was the life changer for me.  She said, “Your personal brand also gives permission to your children to also have that brand.”  Oh snap. My personal brand was telling my children that my job was more important than them, my husband, and my health.  I decided to quit my job that day and sure enough, my chronic headaches went away.

In retrospect, there were many other signs of burnout that in hindsight were obvious.  I am a feisty person, but at the time I accepted defeat easily from typical external requests being denied.  I was fatigued, slept poorly often with work related dreams, had decreased patience with my young children, and had less interest in the things I usually enjoy.  However, these symptoms were justified in my head because I loved my colleagues and patients, our purpose in early phase clinical trials, and I understood the investment the organization made in my career. I also felt I backed myself in a corner with such a niche career.  Who else would want me?

I was fortunate that I was able to find a job quickly after I quit my old one.  Was it my ability to see opportunities clearly or the release of negative energy that had opportunities knocking my door down?  It doesn’t really matter.  I know I was fortunate to be able to take the risk of quitting one job before securing another.  With this privilege, I made a commitment to myself and my family to create healthy boundaries with my career.  My brand now gives my children permission to work hard, take care of yourself, and be an engaged part of the family.


Michael:  I trust you enjoyed Molly and John’s stories as much as I have.  If you’re struggling with burnout or boundaries issues, reach out to one of us via LinkedIn, or visit BreakfastLeadership.com and we will happily respond to your inquiries.

Be well!

 


About the Authors

Molly Downhour, MHA BSN NEA-BC OCN CCRC
Clinical Research Strategy Executive, Medix™
LinkedIn

Molly has over 20 years of healthcare experience with specialization in oncology, research, and health care administration.  Molly earned her bachelors of nursing and master of health administration as well as her nurse executive advanced, oncology nurse, and clinical research coordination certifications.  As a former director of a leading phase I clinical trial site, she has proven ability to streamline processes resulting in improved clinical operational efficiencies, financial gain, and employee and patient satisfaction. Now Molly shares her passion, and expertise with sites as the strategy executive for Medix Clinical Research.  

John R. Nocero, PhD, MBA, CCRP, GCP, CC, ACB, IPPCR

Research Program Leader, Duke Office of Clinical Research

LinkedIn

John is a Research Practice Leader in the Duke Office of Clinical Research. He is a best-in-class research programs expert, driving process & quality through data and outcomes and is a recognized leader in clinical research compliance, risk management, auditing & monitoring. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Hiram College, Hiram, Ohio, a master’s degree from American Intercontinental University and doctoral degree in public service leadership from Capella University. He is a certified clinical research professional and has worked in various conduct and administrative roles in clinical research since 2003. 

 

How Burnout Impacts Your Goals

This article was originally published on Medium.com

One element of burnout that I haven’t touched on on my previous articles  as much as I should is the concept of unmet expectations.

When you are in a burned out state, your body is fighting within itself just to keep all of your internal systems flowing.  You’re tired, agitated, aching, stomach issues, headaches, stressed, lost.

Confusion is often in the mix as well, as your mind expected things to be different.  Whether it’s how you thought your day was going to pan out, or how you thought your role with your current company would be like.  

 

 Photo by  Ben White  on  Unsplash

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Our brains like to classify things we see.  Blame the visual cortex.  We often predetermine what we either want, or expect a situation or outcome to be.  We also assign emotions to those wants or desired outcomes, and when they don’t happen that way, those perceived setbacks or losses will add up, and eventually create the opportunity for burnout.

"Everything you have experienced in your life has molded and shaped your brain to favor certain behaviors and habits.”  Dr. Tara Swart, Neuroscientist

You planned on working on that quarterly report, but key people called in sick, so you’re scrambling to make sure there’s proper coverage.  Your goal for your day takes a setback. 

You were excited for that key meeting with the big client, only to find out that they have tabled that project until the fall.  Plans of summer work down the drain.

You spend a ton of time on that new product or service, and do all the online marketing thingys (webinars, lead magnets, etc.) and NO ONE clicks on it.  Definitely can be demoralizing, of you’re not in the right mindset.

The previous examples are not life threatening issues.  They’re all minor setbacks, but when you start compiling the setbacks without proper perspective or positive growth going forward, your mind can (and will) start thinking of worst-case scenarios.  


I help people recover from or prevent burnout in their lives.  Register here for my next webinar on going from burnout to your ideal life.


How to overcome these setbacks

 

 Photo by  Anika Huizinga  on  Unsplash
  • Routines to take better care of your self.  I have a free checklist on successful mornings, that help guide you to have your best days, every day.  Click here for that resource.
  • Go for a walk.  Barbara Corcoran (Shark Tank, and AWESOME person) tweeted that no good ideas have ever come from her desk.  Take a 15-30 min walk during your break to clear your head.
  • Finish an easy to-do list item.  Momentum is real, and getting something off your to-do list shows you and your brain that you are worthy and able to accomplish great things.

Be well!

If you're struggling with this as an organization or maybe you need to talk to somebody about the boundaries challenges that you're facing at work, reach out to me. Schedule a call with me by clicking this link, or the Book A Call link below.

 

Guest Post: Raj Jana from JavaPresse - Preserving a Positive Culture as You Scale

 Raj Jana - CEO & Founder JavaPresse

Raj Jana - CEO & Founder JavaPresse

Today's guest post is from Raj Jana, the founder of JavaPresse, a socially conscious coffee subscription service. He started the company hoping to use it as an engine for spreading gratitude and positivity, and he knew from the beginning it would be important to build a strong company culture. After several years of growth, he’s proud to say things have turned out somewhat how he expected. But this journey was not without its twists and turns and hard-learned lessons. He likes to write about his experience to help like-minded entrepreneurs have success.


Preserving a Positive Culture as You Scale

Business leaders across all different industries are concerned with building the “right” company culture, largely because they recognize its potential as a competitive advantage.

But what exactly is the “right” company culture? In truth, there is no one answer. But it’s best to think about the “right” culture as a set of norms and practices used to coordinate how you do things (culture) that’s appropriate both for you as a company and also for your market (right culture). If you can strike this balance, then your culture can give your company a real boost. 

So, then, how exactly do you build this culture? Again, there’s no one answer. And a big reason for this is that culture, to a certain extent, develops on its own. There’s only so much you can do as a leader to steer it. Yet that doesn’t mean you can do nothing.

One of the best ways to build a positive culture is to start from the beginning. Many new companies have good culture. As small operations with a limited number of people, these groups tend to develop a culture uniquely tuned to the personalities of the group and the expectations of the market. The challenge, however, is in preserving this as you grow. 

In general, growth is good for your business. But the injection of people that comes with it can throw off your cultural plans, unless you’re ready for it. Here are some ways to preserve your positive culture as you scale.

Have a plan

 Photo by  rawpixel  on  Unsplash

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Visualization needs to be the first step in any process of transformation. By first imagining where you want to go, it’s a lot easier to get there. Your path will be clearer, and it’ll be easier to identify when you’re veering off course.

As a result, the first step in trying to preserve your company culture when scaling is to plan out where you want to go. Imagine your company after it’s gone through its growth spurt. What do you want it to look like? How do you want it to run? What kind of people do you want working for it? 

If you can answer these questions in the beginning, and if you can have a plan as to how you’ll get to this desired state, then it’ll be a lot easier to manage change and expand in a way that reflects the type of company you want to be.

Emphasize balance

For your cultural plans to go the way you want them to, it’s important to have buy-in from your employees. And for this to happen, your employees need to feel like their work is more than just a job. They need to feel as though they are actively building something they are going to be proud to call their place of work.

One way to do this is to emphasize balance, especially as you grow. During periods of expansion, people’s workloads become heavier as they wait for new team members to be recruited, hired and onboarded. 

To ensure cultural change goes the way you want it to, you must work to help your employees stave off burnout. If they begin to feel stressed and overworked, then they’re going to tune out from work, reducing the investment you get from them, which will stop cultural growth in its tracks, or worse, send it in a direction you don’t want to go. 

Start by talking to your employees. Explain to them what is going to happen as you grow and ask them what their concerns are. Come up with some ways to help relieve the stress so that people stay happy, engaged and focused on positive cultural growth. Things like parties, offsite excursions or summer schedules are great ways to let your employees know you care about their work-life balance and want it to be a part of company culture moving forward.

Keep up with perks

 Photo by  Laureen Missaire  on  Unsplash

The workplace environment you create has a huge impact on culture. If people feel comfortable and in a positive place, then they are going to open up more, allowing you to take full advantage of their skills and talents. And they’re far more likely to work at preserving positive culture when they feel as though you, the employer, care about them.

There are a variety of different ways to demonstrate this to your employees. Your presence is a big one. By working to build a relationship with your employees, you can get a better handle on how culture is developing, making it easier for you to steer things in the right direction when they get off track.

Another simple way to keep up positivity in the workplace is to offer some office perks. Little things, such as free, healthy snacks, a premium coffee subscription, office fitness equipment, game rooms, etc. seem like tiny gestures, but these are the things people often grow to love about their workplace. An office is an office, so if you can make it feel special, then employees are going to reward you with hard work and a positive influence on overall culture.

Hire right

An inevitable part of growth is the expansion of your team. If you have a hope of keeping people on as the workload expands, then you need to bring in some help. However, one folly many young companies make is hiring strictly on experience and qualifications. While these are certainly important, they’re not everything, especially if your worried about the way your company culture might change.

Instead, you need to consider how your new hires are going mesh with and influence your current culture. You want people to be a fit, but you also want them to be different enough so that they’ll push you forward. 

One of the best things you can do for this is to broadcast your employer brand—the image and perception people have of you as an employer. You need to not only define this according to the culture you want to build, but then you need to make sure this image comes through on all communications you have with potential employees, from social media posts to job postings and your website. 

By doing this, you’ll make it easier to attract people that will be a good fit, and you’ll also be able to repel those who will not. A great example of this is the Netflix Culture Deck, which was released shortly after the company launched to try and shape the way culture developed at the growing company.

Another thing is to restructure your interviews to try and learn more about cultural fit. While you can’t flat out ask someone what their beliefs and values are, you can certainly ask them questions that reveal these characteristics.

Asking them to describe their ideal company, or how they would run things if they were CEO, are great questions for this. You can also posit hypothetical situations and ask them how they would respond. Their response should give you some insight into how well that person would fit with your culture. 

Be patient

Just remember, it’s a lot harder to change culture once it’s already embedded. It’s tempting to bring in new people as fast as you can. But if these people bring your culture in an unwanted direction, then this move may hurt you more than it helps you in the end. It’s better to wait for the right fit than to rush things and have to correct them later. And if you do a good job at helping your current employees manage the increased workload and maintain a good work-life balance, then a positive company culture is within your reach no matter how much you grow.

 

Guest Post: John Nocero. Research Program Leader | Duke Office of Clinical Research at Duke University School of Medicine

 John Nocero

John Nocero

Today’s guest blog post is from John Nocero, PhD, and the research program leader of Duke Office of Clinical Research, at the Duke University School of Medicine. 

I connected to John via LinkedIn a while ago, and when we connected via Old School technologycalled a telephone call, we discovered our different paths had many similarities.  We also both noticed that men have a difficult time discussing publicly their struggles with burnout and other challenges they face. 

John talks about taking care of yourself, and the power of being vulnerable.  You can connect with John at his LinkedIn page.


I have written about my personal triumphs overcoming my demons before, both in my marriage and how I developed my extreme ability to hyperfocus. What I’ve realized is that life is a journey and I am not broken. It is developing the great relationship with yourself that most influences your happiness. 

This can come in several forms, such as detachment, where you let go of outcomes and focus on process; self-love, where you prioritize self-care either through exercise, meditation, relaxation and spending time with loved ones, and work-life balance. 

Now, I am not the right one to talk about work-life balance. I feel like we are always skewed in one direction or the other, and the majority of the time, mine skews toward work. I don’t feel it is a bad thing, as my work is tied to my mission, vision and purpose in life. My wife shares a similar philosophy. For our 12thanniversary last month, we were driving to the beach to spend the weekend, and we took turns driving so we could each do work on our laptops. 

But as I am getting older (43 next month baby), I do realize that I am not as young as springtime any more, and I do need to prioritize recovery. I am changing my mindset to understand that recovery is productivity. I had a great talk with Michael about this a couple months back.  He is a subject matter expert in burnout and recovery. As we spoke, it was invigorating to learn that we had similar paths. I don’t know if it is a man thing about not being open to talk about being tired, or needing to take a break, but I do know it is not weakness if you do. 

A valued professional colleague taught me the CS Lewis quote, that love is being able to show vulnerability. But showing vulnerability is not only for the close females in your life. It is for everyone. If people don’t want to like you for you, that’s their problem. You need to be open and honest, and ask for help if you need it – sometimes that help shows up in a personal conversation, sharing stories over a professional networking session, or a smile from a stranger that lets you know they understand. 

Whatever this collaboration brings, I’m open to it and we look forward to sharing. 

Boundaries at work

 Photo by  Bethany Legg  on  Unsplash

Photo by Bethany Legg on Unsplash

Most of my blog posts, tweets and podcasts you hear me talk and write about is personal boundaries. Something that happens in your life, what you're doing, the things that are impacting your life. But for many of us, we spend the majority of our waking hours, consistently, at our workplace. Often times, there are boundaries issues that we encounter every day, at the place we call, "Work." 

Organizations are starting to recognize that they need to take a longer, harder look at the boundaries that are going on within their workplace or the lack thereof. We're starting to see more and more people burning out. Doesn't matter what career it is. I have a focus on healthcare but I also work in education and other areas and I'm seeing at across that receptor where people are burning out. There's many reasons why. As much as we would like to point the finger at one reason, as with everything, there's always more ingredients to that pie than just one. When you add additional ingredients into things, it can change the temperature of everything involved. 

With organizations, we have the problem of overloading our staff with things that they need to do. Communication is usually a big problem. There's a communication crisis in America. We're starting to see that with all of the, "Me too," movement, stuff, the stories that keep coming out about harassment, people leaving the professions that they work in because they burned out. There's a huge problem. We need to address that as a society and as organizational leaders. The best way to do that is to talk with your people, find out what causing them problems. Give them a safe space to be able to come to you and tell you what's going on. 

Then, you can address things. Because if you provide a work environment, where people enjoy their work, you will see the results of that in improved outcomes with whatever they happen to be working on, quality of their work will improve, absenteeism will drop, sick days will drop, all these things. I see that. I've seen that throughout my career. The people that are taken care of, that do really well, rarely take days off other than their vacation days and personal days and whatnot, but those that are struggling will burnout through their sick days at a very rapid pace and if you have a tracking system in your workplace to keep track of it, you should be alerted to it sooner than later. 

The key thing is to get ahead of that, to figure out what's going on, to make sure there isn't something that the work environment is creating the sick days from happening. It could be something that's in their personal life. We're not robots. Start treating people and your teams like human beings. Take care of them, find out their struggles, do everything you can as an organization to help them, and you will have a great employee. 

If you're struggling with this as an organization or maybe you need to talk to somebody about the boundaries challenges that you're facing at work, reach out to me. Schedule a call with me by clicking this link, or the Book A Call button below.

Until then, be well.

 

 

 

 

 

Travel weary

 Source:  Photo by  Anete Lūsiņa  on  Unsplash

Source:  Photo by Anete Lūsiņa on Unsplash

I'm just coming off another rapid-fire travel schedule, where in the last 5 weeks, I've been in:

  • San Diego
  • Tampa
  • Chicago
  • Detroit
  • With cameo appearances in Toronto, aka home.  

So how does the "Boundaries Guy" book himself that kind of travel schedule?

Ironically, with boundaries. 

All but the Tampa trip was pre-planned and scheduled.  Tampa was to visit my Mom who was hospitalized for several weeks, due to complications of intestinal surgery.  Thankfully she's on the road to recovery, albeit slowwwwww.

Back in the late 90s, I used to travel every week, installing network systems at small to mid-sized insurance agencies.  I would typically fly out early Monday morning, arrive at the client's office around lunch time, and work marathon hours until the new network was up and running.  Inevitably, there would be some issues with the install (missing parts, defective servers, not enough cabling, etc.) but somehow, most of the installs finished on time and with the new network up and running.

Little did I know then, but my ability to organize and prioritize tasks made those weekly deployments effective and efficient.  Those same skills allow me to travel with ease.

Years ago, when I was crossing US/Canada border on a daily basis, I signed up for the Nexus program, which basically is access to the express lane when crossing the border by land.  It also works for air, when flying between the US and Canada.  I'm also TSA-Pre certified, so I really save hours of my life by going in the pre-security checked lines.  

Even though I am efficient in how I travel (packed bags, carryon bag that easily fits below the seat in front of me, so I can avoid the overhead bin drama that EVERY flight seems to have), travel does take a toll.

Boundaries allowed me to coordinate those trips, and make the transition from stop to stop.  

Having said that, I'm tired.  Travel wears you out, no matter how much fun you have, or the quality of the hotel bed.  It's good to be home for a rest.

Along the travels I've met some incredible people.

 

 

 Shark Tank's Kevin O'Leary and yours truly

Shark Tank's Kevin O'Leary and yours truly

Speaking at conferences to help people design the life that they want and DESERVE to live is a complete joy to me, even if tiring.  It creates situations like above, where you get to have a private conversation with interesting people.

I know what burnout feels like, and when you are tired from travel or huge work requirements, the ingredients for burnout are there.  The key is to recognize them early on, so you can take the steps necessary to correct course, and navigate to your true North.

If you're struggling with burnout or a lack of boundaries, I would love to have a no-obligation chat with you.  Click the button below to schedule a call with me.

Be well!

APRIL 2018 PODCAST MOVEMENT COMMUNITY – NEW MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

I'm thrilled to be one of featured podcasters on the Podcast Movement's New Member Spotlight for April.  

Please support my fellow podcasters by listening, subscribing and rating their shows on iTunes or the other platforms they host their show.

Breakfast Leadership podcast is on iTunes and Stitcher as well.  Thank you for your continued support!

Before you go...

If you liked this article, then click like, and do me a favor (favour in Canada) and share it on Social Media.  Cheers!  Michael

 

Burnout, and steps to prevent or heal

Burnout is not a situation you want to experience.  Back in 2009 the end result of my burnout state kicked off 369 Days of Worst-Case Scenarios.

The warning signs for me were there.  Fatigue, lack of sleep, irritability [I thought I was just extra grumpy ;)]. I ignored those signs, because I was hellbent on getting things done.  

29389046_2081213705226375_7486338626419163136_n.png

So after going through my year of losses, I needed to (Re)learn how to do EVERYTHING.  From changing my mindset, to changing how I ate, lived, really everything had to change, because I was definitely not going to intentionally go through a year of hell again.

If you're feeling the onset of burnout, there's some quick things you can do to help.

1.  Take a day off.  Seems simple, and if you're a caregiver that may not be an easy thing to do, but if there's anyway you can bring in outside help to give you a break (before YOU break), you need to do it.  Get away from the office and/or home and go someplace that you enjoy to go.  Could be as simple as a coffeeshop, or your favorite restaurant.  

2. Take naps.  Remember in Kindergarten the nap time?  The school system should've continued that throughout the entire schooling career.  a 20-minute nap in the middle of the day does wonders for you and your sleep patterns.  

3. Journal.  I wrote a post on the importance of keeping a Journal.  It allows your brain to put to paper what's going on in your day and mind.  It also creates a way to look back and see if patterns of burnout are consistent over a period of time.  I wish I would have journaled prior to my 369 Days, as it may have prevented a lot of challenging times.

Burnout is preventable.  Talk with your support system (family, friends, co-workers, and bosses) about your concerns, and do what you need to do.  

My book 369 Days: How To Survive A Year of Worst-Case Scenarios is a great book to show how to rebound from burnout and losses.  You can order a copy here.

If you're struggling with burnout, there's a good chance you're struggling with boundaries.  I know what that's like, and I've helped many (Re)learn boundaries, so they can get their time back, and control that they so desire.  Book a call with me at this link.

Be well!

Before you go...

If you liked this article, then click like, and do me a favor (favour in Canada) and share it on Social Media.  Cheers!  Michael

Meditation helps, but doesn't address the root cause of your stress

 Photo by  Jared Rice  on  Unsplash

Photo by Jared Rice on Unsplash

Meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, moments of zen.  All important to help you focus on the moment, and focus less on thoughts that are creating anxiety or depression.

The challenge though is that these are often temporary fixes, to the root issues that are creating the need for you to meditate.

If you are anxious about something that could happen in the future, or you’re depressed about situations in life that haven’t turned out the way you hoped, meditation can help you focus on this moment, and put on the back burner the issues you’re dealing with in life.

You’ll get relief and possibly rest after meditation exercises, and being mindful is a huge help to bring you present.  But does it fix the problems in your life?  Let’s look deeper.

We’ll start with anxiety.  Anxiety is worrying about a possible future state or situation/outcome.  You’re anxious for the results from your medical tests, or you’re worried about how your loved one will react to your last minute work meeting tonight.  Being mindful and meditation can get you focused on this moment, but you need to change your mindset that’s causing the anxiety in the first place.  

You need to create mental boundaries to prevent negative or worrisome ideas from renting space in your head.  This takes serious effort to create these boundaries, especially if you’ve never dealt with boundaries before.

Next up, depression.  Depression is worrying or being upset about events in the past, or things that led up to feelings today.  Similar to anxiety, you need boundaries to control your thoughts and how you react to these thoughts or issues.  

Having stronger mental and emotional boundaries in your life will make meditation work even better for you, and create a life of less stress, burnout, and other health issues.  

Another way of strengthening what meditation will do for you is to have consistent days.  I would love for you to get a free copy of my Successful Mornings checklist.  Click the link below for your own copy.

http://bit.ly/BLroutine

Also, if you need help with boundaries, visit BreakfastLeadership.com, and send us a message so we can schedule a call.

Be well!

Before you go...

If you liked this article, then click like, and do me a favor (favour in Canada) and share it on Social Media.  Cheers!  Michael

Boundaries and Burnout

Jonas Svidras

Oftentimes when we are in a role, or in a day job as we like to refer to them and you're also an entrepreneur launching a business, you have to be careful on balancing your time because nights and weekends will get gobbled up by the work that you're doing for your entrepreneur-based organization.

Of course, you have your day job which requires you to be focused and do the things that you're being paid to do. It's not an easy challenge, but there are many of us that are doing it and we do find it fulfilling. For some of us, we find that there are synergies between what we're doing and what we are trying to do.

The key component however in boundaries, especially when you're an entrepreneur, is picking the right one thing to focus on. There's no shortage of things that you can focus on when you're an entrepreneur. Marketing online, podcasts, blog posts, ClickFunnels, all the things you hear about and you read about and all important, all good tools to use.

What you need to do is really get down and hone in on what are you trying to accomplish with your organization. What's the core value of what you're trying to do? What's the core value of what you're offering to your clients, and do that. Go where your clients are. Focus and serve them in that arena.

If that's using blog posts and podcasts and ClickFunnels and other mechanisms, great. If it's face-to-face or one-on-one conversations, then do that. There's only so many hours in a day. We've heard that. The key is to spend the right time on the right things because when you're spending time on doing a hundred things, you're never going to get that one thing done. You're going to get, quite frankly, nothing done.

So, focus on the thing that you need to get done and get it done. Then celebrate it. Celebrate what you've accomplished because if you just continue to go down this path of do, do, do, do, do, you're not going to have anything to show for it once you get to that endpoint, whatever that endpoint looks like.

Until next time, be well.

Before you go...

If you liked this article, then click like, and do me a favor (favour in Canada) and share it on Social Media.  Cheers!  Michael

Social Media is Funny

 Photo by  William Iven  on  Unsplash

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

One of the many ways that I engage the greater public is through social media. Over the years, I've been fortunate to connect with thousands of people via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Sorry, I don't use MySpace.

Social media is funny. It's meant to be social but when it comes down to it, rare is the instance that you'll actually meet people in person, unless you're connecting with people who you already know and this is just another way to communicate with them. When I've grown my network, I've been very intentional on adding people that I think I can provide value to and also get value from them, whether it's going to serve me or serve the people that I work with and know. If I see someone that I'm connected to social media ask for help or guidance then it's important for me to help them or at least guide in a direction of where they will get the help that they need. I've done this for years and I don't expect anything in return.

However, from time to time, I do ask for guidance and it's amazing how many people will come through and give me tips and ideas on where to find the information that I need. That's how it's supposed to work. No matter how popular or helpful you are, you're going to encounter people that we like to call on the internet as trolls. These people seem to take up residence on the internet with the intent to just pick on people and to make comments that aren't helpful or don't tie into what you're talking about. You may encounter some people that absolutely hate the world and they can be rude to you and they can take you off your game. Oftentimes, what will happen is you will encounter some people that are quite great and they'll praise you with everything that you need to be praised upon. On the content that you provide, the information that you share. You'll get some positive feedback.

There're going to be some people that, quite frankly, are going to make some comments that aren't in alignment with what's happening. Praise has its place, so does criticism, if it's correct. The key thing is to take each with a grain of salt, unless you have a low sodium diet, then stay away from the salt. What you want to do is make sure that you are thankful for the commentary, whether it's good or bad or indifferent.

The other day I received some criticism online about a message that I sent. Now, ironically I sent a very similar message to somebody else and received a lot of positive feedback and engagement. And while the message that I did receive that was negative did have some gems in it, overall, it was a crap filled message. It didn't serve me or serve that individual at all, quite frankly.

When I looked deeper into that individual, I noticed I'd been connected with them for a period of time on a couple different social media channels. I noticed that on one of their social media channels the top two messages that they had, quite frankly, were negative towards people that use social media in a certain way, which is ironic because they boast themselves and promote themselves as a social media expert. And I feel that they are. However, when you are branding yourself as something, whatever that happens to be, your premier real estate, the front page of your social media platform, whatever it happens to be, should be the products, offerings and services that you offer and not slamming other people on how they use or choose to use social media. Social media is fun, as I said before. It can be used by different people in different ways.

There's no shortage of comedy or humor or cats or funny videos on social media. If you're a brand and you're marketing your business, then that's what your social media should be based on. I'm not saying don't post pictures of what you eat or things that you have or collect or buy or anything like that. It's your social media channel. Use it how you want to. If you are a business then brand your social media as a business. You'll confuse your audience if you throw things that aren't in alignment with what we talk about. I talk about boundaries. I talk about getting your time back. So my posts tend to be aimed towards that. While yes, there'll be some other things in there as well because I am human, surprisingly. And I want to show people that I have a human element to life. Yes, I go eat places. I go to events. I enjoy things.

You want people to resonate with that because it's the whole idea with boundaries is so you can get time to do the things that you want to do and the things that you enjoy. So needless to say, when you get messaging that is negative, you have to let it roll off your back because it can throw you off and it can be demeaning and at the end of the day, it isn't helpful. So social media is one of those things that's great and we are able to connect with people all across the globe that we normally wouldn't have an opportunity to connect with. So take advantage of that. Be engaging. Be helpful to others. And it all goes around and it would be beneficial to you, your business, your brand, whatever you happen to be using social media for.

Until next time, be well.

Before you go...

If you liked this article, then click like, and do me a favor (favour in Canada) and share it on Social Media.  Cheers!  Michael

Laws around Sexual Harassment Are Growing Across the Country

 Source:  Photo: Emilie Munson CTPost.com

Source:  Photo: Emilie Munson CTPost.com

From California to Connecticut, laws that aim to expand reporting, improve workplace training and eliminate secret settlement are being written by the various State governments.

We've seen stories of settlements over the past 10-15 years in the millions of dollars, so our tax dollars have been settling cases out of court.

While the financial impact of this is definitely a cause for concern, the fact there have been so many back room deals to settle makes it apparent that the environment of harassment has been larger than many have us have thought.

Companies need to take a long look at their current policies and procedures around protection of employees and the company around harassment.  

The challenge I see is that if there's a claim of harassment, often times the investigations are being handled internally.  That puts the organization at risk, of not being biased or creates a conflict of interest, depending on the parties involved.

If your organization is interested in an external review of your workplace violence and harassment policies and procedures, message me and we can schedule a call.

Be well!

 

Article sources:  https://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Senate-Democrats-propose-strengthened-legislation-12627516.php

http://www.wbur.org/news/2018/02/19/sexual-harassment-massachusetts

Before you go...

If you liked this article, then click like, and do me a favor (favour in Canada) and share it on Social Media.  Cheers!  Michael

Boundaries and Stress

 Photo by  Igor Ovsyannykov  on  Unsplash

Stress is something that happens when you don't have the right boundaries in your life and specifically, when you're trying to do too much and appease everyone and you're not taking care of yourself.

It's natural. You feel overwhelmed, which is a stressful situation, which in turn creates all types of mental and physical problems. In 369 days, I lost everything. One of the key causes of this was the stress that I was under to try to deliver everything that I was supposed to deliver, whether it was my job that had some unrealistic requests and my inability to protect myself with boundaries and a proper schedule, to the demands of providing for a family, and raising children, and navigating all kinds of different things. It added up and it created a pretty, pretty chaotic year for me.

You're probably feeling some stress right now. Winter months tend to be harder than others. We're still kind of reeling, if you're in a winter climate, dealing with the cold weather and the snow and possibly still recovering from the holidays which is D-A-zed-E, or D-A-Z-E, depending if you're in America or Canada.

Stress is taking a toll on your life and you need to figure out ways to address it. I share on Twitter and my other social media platforms a ton of resources on how to manage stress. There are different ways to go about it, but the key elements to take away from are

  1.  Getting proper rest, sleeping, a consistent sleep schedule, eating properly,
  2. Being able to keep tabs on your day, get rid of clutter in your home, if at all possible, because it's causing you stress trying to figure out where things are.

If you don't know where your keys are, then every morning, you're stressing out, trying to figure out where your keys are. Find a place for them, put them there. Always. That way, you never lose them. You don't have to think about it. They're just going to be there. Same thing with your clothes, pick your clothes out the night before like your mom told you to. There's a reason for that. The reason might be different from what your mom wanted to do. She was probably just trying to save some time to get you out the door so you didn't miss the bus or you weren't late to school.

In my situation, simplifying my clothes made a big difference. I don't have to think about what I'm wearing. The clothes I have fit more or less and everything else that I do on a daily basis is consistent. I don't have to think about it. It's autopilot, just like brushing your teeth, taking a shower, getting cleaned up, all of these things. I don't stress about because I know what's going to happen. I know when I'm going to be doing them, and I do them.

The other day, I was late to work because of the snowstorm and I was a few minutes late for an interview for a position that I'm hiring. I was able to message, because I was a rider, and not a driver in the car: don't text and drive people, and I was able to message that individual, indicating that I was going to be a few minutes late, which is not something that typically happens to me. Quite frankly, I don't remember the last time I was late to something. But sometimes, things happen, just like snowstorms.

I didn't stress about it. I had the capability to message that person and let them know that I was going to be running late. That immediately relieved my stress levels because I do not like being late. I feel that it is insulting to the other party when you are not on time. For me, it shows a lack of respect. I'm not harping you, if you are somebody that struggles with being on time, but it's something you want to take in mind. It does cause you stress or causes stress to others when people are late, so do your best to be on time.

There's again, many ways to manage stress, and I want to help you, if you are struggling with stress. Send me a message, and let's talk.

'Til next time: be well!

Before you go...

If you liked this article, then click like, and do me a favor (favour in Canada) and share it on Social Media.  Cheers!  Michael