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INTRO: I'm Amy Porterfield, and this is Online Marketing Made Easy.
AMY PORTERFIELD: Hey, there, Amy, here. Welcome back to another episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast. This is a Shorty episode, and I want to talk to you about what happens when you don't feel like working. So the reason why I want to talk to you about this is I promised to take you behind the scenes with me, and a few times a year—and this has happened since I've started my business long, long time ago, but it happens every year a few times. And now I can identify it, but before, it came with a lot of shame and guilt, and so that's why I wanted to talk about it in case you ever go through something like this as well—a few times a year in my business, I get to a point that I don't want to do anything. I don't want to record my podcast. I don't want to do live video. I don't want to work on some new content. I don't want to review this or that. I don’t want to look over the financials. I don't want to get on any meetings. I don't want to do any of it. Have you ever felt that way?
Now, I was hesitant to tell you this. I was hesitant to make this episode because I don't want you to think that I don't love my business, or if you're a student, that I don't love working with you and serving you, or if you're a podcast listener, which obviously you are, that I don't love recording episodes for this podcast. I enjoy it all. I love the business that I have, and I feel very lucky and fortunate—and I know it came with a lot of hard work, so it's not necessarily luck, but whatever—I feel very fortunate that I have this amazing business that I get to work from home, that I make good money, that I know I change lives, and, you know, through the content that I teach, and I just know that I do good in this world through this business, and I get to employ some amazing people. I love my team. All of that is true.
But still, there are periods that show up for me, and they kind of sneak up. I don't know when they're coming, but then they're very, very obvious when they're here. I don't want to do anything. If I'm being really honest, I just want to watch movies. I want to sit on the couch, watch either trash TV or some really good movies. I might even want to scroll through some TikTok and Instagram. I don't really want to talk to anyone, and I just kind of want to be in a cocoon.
Now, the challenge with this is that it sneaks up on me when I, of course, have a full calendar. There's episodes to record. There's Lives to do, you know, Facebook Lives and Instagram Lives and all of that. There's work to be done. Like, I have a full calendar. And I don't want to do any of it.
Now, back in the day when this would happen, like ten years ago, I would freak out. Like, oh, my gosh. I have to get it all done. So I would just push through. I would ignore the feelings of likely burnout is what it is. I would ignore those feelings, and I'd say, “Well, my calendar's full, so I'm just going to do it.” And I kind of half assed the work. Or I would just do it—not my best work, because I'd be resentful—and I would just keep plugging through and, like, couldn't wait until Saturday and Sunday rolled around.
And I think that as an entrepreneur, when we are living for the weekends or dreading Mondays, we’re doing it wrong, as entrepreneurs. Now, I get that in the nine-to-five world because you don't get to control your schedule. So yeah, I think when you're not enjoying your job or you're burned out, you live for the weekends, and you dread Mondays. But as entrepreneurs, we shouldn't have to do that.
And so I did that for many, many years, where I just, like, I prayed for the weekend to come faster than it would. And I did get that pit in my stomach, the Monday scaries. Is that what they're called? I forget. But you get the point.
But now let me share with you what I do now. So when it happens, when I start to feel as though I don't want to do anything—that's the only way I know how to explain it. I hope some of you can totally relate. I just don't want to do it right now—what I do is I look at my schedule, and I look at what I can clear, what I can take off, what I can push, what I can maybe move to later or just decide not to do. And I find a chunk of time to fully slow down.
So, recently, I actually found five days in a row that I did not work, totally slowed down, and I did sit on the couch and watch television for two days straight. Now, after two days, I kind of get sick of it, and I got to move my body and be a little bit more social. Like, I crave that. But for the first two days, I didn't crave anything but just to be alone, sitting on the couch.
And so I find the time.
Now, here's something funny. Recently, when I was looking for this time—like, I knew I needed it. I knew I had hit that period that I was like, I need to slow down for a minute. I don't want to do anything, so I need to make time to not do anything just for a few days. That's all I usually need—and I went to my assistant, Christine, who I absolutely love. She's been with me for a few years, so shout out to the most wonderful executive assistant in the world. And I went to Christine, and I was saying, like, I really want to take these days off, but I can't. I've got this and I've got that. And she's like, can't somebody else help you with that? Can't somebody else step in? Or, we can move this. We can call so-and-so and tell them we need to move this meeting.
And my instant reaction was, no, we can't. I made the commitment. I said I was doing it. No, we always do it like this. I have to show up for that. And so she was great. She's like, okay. And so I got off the phone, and then I thought, wait a second. I can change this. I can move this. I can ask for a little grace. I am the boss here. I do run the business. And so I was so quick to say it wouldn't work, I can't take the time off. And then, I just knew I was feeling that burnout and I needed to step away so that I could show back up as a better wife, as a better leader to the team, as a better teacher. I wanted to be more patient and more present. And I just needed a few days. like more than just the weekend.
And so I came back to Christine. I'm like, okay, you're right. I can get some help with this. We can move that. I'm just going to need to step away for a few days. And I did. And it was glorious. And I feel better.
So, I guess I just jumping on here today to tell you, you can step away, my friend, even in the middle of the week. You are the boss. Now, if I'm talking to you and you have a nine-to-five job, and you're like, “Actually, Amy, I cannot,” then I respect that, and I can't wait until you get to the point in your business, if this is your plan, that you leave that nine to five behind, and you own your own business, you are your own boss, and you get to call the shots.
And make a commitment right now, just between the two of us, pinky swear, that when you are your own boss, when you 100 percent are calling the shots, that when you get to that point of burnout or just—it doesn't even have to be that dramatic. It's just like, I need to step away for a minute, that you do. That you actually do. And those of you who are 100 percent your own boss now, and you are calling the shots, remember, look in the mirror and remind yourself, I am the boss. I make my own hours. I get to call the shots. Because you do, and you deserve to step away when you need to. You don't always have to be on. You don't always have to keep every commitment. You don't always have to be the most responsible one.
And I’m talking to myself here as well, because that's where I was: keep your commitments. Be responsible. Stay true to your word. Don't change anything. Don't make it hard for somebody else. Don't ruin their schedule. And then I was just resentful. So I thought, well, I'm going to have to ruffle some feathers, maybe, but I'm going to have to change some things around for the next few days.
So, the last thing I'll leave you with—so I want you to take the time if you need it, even if it's in the middle of the week. And don't judge yourself. If you like to watch crappy reality TV, if you like the Real Housewives like I do, just do what you like to do. Or if you just want to go camping or go to a different town in an Airbnb just to get away or whatever, just please do it when you need it. That's the beauty of being an entrepreneur. We need to take advantage of these kind of moments because it is hard to run your own business. It's a lot of responsibility. It's a lot of work. So make sure you're enjoying the perks beyond just, like, the money you're making. Enjoy the perks of freedom when you need it.
The last thing I'll say is that another thing that's helped me not reach burnout as much as I used to in the past is my four-day workweek. You guys, that has changed my life. Like, changed my life. We've been doing the four-day workweek for months and months now. I can't imagine ever going back. Like, if I had to go back to a five-day workweek, I would do everything I can just to make this work, like, if it wasn't working. But the amazing thing is it is.
So if you don't already know, my team and I—so I've got about twenty full-time employees—we work Monday through Thursday. We take Friday, Saturday, and Sunday off. Now, if we are in a launch, we work Fridays. So in September, when we were launching DCA, we worked a few Fridays, for sure. But on a normal week, without a huge promotion like DCA, we are not working Fridays. And my team feels more relaxed than they've ever before. I think they're grateful to work in a company that values that downtime. Hobie, my husband, loves the fact that he gets a week day with me, totally focused. And I love just the extra time, and I'm more focused on Monday through Thursday.
So with that, I'm going to link to the four-day-workweek episode I did on this podcast in the show notes. So if you go to my show notes on this episode, you can also link to the four-day-workweek episode that was really popular, and it just kind of explains how we did it. I think the episode—I can't remember if I've done one or two episodes about it, but I know one of the episodes was, “Hey, we're getting ready to do this. Here's how we got ready for it,” and that might be really valuable for you to kind of look at your business. But we read the book Shorter—so I recommend the book Shorter. If you want to do a four-day workweek, that's where we started.
Anyway, I guess this episode, the point of it is to give you permission if you needed it to actually take more than just the weekend off, even if it wasn't a scheduled weekend, because you deserve it, because you likely need it, and because you are the boss, and you do run the show, and you are allowed to cancel meetings, move things around, change things up because you need a little time off. And that's okay.
All right, my sweet friends. Thank you so much for tuning in. And if you know someone who could really find value in this message today, please share this episode with them or post about it on social. I just really appreciate if you could spread the word, because I think if we can get more and more people to really take care of themselves through this entrepreneurial journey, I think they'd be a whole lot happier. I know I have been because of it, I hope you have been because of it as well, and let's share the love.
All right. I'll see you on Thursday for more entrepreneurial goodness, and I can't wait to connect with you then. Bye for now.