[Coaching: Brad #14] Navigating Burnout and Embracing Setbacks + the Value of a Community

By Zach Swinehart

Coaching series: Can Zach get this beginner freelancer (Brad) to a 6-figure income ($8,333/mo) within 6 months?

Follow their journey through the ups and downs and watch them grow!

Milestones from today’s episode:

  • Struggle with burnout and the importance of addressing it for sustainable freelancing
  • The valuable lessons learned from freelancing including the setbacks and disappointments as part of the journey
  • Being part of a freelance community is a crucial support system to stay committed and navigate the ups and downs

Coaching highlights from today’s episode:

  • The importance of taking time off to restore energy and prevent burnout
  • Manage client expectations by communicating proactively, especially when feeling overwhelmed or needing a break
  • Focus on actions in our control, like preparation and effort, rather than outcomes, which are often outside of direct control

Original coaching call recording date: 10/06/2023

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AI-Generated Summary:

  • 0:00 – 2:00 — Zach introduces the podcast series aiming to coach freelancers, like Brad, to a six-figure income in six months.
  • 2:00 – 4:00 — Brad shares his challenging week and feelings of burnout, fearing the loss of clients due to inactivity.
  • 4:00 – 6:00 — Zach relates to Brad’s experience with burnout, discussing the impact of stress on perception and the fear of losing clients.
  • 6:00 – 8:00 — Brad mentions making progress by posting in a professional group and receiving interest, but hesitates to follow up due to fear.
  • 8:00 – 10:00 — Zach encourages facing potential losses as opportunities for future gains, emphasizing resilience and the ability to recover from setbacks.
  • 10:00 – 12:00 — Zach advises Brad on prioritizing tasks and considering taking a break to manage burnout, suggesting a minimal approach to commitments.
  • 12:00 – 14:00 — Zach recommends Brad send a simple response to new inquiries and eliminate non-essential tasks, emphasizing the importance of rest.
  • 14:00 – 16:00 — Zach discusses the strategy of communicating with clients about burnout and setting realistic work expectations to prevent further stress.
  • 16:00 – 18:00 — Brad considers taking immediate time off to recover and contemplates how to address work commitments with a fresh perspective.
  • 18:00 – 20:00 — Brad shares recent work progress and client interactions, expressing concerns about meeting expectations and the importance of showing quick wins to maintain client
  • 20:00 – 22:00 — Zach suggests sending a quick update to maintain communication with the client, while Brad reflects on the normalcy of challenges and disappointments in freelancing.
  • 22:00 – 24:00 — Brad appreciates the perspective shift provided by Zach, recognizing the learning curve and normalizing setbacks in the freelance journey.
  • 24:00 – 26:00 — Zach emphasizes the importance of communication over perfection in work results, using an analogy to explain focusing on what’s within one’s control.
  • 26:00 – 28:00 — Discussion on setting realistic expectations for work outcomes and the importance of not ghosting clients to maintain integrity and reputation.
  • 28:00 – 30:00 — Zach advises Brad on taking time off for mental restoration, suggesting activities that could help recharge and highlighting the importance of self-care.
  • 30:00 – 32:00 — Brad discusses his love for working in coffee shops for pleasure, not under pressure, and Zach suggests planning a restorative weekend with activities Brad enjoys.
  • 32:00 – 34:00 — Brad shares his idea of a perfect day for restoration, including wandering, visiting cafes, and possibly going to the beach, while Zach encourages planning a day without obligations.
  • 34:00 – 36:00 — Zach assigns Brad “homework” to have a restorative weekend and briefly discusses proactive communication to manage expectations with clients.
  • 36:00 – 38:00 — Brad considers responding to pending emails as a way to not drop the ball with clients, and Zach emphasizes the importance of taking time off without feeling guilty.
  • 38:00 – 40:00 — Zach reflects on his own burnout experience and the importance of not rushing projects, suggesting a more relaxed pace might be beneficial in the long term.
  • 40:00 – 42:00 — Brad appreciates the community’s support in his freelance journey, emphasizing its role in staying committed and grounded amid challenges.
  • 42:00 – 44:17 — Zach and Brad discuss strategies for dealing with burnout and the importance of communication, self-care, and setting realistic expectations for recovery.