Do you know what the definition of madness is?

Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

I’m sure you’ve heard this before.

But… It applies when you feel burned out too.

How do you deal with burnout?

Do you recover from burnout? Or just overcome burnout?

I’m here to let you in on something.

It’s not really burnout.

It’s ‘bore-out’.

People think burnout is working too hard, too long or not getting enough rest. That’s part of it.

But, burnout is really work-induced depression.

You’re tired of dealing with loser clients who nitpick your work and don’t value your talents. Who don’t understand what you bring to the table. Who don’t pay on time and give you lame excuses.

It’s when the challenge, that passion, that ‘FIRE’ you had when you thought about your design work just fades away.

You’re bored.

It means the work you’re doing doesn’t match your abilities. Your potential.

What was once an awesome stretch is now a LOOOOONG slog.

Then you start to feel pessimistic.

Like nothing’s ever going to change.

You feel like your purpose is gone and you don’t know how to get back to feeling excited, positive, and LOVING every single moment of working for yourself.

Yeah, I’ve been there too. It wasn’t pretty.

I used to work til 3am most nights before I’d fall into bed for a few broken hours of frazzled sleep, then get up and do it all again.

7. Days. A. Fucking. Week.

Until I got a severe kidney infection and spent days in hospital. I realised I’d created this less-than-minimum-wage job for myself and I felt trapped.


I wasn’t just burning the candle at each end – I was torching that motherfucker with a four-foot flame thrower.

It had to stop. The madness had to stop.

That was my experience of burnout at its peak.

And I want you to know how to recover from burnout.

Do you want to know what three lessons I’ve learned about burnout?

#01 Find meaning in what you do.

When you find true meaning in what you do, it’s not a job. It’s a calling. It’s purpose. No matter how many mentors you have, how many employees, or how many designs you do – if the work is meaningless, you’re going to get burned out. Meaningful work can make you immune to burnout.

#02 Burnout is like depression.

You’re not tired of your business; you’re pessimistic. When pursuing your career goals seems futile, that’s when pessimism sets in. When you’re overloaded, when the work just isn’t ‘clicking’, when you’re doing things that don’t align with YOUR values or expectations, burnout starts from pessimism and it’s like depression. So you need a change in perspective. Which brings me to lesson no.3…

#03 Get an attitude adjustment.

I’ll be the first to say it’s hard to have a positive attitude when you’re stuck in a cruddy fourth-floor hospital room with cold sheets, shitty food, and a grumpy old nurse, but it’s important to know your situation is temporary, things aren’t universally BAD, and it’s NOT all your fault. Pay attention to that voice in head; that one that plays the ‘what if’ game. When it starts playing the same old record, play the B-side instead.

There’s another way to recover from burnout.

Change things up.

Give yourself 90 days.

Let’s turn your design business around. You can go from burned out to booked out.

All it takes is 90 days with our coaching program Mountains of Clients.


business coach for designers

Find out more about Mountains of Clients and what it can do you for you and your business here.

Join me, and let’s take your business bull by the horns and get you the results you deserve… without the burnout!

Author Bianca Board

After 20 years inspiring more than 10,000 designers and small business owners to take control of their business, Bianca is now spearheading Foxley, a brand spanking new SaaS platform for designers. She is deeply passionate about helping distil the complexities of running a web design business - to make it easier for all designers to make the leap from designer to design entrepreneur. She’s a translator of web jargon, a lead generation master, a champion for small businesses and you can Google her brain for endless strategies on how to transform your business.

More posts by Bianca Board

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