Burning Out or Blowing Up isn’t the Only Option

I talk to so many people who are about to burn out or blow up.

They’re working too many hours.

They feel like they are under heavy stress.

They’re not hitting their personal or business goals.

Recognize this? Then read on…

For example, I was talking with Josh (not quite his real name) earlier today. He’s a good guy, works hard, has a great product, and his customers love him.

With an exasperated voice he said, “Mark, it’s killing me. I’m having a tough time finding good people to replace two who recently got hired away at MUCH higher pay. I’m making up the slack until I fill the positions. I’m burnt out, losing sleep, and drinking way too much coffee. Help!”

Out of frustration, he called me for a sympathetic shoulder and a little executive coaching because he knew I’d have some actionable wisdom for him.

I did. 

Here’s what I advised…


Scott Adams in his excellent book, “How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big” says that the three secrets to winning are… 

Get ready for a surprise…

Exercise, nutrition, rest.

Seem simple? Yes! 

Yet people forget, you can’t make the resourceful decisions required to compete without having a clear mind and energetic body. 

You feel burnt out and out of control when you’re tired and depleted, don’t you.

“Fatigue makes cowards of us all” observed General George S. Patton.

You must be the priority if you’re going to be the problem solver.

Here’s how:

Most everything can wait a day, won’t it.

Let it.

Go run or walk for an hour. (This was my father’s secret to solving life-threatening dilemmas — I’ll tell you that story another time.)

Eat a healthy, delicious meal. 

Get a good night’s rest. 

Then you’ll tackle the problem with a clear mind and solid energy.

I made Josh put these activities on his calendar with the same commitment as a customer call.

(By the way, Josh’s over caffeination was the clue that triggered this recommendation.)


We went over Josh’s list of what’s working well in the business: solid margins, happy customers, growing revenue.

Then we discussed why this was working: correct pricing, support systems, a formal and funded marketing plan.

This made him feel better because he’d lost sight of his gold in the midst of the mud. 

That’s what executive coaches do: we make you strong, not wrong. We remind you about what you forgot and then add new ideas that accelerate a solution.


Josh and I discussed the gap that was causing the stress. And while I won’t reveal what we did — it’s confidential — I’ll tell you we came up with a three-part plan which he called, “Brilliant!” that helps him solve the key issue this week. (I’ll probably share this with you in the future when he gives me permission to be a case study.)

When the call ended, Josh was feeling better, heading to the gym to breathe hard and sweat, and then to Whole Foods to pick up a yummy dinner. He said, “Mark, you more than earned your fee.”

I sent him the recording and transcript of our discussion for his review tomorrow morning.


If you feel like your situation is out of control, get someone you trust to help with insight and to help you separate the trees from the forest. You’re too far gone to do it yourself.

Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of wisdom.

Executives get help all the time. They hire help. They ask for help.

Even I need help from my advisors — and regularly. In fact, I had a conversation yesterday and today and it brought sharp focus and crystalline clarity to a project that I was too close to. Made all the difference, I’m back on track.

How about you?

Need a skilled, experienced executive strategy coach? Want to double to 10X your business in the next 12 – 24 months? Then let’s talk. I deliver results and insist on high ROI.

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