EP: 201 Lack of planning burned out my team

When you run a business, there are so many things that you have to be aware of. 

You cannot just be aware of yourself, especially when you have a team of people. 

I have had my business since 2015 and I was a solopreneur for so long and then eventually I got people to join me on my team. 

And it wasn’t until last year that I realized how much I am overworking my team. 

How much my team was stressed out when we brought new people on, watching everybody quit. After a while, that’s when I realized that we had to make a change. 

Today, we are talking about how my lack of planning caused members of my team to burn out.

And so I’m gonna be sharing all of this with you in an effort for you to get wisdom on some things that you should be doing and things that you should not be doing. 

I love to just tell people the honest truth. 

I don’t like to sugarcoat things. I don’t like to pretend like everything is all perfect or I’m perfect.

I really want people to just know what it’s really like when you’re running a business. 

So one of the things about me and what we have been doing in the business, is we had focused on one main product, which is our mastermind course called Monetize The Tok. 

It is the course where it also comes with group coaching and all the things.

And we focused on that for two years. And as we were doing these launches, we started to realize that some of the strategies we were putting in place were good, but we needed to add additional strategies. 

We needed to do more than what we were currently doing.

And so that was gonna require obviously longer nights, it was gonna require more writing, more graphics, more of everything. 

And it wasn’t until we had our last launch in 2021 where after that, we made great money. 

But at the end of it, I was also completely exhausted. 

I mean, I was so exhausted that from Friday to Sunday, I barely left the house.

I went to church, but I barely left the house because I was so tired. 

My brain was so spent, my body was so spent and I was just so spent.  

It took a while for me to realize that not only was I feeling burnt out, but that a member of our team was feeling burnt out. 

And it wasn’t until she was so courageous to just have this conversation about not working so much because we had added on additional hours to her time so that she would complete all the work. 

We were paying her in all the things. 

And then she was just like, “Well, I need to pull back. I need to go back to my other hours”

And I asked why? 

One of the things she kind of said to me was like, “I just feel so anxious when I’m working. I just feel so anxious. I don’t even take bathroom breaks. I just feel so anxious” 

And I was just like, “I don’t understand. Why aren’t you having bathroom breaks?”

And she said, “Well, because you need this and this” 

And in my mind I’m like, “I take a bathroom break. Why aren’t you taking a bathroom break?” 

And I started to realize that I was the problem. 

This sounds so bad. But it looks like I had my team so wound up that they had to like go and go. 

That I wasn’t really considering them and their experience, even though they’re all working from home. 

I just did not have the awareness. 

If you are in an office setting, then you can see that everybody is where everybody is. You know what I mean?

But when people are working from home, I just expect that you gotta go to the restroom. 

That when you take your lunch break, you’re gonna get up from your desk and you’re gonna go and do whatever it is that you wanna do. 

That’s what I’m gonna assume that you’re doing.

I’m not thinking that you are sitting 7-8 hours a day and never getting up because I’m a slave driver. 

I started to realize that something in them was saying, “I can’t go and do that” 

I never told somebody they couldn’t go to the bathroom.

I had never done that before, but something in them had created that scenario. 

Going back, in that time we had brought on a second assistant. I was just kind of watching her behavior and how she wasn’t working really well and I’m like, “what is going on? 

And honestly, it wasn’t until she submitted her resignation and she was very thorough in how she was feeling. 

I didn’t like it. Not one bit, but it was the truth.

 And I said to myself, “oh, this is actually a ME problem. This is not a HER problem” 

I need to make adjustments. And so that’s when I started having these conversations with my assistant being like, “How do you feel? Do you feel overwhelmed? Do you feel anxious?” 

And she’s like, “Yeah” 

And I asked why she felt that way? And she explained, I feel like this, and this. 

And I’m like, “Well, let’s, let’s talk about planning. Let’s talk about how you can organize thing” 

And then I said, “do you need a second assistant?”

And she said YES. 

And I said, “Okay. So you’re saying that if I brought on a second person that this person could help you with all these things and then you could focus on this and you won’t be overwhelmed and anxious?” 

And she answered YES. 

But I wouldn’t have known that had I not asked her. 

When I decided to go to a four day work week, which I’ve been talking about before. 

I mentioned it to them and I said to myself, “What are they experiencing? They’re working eight hours a day just like everybody else in a sense. But what could be a better quality of life for them? What if everybody actually got more time off?”

During the time I was planning an off for the whole month of December, I said to myself, “What can I do for them to give them time off as well? Does everybody wanna have a week off for Christmas?” 

When I asked them, they said Yes. 

I said, “okay, well everybody take the last week off of December” 

And they were all so happy about it. And then I said to myself, “okay, what is something that I can do to thank them for what they do for me in the company? What if I paid everybody for the week that they’re not working?”

That’s unheard of because these are contractors and so they’re not working and they don’t get paid. But I was just like, NO. 

And so I got everybody on a team call and I said, “All right, I got a surprise. What do y’all think the surprise is?” 

And they couldn’t guess it. 

And when I said it, everybody was just shocked. And then I got all these private messages and they’re all thankful for it. 

And then I made the announcement in January when I came back that they were gonna go to a four day work week. 

Everybody was in shock and so thankful that I’m thinking about them.  

Because I don’t wanna burn out and I don’t want them to burn out. 

And then, because I’m gonna be going over to the UK for three weeks. I said to myself, “Okay, what if one of those weeks that I’m over in the UK, what if they get a week off too?”

So we all get December off and they all can have a week off in June also. 

And so for me, I learned my lesson about me burning out and then of me burning out members of my team.

Also, they don’t have to work for me if they don’t want to. 

They could work for anybody. 

They could do whatever they want and it’s like, what’s gonna make them wanna stay with me? It’s not gonna be the money. 

Because they can get paid the same thing anywhere. 

And it’s just me thinking and caring about them. 

And so the one girl that quit, I still talk to her and I’m like, “Hey, I still wanna be in your life. I still wanna know what’s going on.” 

And we’re still in communication because even though we had that moment, we still had a friendship.

And I said, “Let’s make sure we keep this where this needs to be and not for anything business related.” 

You know what I mean? 

Because I’ve run my business by myself for the most part, and I’m like, “This is how to avoid that”

I can think about them as I think about myself. 

If you are building a business and you’re building it with a team, I strongly encourage you to think about your team. 

We had a Christmas party and it was so fun. 

My team is in the Philippines, India, Ukraine and Brazil , and some contractors are here in the USA. 

And so we had a digital Christmas party where everybody had to bring their lunch, their favorite drink, and then their ugly Christmas sweater. 

And so we’re all just hanging on zoom, just talking or whatever. 

And at the last minute I decided to do some games and whoever wins the most games will have a prize. 

Now we had this brand new second assistant who just joined us. And so we invited her to be in on this and we had all these little games we played.

Well, the person that won the prize is the brand new person to the team. 

She’s in her 30 day trial mode and her prize was that she’s gonna get an extra half an hour off, but it’s gonna be paid. 

She was just in shock and she was almost in tears. 

But my team was just like, “Oh my, this is, this is awesome.” 

This is how it should be. And this is what I’m learning how to do for my team and for my company.

Not just so they can stay with me, but so they can see that, I can see them as human beings. 

I don’t just see them as someone to help me make money.

So I made a mistake of my team burning out, but this is how I’m course correcting. 

And also, as you all know that I am a Marketing and TikTok Strategist and I just want to share that we do have a TikTok account management service where you are able to just record the videos that we give you, the scripts, and then done. We will upload and edit the videos and we will do all the comments for you. 

So if you’re interested in this, just fill out the application form here and we will keep in touch with you. 

We look forward to working with you.