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Burnout affects 2 of 3 financial advisors — and the current crisis has made everything worse.

If you’re working long hours, can’t separate work from your home life, and feel like you’re stuck on a treadmill… burnout might be creeping in.

In this episode, you’ll find out how to recognise the three types of burnout, discover how to reduce your workload, and create more space in your personal life.

  • Don’t be happy as a “workaholic” — why the real definition should scare you (1:41)
  • Why 1:05 a.m. might be the best time to move your business forward (3:05)
  • 3 signs you are losing your “home life” boundaries and how the convenience of “WFH” accelerates burnout (3:50)
  • Why “loving what you do” can put you on the fast track to burnout (5:12)
  • Do you suffer from “Stock Market Exhaustion?” How taking time off tricks your brain into increasing your long-term stress (5:32)
  • Weekend “vacations” not an effective stress relief? Try this “TIE” shift in your daily schedule (6:25)
  • How strictly limiting your workday can explode your profitability (9:25)
  • The three types of burnout most financial advisors have and how to fix them (9:54)
  • How to reach big goals that should motivate you but instead paralyze you (13:36)
  • How to delegate differently and pour a bucket of water on your burnout (16:00)

If you’re looking for a way to set more appointments with qualified prospects, sign up for James’ brand new webinar about how financial advisors can get more clients with email marketing. 

Go to https://TheAdvisorCoach.com/webinar to register today. 

Go to the https://TheAdvisorCoach.com/Newsletter and pick up your free 90 minute download called „5 Keys to Success for Financial Advisors“ when you join The James Pollard Inner Circle.

Discover how to get even better at marketing yourself with these resources:




Read Full Transcript

You're listening to Financial Advisor Marketing, the best show on the planet for financial advisers who want to get more clients without all the stress. You're about to get the real scoop on everything from lead generation to closing the deal. James is the founder of TheAdvisorCoach.com, where you can find an entire suite of products designed to help financial advisers grow their businesses more rapidly than ever before. Now, here is your host, James Pollard. [00:31.7]

James: All right, all right everyone. Settled down, settle in, buckle up and crank up your volume because this week's episode could, and I mean this with no exaggeration whatsoever, save your business. Maybe even your life, because this episode is going to be all about burnout. Have you ever been burned out Jonathan?

Jonathan: I am guilty.

James: I am guilty too. Well, so financial advisors in about a month or so, I'm going to have a special guest who is a strong, I know I say expert in, in mockingly. I knew I did that in the last show too, but this guy truly, isn't a world class expert on achieving balance and not burning out. Because if you're having a bunch of career success and you're struggling at home or you're gaining weight and you're being unhealthy, well, where are you going in the wrong direction. So, I'm going to have him on the show. It's going to be really cool. I don't want to give that away until the episode drops. But I had, when I was messaging him and talking with him, I had said a lot of people perceive me to be a workaholic. And he's like, well, you must not know the definition of workaholic. I was like, maybe I don't, let's look it up. [01:40.7]

And so, workaholics are actually like legitimately addicted to work. Whenever they have a stressful situation, they'll work harder. Like if they have problems in their marriage and like their wife gives them trouble, they'll focus on their work to get away from their marriage. I didn't know that. I thought workaholism, if, if I'm pretty sure that's a word or people who are workaholics, I thought that was just like, they just work, work, work, and they're happy, happy, happy. And they just work, work, work. I thought that's what it was. So, I was like, yeah, I'm totally a workaholic because I love what I do. I work a lot. I'm constantly thinking about how I can help financial advisors, how I can improve my own business. I mean, yes, selfishly of course I want to improve my own business. I do it. And I was like, yeah, totally. I'm totally a workaholic. But then when I got the actual definition, I was like, no, I am not a workaholic. [02:28.2]

So, it is interesting. I I've come very, very, very close to burnout or at least what I think is burnout. And I'm pretty sure I've also burned down in the past. I mean, in past couple of years, I, I don't think it's happened to me, but we'll see. I mean, if I talk to this guy and I give him some of the things that have happened and we, I talked to him, maybe he'll be like, yeah, James, you're totally burned out. And maybe I am. I just don't know it. That's a possibility too. I know Jonathan, we were talking off the air about some of my team members and how I don't bother them during the day. But if they message me at night or something, I imagine they email me and they think, Oh, he'll get it in the morning. Wrong.

Jonathan: Yeah, he’s watching you.

James: email comes in at 1:00 AM. James is there and they're kind of shocked, but that's just how I roll. Like if it's, if you need something, I'm there. If it's going to help the business, if it's going to help financial advisors, I'm there. Like I don't care about the burnout. So maybe I will. Maybe that's the error of my ways. Maybe I'm doing it wrong. I don't know. So, we're going to talk about that. I was going to start off this show with a bunch of statistics about burnout, but they've changed so much because of the corona virus pandemic and all the stats have been updated to reflect that basically more people are burned out now than ever before. [03:50.5]

Work has creeped into our homes. People don't know how to separate the two. They're working from home. They're working virtually. They might say they don't know how to separate the two. I mean that they, they work all throughout the house. They take their laptop upstairs. They work on the couch. They work in the bed; they work in the basement and they begin to associate every area of their house with work. That's how the brain works and it is not good. The numbers that I saw were between two thirds and three quarters of all workers experienced burnout. I don't remember if that was every year. It seems to be very high for a single year, but those two numbers stick out in my head between two thirds and three quarters. Either way a lot of people experienced burnout. It's especially common in professionals like accounting, particularly around March and April when it's tax season. It's common in legal services and yes, financial planning and financial advising. That's why we're talking about it here on the Financial Advisor Marketing podcast. [04:52.9]

So, let me share my personal experience with burnout. I used to think I got burned out at certain points in my life, but after looking back, it wasn't nearly as bad as other people have experienced it, but still it slowed me down and hurt my business, which is why it was important to address it. And there was a time in my life where I thought, as long as you loved what you did, you wouldn't suffer from burnout. And I still kind of think that, but the more I think about it, the more I think, well, maybe that's wrong, so wrong because I mean, I love what I do. I love helping financial advisors get more clients and improve the marketing and whatnot, but burnout can still creep in. The best way I can describe it, at least for me, this is just for me now. It's like a constant knowing fatigue. A good analogy I like to use is to say, it's like the stock market. Over the long-term it goes up and up. Sure there are dips along the way, there might be vacations or days off that I have. And until you do something differently or until I do something differently, in my case, the likelihood for burnout will trend upward over time. Just like the stock market. You may have corrections, you may have recessions, but it's going to trend up. You may have your days off. You may have your vacations, but the likelihood for burnout, if you're just going and going and going, you're going, it turns up. [06:14.9]

And that's what happened to me. I would work constantly like seven days per week. Then I would do a weekend getaway or something once every quarter, once every six months. I would just inch closer and closer to burnout and that Little weekend getaway was the only thing putting off the inevitable. But it wasn't enough. So, I tried several different things. For example, I tried going on vacation for a longer period of time. So instead of two or three days, I would go somewhere for a week. But I didn't like that. I went stir crazy. I don't know what it is, but I get bored of places easily. It has to be somewhere like Las Vegas or Nashville. It has to be like a party city to keep my attention. I know, I don't know if that's a good look or not Jonathan, to be admit that I'm a party animal, but. [06:57.0]

Jonathan: Maybe.

James: Missed the truth. It's gotta be someplace on in popping. I gotta be on Bourbon street, Beale street, Broadway, Las Vegas. I gotta be in the mix. I just can't sit out in the woods or something like that. I went to Asheville, North Carolina for seven nights in a row. I love Asheville. It's a beautiful city, but Holy moly, I was bored. And at the end of the week, I was dying to get back to work. So that wasn't effective. What did work for me was taking it easier during the evenings. Now I originally suffered from burnout when I was doing one-on-one coaching. That's when I talked about it the original part of the show there, the beginning of the show, I had said I had it years ago. It was when I was doing one-on-one coaching for financial advisors. So, my methods were so effective that I, I literally had a wait list of people wanting to consult with me. And that sounds great. I mean, if you're trying to grow a business and trying to be the advisor coach, that's why my business is named The Advisor Coach because of that. [07:54.1]

It sounds awesome, but the clients I had never wanted to leave. My thinking was, okay, I've got this wait list. When the current clients drop out or quit, or they're happy and they go away, I can move on to the wait list.

But the clients were like, you got anymore. Let's do it again next month. Let's do it again next month. And they never left. So, my wait list kept growing. And eventually I did away with all the coaching and I just created products. I created my newsletter. You can subscribe over to TheAdvisorCoach.com/coaching. It'd be the best thing you ever did for your business. It's the best investment you can ever make. But when I was growing the business, I was working 12-to-16-hour days, literally every single day, that is not an exaggeration. I know people say, Oh, I worked 12-hour days. I've worked 16 hours a day. I mean it, I was on the phone, responding to emails, reaching out to people, running campaigns, tracking resolves. I was doing the work literally 12 to 16 hours per day. I'm not talking about existing in the office. I'm not talking about just sitting around watching videos or waiting for emails to come in. I'm talking about actively doing work and it was exhausting. [09:01.4]

Hey, financial advisors – if you’d like even more help building your business, I invite you to subscribe to James’ monthly paper-and-ink newsletter, The James Pollard Inner Circle.
When you join today, you’ll get more than one thousand dollars’ worth of bonuses, including exclusive interviews that aren’t available anywhere else.

Head on over to TheAdvisorCoach.com/coaching to learn more. [09:23.7]

James: So, I began setting limits. I scaled them down slowly. So as an example, I would say no more work after 8:00 PM for the first two weeks. And then I wouldn't do any work after 6:00 PM in the next two weeks, then I wouldn't do any work after 5:00 PM. And I eventually got into a routine that worked for me. I've recommended that process to a bunch of financial advisors. And while it's not for everyone, I admit that it has helped a few people. However, if you're going to try and tackle burnout, you need to figure out which type of burnout you have. Most people don't even realize this. I didn't realize this until I think it was a year or two ago. Something like that. There's three different types of burnout. And they were revealed in a 2004 paper or 2014 paper published in the peer reviewed open access journal, P L S one. [10:17.1]

So, the first type of burnout is overload burnout. This is the most common type. This is the one I see financial advisors suffer with the most. With overload burnout, people work harder and harder in search of success.

They're willing to risk their health. They're willing to risk their personal life in pursuit of their ambition. I personally struggled with this. This is one that I've had. I've definitely had overload burnout. I'm no stranger to sacrificing things. Outings with friends, friends will be like, Hey, you want to go out on Friday night? Nope. Helping Financial advisors. You want to go to this party Saturday? Nope. Helping financial advisors. Weddings, I've been invited to weddings and the wedding is like three States over. And they're like, Oh, it would mean a lot if you came here. Do I regret that? And not really kind of sorta, I mean, everybody has their own decisions that they gotta make. I, I just sacrificed a bunch in order to get more work done. I've lost count of how many times I've ordered takeout or I've done delivery instead of cooking at home. Instead of back, when I didn't have the meals prepared, it just, I would order food and just, it wasn't the healthiest thing. And I just worked just be like, Hey, Domino's you know who it is? I need another mushroom pizza. They'd be like, James, is that you again? I'm like, you bet betcha. They would deliver it. [11:31.6]

People with overload burnout, they tend to cope with their stress. And this is what the paper said. This is not my original thinking. They said that they deal with it by venting about organizational hierarchy. Hmm. They'll complain about how it imposes limits on their goals and ambitions. Well, I see that all the time with financial advisors too, they complain about their compliance department. They complain about them limiting whatever they can do with content marketing, social media marketing, things like that. So that's overload burnout. The second type of burnout is under challenge burnout. And people suffering from this type of burnout, they feel underappreciated. They feel bored. And in some ways people might not even realize that this is burnout because it is, it's just like boredom. But they're frustrated because their jobs lack room for professional and personal growth, they're coping by distancing themselves from their job. I mean, you can't really talk today. It leads to like cynicism. It's a warning sign for quitting. It's a warning sign for changing careers. It's just like, they're bored. They want a new challenge. They want to seek out something new. So, if you feel disengaged from what you do, you're likely suffering from this form of burnout. If that's the case I noticed is the Financial Advisor Marketing podcast and we're going to relate things back the marketing, but take solace in multiple marketing strategies. [12:51.1]

If you're like, I'm so sick of doing this again, or reaching out to prospective clients in this manner, try something else. It may be the best thing you've ever done. If you're bored with what you're doing, if you don't feel like your business growth is a challenge anymore and you're just coasting, try to do email marketing if you're not doing email marketing. Try to do a podcast, or go to ThePodcastFactory.com, reach out to them, see what you can do, how you can take on something new and you can avoid this form of burnout. And the final form of burnout is neglect burnout. And this one's kind of sad. It results from feeling helpless. So, people may feel inadequate. They may feel unable to keep up with the everyday demands of their jobs. And it's closely related to imposter syndrome. It's characterized by passivity and lack of motivation. You just get to your office and you're like, Oh my goodness, I don't want to do anything. Or you have this knowing fatigue that I talked about. And you just like, I just can't bring myself to get started. So financial advisors, when they suffer from neglect, now they cope by giving up. If they feel stressed out and they've got a lot on the plate, they just give up because eventhough, they may strongly desire to achieve their goals, the lack of motivation that they're dealing with, just crushes everything for them. They can't get started. [14:06.5]

So, if you're someone who is dealing with burnout, you have to understand which type of burnout you have. You have to understand dealing with neglect burnout is not going to help you deal with under challenged burnout. And dealing with under challenged burnout is not going to help you deal with overload burnout. You have to figure out which type you have. Like I said, the most common type of burnout I see financial advisors suffering from is overload burnout. When you got a ton of calls, you got a ton of clients, ton of people waiting for you, a ton of responsibilities. And there's just a lot on your plate. I can relate to that. I can help you with that. And if you want to learn more, I actually have a blog post on TheAdvisorCoach.com/blog. It's titled Seven Tips for Avoiding Burnout as a Financial Advisor. I'm going to go through a few of these right now, just in case you don't want to be the blog. [15:00.7]

The most important thing is to take care of yourself first. I know that's advice that people give often. It's like, Oh, well sleep well and eat healthy. But like it's so, so important. Make sure you set aside, set aside time for you and to take care of your own health. Number two, the little tip I have here for you, I'm gonna discuss this on the podcast is to examine your business building strengths. So, if you're a financial advisor, your mind needs to be in business building mode. There's nothing inherently wrong with this, where if you're building your business and building your business and building your business. But if you feel like you're running in circles, or if you're banging your head against a wall, it may be time to examine what is working and what isn't. And one of the success secrets told by the world's best business people is that you need to play on your strengths and that's definitely true. If someone is trying to build a business and is experiencing burnout, it's likely that that person isn't maximizing his or her strengths. [15:56.9]

So, if that's the case, take personality tests, examine what you do on a daily basis. What's most effective for you. Are you, are you delegating what you're good at? Because that's a telltale sign that you're probably going to be burned out. And I give you one more tip for avoiding burnout, and that's remembering that you can only directly control your actions. A good friend of mine pointed out that he tends to get burned out when he gets emotionally involved in the results of a particular endeavor. And I thought about this for a little bit. And I realized I see it happening all the time. For example, if you're a financial advisor and you have a target of setting a certain number of appointments per week, and it's Friday morning and you've got no appointments, you're going to be stressed out and that's going to increase the chances of you burning out. [16:44.7]

But the results are the appointments. You can't directly control the results. You might be able to influence the results. You may be able to shift the odds in your favor, but you don't do that by controlling the results directly. You do it by controlling your actions and reactions. So, with the appointment setting example, even though you can't directly control the number of appointments you get, you can control the number of outreaches you make. You can control the piece of the content you put out. You can control the effort you put into your inbound marketing machine, things like that. If you consistently seek to improve the actions you take in both quantity and quality, you will start to see better results. So, don't get stressed out over things that you can't directly control. Instead, work on the things you can control in order to influence the results you get. And that is it for this week about burnouts. Know which type you have. Seriously, take some time to rest. I know it sounds obvious, but it is so important for your physical and mental health. [17:43.3]

Jonathan: Dude. Powerful. I feel like you were, you, you, you made this episode just for me. Thank you for that. Thank you. So, what do you have coming up next time?

James: So, we're going to talk about mindset. I don't know if this is going to be a popular episode or not. I don't know if financial advisors are really into the whole mindset thing, but we're going to talk about five mindset shifts to accelerate your growth.

Jonathan: Oh man, that's one of my favorite topics. I cannot wait for that. All right, that's it, boys and girls and other financial advisor marketing is in the can. Thank you for tuning in and we will be back in your earbuds next time. [18:20.3]

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