- Positive Polarity Podcast
How to Prevent, Overcome, and Extinguish Burnout
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Scott Anderson is founder and CEO of Doubledare, an executive coaching and consulting practice which dares entrepreneurs and executives to fully live their unique talent, passion and purpose.
Since 1982, Anderson has managed closely-held family businesses, launched four for-profit companies (sold them) and two not-for-profit organizations.
Anderson received his undergraduate degree from Brown University, graduated summa cum laude from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a master’s degree in clinical counseling, and is a licensed mental health therapist. He is also certified as an executive coach by The Coaches Training Institute and the International Coach Federation.
In 2007, Anderson founded At Ease USA (www.AtEaseUSA.org) a research accelerator that develops and distributes leading edge PTSD treatment technology for military families, first responders, survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, and children recovering from abuse. Anderson published his first book, Playing Big, in 2013.
Hey, Dave, Melinda here, positive polarity podcast. I hope things are going awesome for you. Do you remember as a kid when somebody would double dare you? And I remember like, and then they would double-dog dare you. That was like the top of the line. Well, I was I'm honored to be hanging out with Scott Anderson, who actually is the founder and CEO of double dare executive coaching. Help me understand where you came up with double dare because it brought me immediately back when I was a kid, and it got me excited about it.
Thank you. Yeah, me too. We must've had similar childhoods, but that's what, that's what it meant to me too. And I was starting when I was starting to double near, I had just sold an advertising and consulting business, and I had built the coaching practice within that agency. And that was the way I was headed personally. When I sold my agency to my partners, we had a great agreement. And part of it was that I could take the coaching business with me, and that was great, but they didn't want me to use my name or the same name because my name's in the advertising agency also. I thought you know what, what's the right name? And it occurred to me. I've run and founded nine businesses. It's like you write a real Cheryl entrepreneur, but I felt like I had to sort of double dare myself and take this next step and make this turned out to be the, I guess, sort of the seventh business. And I also just liked the idea of having some fun with all of these challenge people but trying to challenge them in a fun way.
As in preparing for this, the more I learned about you, the more excited I got about unpacking this. It's fun to start a business. It's fun to sell a business. There's that middle ground of like, in my mind, it's like where you want to take it to the next level, but you're struggling to do that. Know we'll talk about some of that, but anybody that's Ron started nine companies and actually sold eight of them is gone through it before. We're excited to learn more about that. And the cool part is as you're a licensed mental health therapist as well.
One of the common themes that I saw in your coaching had to do with feeling stuck. You used the word burned out; you used the word spread called. I really liked those words as much as we're trying to always be moving forward. There are times that we do get stuck. There are times we do burn out. Help us understand both from a business perspective, Scott, and a mental health perspective. The real danger in this burnout that we're seeing. What's, what's some things that you tend to what's what signs do you see and what's your bag, do you have for people that might find themselves in this spot?
Yeah, that's a great question, and you're so That it's a, it's a challenge professionally. Still, it's also in a larger sense, a big challenge, especially right now for entrepreneurs, as well as, especially for their teammates and going through COVID and all the associated issues over the last nine months, because burnout has been recognized as a disorder by the world health organization, and also recently by the American psychiatric association as a disorder with unique symptoms. I first discovered it personally while I was running my advertising agency. I find this is really true for entrepreneurs. There's the thrill of starting something. There's the thrill of making it work. There can be a long scaling period and getting it just right that tends to lose a lot of entrepreneurs.
And often, they plateau at that point and get really frustrated stalled. I work with a lot of my clients on that in particular, and there's just sort of a normal, predictable arc to entrepreneurs' businesses. And it doesn't mean that they have to sell or get out or anything else. Still, it usually means they have to take another look at it and maybe rediscover what their role should be typically made, taking the business to the next level and shedding a lot of activity that maybe they at the beginning of the business they, that they took on. But in a larger sense, when we think about entrepreneurs and their teams and employees generally in the United States, burnout is off the charts right now, as are mental health challenges. Overall a Gallup survey recently determined that over 60% of the American workforce says that they are burned out always at all times.
And that's three times the rate of people reporting being burned out at all times of just a year ago; historically 24, 23% of Americans report being burned out all the time, but it's gone up to over 60 cents since COVID. And the problem is that it does have some very serious implications. Not only are you miserable, typically people are really miserable first and foremost by then, they report being exhausted, not just physically, but emotionally and psychologically exhausted. And to the point that they can't really recover, sleeping or even taking a little vacation doesn't help. They're still they still report feeling exhausted, but it gets, that's sort of the tip of the iceberg, as bad as that is, it gets much worse. It can get much worse, so preexisting problems, especially mental health problems, substance abuse problems, really any financial problems, marital problems, child problems, get exacerbated.
And especially when we're all sort of having this cabin fever of being quarantined so it can get serious, and ultimately it can lose it. It could lead to suicidal thinking and even suicide attempts. It's a very serious thing despite all that my clients and many American businesses are reporting 2020 will be their best year ever despite COVID despite working from home, et cetera. And it's attributed to entrepreneurship, I guess, but it's not sustainable in the long-term.
That's so interesting because you bring that team part into it. And I think it's so unique when you find leaders. A lot of them today are like this hands-off approach to their team. It's almost like I built this team. You guys take it from here, you're responsible for yourselves, and it's like, boy, us as leaders, we do need to be dialed into what our team health is all aspects of that health. Do you work with leaders as well as teams? How does that,
I typically work with the owner, founder, entrepreneur CEO, and their leadership teams, sometimes much broader throughout the organization. It really makes a difference. There's a great article in, I think, the Harvard business review that came out today, and it talked about the role of leadership in these times and with burnout and on the one hand, owner founders aren't necessarily qualified or want the liability of providing advice or counsel, but we sometimes forget as leaders how powerful our reassurance can be, or, or merely being transparent enough to say, Hey, I understand I'm going through it too. This is really hard. That thing can be extremely helpful. The other side of the coin is I've worked with a lot of my clients as a sort of a first aid for mental health, in this case, working as a therapist and my, my very enlightened clients have allowed their employees to call me on a sort of a first aid basis for mental health.
And I've really been able to see when you pull back the curtain of, I'm fine, which is what everybody says, especially with, with high unemployment behind that people aren't so fine. And unfortunately, if there's, if there's a good side of this, it's that there are some, there are some specific skills that folks can use to prevent and recover from, from burnout. And what's, what's cool about the pharma and the efficiency standpoint is that, that you can teach these in a group setting. People can learn from each other in a group setting, and there's just tons of research that show that they work. And this is what I've spent a lot of time doing on behalf of my clients through your COVID is creating programs like that.
Cool. Any anonymous program that you've gone to, that people have gone through, or the first thing is to obviously admit that you have a problem. And I think I remember when I owned one of my companies and it was like, I have to say I'm, I'm ashamed to admit it. Still, I'm going to tell you that I thought it was like a badge of honor for me to pull an all-nighter. I can remember five o'clock at night, the rest of the group would filter out and I would be like, ah I'll be here for another couple hours and then a couple of hours would come, and I'm like, Oh my gosh, I had more than I thought. And I'm like, shoot, and I'm here. I might as well stay a little bit.
And before it, the sun's up, and I'm like, oh my gosh, I just stayed here all night. And I used to think in my egotistical way, that that was like, really, like, I wore that badge around the office really, like I was something special. And now that I'm older and realizing, man, that's just, if it happens, occasionally I get it, but it's so unhealthy, and I'm seeing this research where optimal work is like 75 minutes and then like a 15-minute mind shift what do you see out there? What would you, what do you tell your clients, anyone listening to the entrepreneurs listening, what would you tell them to try and help them along? Once they say, you know what? I got this problem, what's, what's the next,
Yeah, I totally get the all-nighter. And I was even I'd take it one step farther. Not only would I do one-nighter, but the next day I'd sort of look at everybody with contempt who didn't have to make it to be complete.
And you were wearing the same clothes and people I was like, oh yeah, you walk around like you're something special.
So yeah, because as you say, the brain science just contradicts that I like you, there are occasions where it's necessary to really sprint, and it can pay off. Still, there's a psychologist at U Cal Berkeley that I really, really follow and she is pretty well regarded as the burnout authority worldwide, or she wrote she created inventory. That's very well respected and researched as being the number one best way to determine whether you are burned out and in what ways and to what degree, but she has this great term called sprint as a marathon. And the problem with that I see in a lot of my client companies this year and in businesses general in general is that the mentality is just at a sprint as marathon sprint as a way of doing business and working 60 or 70, 80 hours a week, not just because we have something special to get done. Still, as you said, the brain science research really goes against that as a way of life like you said.
And there's a lot of, we may be very busy, but how impactful is our action? I really recommend it, and I'm sure you've heard of the Pomodoro method. So similar, it's very similar to what you said. It's like 75 minutes' worth of work and a 15-minute break. Pomodoro is a little bit different timing. I think it's 25 minutes of work and a five-minute break, but it amounts to the same thing. And the essential ingredient in there is recovery. There has to be time for these mini recoveries. And especially when we're under a lot of stress, unrelenting stress, it's very much like an if you think about athletes there has to be, they can tear, they can have micro-tears and their muscles, muscle tissue, and that can actually build muscle. But if there's no recovery time, then it ultimately causes deeper tears and incapacitating injury, it's the same way psychologically that I'm, especially today, that if we don't get, if we don't have the opportunity to recover on a fairly regular basis from, from unrelenting stress, a couple of things happen.
One is ultimately burnout can occur if it's sprint as a marathon. Ultimately, we get to the point where we may show up for eight hours a week, but we're not going to contribute very much value. And the other part is the injury, just like with the athlete. That's the thing that, that in the science that you quoted. The Pomodoro method that I'm talking about is that if you build in these moments of many recoveries, a lot of good things happen, you, you protect yourself from burnout. Still, more than that, you refresh your mind, body, and spirit so that you can go into the next thing. But this idea that the number of hours we put in will necessarily translate into impact and transformation just simply isn't by data.
More hours do not mean more impact.
And as you say, culturally working a bunch of hours is still in a lot of companies. It's a badge of honor, and really, it's so silly. Shouldn't we find a way to do a lot more work and a lot less as an entrepreneur, Dave? I'm sure that that's something that you discovered. There's no point in, in, if you can get something done in 20 hours instead of 40, why spend 40? It's just silly.
Wow. It's interesting. The refresh piece because, let's face it, entrepreneurs are listening right now, and they probably aren't even, they probably didn't even get this far in because they're so results oriented. Like, screw this, man. I got something I got to do. I'm busy on there. Maybe they're taking a walk, maybe they're exercising, whatever, but in my mind, when you list out work words that match work refreshed. Isn't one of them that just pops right to the top. And it's so unique in Milwaukee here, they show like best places to work, and They have, and you start doing some research, and you start realizing that I've seen places where they have pods for 20 minutes a nap because they realize that that refresh is so important. So are there ways what do you suggest in whether it's your five minutes, my 15 minutes actually equal the same amount? In that refresh period, what are you suggesting that we do?
According to all the research, the main thing is to disconnect from all of the stress sources. If it's possible to get if you're, whether you're working at home or working in a traditional brick and mortar setting to get up from where you are physical to stand to walk around but to be away from your electronics and even go outside and walk around for five minutes the, the separate, the physical separation from what you're doing is really important where, where you can't answer email or respond to texts or take phone calls.
It's so easy to stay so connected, but it's disconnecting, that's so important to know psychologically to deal with that at this moment, I am disconnected. That's really important. The second part of it really goes back to fundamental mindfulness theory. And we're in other words to, to be present where, where you are. And unfortunately, when we're on our keyboards and in zoom meetings and what have you, we're not aware of our physical surroundings as much. And we tend to get into a very intellectual space and one that can be very stressful. one of the best things we can do is just to come back and be where our hands are. And there is a variety of great techniques. one of the ones that I like this comes out of a mode of therapy called acceptance and commitment therapy, or act that I, that I use.
But the idea is to there are a couple of exercises where you just sort of refresh your senses. for example, try to hear the most distant sound you can hear. There's a great exercise let's say you're, you're, you've walked out of your office, whether homework, brick, and mortar, just ask yourself, what's the most distant sound I can hear, or what is, what can I smell at this moment? What's the faintest smell that I can smell? What do I see in this, in this room? Count the things that I see and spend some moments looking at things, but essentially, it's coming back to the present moment, number one, and out of the projected future and the regretted past and trying to be right here right now. And, the benefits of basic mindfulness techniques like that, especially during your recovery break of five or 15 minutes, whatever it is, are very well documented.
Anything we can do to get out of our heads, as Steve hay says, the guy who created act therapy to get out of our heads and into our lives is the is really the key. And if we can do that multiple times a day, these mini recoveries, these mini-vacations as I call them, we're going to be a lot better off. And if sometimes employers are worried about, well, especially with work from home, are they working or are they watching television or what are they doing? I think I need to adopt since remote work is just going to increase and increase. Now, I think we're going to have to move away from butts in chairs as a measure of productivity to work product and transformation and impact whether it takes somebody five minutes or five days for the measure, more in terms of impact.
That's so funny because I knew somebody years ago, they ran their company to get your paycheck back before electronic deposit. Even if you got your paycheck at five o'clock on Friday, and you had to be at your desk to get that you weren't there, you didn't get your check. And it was like, wow. That's just, I can't even imagine that, but I know that again, butts in the seats in their mind equal work, getting done, but that impact is different for different people. And we do a lot of work with disc personality, profiling, different assessments like that. People are built differently, and in that role, it's really hard to put a mold in place that everybody has to fit into that. And what you're talking about here, Scott, on the self-awareness piece when we do a lot of work with E and in emotional intelligence, and it's like some people really have a lot of blind spots. They just don't know what they don't know. And I think as leaders, and I'd love to hear your feedback on it as leaders, it's our responsibility. I feel to help our team with their blind spots in a positive, encouraging way, not dumb you did this, but encouragingly, that really makes that person feel way better than when they came in that day. I'm interested to hear your feedback on that.
I'm a big believer in it, and I've been fortunate to work for a lot of really enlightened companies and clients that that believe in it as well. And it's, we see this all the time that it, and it boils down to micromanagement. That's what butts in chairs management are all about, Is that if I can breathe down your neck, then I have a higher level of confidence that you're doing something. And we just know now that that's not necessarily true and the different styles work for different people. , the chief thing that the millennial workforce wants, of course, is autonomy. And for the most, for most millennials working from home is a remote work period is, is seen as a real benefit, more so even than more money, it's a very big positive, but I think it has to do with learning co as leaders to learn coaching techniques.
So that we're, we get crystal clear with, and this is usually the disconnect we, we don't as leaders communicate clearly enough what the project is, what the, what the empowerment is, what the deadlines are and what the quality work has to be, et cetera. And we spend a lot of time micromanaging, but we don't spend nearly enough time setting up the projects from in the first place and getting crystal clear, allowing the, our, our teammates to get clear and then really encouraged them to use their talents, to get it done. And we can ask for mile markers and checks so forth. But generally speaking, if we're hiring the people that are proactive and that thrive in, in most entrepreneurial scenarios, it's really best to hire very carefully and let them do their thing.
It's silly to hire people and not trust them. If we don't trust them, we should fire them. But no amount of micromanagement is going to, and it'll actually increase the distress. I agree with you with DISC, and emerging networks and predictive index and things like that are important. Give team leaders such an insight. Oh, and you probably do this I'm more, I use more emergent exit than DISC, but similar in the sense that in a lot of emergent X companies, they'll put the merchant X map on the back. When we went to work in offices on the person's office door cube wall or whatever, just to say, look, we're all different. And they're the way that I use the analogy. Sometimes we're like bad members of the United Nations, and we screen Chinese at Russian-speaking people. It just doesn't work.
And that makes so much sense. And when I speak around the country do a lot of work on communication, and that's the of my 10 tips to better communicate. That's the first slide in that 10 tips to better communicate, but it's in Russian. I write a lot on that right out of the gate. I'm like, Hey, why doesn't somebody read this for me? And there and I'm like, this is how we communicate. If we don't understand our style and we don't understand the style of the person that we're communicating with, the perfect likelihood of us misaligning is pretty high. I love that. And that really adds to all the stress we're talking about getting stuck. I mean, it's one thing to get stock your car and this in a snowdrift. And I just love watching somebody get stuck. Then, for 15 minutes, they just keep putting it in park and reverse and drive, thinking something magical.
Maybe because at work, it's the same way you have this burnout going on, you're, you're stuck, you, your team, your company, whatever. And thinking that just reverse for just even, I see people rocking it. It's like, okay, we need sand, we need a win. We need a, with a winch. We need to pull us out of there. Like we don't have those things. And that's why I think coaches like you and I can come alongside people and really help them out of that snowbank when they're stuck.
There's no worse feeling that's for, And the reason I got into coaching myself because I was stuck in one of my companies. And I just, I, everything was fine making money, great team, et cetera, but I just couldn't get out of my own way. I couldn't enjoy what I was doing. I couldn't really find my purpose. And I hired a coach pretty much at random and very, fortunately, had a fantastic experience, but that was the feeling it's just this horrible paralysis and where coaches can be so powerful.
And where do you go? And that's the hardest part. Coach consultant trainer, all these words are inter intertwined in some people's minds. They all mean something different. I look at it, and I'm trying to think of it from a sixth-grade education. Cause that's usually what I learn at. I need somebody to come alongside me and get me out of this ditch. I don't care what method necessarily might be more aggressive than others. And it might take me a couple of towing companies before I find one that fits, which is fine. That's But at the end of the day, why and that's, but that's an entrepreneur's flag: I don't need anybody. I can do this myself. My dad did it by himself. My grandpa did it.
I'm getting into these second and third generations where it's like, man, my dad, and he didn't need anybody. What the heck do I need you for? And my response always Scott is like, I don't know if you need me. I don't know. You probably don't. And you want to fess up and say, you probably don't. The weird thing is that the two best athletes I know are Michael Jordan and tiger woods. For some, they needed multiple coaches. I mean Tiger's got a swing coach, he's got a mind coach he's got, he's got more coaches probably than anybody. I don't know the answer to that, but this guy needed somebody to come alongside him for some reason. It's entirely possible that you needed it as well. And I think it, it, it like really, when you talk about the team piece, the question that I'm looking at is how do you, if you've determined a team burned out, how do you reenergize that team? How do you instill your coaching into them? What are some things that you do, Scott?
Well, I mean, if a leader is, is burned out if they have a great team, maybe they can continue to make, to move the ship along. But if the team is burned out, it means by definition that their productivity has gone down, their creativity has gone down. Certainly, their engagement in what they're doing has gone down. They're given an about the company's mission, and their personal roles have gone significantly eroded. To get that back, there are a couple of things. First and foremost, this first aid needs to happen where the recovery techniques that I was describing earlier, that's, that's typically where we start. But things Scott, where are you exactly?
You're like, okay, we need to plug the dam, stop the bleeding, whatever it is.
Yes. So, the first place to start is in a physical and beginnings of a psychological way just to try to reinstall good habits, and as elementary, as it sounds, it's really about, are you getting enough sleep? Are you getting enough exercise? Are you getting a good diet? Do you have enough time to recover? What's going on at home? I've talked frankly to a couple of couples more than a couple of clients who were having severe marital problems at home, and they would say on fine to their boss. Still, at home, they're in very abusive situations, fueled by alcohol or drugs, gambling, all the things that can happen. So that's ground zero. The next step is to part of what happens, especially in this remote work setting, that people pull back, and the interaction even for introverts that they used to have is gone.
We recommend reconnection techniques to spend a few minutes and reach out to other people and reconnect with them. And admittedly, a phone in the gym is not the same thing as being with people but, but to reconnect with people with your teammates is a really good place to start. Ultimately, we, we, what we also recommend, and this is how sort of to get well, what happens with a lot of people who are burned out is that they lose sight of why they loved what they were doing, assuming that they loved it at one point. And they begin to get people, especially in, and COVID tends to get beaten down by what seems like outside influences and forces. We try to say, okay, look, let's go back to your values.
Let's go back to what's important to you as a person, irrespective of the company's, what's important to you. One of the big symptoms of burnout in this quarantine situation is that people have stopped doing things they love to do. A lot of people stop. And they don't. It's not a black and white decision. It just happens. So gradually, you barely notice it. Anyway, we go back to people's personal values and say what is important to you? What makes life to you? Regardless of what your job wants from you or what your boss wants from you, or what your customers or your investors or your market want from you? What's important to you and because even no matter what the circumstances, we can always behave in a way that's consistent with our own values.
To rediscover those and to recommit to those is often the turning point for many people. They begin to discover I'm not a powerless victim in my life, but in fact, there are a ton of decisions I get to make and have to make. If I'm going to be comfortable in my own skin, that's sort of specifically what it's about. It's very, and it's very personal. And then ultimately to see, hopefully, to seek connections back to the company and back to the role, what was it that I loved about this role at one time?
Wow. That's so cool. You bring up these words that like, I have to write down because otherwise, I'll forget. You started with like engagement. You were talking about engagement and Gallup that says two or three people show up in their job every day, and they're not engaged. They're doing as soon as they can there, they, they love the phrase. It's not my job. They think it's a success. If they like screwed around all day, how many times can we be on the call on a personal call, whatever it is the majority? And it's sad to say, and it's not just a national thing, it's an international thing, but we're running into these people that are not engaged. There are the opposite entrepreneurs.
A lot of times, I find, tend to think in black or white, I'm either burnt out because I'm working a ton or I'm working a ton, Or I'm not engaged, and there's no in-between. And therefore, that's where I think that badge of honor comes from, with the burnout piece. I'm trying to help people realize you can be engaged in work 40 or 45 hours a week. They're not they're not opposites. You can do both. I think that's so cool. And that's why I wrote my book growing on purpose because there were so many people that are growing by mistake because they're just out there. And we found in our research that if you're not engaged as you talked about, then your customer is not engaged either.
Because if you have a team disinterested, not really caring, just going through the motions, they portray that exact behavior to the customer, and then the customer's going through the motions. Then we see sales drop, so thanks. Thanks for sharing that. The other one I want to talk about here is you talked about reconnecting as we start to come in for a landing. And I hope that because, but it also has before I say, why it has like a negative to it because you can reconnect and not be real. On authenticity and vulnerability, two words that I like to utilize as much as possible because, man, I don't want to connect with people if much less reconnect if you're not authentic and if you're not going to be right and say, I'm having a bad day if you're not going to be vulnerable in that situation, why even bother. When you talk about reenergizing, a team that's burnt out, we've had to like to have this come to Jesus meeting because otherwise, we'll never get anywhere. Tell me, so talk a little bit more about the reconnection. Some like some, some real sure stuff we can walk away with and implement right away here.
One of the things a phrase that one of my business partners used to say all the time makes it about them. And we're in other words, and this is a mindset thing. Still, I think you can really just decide that I'm going to, I'm going to make a point of when I'm talking to a colleague, a teammate, a customer, especially I'm going to make this call or this conversation or whatever it is all about them. I'm going to get out of my own head. And I'm going to try for that moment, and I use the expression to love them. Because first of all, I think it really works, and it's a great way to live, but if you can really love the one you're with, Stephen stills used to say, if you can really be with that person in that way, you'll feel better.
You don't feel significantly better. I coach a lot of salespeople or in a lot of sales organizations. And one of the things I say to them if they're burned out is really less listen. Beyond hearing their words at the, at the deepest level of listening that you can come up with, listen for their tone of voice, listen to what they're not saying. I try to listen with your own spirit rather than with your ears and love them. And it's amazingly transformative. I'm sure that you're familiar with this. And at first, it seems like, Hey, I'm the one that's burned out. I'm the one that's suffering. What about me, or I don't have it in me, and yet people always do. So that's what I really mean by reconnecting. And because of the very thing that burned out, people begin to resent, and that's what's so dangerous about burnout. It will begin not to just become disconnected, but ultimately to have negative, cynical attitudes towards coworkers, even customers, partners, investors, et cetera. We have to make a conscious effort as counterintuitive as it is to really love them and make whatever we're talking about to listen at a level of as deepening empathy as we have available. Ironically or paradoxically that does turn it around anytime I'm anytime I've, I'm in my own way, that's the answer. It never fails.
Cool. That's awesome. And it's funny. What I do when somebody says, Hey, somebody says to me what's going on? That common theme of high, As I say, you're going on. And they look at me, and I go, man, this is all about you. And when they stuff like that to people, Scott, they like, don't know what to say, but then when you back it up with no, I'm serious, you know what is going on, tell me some stuff going on in your life. And It's so funny when the goal, how's it going? And I laugh when people go and have too bad, and I'm thinking to myself, I'm like, okay, it's going bad, but it's not terribly bad. I try and challenge people on that going, what's going bad.
And they're like, well, what do you mean? I said, well, you just said it's going bad. Just not too bad. And it's that self-awareness piece again, that you just want people to realize what is right at that moment that's going on cause we're so often another world in our activity. Whether it's into me and maybe this is a blind spot that I have, but I try, and it feels like they're not authentic. When somebody says, how's it going off fine. Like we talked about before, fine. It's like, really, tell me something other than that at almost where I'd rather have like a multiple-choice or something other than fine because I'm having a bad day, I'm having a great day. I'm not sure yet. I mean something to just really help with that.
It seems like the sad truth right now is that a lot of people are just paddling as fast as they can to keep their noses above water. If we can remember that everybody has every bit as much on their plate right now as we do and that we can afford to be generous with our, with our time and our attention. And selfishly, when we do that, then life becomes life again. All of a sudden, burnout, at least for that moment, can be over there.
Healed side of burnout. You can recover, you can, you can look back at it as something you used to have. You don't have that anymore.
Absolutely. And even if you just have a little bit of recovery from it, then you have more than perhaps your colleague or teammate who is really suffering. And I think it, I think they're in that recovery, there's a lot of humility and compassion that comes out of it naturally. But it's hard for people to find that gear, but this really is the way out of burnout and about, about so many of the problems we create for ourselves.
When I owned my other company, I would show up there when I did have burnout, and then I would work pretty much the whole time. And it wasn't really a vacation at all because all I did was change what the outdoor scenery looked like. When I sold that business and now in my coaching practice, now, when I go out there in the last eight years, I go out there, and it's completely different. And my dad even says, Hey, you got to work today. And I'm like, dude, I'm here for you. Just so I know, there's a backside is sometimes it comes on you by work. You do, sometimes it's thrust upon you, but for people listening that are in the midst of burnout, there are great things that you can help, that can help you. We tell me one thing as we land this point today, Scott, tell me one thing that the listeners probably don't know about you, that you feel comfortable sharing.
Oh, gee. Yeah, there's a long list of things, you know, let your parole officer know. I've got to thank God for the statute of limitations. Yeah, no, I think I'm, I'm pretty safe in that respect today. Thank God. But I guess I guess the thing that I would share is that it's funny. I do a lot of speaking like you about some of these chronic entrepreneurial problems. I think it was the row or one of those writers who said that men lead lives of quiet desperation. And I know that there were lots and lots of times where I was quietly desperate in my entrepreneurial career, and the hardest thing in a way about being an entrepreneur is not having anybody to report it to. And maybe particularly today, and the good news is that today there are, there are some terrific organizations.
One of my favorites is EO or entrepreneurs organization. It's a great place to go and have a community with other entrepreneurs and to form those kinds of connections. But there's just something so powerful in being heard and understood. And in your practice, Dave, I'm sure that when you share your story about your own entrepreneurial life and experience the good and the bad, it reduces the isolation and number one, which is, but that's a huge thing. That's not a small thing. And it's a little bit lonely, less lonely at the top. I would just say for that, I had gone through a lot of that over my career and wished that I had either taken advantage of things like coaching or organizations like sooner than I did because it's just made a huge difference me personally.
That's awesome. I do some sales advantage round tables. We're actually going to start a sales manager round table in 2021. Because of that, of that alienation, where do people go? where does sales map, where does sales professionals' goal? Especially in competitive situations, you got to have this Haven of a place to end up.