Today we speak with Ama Brew, best selling author, keynote speaker, and coach, to discuss what is burnout and one of the biggest solutions to lead a balanced life: Delegation.
What you will learn in this episode:
- What is burnout and how to recognise burnout.
- How to prevent burnout.
- What is delegation and what to delegate.
- Great tips on how to use delegation in the right way.
- What is the connection between delegation and networking.
About Ama Brew:
Ama Brew is a best selling author, a Keynote Speaker, a Life Balance Strategist & Empowerment Coach.
Combining her B.A. in Psychology, Masters degree in Organizational Leadership & Human Resources, Life Coach training and personal experience, Ama delivers a personalized coaching experience to help her clients gain more control in their lives, achieve balance, and design the lives they were meant to live: fulfilled, confident, joyful, free from what’s held them back.
Following a rewarding career as a Human Resources Manager, Ama went on to develop a childcare business to be fully involved in the daily care of her children. She became so committed to the care of her kids that she lost herself for years.
She found her way back to a balanced & Purposeful life and is now on a mission to help other struggling women find balance in their lives.
Ama delves into the root cause of the imbalance in her client’s lives to educate, empower, and coach them to transform so they too can live more balanced & purposeful lives.
Connect with Ama:
TP: It's nice to have somebody to tell how to find balance in their lives. And I know you have your own story with burnout. So please, can you tell us about your experience related to burnout?
AB: Alright, yes. So I do have my own, you know, experience with burnout. I started my career, wanting to be a human resource guru. So I worked in the corporate world, I got my first degree in psychology, I got my master's in organisational leadership in human resource management. And it was hard. You know, it became hard when I had twins and my twins were born as preemies. So they were very frail. And combining my kids, I also have a daughter, so three kids with my marriage, ministry, work, it was very hard. So I kept going through cycles of burnout. And it was very frustrating. You know, I always felt overwhelmed. I always felt empty, drained. It was like, I was so busy doing everything for everybody else, but myself. And so one day I walked out of my work, and I told myself, I couldn't do it anymore. And that day, I gave my two week notice, came home, started my first business, which was a daycare business. But it's so funny because I started going through the same cycles of burnout again. That was when I realised that the problem was not the corporate world. But it was for me, I was not handling myself well. So I did go on my own journey to wellness. And I am on a mission now to empower other women to eliminate stress and burnout from their lives.
TP: That's a great mission. I really appreciate that. And you have all those degrees and all that experience of empowering women, in your opinion, what are the usual causes of burnout?
AB: So burnout is, you know, it's a state of feeling emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausted. And this is caused by excessive and prolonged stress. So you know, use the hours use our knowledge that we women are we human beings are like bottles, okay, and you fill a bottle with water, or maybe a drink or something that you want to drink, you fill that water bottle, and the more you're drinking from this bottle, the more empty it becomes. So with time, if you don't refill the bottle, the bottle is going to get empty, and the bottle is not going to be useful for you. So you're going to be holding a bottle, you try so hard, put it on your mouth, try to drink from it, but nothing is going to come out because it's empty, you have to refill it. So that's the same analogy I use for burnout. You know, everything that we do as women drains us of some, a lot of the things I will say everything, a lot of the things that we do, drains us of some form of energy. And so as business women, as entrepreneurs, as solopreneurs, as people, we need to be conscious of the fact that we have to be replenishing our energy because if not, you know everybody has their capacity. Some people have big bottles, some people have small bottles. So some people might take a year, some people might take six months, some people might even take two weeks, and then you're going to be burnt out, you're going to start feeling drained, empty, overwhelmed. And usually the little thing is because you're not taking time off to replenish yourself. So the biggest cause of burnout is a lack of replenishing our energy because we give our more energy than we actually put in. And so we have a deficit of strength and energy. So that's that's the best analogy I can give of what causes burnout.
TP: That's actually good analogy, so when the bottle is empty, then your bottle is empty. What can we do to fill that bottle again with refreshing water?
AB: So usually it's you know, taking that time to replenish yourself. And it's not just replenishing yourself physically but mentally, emotionally, spiritually, psychologically, socially, you know, um, you need to make sure that you are replenishing yourself. So you take time off. And that's what I call self care, you know, doing self care, consistent self care. And it's not just about because usually, when people hear self care, they think it's about spending money, or go into a luxurious trip to the spa of vacation. No, no, no, I'm talking about everyday basic things. But you have to put on your schedule, even if you're doing it five minutes at a time, you know, to replenish lost energy. And it's different for everybody. So you have to find out what you can do or what works for you. And then another thing is also set some boundaries, you know, a lot of us take on more than we can handle. And we don't have any boundaries. So anybody comes into our life, and they put on anything on us. And so we are busy saying yes to everybody else. And so we find that out, our plates are full, you know, we are so busy, try spinning multiple plates trying so hard to keep up because we've taken on more than we can handle. And another thing is delegation delegation is very important to learn and to outsource some of our responsibilities instead of trying so hard to do everything by ourselves.
TP: Let's go and talk about delegation. What delegation means, what is it? Can you please explain?
AB: Okay, so delegation is just simply outsourcing your responsibilities, some of your responsibility. So when I talk about outsourcing some of your responsibilities on your schedule, there should be some things that you can easily give to somebody else to do, or ask for help. Sometimes it's so hard for us to ask for help. But there are things on our schedule that we could probably just, you know, involve somebody else to help us, either by either paying for it or figuring out a better deal of getting it for free, which I usually do with my clients, which I call the barter system where you exchange services with another person. So you find somebody who needs something that you have, and has something that you need, so that you both, you know, both help each other and, and that's what I have done as a small business owner, and also being a solopreneur. Because I got some time I was doing my own sales and marketing, my own everything, I am my own graphic designer, I do my own video editing, you know, and sometimes it is hard, you know, so with time, I've been able to build a network of other professionals who also are starting out and also need help in some of the things that I am good at. So we all help each other. So when it comes to graphic design, now there's somebody I can go to, and usually she would do it for me for free, or at a very minimum price, you know, when it comes to markets, and I was able to strike a deal with somebody, you know, to work out a marketing deal that I don't have to pay for whether we can share the profits, you know, he said, so that so many different ways of, you know, getting help and delegating, but so it's just basically outsourcing. And given us some of your responsibilities and the things that are you're struggling with and trying to find somebody to help you to, you know, to get them done.
TP: This kind of collaboration, this is a really clever idea. And yeah, definitely this is thing what we should use more often, even if we each of us, of course, require some money as well for the business. But still if you have your own services, and you could exchange them with somebody else's services. This is yeah, quite good tip to use. There is quite big stress caused by delegation, especially among solopreneurs "Okay, now I have to give something away", how to use that delegation in right way so that it wouldn't create any additional stress, heading to burnout?
AB: Yes, you're right. Sometimes as small business owners or entrepreneurs, we run the risk of, you know, thinking that we have to do everything by ourselves. And so and sometimes it's because we can't even trust somebody to do it. So I always say that when you're going to do delegation, make sure that that part that you're delegating, you're delegating it to an expert, somebody who's good at it, because if not, what happens is that if you delegate it to somebody who doesn't know what they're doing, and it's also going to DIY, you're going to end up being this person through this whole delegation process, because you're always going to be on this person to do it as you want it to be done. And, you know, you should, you should delegate to somebody you can trust to get it done, and somebody who is equally motivated to do it, because there's some people that you delegate to, and they're not motivated. So at the end of the day, you have to run around and keep asking them and, you know, keep, you know, following up and you know, it's, it just causes you more stress than you need. Maybe if you had just done it by yourself that you would have had less stress. So I always say that when you are delegating as a business woman, make sure you're delegating to an expert, somebody who's good at what you're doing somebody who needs minimum supervision, to get it done, all you have to do is to show them what you want, and they can get it done. Usually, in the beginning, you have to maybe baby them a little bit, because you've now started working with them. And they would they need to learn how you want your things to be done. But after the relationship is established, it should get to a point where you don't have to baby this person, you can just tell the person who I need this done, I needed this day, can you do it? Yes, I can do it, they send it to you, and you're good to go. So make sure you're delegating to an expert. The second thing is don't bite more than you can chew in the sense of you know, when you're a small business owner, you don't have a lot of money, you know, a solopreneur, you have very little money to go around. So maybe you don't have the money to pay a big agency or employ somebody full time, you know, to get stuff done for you. Because the best will be to have maybe a personal assistant who can who can be doing things for you. But if that's not possible, go for the best value out there. So you have to research and use, you know, websites like Upwork, Fiverr, I do a lot of Fiverr, you know, a lot of you know, Upwork, Fiverr websites to have people on the who have the skill, but are willing to get paid at a very, you know, moderate price. So when you're starting out, don't, don't bite more than you can chew. Because sometimes that could cause a lot of financial stress for you and end up stressing you out. So go look at what you can genuinely afford bagging for it, or, you know, go for the best value out there. And that way that will reduce the amount of stress that you have. So I believe that these are some of the things that you have to implement when you're delegated to reduce the stress and to make it more valuable to you.
TP: And probably if you are really satisfied with that result, then keeping working with the same business will also make that delegation easier because that person already knows your preferences. And those… how you usually work.
AB: Exactly, exactly. Yeah, that's a very good point. So the whole idea about doing delegation, especially if you're going to be doing the barter of exchanging services, and all that is to find that person, that's going to be part of your network, the whole idea as a solopreneur, or as a mompreneur, or as a small business owner is to find your own network, your own click of people, you know, in different industries that I like your business, that's friends, that's what I call them, find your business best friends. And so it's a relationship that you're building with them. And I've seen people do this, especially on social media, where you find that you're doing very well, because even when it comes to marketing, they all support each other. So you know, that you one person posts and all of them will like it, or all of them was shared on their, you know, their platforms, and they do the, they will be the case with each other. And it's so beautiful, you know, and I feel like a lot of us women are in competition with each other, when in reality, we're supposed to be getting close and forming these kind of networking relationships to help each other. Help us get better at what we do and excel, you know, that's what woman empowerment is all about. So yes, it has to be a relationship, as you mentioned.
Asking for help doesn't mean you're weak or you failed, it makes you a more stronger person, because it gives you what you need for your business to move forward. - Ama Brew, Podcast Step Up & Thrive
TP: So the bigger network or team you have, the more successful you get, because you get automatically all these likes and supports from your network. Great. And now it's time for our quick tip section, something that we do regularly on our podcast. And my question for you is what is your own biggest revelation about the power of delegation?
AB: I'll say that my biggest revelation is realising that I cannot be good at everything in my business, because when I started, I was trying so hard to do everything by myself. But there was one thing that kept stressing me out which was marketing and social media, and I kept trying it and one thing I realised that at the end of the day, it was causing a lot of stress. Yes, so I had to get to the point of realising that I cannot be, I cannot be good at everything in business, but I need to identify my strengths and focus on my strengths and try to find people to help me with the things that I am weak at. So I believe that as small business owners and as much as we are striving to do everything, we need to realise what we are very good at in our business, that we can put our energy through that and then the things that we are struggling with, we shouldn't be afraid to ask for help. Because you asking for help doesn't mean you're weak or you failed, it makes you a more stronger person, because it gives you what you need for your business to move forward.
TP: Those are really great tips. And I like this business best friend idea. I have some and now I definitely look around to find even more of these kinds of best friends and and I really suggest our listeners would do the same. Thank you so much, Ama for joining us and sharing all these tips. And if our listeners would like to know more about you and follow you, where can they do so?
AB: Awesome. And thank you for having me. You can go to www.empoweredforbalance.com. That's my website. On Facebook and Instagram it's empoweredforbalance all one word, and I have a free burnout guide. It's a very good tool for you to check where you're at in relation to burnout. And also it has some quick action guide for you to, you know, make a plan to stay away from burnout if you're not able to get out of burnout if you are burnt out. And that is you can find that on my website and it's www.empoweredforbalance.com/burnout.
TP: Yes, and all those links to Ama's website and social media you'll find in our show notes so please check all these, this is really very useful information for everybody to save themselves, keep the balance and have happy and joyful business life. Thank you once again Ama. It was really great having you in this podcast.
AB: And thank you for having me. It's been an awesome experience.
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