Holiday Cancelled Because Work is Your Vacation

Response to Russell Brunson on Why Entrepreneurs Suck at Vacations

Dear Russel Brunson.

This morning I was watching your video, Why Entrepreneurs Suck at Vacations, and I would like to offer some added perspective on this. By the comments, It’s likely that my little doses of truth and reality could catch flak from people who are younger, simply haven’t come to these realizations yet or have never burned out; but ok, I’m going with it.

First, why do entrepreneurs (or any business professional) really suck at vacations?

Here are 7 reasons (I”m sure there are more)

  1. They don’t have enough support to get away.
    Having a high responsibility job, or business can make it tough to get away.

  2. They don’t have the disposable income.
    If you are early in the entrepreneurial process, vacations in the traditional sense can leave you a bit strapped.

  3. They don’t realize the difference between vacations and trips.
    There is a huge difference; one leaves you thrilled and a little dollar poorer, while the other leaves you rejuvenated. (not a shun on trips)

  4. They are simply too tired to plan a trip and stay in the routine they are used to.
    Let’s face it trips, in particular, take a good deal of preparation and energy.
  5. They don’t have a good enough reason to (another business event coming up) so they would rather work because they “enjoy it.”
    This is often what entrepreneurs do, they make vacations around business trips, which usually aren’t vacations, just time out of the office because they rationalize that it’s actually less stress.

  6. They are successful and haven’t “hit the wall” or experienced burnout, “yet” and want to keep on pressing on. 
    I remember this one, the thrill of the business outweighed the thrill of a trip and a vacation.

  7. They don’t understand the power of rejuvenation and the impact it has on their life and business. 
    Maintaining surplus energy has yet to enter into their consciousness.

Now for that added perspective on vacations.

I love you, buddy, my company uses Click Funnels, we read your wisdom-filled books. I’ve been an entrepreneur for a long time. I totally get where you are coming from on this; and even today, older and wiser than my former self; those same thoughts plow through my brain while preparing for and going on vacations like the drive to drink does for an alcoholic.

I agree to a large extent, that this is how we entrepreneurs think but I assure you younger man, you will burn out if you keep that up. This is not about living a balanced life, we entrepreneurs will always be skewed towards what we’re up to in the world, and for the most part, outside of other essential aspects of life (our husband or wife, family, the kids, education to some degree, etc; most things in our life revolve around what we are up to. I get it.

But let’s not confuse a balanced life with a balanced lifestyle that is replete with all the essential skills necessary to manage our lives for health and performance.

The thing is, you DID just take a vacation and you DID get some rest and while you may have been stressed due to the tug and pull of your business while away during a huge momentum period with Expert Secrets, who doesn’t feel that stress? You don’t have to be an entrepreneur to feel some stress while away anyway; you could be any professional today, caught up in a world that doesn’t stop, not just because you need a vacation. Things just always keep going.

That’s why people, including myself, have smart phones to deal with just the critical stuff while away as we carve out space for being with family, rejuvenating, playing and having some fun etc. without having to come home to a storm. I am not one of those people who demonize the cell phone. We need to use it for it can do to benefit our lives. It’s also why we set up our exit long before we go.

Vacation is vital to our performance and our success, let alone our health and well-being.

But again, down deep I see you get that to some degree; you DID go away, your body DID get some rejuvenation and my guess is critical issues were dealt with like a pro. Many people don’t go away and largely because of the story you just put into this video even with a positive intent; but as an influencer, may just have made a creed for those people who desperately need some space and time to rejuvenate, but maybe won’t now.

That’s where “performance addiction” starts and the eventual consequences are not fun.

You went on vacation. So, honor that for all that vacations do do for us. Don’t poo poo it as a distraction. You’re better this week in your role because of that vacation and I bet your had fun too. It sure looked like it in the video.

Frankly, I don’t think you should be sending this message because it reinforces our already performance addicted (people who can’t stop because of stories like this) lifestyles, which (for entrepreneurs) are more accurately rooted in the fact that our businesses are driving us a little crazy (possibility development issues, financial, not enough team, or just trying to keep up with the pace and success of things). It just comes across like one performance addict resonating with the performance addict in us all these days, this entrepreneur included, but not nearly the way it would have in the past.

We may love our companies (our baby’s), we want to see them succeed and our message to change the world, but the tradeoff is that, especially in the early stages, there are constant demands on us.

Simply being away is a stress as things build up, but I don’t know of anyone who truly wants to be working all the time any more than a mother wants to be with her baby ALL the time.

It’s not about burning out on our business or our baby, it’s about burning up our personal energy!.

Yes, simply being away is a stress as things build up, but there are ways to mitigate that as I know you know, and that doesn’t require us holding the perspective that we’re just going away for our loved ones (I’m sure your wife loved that one 😉 because we immortals don’t need vacations. We do!

Look, I get it, it’s not an easy thing to do, I have canceled holidays and vacations. I have gone years at times without one, not because I couldn’t afford one, but it was just never the “right time;” and I maintained that story for years always to my detriment with consequences I still feel today. For the longest time, my only vacations where when I had a conference to go to.

It was “business” with a little extra time for me.

I even still struggle a bit with vacations because I myself “love momentum,” as you say; I don’t like to lose it and understand the challenges and responsibilities of running a company. The business is seemingly always needy and needing me.

But I’ve had to, and “we all need to,” get used to managing momentum and come to the realization that rejuvenation periods do not equate to lost momentum. Maybe a bit in the short term but not in the slightly longer term as rejuvenation periods (what vacations are supposed to be) create surges of energy that are highly valuable to entrepreneurs. Not to mention the clarity of power that usually follows a vacation.

Still, despite all the “lifestyle business,” “work on your business, not in it,” “build systems etc” messages that you hear so many “experts” talk about, where you hear about being peaceful on the beach while your business is kicking ass for weeks on end; the thing is, the promise is real, but it rarely plays out that way until ways down the road.

And as you know, many “I’ve made it” pretenders, are working constantly even while they are on vacation. Which reinforces your point. This is our life, and entrepreneurs generally have more control over their time. So, the trade off is, until that point where we have sheer and utter stability in our companies with lots of human and financial depth to buffer demands, we have to get used to working all the time, and taking time out for periods of rejuvenation, even if we work a bit even during that time.

Everyone thinks they’re looking to have that life where things are on autopilot, where we can have that four-hour work (which even Tim Ferris has openly admitted to not having) and have all the time and space we need to live our lives, travel etc;  “lifestyle” business. But it’s just not that simple, and to your point, Tim’s an entrepreneur and if he only had to work 4 hours, chances are he would fill in the other 76 hours of his work week doing other entrepreneurial things, which he does!

And even with the resources that would make that seemingly idyllic life possible, those wh0 can take all the time they want, away, usually, don’t for reasons just mentioned. People will just keep on keeping on with what’s most important to them, and driven by their true nature, which is to create. And entrepreneurs lead this pack. You and I know that because you’re right… when you’re up to something you are passionate in the world, we want to do it all the time, and leaving it, is like that mother just dropping her baby off to a sitter for a week.

We don’t like to do that!

We mostly like what we do, and slowing down is fraught with the realities from facing our true condition (how tired we really are) to losing that momentum that can be hard to regain. But to maintain it, we DO need to regenerate. To maintain high levels of energy and keep going on the things that matter most to us we need to sleep, rest, recover, relax, meditate and rejuvenate at the core of lifestyle that supports our high performance.

I know, the marketplace and sometimes our own heads, don’t give a shit if we’re tired, it doesn’t pause, it just keeps on steaming ahead but let’s be careful not to confuse our desire for momentum, to avoid the stress of our not keeping up with requests and actions building up, with a story that “our work is our vacation.”

It can seem that way, and I have said that a hundred times over, but it’s completely ridiculous and insidious. I assure you, working is NOT a vacation, even if we love what we do. We’re only saying that because we don’t want the stress of things building up or the fear of losing momentum as you’ve stated.

But would you tell an athlete who loves to train, they won’t burn out by overtraining? No. And I know you are a former athlete and one still at heart. I was a wrestler too. You know that overtraining burns you out. Overwork does the same.

Burnout, as it’s so commonly passed off, is not primarily a loss of passion; it’s the overspending of energy and the buildup of fatigue that results in a loss of passion and sticktoitiveness, as the amperage in our body depletes and your action potential diminishes. This is when we start short cutting the process and the natural cycles of things, including sleep and we downward spiral, even if the business is good.

Overwhelmed, with less and less energy, things then start to go awry, not the least of which is the rest of the lifestyle habits we’ve worked so hard to establish and often paid thousands of dollars to learn. It’s certainly not a lack of calories as so many entrepreneurs eat to stimulate their way through the day. It is a lack of recuperation due to non-stop activity, that gets our ball rolling in the wrong direction.

And that reality is lost on some/younger people. They just don’t get that because they haven’t faced true burn out in their life yet, either due to the momentum or success of their business, and countless other reasons. They have a vested interest in just keeping on keeping on and keeping those around them keeping up and on too. It’s good for business now, and in the near term but in the not so long term it won’t be; for you, me, them, our customers, employees or our businesses bottom line.

Just hit your 40’s and 50’s (or earlier) after years of shorted sleep and vacations, little relaxation and going all the time, and you’ll see what I mean. You’re not there yet. But you run that risk “bigly,”

I’m not being negative, trying to find a chink in your armor, jealous of your success, or anything of the like. I started this off by telling you I love you buddy, and I am amazed by your companies success, but I know a thing or two about this evident but detrimental perspective you’re putting out as some tribal mindset for entrepreneurs; a rallying cry to keep going, as if “this is who we are.”

It’s 1-part passion, 2-parts fear, and 7-parts bullshit (not really scientific on that, but you get the idea) and it’s not who we are or what we are; it’s how we are due to our performance addicted culture. It’s flawed on just so many levels I could go on for hours. It also keeps people performance addictedthe only syndrome that could be ruining your life, and people around you are applauding you for it.

As a long-time tech and nutrition entrepreneur turned lifestyle entrepreneur now teaching people (including my self always) how to live a balanced and healthy “performance lifestyle” after years of maintaining the performance addiction you are currently modeling for people in that video, I had to respond to this. There is a new perspective on what you’re saying that is far more productive. And I know you are wise enough to explore it and even adopt it.

We can stop, be, rest, recover, take breaks, meditate, and rejuvenate on stay/vacations in the flux of our driven goal and success oriented lives if we have a performance lifestyle mindset/skills set and understand that performance is a lifestyle, not an addiction.

And it just so happens that vacations are a HUGE part of a lifestyle that is working for you not against you.

Burning out, and trading our health for success has never worked and won’t anytime soon. And I am not implying that you were in any way suggesting people live unhealthily, but tiring out, covering it up, and eventually burning out by making work is our vacation will do just that; it wears you out.

For many, the lack of enough sleep and poor management of their energy kills their performance. It’s the primary reason why they don’t have business momentum as they just keep tiring out and are afraid to take on the stress of running a company.

It’s a lifestyle thing, and way more than just sleep, exercise and working out.

You must admit, to do what you and I are doing and not burn out, or live unhealthy takes a lot of insight and support, and most people just don’t have it. Nor do they often have business traction at the level they need to afford that space and time. They’re getting there, but it is a major error in judgment to endorse a philosophy of not taking time away because it’s on the way up is when we need true vacations most.

I could keep going, but man, you’re an athlete, start conveying the lifestyle that helped you “peak” for events in sports, to the world of entrepreneurship— the world’s most intense sport. If you need some help, I’d be happy to fill you in, but for god’s sake don’t throw the baby out with the bath water, by taking an already over-stressed community of people and telling them that work is our vacation and we don’t need relaxation… “don’t worry we won’t burn out”…  You will. 

I would love it, if I could work not stop, never tire out, and keep going as far and as high as I want to go. That’s our true nature indeed. But we have body/brains to maintain, and these power tools will eventually force us into a lifestyle that meets our needs and maintains our function and performance.  They need to be recharged, refueled etc. And that’s a primary reason why we take vacations.

In the world, I AM an entrepreneur but I don’t want to be that inevitable burnout without a lifestyle that supports me and what I’m up to in the world. Healthy, high achieving people have performance lifestyle’s, they don’t live as performance addicts, at least not anymore.

Let’s talk. Maybe in your next video, we will put out some real wisdom on performance and lifestyle, in the way you deliver marketing insight. Good Stuff.

I know where you were going with this video and you are 100% right, it’s not a job it’s our life! Bravo! I’m with you. Let’s just make sure we respect what lifestyle is really about, and why we need vacations, to fully power up our lives.

I’ve got your back, Russel.

~ JAM

The Brownout Comes Before the Burnout

BY  of Collective Hub

There are early signs that you building up to a burnout. It’s the mini meltdown before the big breakdown.

Pettina Stanghon’s start-up was still in its honeymoon period when she noticed something happening amongst her employees. “A number of staff members started to have meltdowns,” says Pettina. “They seemed tearful and exhausted. Their relationships were suffering and they were projecting; getting angry and blaming the business for things that were happening to them.”This emotional downturn was particularly interesting given the nature of the business. Pettina is the co-founder of Noosa Confidential, a private rehab program that treats mental health issues. It also runs a corporate program for overworked, overstretched CEOs and leaders. But, ironically, her team were also struggling with their own stress levels.What’s the problem?One morning, Pettina received a letter from a key staff member who was an artist in her spare time, complaining because she no longer had time to paint. “You talk about the importance of self-care and creativity but you’re not giving your staff time to practice it,” the letter read.“As a business owner, my first reaction was frustration and criticism,” admits Pettina. “I am the daughter of two entrepreneurs and have a very strong work ethic. My staff is frequently pushed to the limits but I pay them well and always thought this was a fair exchange.”

Unlike the clients who come to the clinic suffering from burnout, her staff wasn’t at crisis point. They were just demotivated, disengaged and generally unhappy. They weren’t suffering from burnout – they were still able to come to work, to perform well and act efficiently. But, there was a general sense of unhappiness, tiredness, and lethargy.

Is it the “cold” or the “flu?”

And they’re not alone. In fact, this reaction to work is becoming so common that experts have given it a new name – brownout. The term, which is used to describe part of the life stage of a star, describes the stage before burnout. And it’s a condition many people seem to suffer from. If burnout is the flu, think of brownout as a common cold – they both have similar symptoms, but brownout is less crippling. You still go to the office, but your heart isn’t in it. You’d prefer to be hiding at home under your doona.

American coaching firm Corporate Balance Concepts recently surveyed 1000 executives and estimated that 5 per cent of them suffered from burnout, while 40 per cent suffered from ‘Executive Brownout’.

“Brownout is different from burnout because workers afflicted by it are not in obvious crisis,” says Michael E Kibler, CEO of Corporate Balance Concepts. “They seem to be performing fine: putting in massive hours in meetings and calls across time zones, grinding out work while leading or contributing to global teams, and saying all the right things in meetings (though not in side-bar conversations). However, these executives are often operating in a silent state of continual overwhelm, and the predictable consequence is disengagement.”

As an example, he cites the resignation of Mohamed El-Erian, the former CEO of PIMCO, who shocked the tech world by resigning suddenly in 2014 after his 10-year-old daughter wrote him a list of all the milestones he’d missed in her life (from Halloween parades to first soccer matches).

It’s worth noting that Mohamed hasn’t actually been diagnosed with brownout, nor has it yet been labeled an official condition – more a phrase that’s gaining momentum in the corporate and start-up world of high achievers and big goals, where high prices are often paid in return.

Michael says he is seeing the signs in every workplace – workers feeling drained from continuous obligations and physical deterioration from years of sub- optimal sleep. There’s also a diminishing ability to concentrate in non-business conversations. In business meetings, you’re still on your game, but no longer have any interest in making small talk with colleagues.

What to do when it happens to you

Australian business coach Brook McCarthy has suffered from a brownout, although she didn’t call it that at the time. “I describe it as the year I lost my business mojo,” she says. “I lost clients – and no wonder – because I had a stinking bad attitude. It felt like I fell into a funk that I could not get out of.” Her downward spiral was caused by small, everyday challenges that compounded.

“I had sleep deprivation and a few bad run-ins with people,” she recalls. “There were the endless go-nowhere coffee dates with the promise of possible work, which didn’t happen. And one memorable three- hour round trip to the outer reaches of Sydney for a meeting with a prospect who didn’t turn up, didn’t answer her phone, and didn’t bother getting in touch again.”

These setbacks weren’t enough to trigger full-blown burnout, but only because she took proactive measures. “I realised that I needed to take responsibility to woo my mojo back. The first step was valuing my time. I overhauled my quoting process and no longer had meetings without clear agendas. I also made time for joy and celebration. I adopted new practices such as taking my laptop out on excursions to cafes or art galleries. I started inviting my smartest girlfriends for spa dates to talk business.”

It might sound like clichéd advice – rest more, laugh more and say ‘no more’ – but the antidote to both burnout and brownout does appear to be making time for both work and your life outside of it. At Noosa Confidential, burnout sufferers are offered a combination of talk therapy combined with mindfulness techniques and are encouraged to ‘rediscover simple pleasures’ like walking on the beach or creating home-cooked meals.

As for the company’s internal culture, Pettina took innovative measures to boost morale. She implemented a four-day workweek (although some people choose to work five days and others work three and a half). The therapy team can also work from home whenever possible. The staff member who wrote the letter now sells her art at a local market and her paintings hang on the clinic walls. “I’m glad I had an open dialogue with my team early before it got worse,” says Pettina. “I don’t think there is a massive leap between brownout and burnout. One minute you’re fine and then you’re not. The tipping point could be something minor – having an argument with your husband or drinking too much one weekend. I didn’t want it to come to that.”

As brownout isn’t (yet) an official condition, good luck getting a sick note. But, if you diagnose yourself you can also cure yourself – with a course of self-care, an injection of self-worth and a daily dose of me-time.

BY  of Collective Hub

The New PerformanceLifestyle.com Goes Live!

The new Performance Lifestyle [PL] website is live!

This is our new virtual space, online training center, and the place of which we’ll be serving you. That is, when we’re not at a live event together. 🙂

For those of you who were subscribers to Nutrient-Rich Superfoods, you’ll see our natural products and education are now all built into Performance Lifestyle® and will be available very soon. We appreciate your patience.

I can’t wait to tell you all about PL.

Here at PerformanceLifestyle, we serve the achiever; primarily goal and success-oriented people (typically driven business professionals, entrepreneurs, business owners, executives and managers of growth organizations who are often women and men with families, who would be drawn to participating in endurance events as inspiration for their lives as whole and to stay in shape.

The reason this idea is so appealing to professionals is simple, because this is the group of people that fills out most of middle America. We are hard working hard charging people who have the balancing act of succeeding while taking care of ourselves, bodies and our lives, including our families. We have aspirations to rise and all of this takes an enormous amount of energy and skills to navigate for an optimal life experience.

Simply put, we need to function and perform as relatively high levels throughout the year in so many capacities that being distracted and held back by hidden lifestyle challenges such as the pandemic feeling of low energy and fatigue is not favorable. It leads to poor health and performance and this can netgatively affect a persons success results.

Of course, Performance Lifestyle’s Essential trainings can benefit anyone, as these are the fundamentals of successful living, which when applied in the macro of a persons life and the micro of day to day living, will change their life for the better forever.

We got inspiration for this idea of Performance Lifestyle Training, Coaching, and Support for people who may not be into sports or even fitness enthusiasts at present, but wants to start living with optimal energy levels, high-level health and performance (look and feel better too) ironically from the world of professional athletics, where the idea of living “performance lifestyle” was born. 

See About PL: The Origins of Performance Lifestyle. Athletes exemplify the mindset and lifestyle that supports performance, even if most have never been performance lifestyle trained. 

Their culture reinforces an approach to life that promotes balance and health to a certain and above-average extent (as a given not the goal) and yields the personal and professional performance so many people admire as we watch them achieve their goals. 

Athletes are also relatable and the most visible subset of the population that directly links their lifestyle with their success.

It does not matter if you were ever into sports or even a health or fitness enthusiast, you can benefit big by developing a performance lifestyle you can call your own. 

As a former competitive athlete turned worn-down tech entrepreneur, when I discovered the idea of living a performance lifestyle, it prompted me to begin applying my previous ways of life as an athlete to my life as a business and family man.

I knew a lot about nutrition, fitness and the need for sleep, but it wasn’t enough. I wanted to improve my energy levels more than anything else, and of course my health and performance, which were all lagging big time at the time.

It was not until I relearned how to approach life with the mindset and lifestyle of an athlete, with emphasis on harnessing, maintaining and managing my personal energy, that things began to correct course and life itself got better across the board.  
But it didn’t stop there…

With a world-class lifestyle science advisory team, we have since taken this approach in life to a whole new tier of understanding and application.

In addition to thinking and living like an athlete, Performance Lifestyle uncovers the science of evolutionary biology, bioenergetics, and seasonal variation… at the core of the lifestyle, to reveal the secrets of optimal energy; also known as Performance Living 101.

You’ll be learning a lot more about all of that and it will enhance your performance in a measurable way, as we reveal the science, the principles and best practices across every aspect of the lifestyle that enables people to live in balance, with vibrant health and peace of mind while achieving even their most ambitious goals.  

Get ready to discover the never-before-assembled lifestyle formula for optimal energy, health, and performance, so that you can start living with optimal energy levels. 

When you first get to the site, click on the play button at the top of the site, or go here and you’ll get a video from me.

I share some of this back story, and my personal experience, first hand, as you begin to peruse the site.  

Why be an active subscriber, student, and client of Performance Lifestyle, Inc?

 In addition to offering you great content with insights that directly link your lifestyle, not only with your energy levels and health but with your whole-life performance and success, we’ll be delivering;

Imagine what would happen in your life if you got trained on all the essential aspects of your lifestyle and optimized how you live.

  • You can, one-by-one, or all-in-one with our year-round lifestyle training called PL365® that is the most inclusive and transformative training you’ll find anywhere. 

We’ll help clarify your imagination in future messages about what’s possible with Performance Lifestyle Training.

So if you want to…

  1. Resolve the hidden lifestyle challenges, such as fatigue, get your energy back and start living with optimal energy levels.
  2. Evolve with a new mindset and skill set so you can begin living in balance with vibrant health and peace of mind, 
  3. Achieve even your most ambitious goals by thinking and living like an athlete in life and at work with the potential inspiration of endurance sport. 

You are in the right place.