Just over a year ago I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease after being sick, chronically exhausted, and mentally in a fog for 6 months. Before I became sick I was suffering with "Super Woman Syndrome". If you haven't heard of this it means you think you can do everything all at once, and you actually do as much as you can as quickly as you can.
For me this meant, running and growing a multi-million dollar business without a full team to support me, getting engaged and married within 6 months, saying yes to being in a friends wedding that was just 1 month before my own (which meant another bachellorette party and destination wedding), travelling to my cousins wedding in Charleston, SC, working out hard 5-6 days a week, eating a really strict no sugar diet, planning my own wedding, having a social life, and making time for my then fiance. And to put the cherry on top my husband and I each lost a family member and his father had a heart attack 2 months before our wedding.
I had stretched my mind and body way beyond its breaking point, and it notified me of this by coming down with pheumonia which landed me in the hospital 2 weeks before my wedding. Needless to say the wedding was cancelled. (Don't worry we still got married, and the 2nd wedding was so much better than the 1st would have been.)
I spent most of last year (2016) either sick or going through treatments for Lyme Disease. After about 6 months of the holistic therapies I felt so much better. I was getting back to work but still taking it easy (something that doesn't come naturally to me). I would feel good one day and go back to my almost-normal level of activity and then be irritatingly exhausted the next day and be forced to rest.
I started of 2017 on a positive note. I felt like all of the sh*t my husband and I went through in the last 18 months was over and we were both motivated and ready to focus on us and our careers. I made the goal that I was going to build a complete marketing team as quickly as possible so that I could step out of working almost completely IN my business and work ON it more.
As usual, I worked tirelessly for long hours and a few weekends and accomplished this in just 3 short months. I have a great team now. Each is a positive influence on everyone else, an expert in their part of the marketing pie, and has good energy. We have a system to organize all of the tasks and projects so everyone knows what they have to do and when they have to do it so I don't have to micro-manage. *Ding!
After I hired the last member of my team I crashed. I felt like I did over a year ago when I was constantly exhausted, not able to think clearly, and had no motivation. This has happened to me before, several times actually in my adult life. I push really hard on a project I'm passionate about and then crash and burn. It happened after grad school, it happened 2 weeks before my wedding, and I am getting the feeling that it is about to happen again.
I happened to go out to lunch with my dad (and business partner) one day this week and I was telling him about how happy I am with my team, but how utterly exhausted I am. We had a 4 hour lunch, half of which was discussing this so I won't bore you with all of the details, but the conclusion we came to was that:
- I am not a "slow-and-steady" kind of person. I get into something and work on it until I burn myself out.
- Now that I have a team to keep our marketing efforts chugging along I have the ability to work in spurts and then check out completely to recharge.
- I need to take a vacation... now!
After I thought about it for a while it made total sense. I have the ability to work in short bursts (2-3 months) and stay highly motivated and energized. Then I usually crash and get sick. Up until now I have never given myself the time or have been able to step away and recharge. Well... that ends now. When my father opened my eyes to how I operate and recommended taking frequent vacations between projects to let my mind rest it was like a light bulb went off in my head. This could be a technique to allow me to be highly motivated and energized for most of the year, instead of being burnt out and run down most of the time.
So on April 23rd (2017) I'm taking a 2 week vacation where I have no plans. I booked a quick flight to Florida, rented a beautiful condo on the Intercoastal Waterway and a block from the beach, and am going to lay in the sun, drink some juice, and Netflix & chill.
And when I come back I'll start another project, go as long as I can, and then book another vacation when I start to sense my energy and motivation taking a dip.
I'll keep you posted on my progress.... after I'm fully recharged!
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I grew up in an entrepreneurial and a creative home. Mom, Dad, and Big Bill (my paternal grandfather) were all entrepreneurs. Mom, Grandma (my paternal grandmother), Nani (my paternal grandmother), and countless Aunts were creators from painters to interior designers to architects. I found [...]