My Burnout Moment That Changed It All | #32

September 30, 2022

Hi, my friend Shannon here with a short solo episode for you. My guest earlier this week on the podcast was burnout coach, Ash Burnside. Our conversation in Episode 31 of the podcast was really all about listening to our inner voices on the daily. And it really sunk in for me. I have been reflecting on […]

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Host, Shannon Russell

Host, Shannon Russell


Hi, my friend Shannon here with a short solo episode for you. My guest earlier this week on the podcast was burnout coach, Ash Burnside. Our conversation in Episode 31 of the podcast was really all about listening to our inner voices on the daily. And it really sunk in for me. I have been reflecting on one moment in my life where I can now see that maybe perhaps, I was burned out. This moment changed my life, as it catapulted me into changing careers and led me to a life I never would have imagined as an entrepreneur. I’m sharing my story for you today.

Do you ever feel like you are running through life, trying to check off your to-do list, marking the boxes of things that you’re supposed to be doing rather than prioritizing what you want to do each day. I am raising my hand right now because yes, I am the queen of this. Hopefully my experience and my burnout moment will shed some light on your situation. Let’s spend some time together as we dive into this episode of The Second Act Success Podcast!

Second Act Success Podcast
Season 1 -Episode #32 - My Burnout Moment That Changed It All
Host: Shannon Russell
Transcription (*created by Descript and may not be perfectly accurate)

[00:00:00] Shannon: Are you at a crossroads in your career or in life? Well, don't worry because life's next chapter is waiting. This is the Second Act Success Podcast. I am your host Shannon Russell.

I'm a television producer, turned boy mom, turned business owner, podcaster, and career coach. If you are looking to start a new career or begin a fresh chapter in life, then get ready to be inspired with stories of women who have done just that. We will share advice and offer steps you can take to help figure out what your true calling in life really is.

It is time to shine. So let's turn the page and get started.

Welcome to Second Act Success.

Hi, my friend Shannon here with a short solo episode for you. My guest earlier this week on the podcast was burnout coach, Ash Burnside. She is such a [00:01:00] special friend and a beautiful person. Our conversation in episode 31 of the podcast was really all about listening to our inner voices on the daily. And it really sunk in for me.

As the great Ferris Bueller one said, life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop to look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Do you ever feel like you are running through life, trying to check off your to-do list, marking the boxes of things that you're supposed to be doing rather than prioritizing what you want to do each day. I am raising my hand right now because yes, I am the queen of this. I love a to-do list. I love checking things off. I love feeling accomplished.

But ever since my conversation with Ash about her burnout experience, I have been reflecting on one moment in my life where I can now see that maybe perhaps. I was burned out. I remember this particular day. So clearly in my mind. I was running through the Times Square subway station in New York City, trying to catch my bus home from work. I lived in New Jersey, [00:02:00] which was about a two hour commute door to door from my office. I was wearing high heels. I was eight months pregnant and I just had to catch this bus home because I had to pick up my two year old at daycare by six o'clock. I was already late for the bus and the panic was real. I remember not even caring when my team started texting me photos, huddled around Carrie Underwood on a shoot that I was supposed to be producing that day. I love Carrie Underwood. But can I tell you I was not even jealous. I was numb. I didn't care about the photos. I didn't want to be there I knew that I needed to be on this bus on my way to pick up my son from daycare. That was my priority.

Now looking back, I was burned out. And had no emotions. It was then that I knew I was finished living the life of a television producer, the running around the city all day and then stressing to get home for my family at night had become too much.

Something needed to change. I needed a career that would fit my new [00:03:00] life as a mom of two little ones. I was so lucky to have had this dream job and accomplished so much, but my life had been changing and I had to keep up. Have you ever felt that way? I know, I felt so lonely at the time, but I just knew in my heart that a change needed to happen.

Trying to live up to the expectations of others, trying to maintain my reputation in the industry and just trying to be the perfect mom and wife and friend and boss that I could be. I had had it. And I could no longer allow myself to continue. In this profession because I was no longer good at it. Or so I felt. My heart wasn't in it. And my dedication just was not there.

While I was on maternity leave. The TV show that I was producing was canceled, and this was the sign that I was waiting for. I didn't know I was waiting for it, but when it hit me. I knew. I didn't have to go back to that job. There was no job to go back to. In fact, So, yes, I could have made a few calls to friends and found another show to produce. [00:04:00] I'm sure. But no. I knew this wasn't the right move for my health or for the wellbeing of my family. If I wasn't happy with the stress of the job and being a mom, how could I be a good mom to my boys?

I took this as a chance to think about what I really wanted to do outside of television. What did I want to do outside of the only industry I ever knew?

The profession that I worked so hard to Excel And the career that I loved, but somehow it just didn't fit me anymore. A lot of my friends that were still in television, didn't understand my sudden need to escape But it didn't really matter to me. And I think that was one of the reasons where I knew I was burned out. Because. I knew that maybe I didn't know what I was going to do. But that was okay. I would figure it out.

My kids were my focus. I was hyper-focused on them, but then it came time to needing to contribute to the family financially as well. My husband was a television producer and he was [00:05:00] busy working. So for me, I needed to figure out that next I started thinking, well, maybe I'll become a teacher. It had always been something kind of way in the back of my mind. So I started researching and I found an intensive graduate school program that would allow me to get my master's in education online. And in a quicker time schedule.

Very hastily. I dove in and applied and without really thinking, next thing I knew I was in the program working on a master's. I never had a desire to get my master's in anything. So this was kind of an abrupt decision. Now that I look back I figured it was something I could do. And there was a means to an end. If I did this program, I would be a teacher at the end of it. And that would allow me. Flexible schedule for the kids doing something that I love giving back to my community.

So while I was taking this program, one of my best friends told me that it was an awful decision because she was a teacher and sadly, she grew to dislike the education system. I had a feeling she was [00:06:00] right, but for some reason I just had to continue because it was my only option that I could come up with at that point.

At the same time, another great friend of mine recommended me for a project manager role at a local marketing agency near my home. It was a nine to five office job, which was never ever my thing. But it made me feel a little less guilty about spending money on graduate school and not working. So I took the job because I thought that it was what I was supposed to do as a wife and a mom. So the kids went to daycare and I worked this job that I absolutely despised in a very toxic environment. And then I went home and took my grad classes at night. I could tell that neither of these were for me, but I was alone and stuck. And I felt like I had zero options.

In my conversation with Ash, She had mentioned the idea of being crowded out of your own life. I had never heard that analogy before. But I was definitely being crowded out of my own life. Now that I look back on it. I didn't [00:07:00] recognize myself or my life at the time. My only break in the madness was a 60 minute lunch break that I would take in my car alone so that I could listen to podcasts. These podcasts that I would listen to were of people who I felt like had it all together. They had a life that I longed for a career that I wanted. People like Jenna Kutcher, Amy Porterfield and Marie Forleo. They were my biz besties that I was listening to while I was working at this horrible job. I would listen to their shows about being solo, preneurs and running these amazing businesses, creating a life that they loved. One afternoon while I was sitting in my car having lunch. Marie Forleo said something that seriously changed my life that day. She said her famous words, everything is figureoutable. I've said this on the podcast before, but those words seriously stuck to me and made me figure things out. It was like all of my stress and my sadness stopped in that moment. And I thought, well, I can fix [00:08:00] this. This is figureoutable. I am going to produce my life. I produced million dollar productions for media companies. I can make something for myself. I had no idea what. But I knew that it was going to be my own business, some kind of business. Because then I could be my own boss and create the flexibility and the lifestyle that I wanted for my family.

That week. I happened to notice that my three-year-old loved to build with Lego bricks or anything. He could get his hands on. And the idea of opening a STEM center for kids came to me. I seriously don't know where the idea came from. It just popped in my

I felt like it would mesh my producer skills from television, with my education skills. I was learning in graduate school and together I could produce a stem business for myself, teaching kids, science, technology, engineering, and math and building and thinking like an engineer. It was just so cool to watch my son build and create and get so in the zone when he was [00:09:00] focused. If you have kids, I'm sure you have seen that similar look on your child's face when they have an idea in their head and they're trying to make it come to life with their hands. It really is incredible.

I immediately started Googling and researching how to start a stem center for I had zero ideas on how to do this. I was just learning as much as I could about the space.

I stumbled across a franchise called Snapology, that did the same thing. They taught children how to build and think like engineers. I fell in love with the franchise and just dove right in.

Luckily my husband was on board and I stopped graduate school and opened my first business with Snapology.

I love the fact that even though I didn't finish my master's in education to become a teacher. That master's program led me to opening my business. I truly believe that the education classes that I was taking led me to this. So instead of becoming a [00:10:00] typical classroom teacher, I was able to open my own business where I get to teach children in a different way. Now every month, when I make that payment on my student loans, I remember that it gave me a new start and a new life that I love.

So guess Putting an end to the burnout and stopping the stress I was feeling was not easy, but I did It took many months of trial and error, but I discovered my next path that brought me peace. Before the clarity came mistakes like that job. I hated owing money to my student loans for a program that I didn't finish. Finding a new identity after leaving a profession that I loved. I stumbled and I failed, but guess I figured it Marie was Everything is figureoutable.

I trusted in myself and I took a leap of faith that led me to a second act. And a second dream job. I opened my own business. And grew it to be a successful company that now supports my family and allows me the flexibility that I could never have had while working [00:11:00] in TV. People ask me why I left such a glamorous career to own a small business. Then they asked me how I was able to do it. I wanted to make a change because I had my non-negotiables in check.

I knew I wanted to be a present mom to my little kids. I wanted flexibility. I took what I learned from 16 years of producing in the entertainment industry. To produce my own life.

I believe we aren't meant to do just one thing in life. Or to have just one career, let's do it all. But not at the sake of our health or burnout.

As Ash said in our conversation earlier this week on the podcast. Burnout can be treated. We need to notice the signs within ourselves. I noticed those signs and I made a change. And it worked out. I was very fortunate.

But I learned throughout all the trials and tribulations Of leaving a career in an industry that I loved starting a business that I had no idea what I was And being able to overcome the [00:12:00] obstacles to grow it into something that is successful serves my community and helps my family. Was such a gift.

Realizing the signs of burnout. Taking a step back, reassessing my needs. Trust me, I hit some walls. I ran down a path into dead ends, but then I figured it out. I made a switch. And here I

I launched Second Act Success this year. I guess it's my third act now. The podcast and my career coaching have been amazing. Now I get to help others. Like you produce your best life to. Ash said that support is key as part of burnout recovery, and coming into yourself to be the best version of yourself. You need that support to become your best self. Through my podcast and sharing stories of others who have had a second act and pivoted when times were tough to find something that truly lights them up and gives them happiness has been such a great gift. I felt very alone, probably because I didn't lean on people and I was leaving.[00:13:00] An industry where all of my friends were. And it was just very difficult for me to figure out those steps after so many years in one profession.

My goal is that this podcast. Can help you hear stories from other people that may inspire you? This way you don't feel so alone on this process and that you know, that it can be possible.

I created The Second Act Accelerator Course as a way to offer a program with students so that we can all work together as a group to support each other and get out of burnout.

We want to get out of that area of unknown, that confusion, that gray space, so that you can learn what it is that you want out of life. Together in this course, you will learn the steps to take you from where you are now to where you want to be. I will walk with you on this path towards your second act.

I made the mistakes. So now you don't have to. This course is all about coaching guidance and group work, To help you set up a plan to navigate towards what you really [00:14:00] want from this one life you are given.

Take a moment to think about those thoughts that you have running through your head right now. Think about the questions of uncertainty. And maybe the doubts that you have creeping in. You deserve the time to clear your head? Make a plan and take confident action. Don't you.

Yes, there are many factors in changing careers or moving towards a life that lights you up, but it can be done with research, planning and support.

Helping others produce a life of balance and abundance is my mission. And I am so pumped to kick off the Second Act Accelerator program on October 17th.

If you feel like this program may be of assistance as you move towards a new chapter in your life. One that has clarity, balance and fulfillment, then I would love to work with The doors to registration are wide open, but only for a limited time and to a small group of students. This is our first round. So I filled it with tons of extra coaching time live [00:15:00] workshops with expert guests and more goodies for founding students.

Head over to secondactsuccess.co/course. For info and you can sign up at secondactsuccess.co/signup.

If you have any questions about the program and what's included, feel free to reach out to me directly. I always love to chat. My email is info@secondactsuccess.co.

If this is not the right time for you, I completely understand. It's important for you to work on you. And please listen to the voice inside your head and that feeling in your hearts. If you feel burnout creeping in, please take a step back to assess where you are and to confide in someone else.

The word burnout can be thrown around as if it's just another day in the craziness of life, but it really truly isn't. Burnout is something that you feel within and you feel like you can not get out of. So please take it seriously. Allow yourself, the space to rest and heal before it takes over. You [00:16:00] deserve to find the space in your daily life. That is for you. Thanks to Ash Burnside for letting us know that once you shatter. You will be able to put yourself together in the right way.

If you haven't listened to my conversation with burnout, coach Ash Burnside. You should definitely check it out. It's episode 31 of the podcast.

Thank you so much for spending a small part of your busy day with me, my friends. I am so honored to get, to have your ear and have this heart to heart with you. Make it a great day and find a few minutes to be alone with yourself and your thoughts. I'll catch you next time

[00:16:34] Shannon: Thank you for joining us. I hope you found some gems of inspiration and some takeaways to help you on your path to Second Act Success. To view show notes from this episode, visit secondactsuccess.co. Before you go, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast. So you don't miss a single episode. Reviews only take a few moments and they really do mean so much. Thank you again for listening. I am Shannon [00:17:00] Russell, and this is Second Act Success.




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Previous Episode:

Episode 31: Burnout is real! Burnout Coach Ash Burnside talks about the warning signs