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Finding Balance to Avoid Burnout

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You know hard work pays off.  But, working too hard can also lead to burnout.  It’s all about finding and maintaining just the right amount of balance – staying active but not wearing yourself into the ground.  It can be particularly busy when you’re first getting your start, because you’re tasked with pulling marketing materials together, drafting emails to send to casting directors, ensuring you have just the right headshot to share, and lots of other time-consuming, yet vital upfront tasks.  The good news is – it gets easier with time.  Once you have all of these things in place, you can start working towards getting the exposure you need, and you’ll quickly find your flow.

Of course, the initial prep is likely not going to be as fun as auditioning for gigs, attending improv sessions or getting booked for a modeling shoot.  And, sometimes, no matter how hard you try to stay motivated, doing things you think are redundant and boring can make you feel burned out before you ever truly started.  On the flip side, positioning yourself for success might kick your adrenaline into high gear and make you want to give this your all, pushing full speed ahead day in and day out.  Regardless of whether you’re overly exhausted from minding the minor details or refusing to give yourself a break, if you don’t pace yourself, you’ll get less-than-desirable results.

Common signs off burnout include exhaustion, energy depletion and irritability.  If you feel any of these creeping in, making it tough to continue, take time to rest.  You don’t have to completely check out, but you should take a minute every now and again to recoup and refill your reserves.  Do something you enjoy that is completely unrelated.  Read a book.  Go on a bike ride.  See a movie with a friend.  When you give yourself a break – even a short one – you’re allowing your mind and body to relax just enough to keep this endeavor exciting, not exhausting. 

Every entertainer is a business owner.  And, as a business owner, you have a ton of responsibility for your business’s success.  It’s true – you’ll get from this what you put in.  In the beginning, you’re still learning, still developing your plan.  Over time, you’ll better understand what works and what doesn’t and how to manage your time effectively.  Until then, reflect on what you’re doing, express gratitude and give yourself a break when things get overwhelming. 

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