A bit of good ol’ grandpa wisdom

Avoiding burnout before the ‘burn’ even begins


One day back in September of 2022, I accepted the fact I was in trouble of burning out.

I was constantly tired, having trouble focusing on client work, and was hella grumpy.

After having a good healthy cleansing cry about it, I shifted how I went about my day.

I still did client work, but I made sure my breaks were intentional and spacious and I’m already feeling better. (yay!)

But, how did I know that I needed to shift in the first place?

A few days prior, I had decided to take dinner to my almost-90-year-old grandpa for a little grandkid/grandparent date.

He’s not the biggest talker or best conversationalist.​

But something about that night really opened him up.
He told me stories for two straight hours.

⚾️ I learned why baseball is such a boring sport now. (it wasn’t boring 60 years ago, hit me up if you wanna know how it’s changed)

😍 I got to hear totally new stories of how he and my grandma fell in love.

🚲 We got into his love of cycling and how it gave him so much joy over the fifty years he rode. (this dude was still biking races when he was well into his 80s. #lifegoals)

My grandpa—and my uncle who also took up cycling—taught me a lot about biking.

One piece of advice they gave me really stuck.

I apply it to everything, not just cycling:

“Drink water before you’re thirsty and shift gears before you’re tired.”

Biking up a hill?
Downshift before you need it.
It will save you energy and keep you going longer.

Approaching burnout?
Downshift before you need it.

As I was chatting with him this weekend, I realized I needed to downshift before I hit total crispy lava-level burnout.

I was at ‘smoking tinder’ level of burnout.
It wasn’t dire, not yet.

But it could’ve been if I didn’t downshift before I catch fire.

Fall tends to be the season of burnout for a lot of entrepreneurs.

We made it through the year and are looking at the next year thinking ‘omg I have to do it all over again, but even better. Ugh.’

And we can all see our own signs of burnout before we’re an actively flaming mess of ‘holy shit I just wanna quit.’

Yet it’s SO HARD to shift gears.

It’s like we’re hurtling downhill and the brakes are broken – no stopping it now!!!!!!

All it takes to slow down burnout is to start adding a few pauses to your day.
Downshift before you’re tired.

The Go-Try-It-Out Section

Let this blog be your invitation to sit back and notice where you’re at on the burnout spectrum.

💧No threat of fire here
🔥Smoking tinders
🔥Catching fire​
​🔥Engulfed in flames
🔥The floor is lava and literally everything is terrible
🔥Smoldering embers with absolutely nothing left

How can you shift before you’re too tired for the effort of recovery to even matter?


What does downshifting look like for you?

Get on my bird list!