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Balance or Burnout: How I Saved My Career & Health

My two favourite words are: Never Assume.

Assumptions are limiting. They facilitate tunnel vision or create unnecessary expectations that if unmet may crush your confidence—personally or professionally. The moment you assume anything, you shut yourself off from opportunity.

Here’s a short ‘assumption’ story.

One of my assumptions was that I couldn’t run.

I’d never been athletic growing up and would often forge my mother’s signature to get out of PE at school.

Until my late 30’s, I didn’t have much time for working out or physical activity. Life was about work. I’d become wildly successful in my 20’s after starting my own consulting company. I worked with hundreds of businesses across Australia and helped them increase their annual profits by $500,000.

I traveled for 17 years straight, spending more time in the Business Class Lounge than in my living room. I was at the top of my game, helping companies develop and grow their brands exponentially. I excelled (and still do) in business strategy and making people millions.

38, experiencing ongoing symptoms of burnout, life delivered a final message: Balance or Burnout!

I went soul searching to find something that would return my life to equilibrium. Eventually, the solution surfaced: I would learn to run.

Everyone around me thought I had lost my mind—particularly my family—but I was committed!

I set the New York Marathon, 9 months away as my big goal to keep me accountable, disciplined and committed. Upping the stakes, I also decided to raise money for breast cancer.

From barely being able to run 100m to running the New York Marathon and raising $97,000 to complete another 30 marathons around the globe thereafter (including 12 marathons in 12 months to celebrate my 50th Birthday)—I understand the value of self-belief and its effect on well being and success.

If I can run 31 marathons with no athletic ability, using grit and determination to push outside of my comfort zone, then you can too!

Whats the life lesson? 

Running a business tinkering on the edge of burnout is not a successful business model. Assuming you can do and be everything to everyone and be successful in business is an unhealthy assumption to hold.

Real business success emerges when you have energy, possess a resilient mindset and can conquer the challenges before you.