- The Light House by Robyn James
- Breakthrough vs Burnout: How to Redesign Your Business
Breakthrough vs Burnout: How to Redesign Your Business
How to recognize those moments of tension, and move through them without burning out.
If you’re a soul-led entrepreneur, you have likely experienced moments of tension in your business. As you grow, parts of your brand, or business model, or content, or offerings, or clientele, etc. will start to feel “off” or sticky. (Spoiler alert: this is a GOOD sign.)
In this blog and video (below), I’m going to share how to recognize those moments of tension, how to move through them from breakthrough rather than burnout, and teach you my exact framework for uncovering the next evolution of your business & brand.
My intention for sharing this is for you to see yourself and your business in a completely new light, unlocking a new level of clarity and confidence as you navigate each phase and stage of entrepreneurial growth.
These concepts have the potential to completely change how you grow your business, how you make decisions, and how you create impact and income from a place of purpose and alignment.
There are parts of this lesson that I’ve run as workshops before, and have had incredible feedback. The last time I presented it was with a group of marketing experts in the nonprofit space and they had a ton of lightbulb moments. But recently, a few more pieces dropped in that will surround or envelop this message...
The core of what I’m about to share is my signature brand building framework – it applies to any business at any stage of growth. I take my agency clients through this process, and it is extremely powerful for businesses of all sizes – all the way from startups, to multimillion dollar multinational companies, to nonprofits.
But the extra pieces that dropped in around this conversation make this lesson especially potent for personal brands. (By personal brands, I mean entrepreneurs whose business is a direct extension/reflection of them.)
I’m going to cover three topics:
How to recognize the tension that indicates something in your business or brand needs to shift
Making those shifts from a place of burnout versus breakthrough
My framework to ground you and expand you through those shifts
01. How to recognize the tension (and why it’s showing up)
There will come a moment in any business, no matter how big or small, where tension is felt. Maybe that tension is realizing that your outward appearance no longer matches your inward expertise. You’ve outgrown your branding, or your website, or your content. Maybe the tension is from your offerings – you aren’t excited to deliver your products or services anymore.
Maybe the tension is that your original vision and mission have shifted, but you can’t quite articulate why or how, so it’s hard to show up in your marketing when you don’t have a clear end game.
Maybe the tension is from outgrowing your clients. Your level of expertise has grown beyond your current target market’s needs.
We all have different thresholds of tolerance for living in this tension. My tolerance is pretty low – as soon as I feel it, I start to reimagine my business. Some of my clients have had very high tolerances – they come to me 3, 5, 10 years into their business ready to make some changes. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong level of tension tolerance, but the real question is what do you do when you feel it.
Most people jump straight into fixing the symptoms that arise from this place of tension. They might initiate a rebrand or hire someone to make them a new website, they might hire a marketing expert to help generate more leads. Perhaps they hire a PR or sales expert to boost their exposure or increase their revenue.
But the problem with that approach is that it’s not addressing the root cause. The tension is a sign that something in your soul is wanting to express something, and the container of your business isn’t yet ready or able to hold that.
So the real question here is: what is trying to be expressed through me? What feels off, or sticky, or out of alignment? And what needs to shift in my business to be able to hold that?
(To help you dive into this discovery further, download my free Brand & Business Alignment Audit)
02. The energy of burnout vs breakthrough
When you start to take action in making these shifts, I’ve noticed there’s two energies they can be made from. The energy of burnout, and the energy of breakthrough.
Let me explain.
Most of the rebrands or business model shifts that I’ve done throughout the years have come from a place of burnout. Of reaching a point of depletion where I felt like I wanted to delete everything and start over.
I recognized this pattern in two “aha” moments:
First, I realized that many of the ways I wanted to restructure my business weren’t necessarily true. I was simply reacting to the depletion. Some of the things I said I didn’t want anymore, I actually do still want, I just needed a bit of recovery time from the depletion.
Second, I’m currently experiencing a breakthrough (the other energy I’ll discuss in a moment). Being in breakthrough rather than burnout right now is making me want to make changes from a much more expansive, empowered space. This current situation is a stark contrast to the previous moments of shifting my business model and/or brand.
Do you recognize yourself in either of those scenarios?
Maybe you actually do love delivering your offerings, but you’re serving the wrong group of people. Maybe your original vision does still hold true, but you got sidetracked by seeing other people in your space pursuing different goals. Maybe your website does still tell a beautiful, aligned story of your business, it just needs some of the content to be updated.
Now let’s talk about the energy breakthrough that I touched on. I’ve recognized that the tension can also come from the dance of self discovery and self expression.
Self discovery, to self expression, to self discovery, to self expression.
Yin, to yang, to yin, to yang.
Reflection, to action, to reflection, to action.
This is a dance of polarities. This dance will continue to move and evolve and expand you, your vision, your business, your desires.
This dance will make you want to make changes to your brand and business, but from an EMPOWERED and EXPANDED space.
If you are currently in the energy of burnout, though, I still encourage you to take steps towards shifting your brand and business. Movement creates momentum. As you take action, you will learn more about yourself and where you truly want to go. Every rebrand or remodel I’ve done from burnout has led me closer to my truth, my path, my purpose. It might just take a little bit longer because some recovery (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual) needs to happen in there.
Regardless of whether you are in burnout or breakthrough, my framework will help you with that dance of self discovery and self expression. It will give you something to anchor into so that this endless dance can have some form and structure.
03. My signature brand building framework for aligned expression
This is The Brand Capsule® process that, as mentioned, I use on every client, big and small, and at any stage of their evolution. I just had a discovery call with a lovely, badass, visionary woman who, when I explained this process, said “That’s genius. And it’s so... clean.” That is the ultimate compliment – what I’m about to walk you through is very deep and very thorough, but when you get to the end and have all of these pieces outlined and synthesized and aligned, it really is clean.
Before we dive in, there’s something important I want you to understand: this isn’t a one-and-done process. This is a framework that you can revisit every time that tension starts to arise. It’s also important to note that each piece layers on the other – starting with your Purpose, a chain reaction will be set off, impacting each subsequent step.
The first step is getting clear on your Purpose. The why beneath the why. I recently unlocked a deeper level of my Purpose because I kept asking myself (and God) “why”. Why do I care about this? Why does it matter to me? You’ll know you’ve hit the truth when it brings tears to your eyes. And usually, it’s much more simple than we think.
After getting clear on your Purpose, play that forward into your Vision. If your Purpose could live its full potential in the world, what would your life look like? What would your business look like? And how would this impact your clients, your community, the world? This is your North Star. It will likely evolve over time, although the deeper essence of your Vision – connected to the deeper essence of your Purpose – will likely remain true through each phase of your business’s evolution.
Now for the third step – getting clear on your Values. These are like the guardrails, or as I like to say, like putting up the gutters when you go bowling. Your Values help your Purpose (the bowling ball) stay on track towards your Vision (the pins) without going into the gutter and having to start over. Your Values likely don’t change over time – they are something you can remain rooted in, like your Purpose, as the Vision and your business evolve.
The fourth step is understanding who you most want to Serve. Who is your muse? Who would benefit most from the medicine of your Purpose? We’re not talking about demographics here – we’re talking about the identity, the desires, the pain, the pleasure of the people you are here to impact. Get clear on that and watch your entire business change for the better.
The fifth step is defining, creating, or reimagining your Offerings as they pertain to everything we’ve gone over so far. How are your Offerings (your products & services) the bridge from your Muse’s pain to pleasure? How do your Offerings connect your Purpose to their desires? Your current Offerings may need to shift to better align with your Purpose and your people.
Next, we can define your Mission. This is the “how” your business is moving towards your Vision; the day-to-day actions and intentions that power your Purpose. A good Mission statement includes elements of the “who, what, when, where, why” – connecting everything from steps 1 to 5 in a few sentences (or a few paragraphs, resulting in a Manifesto).
Now that we’ve done the inner deep dive, we can being to think about how this comes to live visually. What Aesthetic best represents everything we’ve uncovered so far, and would resonate with your dream client? Create a mood board to inspire your creativity.
The eighth step is crafting your brand Name – this includes your sub-brand, program, process, or offering names as well as your tagline(s). How can you tell the story of you, your brand, and your Purpose in just a few words?
The last step of The Brand Capsule® process is uncovering your brand Voice. What words, personality, tone, or expression feels the most aligned with you, while deeply resonating with your muse? Getting clear on this is helpful as you grow your team and have others writing, marketing, or selling on your behalf.
With all of these pieces uncovered, you can look to align them in one greater system – your brand. Does anything you’ve noted within steps 1 to 9 feel “off” in relation to the other pieces you’ve identified? Does something about your current business need to shift to allow you to be fully expressed through it? This is part intuition, part strategy. Don’t be afraid to make cuts in the name of alignment.
Watch this 30 minute video where I dive deeper into these concepts. This truly is a masterclass in personal branding – take notes!
Did this spark any breakthroughs for you? I'd love to know! Send me a message to share, or to inquire about how I can support you through this process in a deeper way.