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In this interview, Matthew Rawlins discusses the crucial topic of overcoming burnout as an entrepreneur. With his extensive experience in the entrepreneurial world and a deep understanding of the challenges faced by business owners, Matthew shares valuable insights and strategies for regaining energy; rekindling passion; and navigating the phases of growth. He emphasizes the importance of prioritizing well-being, establishing rhythms of rest and renewal, and seeking support to overcome burnout and thrive in the ever-demanding entrepreneurial landscape.
Interviewer: Can you tell me about your work and how you support your clients?
Matthew Rawlins: Over the past seven or eight years, I’ve been involved in the entrepreneurial world. I started by building a social magazine in Southeast Portland, which I eventually sold. I then ventured into the Airbnb business. Throughout this journey, I’ve developed a passion for working with business owners and entrepreneurs, helping them have those “aha” moments that lead to transformative shifts and taking massive action to leverage them.
My role revolves around assisting successful business owners who have hit a wall and are experiencing burnout, exhaustion, and fatigue. I help them pause, reflect, and recharge for their next phase of growth. We refer to this model as the breakdown, the bridge, and the breakthrough.
Unlike other business coaches who focus on scaling companies or achieving specific revenue milestones, our approach is more qualitative. We assess factors such as energy levels, burnout, confusion about the next steps, and passion, assigning rankings on a scale of one to ten.
Our aim is to reduce exhaustion, burnout, and confusion in clients. For example, when a client joins us, their exhaustion level may be at a ten, but we strive to bring it down to a three or four. Conversely, if their energy level is initially at a three, we work towards elevating it to a nine or ten. We also focus on clarifying their vision for their business and restoring their belief in themselves, enabling them to regain their energy levels before burnout.
What are the primary benefits your clients experience?
MR: The primary benefits our clients experience are an enhanced vision, renewed self-belief, and the energy to continue building their dream business. We consider this trifecta of vision, belief, and energy as key components of their transformation.
What causes entrepreneurs to lose their vision and enthusiasm?
MR: This can vary from person to person; it’s not a one-size-fits-all situation. However, entrepreneurs or business owners are incredibly dedicated and hardworking individuals, but they tend to neglect crucial aspects of their well-being. They may be putting in 80 or 90 hours a week, giving their all to their business, but there are limits to this level of commitment.
For example, they might not prioritize getting sufficient sleep or taking care of their physical health. Their focus becomes so consumed by work that their relationships start to suffer, and they lack the necessary connections. Personally, I can relate to this because I have experienced it in my own life. When you become too engrossed in work, you unintentionally isolate yourself from friends, disrupt your sleep patterns, and constantly feel anxious. It’s a state of being wired and stressed.
That’s why I’m committed to helping entrepreneurs establish rhythms of rest and renewal, and incorporate daily, weekly, and quarterly practices that become as crucial as all of their other business functions.
Why do entrepreneurs hesitate to seek help?
MR: While it varies for each individual, there are a couple of common patterns I’ve noticed. First, some entrepreneurs feel like it would be “a waste” to spend money on getting help when they can do it themselves.
This mindset often hinders them from seeking help, whether it’s from a coach, virtual assistant, or other available resources. Instead, they assume they have to single-handedly build their business, overlooking the option to outsource tasks that drain their energy. By delegating to experts in specific areas, entrepreneurs can free up their time and focus on more creative and productive aspects of their work. While it may require an initial investment, the return in terms of time and energy can be significant.
Then there’s the misconception that being an entrepreneur means doing everything by themselves, rather than building an infrastructure that allows the business to operate smoothly even without their constant presence. The goal is to create teams and systems that function effectively, even if the entrepreneur steps away, whether that’s for a long weekend or a month. Having clearly defined roles and delegating responsibilities allows entrepreneurs to focus on the bigger picture issues and the long-term growth of the business, rather than getting caught up in day-to-day tasks.
What types of businesses or entrepreneurs do you typically assist?
MR: My clients have encompassed a wide range of industries and professions. For example, I’ve had the privilege of coaching a highly skilled military helicopter pilot who had a vision for developing innovative pillow technology. It was fascinating to support someone with such a unique background.
Additionally, we engaged with an author/speaker seeking to grow their platform and work. As well, an architect who was known for their exceptional design abilities. In that scenario I helped them rebuild their emotional foundation as they were coming back from a burnout.
I have even coached individuals in high-trade level professions, such as a chiropractor who was developing new healing techniques and intellectual property related to healing systems. Essentially, I work with business owners, entrepreneurs, and individuals who are running their own businesses, regardless of whether it’s a one-person operation or a larger enterprise.
They all share a common thread of being passionate about their work and seeking support to overcome challenges and achieve their goals.
Can you provide an example of a client who faced a challenge, and how you helped them overcome it to become a better entrepreneur?
MR: Absolutely! I coached a chiropractor who encountered a significant challenge when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. During our session, he expressed concern about how it would impact his hands-on body work, which was the core of his practice.
To address this challenge, we embarked on a journey of finding solutions and adapting to the new circumstances. We started by mapping out a pathway for him to transition from in-person to remote work. Through discussions and brainstorming, we explored various strategies and ideas to help him navigate this uncharted territory and ensure the continuity of his business.
Ultimately, we developed a plan that involved identifying possibilities for remote work, exploring online platforms for consultations and treatments, and devising innovative ways to deliver value to his clients.
I was truly inspired by his determination and commitment to embracing change. Witnessing his willingness to shift his business model in the face of unprecedented circumstances highlighted his resilience and adaptability as an entrepreneur.
What inspires you in your work?
MR: I draw inspiration from various sources that have shaped my journey. It all began during my senior year in high school back in 2006 when I experienced a profound mental and emotional breakdown. This pivotal moment prompted me to prioritize my own well-being and relationships, recognizing the detrimental effects of burnout. This personal experience fuels my passion for helping others avoid similar struggles.
Furthermore, as an entrepreneur who has started businesses like an Airbnb venture and a local magazine, I intimately understand the challenges and pressures that come with building and running a business. This firsthand experience allows me to deeply connect with business owners and entrepreneurs who face the same hurdles. I empathize with the feelings of being overwhelmed, anxious, and isolated that often accompany the journey to success.
What truly inspires me, though, is the opportunity to witness the transformative moments in individuals’ lives. There is immense satisfaction in being a catalyst for someone’s “aha” moment, where they gain clarity and take action to bring about meaningful change. The joy of helping people and seeing the positive impact it has on their lives serves as a powerful motivator for me.
What should entrepreneurs consider when evaluating a consultant or coach to help them overcome challenges?
MR: The first step is to define the specific outcomes they’re seeking to achieve through coaching or consulting. This clarity helps in evaluating potential candidates.
Once the desired outcomes are clear, entrepreneurs should look for professionals who have a track record of consistently delivering those outcomes. It’s important to find someone who has a proven history of achieving the results you’re looking for. Whether they’re well-known or not, their ability to deliver the desired outcomes should be the primary consideration.
I believe in the principle of paying for value. If you come across a coach or consultant who has consistently achieved the desired results for their clients, they are likely worth the investment. Don’t shy away from paying a premium for their expertise and guidance. Personally, I have followed this approach by investing in high-level business coaches who have provided invaluable training and knowledge.
How can people learn more?
MR: To learn more about the coaching programs I offer, you can email me at email@example.com. I would be delighted to connect and provide more information. Additionally, you can find me on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/@matthewrawlins503; we’re building a community there so tune in to my channel, watch the videos, and connect with fellow entrepreneurs.
Jeremy Baker is an Author and contributor to Small Business Trendsetters and Business Innovators Magazine, covering Influencers, Innovators and Trendsetters in Business, Health, Finance and Personal Development.