Today's blog post for any new subscribers to my site isn't about my services, it's just me writing from the heart about the world we live in, and life in general.
I take Sunday's to sit back with a Guinness and cover things I find interesting, which in some way may help someone out there reading. Hopefully these posts and words reach people at specific times when they need them, which is the best I could wish for.
It's just me, a computer connected to the internet, a monitor, and these are my opinions. Oh, and the Guinness that's the key ingredient.
If you're solely interested in my betting and trading services then this may not be your thing, which is totally fine.
I posted a blog last night covering the latest trade guide update due next week, which will transform automated pre race trading for members of the service, and you can find that here: https://www.exponentialbet.co.uk/single-post/2019/02/23/756-Profit-Trading-110-Days
Today's post is about 'Burnout', which people don't talk enough about.
It's a serious issue that can affect anyone and everyone. It usually hits when you're at the top of your game. Typically for example at the peak of your career, when you're flying high it strikes and it can quite literally ruin you.
Firstly let me explain exactly what burnout is, because people have their own interpretations.
The simplest explanation of burnout I can give is, what you're getting out of an activity is less than you are putting in to it.
A simple example of this is, say you're selling a product for less than it's costing you to produce, you will eventually go out of business.
As human beings we measure the input and output in more than money banked, not in pounds and pence, we've a whole host of factors to consider.
Time, effort, enthusiasm, the feeling of reward and satisfaction, all combined with the money aspect. These things all go in whatever the activity, so by the same token we also extract many things from these.
Some of you may already know I used to be a games modder, and I'd spend days on end twiddling with computer gaming mod kits, enhancing the performance or look of the game.
I was getting no payment for this as it was a hobby, but I received enormous feelings of satisfaction when I did something positive to game. It could be anything from making a waterfall look beautiful, changing the way the sunlight god rays flickered through the trees, or adding new areas to the game.
A very time consuming pastime requiring a lot of my energy and commitment, but I truly enjoyed it, and I was never in danger of hitting burnout as I got a lot more out of it with a sense of achievement.
I also used to manage bands and produce music for local recording artists, which again was very time consuming. Which at that time (pre internet) carried very little financial reward, but again incredibly satisfying in other ways, and no chance of burning out.
I could work on music for days or weeks to finish a mix down, and the buzz would come listening to the finished product, which always far out weighted the time invested in the satisfaction stakes. All this is money and time I could have devoted to other things for instance, but I chose to do this and it made me happy.
Burnout however typically happens in your business matters, not the things we freely give our time and effort out of passion for the project.
When the returns we're getting are not quite as high as they used to be, sometimes in fact we get nothing but misery out of what we're putting in to something.
This is when you'll hit burnout.
I can give you an example from running my website, a very personal and recent insight in to my world.
During 2018 my Dutch betting service started the year strong and I was enjoying it, feeling energized carrying over from a successful 2017.
I began creating far too many jobs for this subscription set up, instead of keeping it simple. A variety of bet types which for one persons to do list each morning it was too much.
Too many boxes to tick and filters to run through manually, that would literally take me five hours from early morning until midday, six days a week.
I had to run through this before posting the bets to members, and then being able to move on to my other site work. That's a huge chunk of my day gone.
It's a service I still run now and I'm in love with it again, but let me tell you up until recently I was starting to dread getting out of bed to scour the markets.
Now things run smoother, I don't clog up my time with this. The way I filter the bets is much more straightforward, and over this year I'm now keeping it exactly as it is without adding anything new. The only thing I will add, is the new simple selection process for my Dutch Guide members.
The service will now perform as expected over the twelve months, while complimenting my other work, and without additional demands. After hitting burnout I learned quickly from my mistakes.
The leverage I've created to make this work now saved the service. I wish I'd acted sooner, but I got there in the end.
The stress started hitting home at my peak, at forty four wins in a row and things seemingly going great, I was feeling the pinch each day.
Results were moving along nicely and happy members, but I was feeling stretched by the routine. The pressure of running the extra filters instead of making the main system a success began building up. Niggling me that I'd done this to myself in fact.
The strategy made money, but the time I was investing in to squeeze the margins was time I could be using elsewhere to better effect.
This caused me a lot of frustration as I didn't want to admit it to myself, or let anybody down.
Rreturns of the system over the year could have been much better, and combined with the stress of drilling through the data each morning, meant I was putting more in than I was getting out. I'd trapped myself by the routine and success I'd created.
The investment required by myself each day was of greater value than the end result.
It's different for people following the service as they receive the emails without the work involved sourcing the bets, the value of subscribing to take away this effort makes perfect sense.
I do this now with the ratings I receive, which speeds up the process of selection, freeing time for other work. I created leverage in this instance.
From when I'd began running the strategy as one idea, it had become five consecutive ideas, each requiring the same time every day to filter.
I'd over stretched, and my time was in short supply, which then hindered me developing the business in ways it really needed, while working with my members to improve their experience.
Basic stuff like back office operations, automation, content editing, membership upgrades to improve services, navigation features, the list of things needing to be done with a busy website goes on forever.
During 2018 at the time I was spending five hours each morning stressing over tiny details, I'd created a rod for my own back. It was setting the wrong tone for the rest of my day, also consuming time I should be applying elsewhere without compromising quality of the service, and I eventually hit burnout with it all around October.
This is actually the time when the service was at it's peak of activity, and I was getting more interest than ever before. My site wasn't set up to deal with it as it is now, and I was spinning far too many plates.
In order to protect the work I'd put in to the primary Dutch strategy throughout the year, all the good stuff at the start I didn't want to screw up, I shut up shop on the main One Dutch strategy. Which for newer members became a cause for concern understandably. This turned out to be the right decision in the end though.
Instead focusing on more experimental spin off's, to regroup the site and assess how I was going to create the time leverage required. I'd identified the burnout at this point, and began putting a plan in process. Although, the initial reaction should have been a lot better.
The amount of effort I was putting in when I began adding new aspects to the service was manageable, but over time it felt like I was sacrificing huge amounts of myself for a marginal return.
More time I was spending on it was time I could have spent developing the site and service. Making the Dutch service more effective using better tools, as I have done since resolving this.
I adore Dutching, and this year the new set up makes perfect sense, with the right amount of time allotted so I now enjoy the process again. In the latter stages of 2018 I was shattered though, and dreading getting up in the morning to do the vast research required. This is exactly when you know you're burned out, it's the tiredness itself the takes over everything, that's what burnout is.
I'd basically hit my wall.
Luckily I run different betting and trading investments, and don't have all my eggs in one basket, but this basket was becoming too heavy to carry and needed to shed some weight.
With the Dutching service at this time I couldn't maintain the input required to produce the volume of bets. Which on the surface if you're just getting an email off me each day, may not seem too much, you could be reading this thinking what is all the fuss about what a tart.
The bets posted all required a lot of research across every available race using the old method. I had to drill down which were applicable for each strategy I'd created, so this took ages. The actual sending the email part takes minutes.
What inevitably happened with it all is that I started slipping up. The spin off bets created to protect me messing up the main strategy were not the same standard, and people got quickly pissed off. I get it, I would too, as I pay for something I expect it to be what I've been receiving all year previously and not become something else.
My desire to try and deliver and put pressure on myself to do this, while also realizing my motivation each day to work on the multiple Dutch betting systems I'd created was just no longer there, meant I'd pivoted to something new and created a problem.
This is the most common reaction when experiencing burnout. People pivot to other things that they are not as competent, humans will have this instinctive knee jerk reaction. We've all experienced this in some way, but with burnout we'll try and jump to something different, that in most instances it's something we completely suck at.
How many times how you seen a successful singer that has an amazing career, throw it away trying to be an actor, and they are terrible at it. That's burnout. They are at their peak of success but know they are not getting out of it what they used to, so they jump ship to escape, and in virtually every instance this is the worst thing you can do.
Luckily with my Dutching the answer was simple and glaringly obvious, strip it down to bare bones, simplify it so it's much less daily work, but in doing so add value to make it more effective. I have the advantage of working for myself, and taking the time to make this correct decision.
This meant my input each day decreased, which caused my return to increase, and balanced my feeling of reward running the service again.
I'm very lucky as it's my business and I had the freedom to experiment and realize a solution, which I did within an acceptable time frame that didn't ruin this service. It was never a life ruining situation, I appreciate all of this.
If I'd had to leave my job to escape burnout, say to pursue a career in modelling, it's highly unlikely I'd be able to come back and carry on when I quickly realized I'm a terrible model, below average at best, the worst model ever in fact, (haha).
In all seriousness, if you'd left your career just because of burnout it's very unlikely in most instances you're going to get back in at the same level, you would be lucky if you did, which gets back to my point at the start of this post, burnout can ruin peoples lives.
I'm fortunate enough to run other services, and did the hours around the Dutching commitment to create new projects to work for me. I was able to create the things I want to spend my time with, that can add value for my members of the site and myself.
I'm explaining this personal example really to demonstrate how damaging burnout can be, but if recognized we can turn a difficult situation in to an opportunity. If you don't recognize it, you could end up making a rash decision that negatively affects your life.
I could have ran away, gone back to work in property, or start something new. People give up and do this all the time, and unless you're able to do this comfortably, it's a bad life choice. When in reality you're just tired and need to regroup.
This has been a learning experience for me, so let me share two ways to guard against burnout.
The first thing to do is recognize the problem, which may seem obvious, but when you're in it with a lot going on, not always the case.
It's not that you're falling out of love with your business, your career, or project, you're not just sick of it and want to chuck it all away, that's not it.
You don't want to be throwing away something that took you so long to build. This isn't the sunk cost fallacy where you're making the same inherent mistakes, and in that instance need to write off the sunk cost, this is you being in the wrong head space and feeling drained with a situation that can be remedied, and without ruining your life. The difference is hopefully that huge it's glaringly obvious.
You don't want to be chucking it out the window just because you're a little bit tired now. Instead what I did was recognize the problem, and this is what I advise as the first step. Realize you are getting fewer and fewer returns for the effort being put in to your activity. That's step one.
The second thing you should do is figure out ways to change things around in your favour. Assess the input in to the activity, ie time, effort etc, and the return, as in how much you're getting from it, how good you feel about it, overall satisfaction, money and whatever it is you're extracting.
If you measure the two together you have to then figure out one of two things, can you lower the amount of input you're putting in, which naturally makes the return increase.
Alternatively, am I able to still put the same amount of effort, and in fact possibly even more, to increase the return, with a lot more satisfaction, money, happiness etc.
Just assess the equation of what you're putting in, and what you're taking out.
If you can minimize the input to level out the return, or put in more to get a lot more out, this will solve the burnout issue once you've identified and assessed the issues. Sometimes it's a combination of both required, but the balance must be readdressed.
However, if you're unable to do this and neither are an option, you have to do something else, something out of the box.
Think about ways for you to stop doing what you're doing completely, and have someone else do it for you, but you still take a cut.
This way you're able to benefit still from the effort put in, and not walk away from your career to become a failed model, while still taking the lions share from the fruits of your labour and seeing the benefit.
If this is possible it will create the leverage required to diffuse the burnout, and you don't lose it all.
I'm working with someone new on the site right now to create a betting bot, this will create a lot of leverage for me personally, and help move the business forward in the direction I want to see it go, in fact the way we both see it going as he's now part of the business.
Keith from Focus is a resource of data, the review sites who track my progress all help keep me focused as I want to be represented well, I've people who may be contributing to my staking plans and even the Dutch betting service later this year.
I never kid myself in to thinking I'm the only one capable of doing something. The moment I can trust someone else to do the same job for me, or a piece of software, a new service for example to make life easier with the data it gives me while I still see the benefit, I will use this to find ways of creating more of these situations, as this is how we avoid burnout and achieve consistent success.
People use me for the same thing, this is how life works if we're going to keep moving forward positively.
Exponential Bet is my baby, I produce all the content, but I wouldn't be where I am without the help of others when I needed them. I could put a decent list of end credits on my site.
People approach me daily with partnership ideas, or new ways they can add value or make my life simpler, and I don't entertain 99% of it as it's drivel, which is why when I do recommend something you know I'm serious and have done my research.
I am however open to making meaningful partnerships, and believe this can help alleviate burnout, it's certainly helped me.
Keep you guard up against burnout, it's a serious problem rarely talked about. You know me, never afraid to broach the things nobody else feels comfortable discussing.
When you see the signs, make sure you're able to react to it quickly and avoid it becoming more than it needs to be.
You also need to consider this final thought with burnout, as very few people are able to achieve it, but the people who manage to do so live very well.
Sometimes when the things you're good at are exceeding targets, and when things are going very well, sometimes you will get to that point of burnout when you realize, this is the end. It's the end of the chapter in your life. You can't put in any more effort, as you're not going to ever get any more out of it.
This example applies to a lot of business people who set up a company, it's very successful, and they are able to sell it off to walk away comfortably.
It's very difficult to do this, but in some cases you can't actually fight burnout and it's the best thing to do.
Sometimes you need to turn the page, end the chapter, and just go in a different direction. If the fat lady sings it's for a reason.
You see people fail at this like athletes who don't know when to quit, or previously successful pop stars still flogging the crappy venue tours.
If the burnout is at this level you just shut it down, get organised, and do it well.
Look for a new mountain top to climb, a new challenge, and redirect your life to a happier more rewarding place.
Give your life some purpose again, and you will get back to that feeling of you can't wait to get up in the morning, instead of the feeling of dread and wanting to chuck it.
Burnout is something that people don't talk enough about.
As all the effort that goes in to achieving something great, can in a moment of frustration, anger, or sheer exhaustion could make you wind up throwing away the most valuable things in your life, so be careful.
As always apologies for any grammar or typo's, it's written, read once, and published most of the time.
No slant next Sunday as I'm away, but we will return again on the 10 March. I think I'll keep the topic until the night itself and see what direction we head.
Thanks for reading.