From Burn-Out to What’s Next

Jun 25 2018

From Burn-Out to What’s Next

The fall into burn-out


It started slowly, unnoticed and escalated as time went on…


2010 … I felt a little dread as I looked at my calendar for my 20 year old photography business, blaming my lack of enthusiasm on poor quality sleep the night before and feeling worn out.


Next began my need to escape or retreat from the overwhelm and exhaustion of running a business, maintaining a huge building, juggling finances, staying cutting edge in my industry and still have a home-life.


2011…Adjusting to being an empty-nester. I had personal regret when our daughter began attending the university that is my personal ‘woulda-coulda-shoulda’.  Every trip to campus left me questioning how my photography career would be different, better had I attended that school when I had the opportunity.


Then began the sense of intense sadness that came when I sensed my creative passion seemingly melt away. A force that’s driven me and given me purpose since I was 11 years old.


2013….I began working with a business coach; I dug in to determine what would help set me free from all this and help me get back to being who I’ve always been. In a group setting, the first thing would be reinventing my photography business which included selling my huge building. It sold quickly, and I felt free then to truly serve my clients in a new way, but something was still not quite right in my heart, there was a sadness I couldn’t explain.


Soldiering on working harder but I was still in a perpetual state of trying to figure out what the heck was going on with me – I’m a Moxie woman after all, I don’t have patience for this, I have things to accomplish! The group coaching was for only 6-months and now had ended, and while it helped me make huge strides in my photography business, something was still left unfinished and I thought I could continue to make progress and figure it out on my own from there.


I was asking myself a lot of questions. Why were things changing? Why was I changing? What was causing all this? Where was my passion, my energy – where was my “happy”??! All questions of my heart, of the woman behind the business.


2015…after a random, sobbing, meltdown after a call with a client I knew I needed to do something. Well, the subsequent bloodwork done revealed what I suspected – my physiology had changed (hello, hot flashes).


Rock Bottom


Little did I know then, but that was my “rock bottom”. I wallowed there for a time, fumbling for answers.


I began to try different things to bring my old self back to where I was before – there had to be a “What’s Next”. I signed up for the same 6-month group coaching program again and made some more changes in my business. However, I also realized that what I wanted was a different kind of change – aside from my photography business.


Once that program was finished and thinking I couldn’t afford personal coaching, I set out on my own to try new things hoping I’d figure it out.


Among all the ideas I had about this time in my life “burn-out” was a word that kept coming to mind. But burn-out seemed extreme, so I dismissed that idea every time. Then one day, acting on curiosity, I researched it. There it was, over and over. Articles and research results all point to my having experienced my own version of burn-out. It all made sense and provided clarity to what I had experienced since about 2010.  It also proved that change is not only good but necessary and I had a sense of excitement that stays with me today.


Making the changes, allowed a new passion to emerge from what I loved most about being a photographer and entrepreneur, and The Moxie Sisterhood came to be.


The Come-back journey


As I look back on my journey, I see all the milestones and steps. They are all the elements that together have brought to life a new level of passion from encouraging and inspiring bold business-minded women like yourself.


In this journey, I’ve re-discovered my definition of happiness and fulfillment.  I learned how being motivated, no, DRIVEN by fear, comparison, and the need for acceptance had a detrimental effect on more than my business, but my life too. I’ve learned so much about myself. My life purpose has shifted, and it took coming to the point of burn-out to discover it. I’ve even found a brand new sense of creative passion for my photography.


The journey has been about embracing wholly what my heart was trying to tell me, about designing my life to align with right motivations and values and it’s about Achieving my What’s Next.


I would never wish burn-out on anyone, but it sneaks up on you when you aren’t noticing. Are you finding you are questioning things that once made sense? Maybe finding a desire for change?


Whether you are in business and seeing the need for reinvention of your business or finding a draw to start a new business, the work begins with the heart of the woman.


With all the deep self-work I did and hiring my coach personally this time, I was able to make some pretty scary changes. True to the nature of every Moxie woman, when I’ve listened to my heart and taken a risk the results have been amazing. I always feel I’ve reached a new phase of a calling.


The steps I took were pivotal in designing my What’s Next, and then by embracing who I had grown to be as a woman with Moxie, allowed me to achieve my What’s Next – and it gets better every day.


I realize it’s a journey that isn’t over. Tomorrow, next year, won’t find me the same as today, and I’m up for the challenge. I’m a new version of me – hot flashes and all – and I’m living my What’s Next. How about you? Are you ready to Design and Achieve YOUR “What’s Next”?


Steps for Achieving “What’s Next”


There are a few important steps if you find yourself ready to Achieve “What’s Next”.


  • First, always look back to see what you’ve accomplished already before you look ahead at how much you think you still have to do. We never give ourselves enough credit for what we’ve already done in our lives. You will find you aren’t broken, you just aren’t finished yet!


  • Second, listen to your head but trust your heart. Your heart knows the answers; your head will over-analyze and find excuses that hold you back. Don’t ever be afraid to pivot and try something new if your heart is leading you to. If it’s in your heart, you already are equipped with everything you need. Your support will keep you on track so you too can achieve your “What’s Next”.


  • Thirdly, stop and understand what is missing, what has changed? What’s the perfect storm that’s brought you to a place of seeking change?


  • And finally, find unconditional support. I walked much of this journey alone. My husband didn’t understand, and I nearly drove my best friends crazy asking questions and trying to gain insight. I made the best progress when I had the unconditional support of my coach who walked parts of the journey with me, challenging me and helping me to see the possibilities. And it was that support that allowed a new passion to shine. It allowed me to embrace, design and achieve my “What’s Next”. I wonder how much sooner I would have written this article had I listened to my heart and asked him to help me from the start.


What are you experiencing right now in your life and business? Are you soldiering on into burn-out or listening to your heart and ready for change? Learn more about The Moxie Sisterhood


No matter where you are in your journey toward “What’s Next”, I would like to invite you to register for the semi-weekly The Moxie Diaries.  In there, you will find wisdom for your journey, encouragement and keep you in-the-know with The Moxie Sisterhood – sign up for your Moxie Diaries at I also encourage you to join The Moxie Sisterhood Facebook page.


If you are ready to make the journey toward What’s Next, I invite you to schedule your free Moxie [em]Power Session and let’s talk about how I can help you Embrace, Design and Achieve your What’s Next. Schedule your free call at



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Cheryl Kaiser