Dying for business: Lessons learnt from a trip to A&E

Dying for business: Lessons learnt from a trip to A&E
Liana Fricker
Liana FrickerInspiration Space

Posted: Thu 21st Dec 2023

2022 was a year of relentless pursuit and it took a toll. As a team, we delivered thousands of hours of one-to-one mentoring alongside weekly delivery of one or all of our programmes for nine consecutive months.

On top of that, there have been TEDx, two kids, a husband, a podcast and Happy Startups School Summercamp. The 5,000 hours of support delivered in 2020 and 2021 is a story for another day.

The crux of it? I was burnt out

As the founder of the community, mentor and creative guide, I take my responsibilities seriously – leave no one behind.

Yet, there was and is a dynamic team of inspiring folks working alongside me. I just wasn't fully tapping into their genius or asking for more help.

New year, new me?

My burnout was obvious to everyone, but me. I was put on extended leave for Christmas by the team and our board.

As the holidays came to an end my energy was up. I felt normal(ish). Then, one fateful morning, in early January, I thought I had met my end.

I woke up and reached for my phone after taking a break from social media. Then my heart raced and dizziness overcame me. I hoped a shower would help, but it only led to hyperventilation. With help from my husband, we headed to the hospital.

During an eerie eight-minute drive, my arm tensed, and a thought raced through my mind: "I'm having a heart attack."

A clear diagnosis

After undergoing a battery of tests, the diagnosis was clear – a panic attack. The trigger? A cocktail of people-pleasing, hyper-achievement, avoidance and an insidious fear of rejection.

It was a sobering moment. I couldn't help but feel the irony. As the inspirer-in-chief, who champions confidence and sustainability, I was dying for business. Sounds dramatic – it didn't feel far off.

Free your mind – the rest will follow

Fortunately, I had an invaluable support network – partners, mentors and a vibrant community – who helped me peel back the layers, much like an onion.

And so, I found myself returning to the starting point, which led me to collaborate with Caroline Kay on Brain Gym.

You see, as I was burning out during the summer of 2022, Caroline was getting mentally fit. During our mentoring and co-working sessions, I noticed the abundance of mental wealth Caroline gained by adding PQ Training®️ to the support she receives at Inspiration Space.

The biggest lie we're told about business?

Perfectionism drives success.

The pervasive myth in business circles is that success is a by-product of relentless perfectionism.

Founders, besieged by pressures, face a gruelling reality where the mantra seems to be 'work harder and longer'.

Yet, consider elite athletes. They don't push themselves to the brink daily, sidelining all else. Similarly, entrepreneurial leaders shouldn't either. The pursuit of peak performance carries risks of burnout, especially if you don't have a mental fitness and wellbeing plan.

My journey to the emergency room serves as a cautionary tale. Dear founder, prioritise wellbeing as much as business goals.

Relevant resources

Liana Fricker
Liana FrickerInspiration Space

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