How Deirdre Overcame Burnout And Started The Wellness Magazine Self.ly
Deirdre and I initially connected after she signed up for my Free Soulful Productivity™ Training. When she did, she was in...
Deirdre and I initially connected after she signed up for my Free Soulful Productivity™ Training. When she did, she was in big career transition, and wanted to start a business to help professionals prevent burnout through self-care. What inspires me most about Deirdre is her never-ending enthusiasm, her incredible creativity, and the passion she has for her project. It’s been a joy working with her, and supporting her in achieving her dream. Here’s how she did it.
What was your big dream, and what inspired you to go after it?
I want to end burnout in the workplace and make workplaces more human so people can be at their creative best. My own experience of burnout, after working myself to exhaustion in my previous fast-paced job, inspired me to understand what had happened to me.
I wanted to know how I went from energetic, positive, and creative to overwhelmed, and stressed out. This made me understand the need for self-care and wellness in the workplace, and what ultimately led me to create Self.ly – a platform dedicated to the wellbeing of professionals.
Did you always have this dream?
No. It arose out of my own burnout experience, which illustrated to me that the current workplace is not fit for purpose. What happened to me is not an isolated event. Our work environments are not equipped to take the “person” into account, and the needs we have.
Stress reduction, a sense of purpose, inspiring work… it’s not often there. When it is, it’s not always readily available or it gets counterbalanced by even more pressure to perform. Something has to change.
What was one of the first things you did to get you started?
I enlisted as coach. I wanted an accountability partner, sounding board and support mechanism as setting up a business is a daunting proposition when you’re emerging from burnout and you’ve lost confidence somewhat.
What were the biggest challenges you faced in working toward achieving your dream?
Mindset – having the positivity, focus and self-belief to translate a wish into a website, an online magazine and an online community. Entrepreneurship is a journey. You start out with passion, and a desire to create change. Even though you “know” things might get tough at times, you’re never fully prepared for when doubt hits, or when the results you’re hoping for are taking longer to manifest.
That’s why mindset is so important. Staying optimistic and believing in your project, adjusting expectations along the way.
What do you wish you would have done differently? What would you warn others about?
I underestimated the amount of time things really take. It’s also all-consuming so I had to start practicing what I preach and look at pace and build in regular recovery time; something that’s particularly important when you’re engaged in creative tasks like writing or planning. It’s easy to get sucked into the “work longer, harder, faster” fallacy and burnout. So building in regular breaks and making sure to build connections and talk to like-minded entrepreneurs who are going through the same frustrations and trials has been vital to maintaining momentum.
This notion of overnight success is an urban legend, and very misleading. If you’re starting something new, expect a long and challenging journey. I’ve had to revise my expectations around monetary growth. You have to believe in yourself – believe in your ideas, your abilities, your will and perseverance, and dedication. And that makes you want to live your life your way and not anyone else’s way.
Would you say you’ve achieved your big dream yet?
I’ve done what I set out to do, which is to get my magazine established. I would say I’ll have achieved my goal when I see active change as a result of the magazine and online programs.
Self.ly was created to really help move the needle when it comes to self-care and burnout prevention in the workplace. I know there’s still a lot of work to do, and for the dream to be complete a paradigm shift needs to happen. We have to redefine work, and make the worker center stage.
What do you think helped you achieve it?
You were instrumental in allowing me to see a feasible path forward and establishing a framework and milestones for achievable growth. It’s important to speak to someone who has gone through the process and is familiar with it.
The fact that I wanted to create real change also helped. When you’re passionate about something, you can put all your talents and creativity into building it.
What’s the best advice you have for others who want to follow their big dreams?
Stick with your gut – you have to go at your own pace and listen to your own instincts.
Don’t underestimate the importance of incremental improvements – Rome wasn’t built in a day. Don’t compare yourself with business owners who have been at this for 10 years. You’ll get there at your own pace, in your own time.
More about Deirdre and Self-ly – https://www.self-ly.com/
Deirdre is the Founder and CEO of Self.ly. The platform is a lifestyle media brand and supportive community dedicated to making self-care simple and accessible for busy executives, entrepreneurs, business leaders and healthcare professionals. An antidote to hustle culture, Self.ly provides the information, tips, latest trends and advice to show you how to avoid burnout and overwhelm and raise your energy, performance and mental health and wellbeing.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch with Deirdre! She loves connecting with people from around the world. You can do so through her website at https://www.self-ly.com/
Deirdre’s favourite quote is:
Build yourself brick by brick
– Tom Bilieu
Deirdre’s big dream for the world is:
I want to help create mentally and emotionally healthy and human workplaces where individuals can flourish and organisations can prosper.
If you want more inspiring stories of Big Dreamers, I’ve got great news for you! This story is part of an interview series, you can find all entries here.
Hi, I’m Murielle. I created the online course Soulful Productivity™, a 6-week program to redefine productivity and help you get from overwhelm to flow, and I have a private coaching practice where I help ambitious, multi-passionate creatives and entrepreneurs start, grow & scale businesses, and create their freedom lifestyle. PS: I love Instagram. Let’s connect!