How A Burned-Out CMO Freed Up 80% of Her Time And Started Loving Work Again

by | Apr 8, 2023 | Success Stories


Rachel was a busy CMO on the brink of burnout. She was constantly working and rarely had space to enjoy herself.

Working with Brian

She discovered her burnout was due to hidden beliefs and fears that caused her to overwork. And she learned to break free from those fears to live in alignment with what made her happy.


Rachel went from doing the job of 5 people to doing the job of 1 person. She became a better leader and delegator. And she started taking time away from work to do things she enjoyed guilt-free.

“I was pushing towards burnout…”

Rachel always enjoyed working hard. 

But her current job had her on the brink of burnout.

From the moment she woke up, all she could think about was work.

She had a never-ending stack of to-do’s that only got longer. And it was hard to focus on her own tasks as team members often needed her to help on theirs.

She had no time for herself. And it left her exhausted and depleted. As she says: 

“I was exhausted and pushing toward burnout.

It was hard to nurture personal relationships because I always running around getting things done. I felt detached. And I wasn’t moving toward personal goals because I was focused on everyone else’s goals.”

Rachel shares how she struggled with burnout

“I had no time…”

Deep down, Rachel knew she needed to take care of herself.

But she was so used to putting everyone else first and herself last that she was never able to do it.

She had known Brian through copywriting, and after he became a Certified Fearless Living Coach, she decided to work with him to get help with all the stress and burnout. 

“It was about getting more clarity, creating more brain space, and thinking more clearly. It helped me think things through in a more centered way rather than being reactive because I had no time.”

Rachel shares why she started coaching with Brian

“I was making up these expectations”

On the surface, it seemed like Rachel’s burnout was due to all the things the business needed from her.

It seemed that if only they had the right people or systems in place, then she wouldn’t need to work so much.

But through coaching, she discovered the burnout came from herself.

She assumed that others had huge expectations of what she needed to do. So she worked hard in order to meet these expectations that were completely made up in her own head.

After a few coaching sessions, she realized she didn’t need to let the perceived expectations of others run her life. 

She talked to her team and boss to get on the same page. And she realized she didn’t have to work herself to the bone anymore.

“I realized I was 100% doing it to myself. Nobody was expecting me to do it that hard. I was making up the expectations, deadlines, and workload. Nobody expected me to work at that level other than myself.”

Rachel shares how she caused her burnout

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“I would kill myself trying to make something work”

Another cause of Rachel’s burnout was that she was a people-pleaser.

Whenever someone needed something, she would jump in and do all she could to help them.

Through coaching and a tool called the Wheel of Fear, Rachel understood why this pattern kept repeating.

Deep down, she was afraid of being seen as insignificant. So she would go to extremes to please others in order to prove her value. Yet that kept her trapped in a cycle of always doing what everyone else wanted and never what she wanted. 

Recognizing this pattern, Rachel then learned how to break free from it. She realized that just because someone had a problem doesn’t mean she had to act on it. She started to put up boundaries and prioritize herself. 

“I had this tool that helped me understand why I was doing what I was doing and getting stuck in the same patterns….I know that it’s coming from fear and I have the power to change it. And it’s actually quite easy.”

Rachel shares how she got over her people-pleasing

“I felt guilty taking time off…”

Along with living up to the perceived expectations of others and people-pleasing, Rachel also struggled simply taking time off.

She felt guilty about taking time off. Because there was always more work that needed to get done. And if everyone else was working, how could she not be? 

Coaching with Brian helped Rachel realize she didn’t have to be responsible for everyone and everything. And that she’d be better off taking care of herself and prioritizing her needs. 

So that’s what she did. She started having “unplugged” time away from work.

She set boundaries to keep her nights and weekends free. And she prioritized things that re-energized her, like working out and spending time with her partner. 

“I have harder and firmer boundaries with myself. Now I can close my laptop at 4pm and walk away from work.

I’ll schedule things for myself, like workouts or pedicures at 2:30 in the afternoon and I’ll have work fit around this. It’s been a big change.”

Rachel shares how she started taking more time for herself

“I went from doing the job of 5 people to doing the job of one person”

Learning to have boundaries, take care of herself, and break free from the fear that drove her to people-please transformed Rachel’s work life.

It made her a better leader. Because she now prioritized planning, delegating, and trusting others to do the work.

And rather than suffer carrying everything herself, she realized the company needed more help. So they hired 4 people to take work off her plate. 

“That let me step back, get clarity, and get space ]to think at a higher level.

It’s easier to manage a team and design process when you have time to step outside of everything. And it’ll help the business grow to a new level. And help me stick around and do my best work”

Rachel shares how she made work low stress

“Every day can be enjoyable”

Now, Rachel wakes up excited for work again.

She’s no longer bogged down by unending to-do’s. She’s taking care of herself and holding boundaries, which allows her to approach work with energy and joy.

She’s no longer just chasing goals. She enjoys the process of moving towards her goals. And she has work fit in with her lifestyle.

“It allows me to enjoy the journey of working rather than just chasing end goals all the time.

I have work fit with lifestyle and every day can be enjoyable.”

Rachel shares how she enjoys work and life more

“It puts you in the driver’s seat”

Through coaching, Rachel uncovered how her beliefs and mindset were the true cause of her exhaustion and burnout.

And she learned to not only stop that pattern but enjoy work again. 

One thing Rachel loved about the coaching was she didn’t have to come up with all the answers. She could show up to a call and then answer questions that would help her recognize the deeper truth of what held her back. 

Rachel shares what surprised her most about coaching with Brian

Want coaching?

Are you struggling with exhaustion and burnout?

Do you want more time for things you enjoy? While also being a stronger leader?

You can experience the same transformation as Rachel. And move past the mental blocks keeping you from enjoying your work and life.

Click below to apply for coaching and see if it’s a fit for you.

Watch the full interview

Check out the full interview with Rachel, which covers:

  • How she and her partner both being coached gave them a “secret language” that helped them communicate better without arguing 
  • The exercise that helped Rachel achieve “massive improvements quickly”
  • How the coaching helped Rachel run a big launch without stress 

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