Book a call

Episode 30

How To Prevent Clinic Owner Burnout

Listen to our FREE podcast now...

About this episode

Hey there, welcome to the latest episode of the Treat Your Business podcast!

This week Katie is flying solo, and she’s going to be sharing some amazing tips on how to prevent clinic owner burnout.

We know this is a topic that affects a lot of people. Katie is going to be giving us some practical advice that won’t require us to completely overhaul our lifestyles or do anything too crazy.

As always, Katie is committed to being open, honest, and transparent, so you can trust that you’re getting the real deal in advice for you and your business. We hope you enjoy this episode and find it really helpful!

Some key points Katie discusses today include:

  • Productivity is what makes me valuable…
  • In 2018 we expanded our clinic from two rooms and a studio to five rooms and two studios.
  • Let me explain, the Harvest season.
  • The food industry, focuses on getting the most impressive outcomes the fastest without any attention to quality or long term sustainability.
  • Comparison is the biggest thief of life.
  • Our stress response as business owners can often be the one running the show.
  • Happiness comes from the process, not the result.
  • My fertile void last year.
  • The fertile void is our own creative winter.

Book your business and marketing audit call here – we only have 5 slots per month!

This podcast is sponsored by the team at HMDG


  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 2:43 – Productivity is what makes me valuable.
  • 4:54 – In 2018 we expanded our clinic from two rooms and a studio to five rooms and two studios.
  • 4:54 – We are in harvest season now
  • 9:05 – The focus on getting the most impressive outcomes the fastest without any attention to quality or long term sustainability
  • 11:16 – Comparison is the biggest thief of life.
  • 13:43 – Our stress response as business owners can often be the one running the show.
  • 16:10 – Happiness comes from the process, not the result.
  • 19:32 – My fertile void last year.
  • 21:24 – The fertile void is our own creative winter.


You’re listening to treat your business with Katie Bell, the podcast for health and wellness business owners that want a need to give their business the treatment plan, it needs a treatment plan that will create more time back in your life, more income and more confidence when it comes to running your business. I’m here to share with you bite sized episodes full of tried and tested tips from my own real experience of growing a successful physiotherapy and wellness clinic. And from working with many businesses to do the same. The treat your business podcast is sponsored by hm DG. Marketing is always one of the top three issues for clinic owners that I speak to.It’s too expensive and complicated. They’ve had issues in the past, or they just don’t know where to find a trusted expert. It’s always said only recommend products or services,you’re confident in using yourself. Well, when it comes to marketing, we use HMD G for our own clinic, they’ve proven to be exactly what you’d want from an agency. As a specialist, they understand the industry, they’re responsive and always deliver.We can’t recommend them highly enough, head to HMD To find out more.Hello, everyone, thank you for tuning in and listening to this week’s episode of the treat your business podcast. Now this week,you have just got me and I’m going to be talking about how to prevent clinic owner burnout.And this is something that I thought was really important to it to talk about. And to give you some sound advice around and actually cut through some of the bullshit stuff that we hear about, you know, we need to be getting up at 5am. And we need to be walking around in you know, a cast on a prayer beads and meditating for, you know,two hours, at least every morning and writing a gratitude diary and you know, only eating lentils and beans and all those sorts of things to be able to keep working at the pace that we should be working out and to not hit burnout and to not hit this exhaustion. And but I want to kind of level with you. And you all you guys know, we’ve listened to me long enough now that I’m very transparent and very honest. And I like to give you real advice from you know,running a clinic, having two big businesses having a very busy life, but also being able to manage and keep the levels of productivity going in your business but recognise when you are showing signs of exhaustion and burnout and what does that actually mean? So I’m hoping that in today’s short episode,you’re going to be able to reframe this burnout and this exhaustion and look at things in a different way. So in 1985 I was born and to 2018 this is what I was like productivity is what makes me valuable. That was my belief. And I’m not joking when I say it was the day I was born because I was born into a family of worker bees. We are2.4 family from from Stockport.You know, my dad had his own business, he was a plumber and they kind of builds and things you know, I spent a lot of time for them skips as a three year old, I spent a lot of time having sandwiches on an upturned bucket in a on a on a builder site. And we worked hard as a family. You know, I used to hear my mom say we get what we we get we have a we had a I never wanted for anything as a as a child. Because your dad worked six days a week to make this happen. My mom worked full time.We you know my my Nana ran a shop, my grandpa had a business it everybody in my life was busy work beats. So I grew up literally from the very first day, I grew up thinking that productivity is what made me valuable. So the harder I worked, the more I would achieve. And I would be in a constant busy off with mainly my mom, but with with with other people in my life. And my brother and me laugh about this all the time. Because we would connect by talking about how busy we are. And we will basically list how many things we’ve done in the day. And a massive part of us so does that because that’s how my my mom’s still her wiring and her belief is that the more the busier she is the fuller her days are, the more productive she is, the more that she can achieve the the more that people will think she is a good person. And don’t get me wrong. My mom. She’s like Mary Poppins on heat with a whole host of highs and bouquet thrown in there. And she was she gets through in a day is more than most people get through in a month. I’m a massive product of my mom. So a part of me still has to work on this. Because here’s what happened. In 2018.We went and expanded our clinic we went from We got this right now two rooms and a studio to five rooms and two studios, a big reception area, I had more team, I had to take our business flow and, and I needed to take the business to the next level.But the thing is in 2018, I was absolutely on my knees, I was so tired, I was so exhausted, I was basically burnt out. But I because I thought that was weak.And I’m not very good at showing any form of ability. And I was just pushing that down. And I just thought I just need to work harder. So right now we’re going to have fat and it rooms, two studios, more staff more, more expenses, the only way to combat that is to just do more work.And I was working, I started working with a mindset coach,and they got me to really look into where this was coming from.And why I felt that to be worthwhile to be a person of success, I needed to just work really hard to get that. Because I’d got to where I’d got to. And I thought I literally can’t do any more to take this business to the next level like I am, I am maxed out, I am so busy, busy being busy, that I don’t know how I’m gonna go from this level to the next level. Because if I was gonna go to that, that next level, I would already have done it. So I had this massive realisation for me to go where I am now, to there where I want to be, I can’t just do the same thing you’ve heard me say before, because Albert Einstein,is the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. And I was like, Yeah, that was not going to work. Because I’m actually not even gonna be here, I’m going to be so tired, and so exhausted and probably get ill and something awful will probably have happened. If I if I just think I can double my productivity to double the results in my business to take my business to twice the size it was our culture, the way we work in our culture is is we are,like learn to think that we are in a perpetual harvest. So we are in that late summer, early autumn season, when we are where we are producing all the time.But for anybody listening, who grows their own fruit and batch or even has plants in their garden, will realise that that’s absolutely entirely impossible.You literally cannot be in harvest season 365 days of the year. Now whether you’re male or female, we have a cycle. We are animals, although we live and work like we’re not okay, but we have cycles, women cycle 28days, believe it or not, men have their own cycle. And it’s true in 24 hours pay. And these cycles take us through a literal and metaphorical. That’s a big word preparation for fertilisation and then for shedding each and every cycle we go round. But yeah, we function in production mode as humans all the time. We look at animals, we we are we are that we are the same as that. But we think we’re different. We little work like we’re not the same. Now what do you think about planting a seed in your garden? Okay, we just built this new bed in the garden, I’ve got all these fabulous flowers. And they’re basically think I’m going to create a child royal Chelsea garden next year, like that’s the level that I think about.It’s so not, but anyway, plant these plant these flowers, I’ve got to wash them every day. I’ve got to I’ve got to prune them,I’ve got to deadhead the scene to them. I’ve got to do whatever it needs for days to sprout and grow and be their fullest expression of a flower. Okay, I have to care for them. As humans, our creative process as business owners is no different.We need time, we need care, we need space to show up as our best selves. But if we continue to plant the same crop in the same field over and over and over again without ever giving it a break, the crops suffer,don’t they eventually,eventually, there’s no harvest.So I want you to think of bowls.You know, like this, that fruit and veg we eat today are less nutritious than the ones our grandparents ate. Okay, because the process now is all about biggest, fastest, most pest resilient harvest instead of high quality harvest, so everything is depleted.Secondly, the same for us. The focus now is on getting the most impressive outcomes the fastest,without any attorney any attention to quality or long term sustainability. We make decisions in our business and in our business model for the now but we don’t think is the scope of a sustainable way to make money. Does this align with what’s really important to me as a business owner, if my values are travel, and my business model is that I have to be in a clinic 12 hours a day five days a week that is absolutely not going to align with my travel volume Put my mail to Leeds place. So the focus on on getting this doing the most being the most achieving the most without any attention to quality or long term sustainability is what is creating burnout and exhaustion and people just feeling frankly,pooped feeling. Absolutely.rundown depletion comes from stress. It’s an umbrella well word for loads of different things that goes on. But sleep deprivation chronic sleep deprivation is one of the biggest challenges for business owners. We think when we’re busy, we can just sleep last,I’ll let you just see how that works out for you. When we are overworked. We feel we are depleted when we are when there is no balance between on and off when we’re just on constantly.And we go to bed and wake up in the middle of the night still thinking about work when you’re just on constantly. You’re depleting your stores, when we’re worried about finances,when we’re worried about where our next clients are going to come from when we have no time in the week for self care or self care gets pushed down the priority list. Because we just need to be producing. We just need to be pushing for that next client pushing for that next bit of revenue. Getting that next thing recorded doing that next whatever it is in your business.Depletion for me comes from watching the news. It does not serve me at all it stops me it makes me panic. It makes me have impostor syndrome. It makes me think that I need to be doing more. And the comparison is the biggest thief of life. So comparing yourself spending time on social media and comparing yourself to other people’s businesses and other people’s highlight reels because that’s all it is. For me what that what what happens is I then work harder, because I am naturally a very competitive person. Like we had a shout out. I’ll tell you a funny story. My friend texted me. Her daughter texted me yesterday. Her daughter’s nine.No, seven, eight. You’re right.She’s got her mom’s phone set.Hi, it’s Daisy here. And I would like to play Rounders, Mom,mommy has said that I need to find some friends to play with.So can we organise the day for all of like our group of friends to get together with kids, dogs and adults to come and play Rounders on a field? I reply by saying, I am the person for Rounders, Daisy, I am there for that. I said badly playing fourth base salary my friend if she’s listened to her she’s gonna laugh. She replied back saying absolutely shit around us. Bugsy been on Bell’s team,my team, I reply by saying absolutely no way. So if your shit I don’t want on my team,like, we just laugh about it,because that’s how competitive I am. Like, if this round is getting gets organised, I’m 100%and start practising my back garden, because I will need to be the best on that team. And I will not need to let anybody down and that it will have to win. Okay, just just my makeup.And it’s great because it’s it has made me a very big success in both of my businesses.However, with that, I have to recognise that those strengths of competitiveness and achievement and resilience and work ethic also comes with the risk of burnout and exhaustion,burnout. And exhaustion often happens with high achievers,because I look for external gratification, because I’ve been brought up playing sport. And I’ve always been told by my teachers and my parents that they were proud of me that I did really well. So I became, I became like, that was my norm. I need people to tell me I was doing a good job for me to feel good about myself. If you talk to philippic, if you heard about our podcast, the other week is all about being able to internally know when you’re doing good enough that you don’t need other people to tell you that. And I have to work on that. So our sympathetic nervous system, our stress response, as business owners can often be the one running the show. Now as business owners, anybody listening to this, who runs their own business was their input, we decided that we would run our own show and we would start our businesses with Herati. We think that the answer was flexibility, freedom, high levels of income, but actually we expect ourselves to be in the highest summer season and the early aughts are constantly producing or year round and then our bodies say I really need a break like something happens you get ill you start getting help or you’re tired. You know you pick up an injury, your body is giving you science but then we feel guilty we feel rest is a sign of weakness like a massive part of me still thinks that it’s not true to bullshit but in my head because I’ve my upbringing is you know,restaurant dedicated asleep and dad just like let’s let’s crack on and let’s make the most of everything. I am highly productive. I get a lot done.But I also need to tune into when it has to be and now I need to break from it. Which is why I go on holiday regularly. And God forbid we ever stepped into something called the fertile void void named everything I’ve completely lost the plot here.But the fertile void is a place of like creative allow in your bid creative follow in your business when you are just in that place where you’re like, I actually don’t know what’s next,I don’t know what the next thing I need to do is I’m just sort of like last, we boldly opted out of, of employment, to create a system that worked for us didn’t wait. But then we work ourselves to the bone, following the exact model we wanted to escape in the first place. So we’ve got a spot, we’ve got to be able to spot the signs of exhaustion and burnout, okay, it’s not the end of the world, it can be reversed. It’s never too late.But if you listen to this, and you’re feeling tired, okay, and you’re feeling exhausted, you’ve got low motivation, you might be feeling really creative. You might be overthinking everything, you might be feeling really low in confidence and self esteem, you might be feeling detached from things,these can be signs that you are absolutely in a place of what we call the fertile void, or this creative fallow in your business. And it’s understanding that is absolutely necessary.Because I want to be the bearer of this news, it’s not bad news,it’s not good news. It’s just this us. Happiness comes from the process of progress.Happiness does not come from the result of progress and growth.So if you are somebody that is always chasing that next thing,that next shiny object syndrome next income goal, that next thing that you’re going to buy that bigger car, that big a house that big a holiday that whatever it is more time out of your business, okay, you have to find happiness in the process of getting there. Because believe me, if you just focus on the end result, when you get there,you’re going to be really disappointed, because you’re going to go well, that was meant to feel happy. And I don’t,happiness comes from the process. It’s not all about the end result. Because the journey is never linear, is it if it was How much easier would life be,but it’s not it’s a very cyclical thing in business, I said this, when we went into the cost of living crisis will cycle around, we’ll come back out of it, we’ll have a boom, and then we’ll go back into a bust again,they’ll have a boom, everything cycles, think about the Four Seasons, we never ever doubt that we are going to cycle through the four seasons. Now in the UK, I absolutely recognise that our seasons all seem to be mushed together into one long,weird season. Let’s just remember we do have a winter, we do have a spring, summer, and autumn and human life, we are created out of the cyclical events, but no circle is ever covered once and then we’re done with it, we continue always to cycle route. But when you cycle round, we evolve. We visit we revisit things at a higher level of consciousness from that more evolved place. So I want you to think here is that when we start at the beginning of a project of a plan of a business of a new thing, whatever it is, we we often are in a fertile void room winter. Okay, this might be might be the thinking stage might not even be that it might just be. I’m just I’m just needing to be for a bit. Then what happens is it when you go on that holiday, some somebody sipping tonic, and you’re thinking,Oh, no could do that, you would not have had those thoughts had you not allowed yourself that winter time. Because then what happens is we start to emerge.The creative fallow period is totally natural. And it’s very necessary for the next phase,which is spring, which is the emergence phase. This is when a project goes from theory to concrete when it like starts to emerge and it starts to happen.But it couldn’t have done that if we’ve not had some wintering.Just have a minute to think about it. And then from spring we know someone’s going to come so may is like visibility states, this is where we get that project out there.Somewhere is the time that we’re networking. We’re putting it out there. We’re recording stuff,we’re content creating, where we’re, we’re using that energy that we have in those longer days. And then it culminates in that harvest, that’s when we reap the rewards of all of those seeds that we’ve sown, that we’ve nurtured that we’ve cared for. And then we go into our interface again, when the ground needs to like do some shizzle to get itself back to a level where it’s ready for crops together next year. So every phase is super, super productive, isn’t it? It has we have to have the four seasons. For me. My fertile void was last year. Okay. I was I was wintering now for all of you listen to me, you would have been like oh, she was still doing a lot in her business. And she was still out there and lots of things were happening but for me last year, particularly my physiotherapy wellness clinic, I was massively in a creative follow. I am I want to level with you all who had a clinic coming through the pandemic, you know, wow. So, so challenging for all All business owners,every business, you know, some businesses really thrived. Some some belly survived. And it was a massive opportunity for all of us. But with that opportunity can kick absolute chaos and challenge. And we felt like we were on constantly, like there was no winter going on for me,there was no frickin furlough going on in my house. Okay,there was constant production to keep ourselves above water. And then what happened in 2022, I was just like, I am done, I have got nothing left to give, I don’t know where we’re moving this business to, I don’t know,I’m not making more ideas. I don’t know what I want to focus on. I don’t know where I want to go with stuff I don’t want to.And it was recognising that I was I’ve just been harvesting I’ve just been in summer season for to be like, what was it two and a half years, nearly three years. And I needed to just go into winter, and I needed to just take stock, but I never doubted that spring was going to come I just didn’t know when it was gonna happen. Now I could have forced through it. And I could have just pushed and pushed and pushed harder. And some sometimes I did. And what what I recognised was that I was just, I was just trying to work harder to make more money, I was just trying to work harder to get things off the ground. And it didn’t feel I didn’t feel easy, felt very, very exhausting, because the seasons affect us to parts of our brains actual science, related to attention, concentration, or least active during the shorter days of the year. So it’s not just the bears that need a break. The fertile void is our own creative winter. And here’s the thing it takes as long as it takes some of you are going to be thinking about this cycle like Oh, after I’ve been in the fertile void for a long time,Katie. Okay, it takes as long as it takes. We sometimes cycle in a project through all the four seasons within a month, could be the week, sometimes it might cycle and it could take a year,this podcast, for example, I thought about this podcast for a long time. In 2022. When I was about creative fallow period, I started to think well, maybe,maybe we’d like to do a podcast,maybe that’s like really great visibility, didn’t know anything. Okay, got another How I just trusted that I would figure the hell out. And then that sort of ideas of okay,well, maybe I could do this and business owners, and maybe this will probably be short episodes.And all these ideas started coming to me. If I tell you when it wasn’t, it wasn’t were not it was not when I was in clinics in finance and seeing patients.That’s not my my heart is when I was having a break when I was away. And then I started to emerge in spring. And that was kind of September time, when we I worked with somebody to help me create this podcast. And we had to do like the design stuff and the planning. And I had to plan my 12 initial episodes, and I had to think about that bonus content and how to find a sponsor. And so I was emerging.And then boom, January, we launched, I was in the I’m in the summer season. And here’s the thing, I’m still in the harvest. The harvest is like keeps on keeps on coming for me.Because this podcast has created massive loads of visibility for us. It’s created. It’s created people wanting to work with us.It’s given us that platform, and that level of expertise. And that that, that that community of people who are genuinely wanting to listen to me in your cars on your way to work every week, which is still blows my mind. But I mean, the harvest season, will I hit winter with my podcast 100% I will, because I can’t always be in creative mode all the time. I’ll recognise that I’ll pre planned for it. I’ll let my wintering shit go on, and then I’ll come back that might just be needed in a holiday. And then I’ll come back with some more ideas. So it takes as long as it takes. But this is the time when we’re in wintering phase two. This is the time as high achievers business owners that we often feel guilty, we have to feel pressurised, we often feel like we should be doing more. So we end up chasing what’s the things that don’t really make any difference to our business, we start being busy being busy,busy falls. But actually, it’s just a cultural bullshit programming which we have grown up with, which is that our worth is equal to our achievements,which is actually a load of rubbish, your worth is your worth. It’s irrelevant of your achievements. So we know that every phase is productive. We’re going to reframe this whole burnout culture this whole, this whole exhausting culture, like it is normal to cycle through these phases. It’s really normal to cycle through these phases,it reminds us that there is massive value in rest. And when we, when we rest when we when we acknowledge these four seasons,we get some really peachy fruit on the other side of it. But if you continue to plant the same seeds in the same field without giving it any care and nurture,you’ll never have the harvest.You’ll never be in that. That moment where you can reap the rewards of all of those seeds that you’ve sown. So reframe things, rather than adding something more to your to do list. Other than thinking all the time that you’ve got, you’ve got to be meditating that you’ve got to be doing mindfulness,you’ve got to have a gratitude diary that you should be just eating fruits and lagoons of beans to be successful in your business. Now, think about what season you are in, honour it,own it and work with it. If you’re in the winter season,just be great wintering for a bit. But no, because we know this in our seasons in life,that spring will be on its way.I hope you’ve enjoyed listening to this week’s podcast. And thank you very much for joining me as ever, please, please,please write me a little review.I love to read them every week because it inspires me to go and create more content. We can’t wait for you guys. Thank you and I look forward to you all joining me again next week.Thank you for listening to treat your business with Katie Bell,the podcast that tells you what you really need to hear. And now when it comes to running a successful business in the health and wellness industry that gives you the time, money and freedom you are wanting for access to our free workshops on how to get more clients in your business, how to make more income in the next 30 days. And to get more time back in your business and life. Head to our free Facebook group today. Treat your business or head over to thrive dash business All of the links are available in the show notes

Subscribe to our podcast

"*" indicates required fields

Ready to transform your business?

Book a call with our team of experts and let us audit your business and share your next steps.

Schedule an audit

Ready to be fully booked without social media?

FREE eBook