Burnout to Business: Why women are choosing a life of flexibility and purpose

Kelly Carthy is a self leadership and well-being strategist who has worked all over the world coaching people and businesses to help unlock potential. Here she looks at how we can minimise our risk of burnout by optimising our capability to contribute to the world  in an inspiring and meaningful way.

In my work I support and back successful women through big times of transition.  Often it is only after the realisation that ‘doing more’ isn’t working and by re-evaluating how they choose to approach each day, that they can start to lead their life on their terms, before reaching burnout.

There seems to come a point in our journey when we look at the life we’ve created and we have that nagging question of “Is this it?”. Although successful and accomplished, so many women that I speak with have a craving for a deeper fulfillment, they want to contribute and achieve more in a meaningful way.  They are considering how they can find a way to live a life of greater impact that aligns to their own core values and balances their commitments to others whilst prioritizing self. They are focused on success in their own careers and wish to do this whilst also having the joy of freedom to travel, to raise a family or simply to experience more fulfillment in their life.

Instead of continuing to fit into a system that doesn’t seem to work, more women are beginning to take the power back by creating a life that not only smashes through the glass ceiling with greater earning potential, but also fulfills their ambitions like never before. What we are beginning to see is a shift in the way business is being done and a deeper understanding of what truly matters. If this all sounds familiar, now is the time to address your life and ambitions with the following questions:

  • What are your goals and priorities?
  • Are you filling your schedule with ‘being busy’ – where can you create more space in your day?
  • What are your passions and ethical values?

Whether it is working online, job sharing or creating a business that leverages time and values your worth, more women are choosing a life of purpose and impact over burn out. I have recently worked with one client to uncover her core values, having transitioned herself from a full-time Mum managing her husband’s business and the family to uncovering her dormant entrepreneur. Her innovative and successful business is a powerful vehicle to impact climate change for future generations in rural Australia.  She does this whilst continuing to priorities her children and is creating a way for business to fit into her 9am-3pm space.

Another client saved more than 20 hours in one week simply by transitioning her meeting style to phone conversations as opposed to travelling all over the city to meet with her clients. When we can be brave enough to take steps to align our life to our vocation, we are not just minimising our risk of burn out but optimising our capability to contribute to the world in an inspiring and meaningful way.


Take a Reality Check: How will you be remembered? If your life was to end tomorrow who would you like to be remembered as? Would it be the women who poured blood, sweat and tears into working tireless hours to prove her worth or the woman who valued herself enough to make a choice to life each day of her life?

Audit your current life: Take time out from your life to assess your current position and what’s working and what’s not working. How much of your life is being lived from choice and how much of it is an obligation to others?

Gain feedback: Find a coach or mentor who values you as a person and supports you in designing a life that serves you. Get clear on the kind of life you would like to live and then get the support and accountability to take the daily steps to make it happen.

Delegate: Where can you ask for support? Just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should be doing it. Are there are areas of your life that could be more efficiently done by someone else and create space for the areas of your life that really matter?

Create space: We spend a lot of time in the action of life but we find the answers in the space between. When you are cramming your day with activity you will rarely find inspiration. Make space for inspiration to find you.

Slow Down – Like my 4 year old says, “There’s no time to rush.” When we rush we miss so much, we are more prone to mistakes and our adrenals are overloaded. Slow down and do things once well, not many times over with mistakes.

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