Burnout – 3 Key Things You Can Do To Prevent It

June 4, 2014


Mike O'Rangers

What in the world does Little Red Riding Hood have to do with preventing burnout?! Keep reading, we'll get to that!

Photography is an exhilarating, challenging, creative career. It is also demanding, relentless, and lonely at times. Are there things we can all do that will keep us motivated and moving forward? Here are 3 key things you can start doing today to prevent burnout.


Inspiration is critical to staying motivated, especially as a creative. Without it, we will simply get burnt out and start to hate what we do! If you are not interested and stimulated by your art, your motivation will dwindle and you will become weary and eventually burnout.

So, get inspired, stay inspired! Carry a journal with you and write down all of the crazy things you want to shoot one day. Look at that list often and make those shoots happen, even if it's only once or twice a year! You found a pirate ship in Utah, do a stylized pirate themed wedding. You know of a miniature horse that would make any heart melt, contact the owner and ask them if you could use it to do a fairy themed shoot with your 2-year old daughter. You found someone that makes stuffed wolves, go to the forest, and shoot Little Red Riding Hood. I told you we'd get to that! Doing one or two themed/stylized shoots a year will keep you motivated, inspired, and make you a better photographer. It will also prevent you from growing weary because you will have inspiration and passion to sustain you during the difficult times, and who doesn't need that!


This Photograph and the Featured Photograph by Kristy Velesko at www.kristyveleskophotography.com


Short and long-term goal setting is vital for any business owner, even for creatives! If we do not set goals, it is likely that our lives and businesses will be run by the tyranny of the urgent. It's hard to stay motivated when we're running around like chickens with our head's chopped off, unsure about the direction we should be going or where we should be spending the majority of our time.

Take the time to put your goals in writing. A business plan may sound daunting, but it is really nothing more than goals, strategies, implementation, and a budget. Include mini-goals that can be accomplished in a matter of hours, days or weeks as well as the more ambitious grand-goals that may take years to complete. Refer to this plan throughout the year. It will help you to stay on track, help you to take your business in the direction you want it to go, and help you to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Written goals will also make you feel more professional and certainly more connected to your business. In turn, these things will keep you motivated and help to prevent burnout.



Another key factor in getting and staying motivated is networking and finding other like minded creatives to share ideas with, learn from, laugh together, lift each other up. No one person knows everything. No one person is gifted in all areas. We all have days when we need someone that ‘understands.' When a number of people begin collectively working together and sharing what they know with one another, challenges will be overcome more easily. The isolation of working alone is of one the most difficult parts of being an entrepreneur. Mutual support is motivating, and a key ingredient to staying motivated and preventing burnout! Make it easier on yourself by connecting with others either in your local Showiteer community or online.

Many successful entrepreneurs report that finding the right networking group, the right community, was a turning point in the growth of their business. I know Brie and I feel that way. We always tell people that becoming a Showiteer was a game changer for our business. We both know we would not still be doing this if we were on our own trying to survive and stay motivated as little islands. Working together, and having a community is awesome for problem solving as well. We have come up against countless obstacles that others in our community helped us solve and figure out. I can't imagine doing this without others that have gone before us, and their willingness to reach back and help us. Yes, sharing ideas, expertise, and experience is an invaluable aspect of motivation, warding off burnout, and preventing loneliness.

I would love to hear what you all do to stay motivated and prevent burnout. Write me and let me know and maybe I can share your ideas here for all of us to benefit!

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Mike O'Rangers