Recovering & Restructuring after Burnout: Tashah from Candlessentials

Ever faced burnout? Today Tashah Johnson, the owner of Candlessentials, walks us through her experience with reaching burnout and how she finally let go of the toxic “Because I CAN do it all, I SHOULD be doing it all" mindset. Tashah shared with me how she took her health back and helped her business grow along the way. Thank you, Tashah!

Have you ever faced burnout? Let us know how you handled it in the comments!

Q: Please introduce yourself. Tell us about what you do and how you got started.
A: My name is Tashah and I'm the owner of Candlessentials. I make 100% soy wax candles. I also work freelance in marketing and pr. I started Candlessentials as a passion project. I'm a maker at heart and have always loved creating things with my hands. During the last semester of my MBA program I knew I wanted to dive into my own business rather than enter back into the corporate world. So I decided to mix my love of "making" with my love of "business." And thus, Candlessentials was born.

Q: At what moment in your journey did you realize you were experiencing major burnout? What was happening at the time?
A: The major point for me was when my physical health started to decline. I was barely getting any sleep, not eating properly, and overall I did not look healthy. I was trying to do everything for my business on my own and have a social life. I saw my productivity declining, and noticed myself experiencing brain-fog way too often.

Q: In our email conversations, you mentioned “In order to grow, I had to learn to let go”. What exactly did you need to let go of?
A: I had to let go of the mindset of "Because I CAN do it all, I SHOULD be doing it all." That was very flawed thinking on my part as a business owner. I was personally working on every single aspect of my business from making the candles, to managing social media, to keeping QuickBooks up to date, to reaching out to new stores, to participating in trade shows/events, to doing all the graphic design. I thought I had to do it all. I believed that my business was too small to justify paying anyone to help with things I knew I could figure out on my own.

Q: What finally made you feel like letting go was possible and necessary for you to continue your business? 
A: I had to take some time to myself and really think about the future of my business. Did I want Candlessentials to remain a "hobby" or did I want the company to grow and flourish? I remember receiving a rather large order and thinking to myself, "how am I going to make all these candles AND complete the other 50 items on my to-do list in just a week." At that point I knew my business wasn't scaleable. There was only so much I could do with my two hands.

Q: What changes did you make as a result?
A: I outsourced! This was a major step for me and I'll admit it took me sometime to get used to. I wasn't ready to hire actual employees, but being that I had worked as a freelancer for many years, I knew this was the best option for me.

I calculated how many items I'd have to sell to cover the costs of the services I needed to outsource and created a specific plan to execute. I outsourced my graphics, accounting, social media management, and PR (yes, I outsourced one of the very things I had the most experience in). I also hired an intern. The amount of time I freed up was almost unbelievable.

Q: How have these changes impacted your business? How long did it take to begin to see results?
A: I started to see results immediately. I was able to focus on areas of the business that were directly related to growth and sales, rather than just checking routine tasks off my to-do list. I found myself forced to be a lot more organized as well, which helped to streamline several processes. The most impactful result was that I now made time to sleep! This was a blessing to my mental productivity.

Q: Thinking about this particular experience, what is the most important lesson you’d want to share with your fellow creative business owners about managing their businesses?
A: It's ok to ask for and/or hire help. Even if it's help from friends and family. If you know someone who is better in a particular subject than yourself, let their strengths shine so you can focus on your strengths. Surround yourself with amazing people who are willing to invest their talents into your business. Like the old saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. Well, I'd like to believe it takes a village to grow your business! Teamwork makes the dream work.

Where can people find you online?

If you'd like a peek into my personal life, you can find me at @TashahNicole on instagram.

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