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My Confession: Why My Business Caused Me to Have a Breakdown and What I Decided to Do About It



These are the EXACT same steps I used to go from $0 to over $1,000,000 in online course sales in less than 24 months (and used by over 2,500+ of my students)

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by David Garland in David's Blog

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Links and Stuff Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Cadre DC
Four Seasons Costa Rica and the Four Seasons Costa Rica Facebook Page
Great article by Derek Coburn: Too Busy? Buy Some Time!

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  • Hey David, Thanks for your honesty and transparency. Congratulations on building more spaciousness and liberation in your life. Cheers.

    • David Siteman Garland

      Shann – Always an ongoing process. But I gotta say the last year I completely revamped everything. Business, body, etc.

  • Fenoml

    This is great video.  I am going through serious burnout right this second and really don’t know what to do with limited resources.  Thanks for your point of view.

    • David Siteman Garland

      Happy to share. There will be a lot more about this in the upcoming months.

  • Steve

    Great fireside chat via the chronicles. This is invaluable. Question…unless you have solid understanding of what/how to execute, outsourcing could turn into just another time suck. Looking back, what level of competency, etc. did you need to make outsourcing effective? For example,how much tech knowledge do you need to effectively outsource yet know when the ‘outsourcer’ totally jacked something up that requires attention, etc.   

    • David Siteman Garland

      Steve – Great question. Honestly, I knew very little. I didn’t have experience, but had read a bit about using VA’s etc. (I was first introduced to the concept like many by Timothy Ferriss). The key I think was really focusing on EXACTLY the two things I wanted to get off my plate:
      1. Scheduling
      2. Putting together the blog post for the shows (meaning, formatting, adding in photos, links, etc.)
      From there it was fairly simple and I guess you could see I got “lucky” meaning my first two VA’s I hired are still with me to this day over a year later.

      • An important point that you brought up David is to pay a little more than you might expect to for a VA. In this case, you truly get what you pay for.  Spending more upfront will save you money in the end.

  • Really great show today, it’s easy in the tech space to get caught up …. we all need a break or the great ideas we are capable of just won’t happen 🙂

    • David Siteman Garland

      Well said, Rick. And thanks for the kind words!

  • David! Love the show! I always appreciate it when people in business open up and reveal some of what’s behind the curtain.

    I, too, have just gone through a big transition phase where I was wondering if I should even be self employed (yes, I should!). But one of the things I had to learn is a LOT of small business owners go through a similar “dark spell” where they wonder if they’re doing the right thing. Should the quit? Should they transform? Should they…. you get the picture.

    And when I started reaching out to people I found that I wasn’t alone! Lots of other people have felt the same way.

    THEN WHY HADN’T I EVER HEARD OF IT?!?! So I made sure to let my tribe know what I’m going through. How I felt. And the direction I’ll be going going forward. I figured a lot of them may be in my position one day and might like to know they’re not alone.

    So thanks! Thanks for sharing this behind the curtain look!

    I’m looking forward to the day I can outsource some activities myself!


    • David Siteman Garland

      Excellent story Ivan. Thanks for sharing it!

  • vanae

    getting naked! yes, thanks for sharing your vulnerability and big lesson here. really appreciated it. it resonated so much with me, (a person with multiple-passions) in doing so many dang things…going really fast…having to get it all figured out by myself… and now, i’m learning to do less and doing it smarter.

    i’ve been doing outsourcing for design, program development stuff. and now, i’ve been thinking of outsourcing the editing of my videos (but i’m such a control freak when it comes to wanting that video to look good the way i want it to…i’m sure i’ll be able to let go one day soon)

    ps- costa rica is rad. so glad you had a blast there! it’s sooo goood to unplug. at the end of this month, i’m heading out to asia for a month (vietnam & thailand)

    • David Siteman Garland

      LOL I can relate to control freak re: editing (I still edit mine). Haha. Costa Rica = awesome. Have a great, great time in Asia!

  • Thanks so much for tackling this important issue and being so open and
    authentic.  There is a widespread epidemic of entrepreneurs today being
    run by their businesses.  I went through a business breakdown similar to
    yours and telling my business partner that what we had worked so hard
    to build was making me miserable was one of the hardest things I’ve ever
    had to do.  Luckily, she agreed and we rebuilt our business with time
    freedom as the first priority, money second. Now, we live a “Funfest”
    life and couldn’t be happier.  

    A couple of other points that came up when watching your video today:

    1 – It’s interesting that parents tend to outsource their childcare but
    then they don’t outsource other areas of their businesses and lives.  By
    outsourcing more of their business and personal lives, they could “buy”
    more time with their children, which is what every parent wants and
    most find elusive.

    2 – Outsourcing within the business allows not only the time to do what
    you’re best at but also the mental space to really be able to work ON
    your business and strategize (rather than being constantly reactive).
    This has been an invaluable side effect that I’ve experienced with

    3 – I totally agree with Marcie, in my experience outsourcing
    housekeeping is one of the secrets to a happy marriage! I’ve been
    tempted to write that tip on a wedding card every so often. 😉

    • David Siteman Garland

      So, so true Shannon. I remembered the story you told during our interview about business papers being signed RIGHT AFTER BIRTH in the hospital. C-arazyyyyy!

      1. Great point re: parents. Exactly. I think part of that is because that is considered “normal” and “what everyone else does” which of course is BS.

      2. Exactly. In vs. On.

      3. Now if I could only load the dishwasher correctly….

  • Guy Davis

    David that was an incredible show and thanks for being so honest and sharing something so personal. As I try and work my way to self employment, I realize I must get some balance in my life. I work full time for a college but I have not exercised in over a year and my diet has gone to hell. I have gained weight and I feel awful about that. I am the only one who can change me and I am going to to do. At one point in my life I lost 80 pounds. I just will have to do that again. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • David Siteman Garland

      If I can do it, anyone can 🙂 Glad to serve up some inspiration!

  • At least you have a six pack now (beware of cortisol)

    • David Siteman Garland

      I don’t even know what Cortisol is 🙂

  • Switchtheflip

    Your videos are all so clear. What kind of camera do you use?

    • David Siteman Garland

      Just the camera that came with my imac 🙂

  • Aaron Morton

    Great video David; I notice that a lot when I work with people in that their greatest drive for change or revamping comes after they have a moment similar to your bathroom episode. It’s like they go over the threshold and now there is no stopping them in doing what needs to be done in order to make the adjustments in their life/business.
    I admire the determination you have shown in achieving your revamps; having worked as a personal trainer I know the focus you would have needed to achieve the body transformation you had this year!

    • David Siteman Garland

      Aaron – Totally get what you are saying. I wish it wasn’t always that way meaning go, go, go, something bad happens, revamp, but unfortunately seems to be the case. 

  • David, Good stuff as per norm. Yes, I absolutely outsource where possible, and house keeping is must. In fact, we try and outsource almost all of our house keeping chores like lawn care, car wash, etc.

    Question – Obviously, you don’t want to outsource your own voice, but do you feel that some of the Blog Commenting, Twitter, FB’ing, and G+ ‘ing could also be outsourced? It’s an interesting question with regards to social media, because I find managing two marketing strategies, it’s exhausting doing them all. I need to either cut a few out, or get help because it takes away from other tasks like growing my business.

    BTW: Where in Costa Rica were you? I lived there also for a year, it’s one of my favourite countries in the world.

    • David Siteman Garland

      Costa Rica = Amazing. Papagayo (sp) Peninsula. Absolute blast.

      I gotta say it is a tough call. I think the interaction is impossible to outsource, but other things might be (i.e. content posts). I’m trying to do a better job of turning social media off during parts of the day as opposed to constantly monitoring.

  • Love it, David! I have a couple questions for you.

    1) When you film, do you make notes ahead of time about what you are going to say? And if so, how long does the process take to get ready for a show?

    2) Do you write your show notes, or do your assistants do that?

    I just rated your iTunes video podcast – 5 stars all the way!

    • David Siteman Garland

      Hi Alexa –

      1. Sometimes/sometimes not. I usually have some brief notes. Considering I’ve done now 250+ shows, it takes me now less than 30 minutes.

      2. I do. They format it.

      3. Thanks so much for the rating!!

  • Thanks for being so honest, David! This is something many of us experience – but few would actually share as openly as you did; I admire that. 

    Many of my friends have overseas VAs. They pay someone $500 a month for 160 hours of “work”. In nearly every case, they talk about the nightmare it has been finding and keeping someone reliable – who doesn’t need to be watched 24-7. 

    You are the first person to mention paying a nice rate to someone who is self sufficient – and who will, in turn, free you up even more. Sounds like your VAs are worth every penny. Do you have a company you recommend?

    Keep up the great work!

    • David Siteman Garland

      Thanks, Aaron. I know I’m always willing to pay for quality 🙂

      I would recommend both my VA’s however, neither is taking on new clients!

  • .
    Wow great show! I found myself nodding the whole way through.

    Yes I do have things in my life that I outsource. This is exactly why I started my business. Both my husband and I were working and we have two kids. I wanted to find a cross between a housekeeper/cook/organizer/home manager/assistant/laundry service! etc. and I couldn’t. Nothing like it existed, I saw a market and I went for it. I started my domestic service business and now I have the service I was looking for and provide it for others. We do pretty much everything that needs to be done in the home and if we cant do it we will arrange and supervise untill it get’s done.
    I can’t tell you the feeling of fulfillment I get when we help people wrangle their lives back into their control. I was so unbelievably exhausted and stressed and now…well I am not 🙂 I have learned that my employee’s are one of my most valuable assets and they know how much I appreciate them.

    Now I get to be home with my kids and I know that the people I have working are very good at what they do. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    • David Siteman Garland

      Laura – So glad you enjoyed it and sounds like you are a BIG success story. Keep up the awesome work!

  • Paul

    Sorry I’m so late to comment. Glad you were so open about your life and what you have done to being more order to your life. Evey one deserves a vacation away from work. I often wonder about working ahead and or finding a way so your not married to the biz. I was at a point like where you were but mine was stress due to my job as a medic. I had multiple bad calls that resulted in me becoming over stressed and found that you have to make time for both you and friends and family. Balance is always hard and a work in progress. God Bless you and yours and looking forward to a fantastic New Year. By the way always look forward to fitness Friday.

  • I can relate.  I set two goals for 2012 for outsourcing.  i decided I wanted a full team that could handle everything I need handled so I could take 14 weeks off and I decided that I wanted a maid who keeps my house clean and is actually really cool.  

    I’ve got the maid and I have a team of assistants.  I am still working on a few members of the team.

    Thanks for this David and I’m looking forward to the next one!



These are the EXACT same steps I used to go from $0 to over $1,000,000 in online course sales in less than 24 months (and used by over 2,500+ of my students)

it's free!
100% privacy guaranteed, no messin' around!