It took me nearly 12 years, but I finally did it…

I took an actual vacation, without working at all 😱

Turns out, I really needed it.

After a major hiring spurt and onboarding a couple of new clients over at The Content Factory, I hit a MAJOR burnout phase.

I felt like I was drowning in work. Progress was slow and joyless.

Completing normal tasks seemed like climbing a small mountain, in stiletto heels.

Aside from approving new posts in the SiSEO, I went pretty dark on social media.

Blessed with neurodiversity in the form of ADHD and anxiety – which can be a superpower at times, IMO – I’m no stranger to executive dysfunction.

But it was at an all-time high.

True story: ever since I started TCF in 2010, I haven’t taken a real vacation.

I worked on my wedding day, and through my divorce five years later.

I worked when I was sick.

I worked while grieving the loss of loved ones.

No matter what life threw at me, you can believe I was working through it.

This finally took its toll, and it felt like it hit all at once.

My partner recognized my struggle, and booked me a birthday trip to Italy – on the agreed-upon condition that no work was to be done during this time.

As the creator of Workationing, this was a soul-replenishing challenge.

My amazing team managed everything just fine without me, and when I came back I knew – to my core – I was refreshed and ready for action.

Singing Sweet Caroline (badly) on a boat in the Mediterranean with my Aunt Beth worked wonders for my spirit…and yes, there’s video ✨

Am I essential to the business?

F yes – sometimes!

Do I need to be available 24/7/365 to be effective?

F no – especially with the right systems and SOPs in place!

TLDR: Working vacations aren’t vacations at all – I was approximately today years old when I learned that lesson.

Maybe you can relate.

If so, and you think you may be reaching the burnout phase, I highly encourage you to take some time to yourself.

Don’t be like me, and wait until you’re almost at the breaking point.

If you’re looking for a sign, let this be it:

You deserve to take time off when you need it! ❤️

Anyway, after over a month of email absence, I’m back and in action with another edition of the SiSEO email.

First, some group updates and housekeeping.

After listening to your feedback, I've made a few important changes to SiSEO’s group rules and functionality 💪

Here are the highlights:

  • You can now post anonymously in the group!

    Unfortunately, FB’s algorithm seems to be burying these anonymous posts – to make sure they get seen, add a GIF or a cute photo of something.

  • I’m no longer approving individual introductions or posts looking for work.

    You may have seen the “Find (and hire) me!” Friday threads – let’s keep the introductions and offers there from now on to keep the group as clean as possible.

  • ALL #jobopp posts must include pay info (details here).

    Inspired by a similar rule in the Women of Email group, I made this change on Equal Pay Day to encourage pay transparency.
You can read more about these changes/see a cute pic of my cat in this post.

Speaking of #jobopps, a ton have been posted in SiSEO 🙌

It’s been over a month since I’ve been in your inbox, so there’s quite a stack if you haven’t checked into the group lately.

The #jobopps range from full-time positions to contract opportunities (we’ve got everything from 6-figure salaries to one-off project work).

To find these opportunities, go to the SiSEO Facebook group and search for #jobopp.

Be sure to filter for the most recent to see the latest posts (instead of just the most popular).

Going to the European Women in Technology Conference?

It’s June 8-9 in Amsterdam and I’ll be presenting this year – it would be great to see you there!

My talk will be about how to build your own table when others won’t welcome you to a seat at theirs (inspired by the founding of Sisters in SEO).

Working title: “The Importance of Non-dudebro Spaces in Male-Dominated Industries”

There’s a reason our little community has grown to over 11,000 members – it’s a much-needed corner of the internet.

Other dudebro-free groups worth checking out: Women in MarketingWomen in Tech SEO, and Women of Email.

If you know of any others, send them my way and I’ll give them a shoutout in a future email.

Can’t get enough SEO? Subscribe to #SEOFOMO

If you’re looking to stay up to date on the latest industry news, trends, and general info, you need more #SEOFOMO in your life.

Aleyda Solis is one of the top experts in the industry, and her weekly email is a must-read IMO – sign up here!

That’s it for now, but stay tuned because soon I’ll have a “cost of services” poll for you.

The goal is to establish what we’re all charging, so we can ideally be inspired to raise our rates and charge what we’re worth (or, avoid being overcharged if you’re someone who seeks SEO services).

Hope you have a great week 🙂

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