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DBA Members’ Forum | July summary

In the latest DBA Members’ Forum we focused on the reality of overwork and burnout, how to spot the signs and balance the needs of the business with your own personal needs for rest. 

We were joined by Executive Coach Laura Bartlett, who outlined:

  • The first step in assessing where you are is to stop and pause, recognising how you’re feeling and how much energy you have for what lies ahead.
  • The importance of sleep if energy is low and how a seemingly simple focus on rest and looking after yourself can have a positive impact on overall wellbeing.
  • The need to check in on your own personal vision and the company vision – are they aligned?

As businesses grow, it can feel that you move further away from the work you love – how can you get back to doing more of what excites and energises you?

Shared amongst the group, top tips of small things that can change how you’re feeling and give you and your team more energy were:

  • Take a two or even three-week holiday to rest and reset  – and lead by example. Check in if you need to so things don’t stack up.
  • Schedule a 2-hour lunch break one day a week; especially important in the winter months but something this member has continued.
  • Take a coffee break outside – a break can have a huge impact on the rest of the day.
  • Meeting-free days so people can get deep work done.
  • Taking proper lunch breaks.


  • To encourage your team to change their behaviours the best thing you can do is to speak to them, listen to what they say and then act on it – these will be the policies that have the most impact on how people feel day-to-day. This report by Deloitte highlights a disconnect between how leaders see wellbeing and how employees do, it’s an interesting read. 
  • Aliya Vigor-Robertson, Founding Partner at Journey HR, shared this insightful slide showing the difference between overwork and burnout.
  • If you’re noticing disconnection in your team, an open conversation about how they’re feeling and what you can both do (as they have a responsibility to themselves too) to engage and excite them again is critical.
  • One member shared that working with a mentor as part of the DBA’s Twenty/Twenty mentoring programme really helped them. Seeking external support, whether that’s a mentor, a coach, a councillor is key – especially if you’re a solo business owner.

Our Members’ Forum takes place on the first Monday/Tuesday of each month, at 4 – 5pm. If you would like to attend, get in touch here

Our next members forum will be taking place on Tuesday 2 August.


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