Author and entrepreneur Dennis Consorte chatted about his book “Back After Burnout: Master your Burnout Recovery with the MASHPLA framework.”
The other co-authors of the book include Dr. Mark Goulston, MD, Dr. Troy Hall, PhD, Kevin Hogan, PsyD, and Larry Sharpe.
Consorte addressed being an author and entrepreneur in the digital age at a time when streaming and technology are so prevalent.
Background on Dennis Consorte
With 20 years of experience as a full stack digital marketer, Consorte sold his first ecommerce business in 2004.
Presently, he leads a publicity, digital marketing, and content strategy firm. His clients include micro-cap public companies, startups, and online businesses. Team-building and storytelling are at the center of his methodology.
His hobbies include spending time with his wife and connecting with friends and family whenever feasible. He is very intentional about eating better, sleeping better, exercising, and he also enjoys writing.
The book was released on June 20, 2023, and it became an Amazon bestseller, where it still sits at No. 1 in both the “Startups” and “Motivational Self-Help” categories, as well as No. 4 in the “Personal Transformation” section.
What inspired you to write a book specifically about burnout recovery and the MASHPLAY framework?
I had a hard time getting through my last major period of burnout. I’m grateful that I had help, but I also had to figure a lot of things out on my own. Many people aren’t so lucky, and recently we’ve seen an upsurge in burnout as people suffered mental health issues during the pandemic lockdowns.
I found my way back after burnout, and I want to help others get there faster and more sustainably. If this book makes one person’s life better, then all of the time, money, and energy I invested will have been worth it.
How has your personal experience as a GenX entrepreneur influenced the development of the MASHPLAY framework?
MASHPLAY is a mashup of several ideas and tools related to: Mindset, Acceptance, Symptoms, Habits, Purpose, Leadership, Accountability, and Yourself. As a GenX entrepreneur, my upbringing was vastly different from that of young people today, and they need a lot of help.
My path was unique in that I came from humble beginnings as the son of a Vietnam veteran father and immigrant mother whose lives were turned upside down with the fall of Saigon. They came here with nothing, and gave my brothers and me the best life they could.
I took what I learned from them and combined it with my own experience failing forward as a small business owner.
My hope is that other GenXers will find my story relatable, while millennials and zoomers will get to experience a sliver of life through my eyes, to augment their own lived experiences.
In your book, you include anecdotes from your life. Could you share one of those anecdotes that particularly impacted your burnout recovery journey?
One of the most important lessons in Back After Burnout is on developing an ownership mindset. Here’s one short story: When you burn out, you feel a sense of helplessness, like your life is out of your control. Let’s look at some ways to regain a sense of control in different aspects of your life. It starts with developing an ownership mindset.
You can have an ownership mindset whether you have a job working for someone else or own a business. It’s easier if you know your core values, mission, and Ikigai. But sometimes you must hit rock bottom to go into survival mode and discover your purpose, as I did.
My mom worked at a Chinese restaurant as a server and got me a job as a busser when I was a teenager. I was terrible at it, and it didn’t feel purposeful to me, so I wasn’t there for very long. I just wanted cash to go out with my friends, buy clothes, and support my hobbies.
One of the first lessons I learned was how to mop the floor. The owner gave me a mop and a bucket to see what I could do. He came back to check up on me an hour after I started, and I barely made any progress. So, he grabbed the mop and showed me how to finish the job more efficiently with broad strokes.
He was the restaurant owner and spent most of his time greeting customers, teaching cooking classes, and managing the team. But he knew how to mop the floor because, early in his career, he had to do it himself. When he started his business, it was small. He was one guy in a kitchen who opened a business, cooked food, served customers, and closed the shop daily with little help.
Over time, he grew his team to perform day-to-day activities while he focused on building his brand. Eventually, he had enough specialists in all roles necessary to run a restaurant effectively. But he always remembered the lessons he learned along the way.
The restaurant was his entire life. He was an immigrant and had no job to fall back on and no money in the bank. He needed to do everything he could to keep the business afloat, or he would lose everything. I didn’t realize the importance of that lesson in mopping the floor at the time. In retrospect, it was among the most valuable lessons I learned as a kid.
Because he had to do everything, the restaurant owner learned to be efficient while maintaining quality. He learned to mop the floor quickly in broad strokes because he had numerous other responsibilities. He served customers with the highest level of service and cooked delicious food with high-quality ingredients.
He created a fantastic customer experience because he understood the monetary and labor costs of acquiring his customers. So he did what was required to keep them happy while also being mindful of his expenses to retain profitability. He did what was necessary to keep the business open and growing.
At the same time, he put systems in place to spend less time working in the business and more time working on it. He had an ownership mindset. Imagine having that mindset, and then losing it. It’s common for small business owners to lose their ownership mindset, which can also happen to employees. Imagine a worker who is enthusiastic about a new job. They give it everything they’ve got. They roll up their sleeves to do the work that no one else wants to do.
And they lead and mentor others to build a sense of community in the organization. But then they’re not recognized for their effort, or they work with managers and owners who don’t know how to lead. They inevitably become jaded, their work suffers, and they lose motivation.
They then find themselves among many employees who do just enough to earn a paycheck. They, too, have lost that sense of ownership and responsibility.
If this has happened to you, all is not lost. Once you recognize that you’ve lost your ownership mindset, you can take steps to regain it.
How does it feel to be an author and entrepreneur in the digital age (now with streaming, technology and social media being so prevalent)?
We are privileged to have such powerful tools and information at our disposal. There was no internet during my early childhood. To perform research, I had to ride my bike to the library, fumble through a card catalog, thumb through piles of books, and write notes by hand.
Today, information is readily available, which makes writing a book like “Back After Burnout” much more efficient.
To put this into perspective, I sourced over 100 published materials in the development of this book. Additionally, software made it possible to outline and write content more dynamically.
After I finished my first draft, I did a lot of shuffling and rewording to get it into its final form. I can’t imagine doing that with a mechanical typewriter.
Talk to us about the other authors in the book and how working with them added value to others?
The lessons and stories I share come from my lived experience as an entrepreneur. But that is just one perspective and I’m self-aware enough to know that all opinions have bias—mine included.
I wanted other perspectives on burnout, and fresh ideas from experts on how to prioritize different elements of recovery. Each of the guest authors contributed one or two chapters to enhance the reader’s experience.
His book “Back After Burnout: Master your Burnout Recovery with the MASHPLA framework” is available on Amazon by clicking here.