I’m a firm believer that the greatest gifts we can offer to the world come from our greatest suffering – Bonita Eby

Categories: Business, Inspiration

Bonita Eby is a Burnout Prevention Strategist and owner of Breakthrough Personal & Professional Development Inc. She specializes in burnout prevention and wellness for organizations and individuals at the intersection of health and leadership development. Bonita is on a mission to end burnout.

Photograph of Bonita Eby with The Corporate Escapists logo
Meet Bonita Eby – Breakthrough Personal & Professional Development Inc.

I’m a leader who is passionate about helping other leaders prevent burnout and empower their organizations to create a culture of wellness.

For fun, I love adventure. There is nothing more exhilarating than galloping through the forest on horseback. I also enjoy kayaking, paddle boarding, hiking, and simply spending time in nature.

As an successful entrepreneur please share your view point if you believe that entrepreneurs are born or made?

I think a lot of people, especially women, tend to believe they are not natural-born leaders, and that viewpoint can be limiting. Certain personality types may have a higher risk tolerance, a necessity in business, but we can hone skills over time.

I’m a firm believer that the greatest gifts we can offer to the world come from our greatest suffering.

Nelson Mandela once quoted – ‘I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.’

What has been one fear you have overcome?

Perhaps the greatest fear I’ve overcome is speaking openly about burnout. When I first experienced burnout, there was a lot of stigma around it, and I felt an incredible amount of shame. However, choosing to speak about it and make preventing (and overcoming) burnout my life’s work is liberating. But I’ll be honest, doing so forces me to overcome fear on a daily basis.

Tell us what the word “empower” means to you?

That’s simple. To empower others is to help them soar. It begins with deep inner work to deal with their pain. The next step involves helping them create a mindset that they have what it takes to achieve their dreams. But that’s not enough. The next phase consists of developing the skills needed to master their goals. And the final level is to help them overcome their fear and begin.

In a nutshell, empowering entails helping others overcome their challenges, find hope, spread their wings, and soar.

What has been one of the biggest business ideas you have had and how did you have the courage to implement it?

The most significant business idea I’ve had is to support organizations turn their workplace culture around from one that unintentionally creates employee burnout to one that fosters wellness and innovation.

Yes, it took courage, but I saw a need and knew I had the experience and expertise to help them make the changes required to propel their organization to thrive. The measures leaders put in place often affect hundreds or even thousands of people, making the world a better place.

Running your own business can be scary. Success requires moments of courage to push through to the next level, please tell us one of the moments you have had to push through to take your business to the next level?

In my experience, the greatest challenges and the most significant discouragement often come right before a major break. In essence, it takes courage to press on, believing that the work will be worth it. Courage is having faith and hope that what I’m dreaming of will come to fruition.

Tell us what attributes you feel make a good leader in business today?

Authentic leadership involves humility. A good leader listens more than speaks and willingly learns from others’ perspectives. I’ve learned to ask myself, “what if I’m wrong?” and listen openheartedly.

Strong leaders don’t believe they have all the answers. Exceptional leaders believe others have the answers and simply need a skilled supporter to help them realize their potential.

What is your favourite quote about empowerment?

This quote by Theodore Roosevelt brings tears to my eyes each time I read it because I’ve been there many times.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

– Theodore Roosevelt

These words hold the essence of empowerment and self-leadership.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start their own business?

Learn all you can to hone your expertise and build the skills you need to run a business. Then, surround yourself with amazing people who will support you and provide intelligent mentorship to help you succeed.

You need passion, but you also need business sense.

What would be one (1) question you would you ask the person who most inspires you? Also share with us about this person and why they inspire you?

Brené Brown has been a mentor-from-afar via her books and podcasts. I’ve been learning from her long before she ever became a household name. She inspires me in her fierce courage to name hard things, like shame, and hold a safe, open space for people to engage.

If I could ask Brené one question, it would be: how do I effectively use my voice to support those who feel voiceless due to the shame of burnout.

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