Rediscovering Purpose: Dennis Consorte’s Journey from Burnout to Bestseller

by Jerome Knyszewski

Dennis Consorte is the founder of Consorte Marketing, a digital marketing agency in New York. He launched several other startups including Brand Boba, a PR company, and Luminary Tiger, a publishing company for books on wellness and entrepreneurship. He became overwhelmed several years ago and went through a period of occupational burnout. He found his “why” again and wrote the Amazon bestseller, “Back After Burnout” to help other entrepreneurs stay resilient.

In this article:
Name: Dennis Consorte
Company: Consorte Marketing

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Table of Contents

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview. Before we dive into our discussion on Occupational Burnout, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share your backstory and what compelled you to write “Back After Burnout”?

Dennis Consorte: I graduated college in the late 90s with a degree in psychology that I couldn’t use, a mountain of debt, and no marketable job skills. So, I picked up a few books and learned Microsoft Office. That led to a career in office administration, but I knew it wasn’t my calling in life. Eventually, I taught myself SEO and web development, and launched my first ecommerce startup in the early 2000s. That business was acquired a few years later and I began my two decade career in digital marketing. Along the way, I founded Consorte Marketing. I had a full staff, an office in Hoboken New Jersey and lots of clients. But I was so wrapped up in client acquisitions that I forgot my “why” and burned out. Work was no longer fun, I was unhappy, and my poor attitude infected the team. I shut the whole thing down and spent two years rediscovering my purpose in life and at work. I realized that I found joy in helping people similar to myself, and that a few good clients and less overhead was more sustainable than my plan to take over the world. I narrowed my focus to include well-funded startups, small public companies, and mission-driven organizations. I used a number of tools during my burnout recovery and have included them in my book. Now, I get joy out of knowing that “Back After Burnout” has helped numerous people find their way back to happiness, too.

How common is occupational burnout?

Dennis Consorte: Occupational burnout is everywhere. Some studies report that more than half of all Americans have experienced burnout at work. This is especially true today for a number of reasons. First, the COVID lockdowns reminded us of how precious time is, and how finding joy and purpose at work can contribute to a happier life. Second, many young people are experiencing what I did when I graduated college many years ago. They have degrees that aren’t very applicable in the workforce. They have tons of student loan debt. And, they often have nobody mentoring them towards a life of purpose and joy. Instead, they take on jobs they don’t like. They work in a culture that doesn’t match their upbringing. And, they burn out. The same is true for older people. Many GenXers like myself have spent decades in careers that no longer feel joyful. It’s hard to reinvent yourself when you have gray hair because few people want to hire someone old enough to be their parent as the next intern. My book can help these people, too.

What are some of the signs people should look for, if they think they might be burned out?

Dennis Consorte: Burnout is when you’re in a state of complete mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion. A simpler way of saying that is that you no longer find joy in work, and it affects all other areas of your life. You may not even be at the point where you feel completely exhausted. If you’re lucky, you can identify the symptoms early so that you can take steps to improve your life, and either rejuvenate your career or pivot into a new one that’s better for your long term health and wellness.


Dennis Consorte: When I wrote “Back After Burnout”, I compiled lots of tools and developed a workbook around them. My book includes 33 chapter and 27 exercises to help you overcome occupational burnout. It’s a beast. To simplify it a bit, I organized all of this into several categories and an easy-to-remember acronym. MASHPLAY stands for Mindset, Acceptance, Symptoms, Habits, Purpose, Leadership, Accountability, and Yourself. Each of the exercises in the book touches on one or more of these areas. As you complete each chapter and workbook exercises, you’ll have more tools in your arsenal for burnout recovery, burnout prevention, and even some frameworks for life that help you every day thereafter. The book and workbook exercises may be a bit much for some people. It’s meant to be something you pick away at over time. That said, I recognize that many people want something quick and easy to help them through whatever they’re feeling in the moment. With that in mind, I’m working on a quick MASHPLAY companion guide for people who just want the essentials.

Is your book just for entrepreneurs or can it help a wider audience?

Dennis Consorte: “Back After Burnout” will help entrepreneurs and small business owners the most because it’s based on my story, and they’ll find it highly relatable. That said, the exercises are useful to anyone experiencing burnout. More importantly, I emphasize an “ownership mindset” in the book, which is applicable even if you work for someone else. In the age of automation, culture is moving in a direction where owning a business and freelancing will likely be more sustainable than the traditional career path of finding a fulltime job. This book helps to prepare you for what’s next.

How has your life changed since you wrote your book?

Dennis Consorte: In the past, I often put money first. I was always concerned about acquiring new customers and driving revenue. Now, before I take a new client I run them through my personal filter of whether they will increase or decrease the joy I experience in my professional life. If I think it won’t bring me joy, then I don’t take the job. But if I think it’ll be fun to work with them, and they have the budget, then I’m all in. Outside of work, I target activities that feel fun and purposeful, too.

Besides MASHPLAY, is there a simple bit of advice you can offer people suffering from occupational burnout?

Dennis Consorte: If you want to overcome or prevent occupational burnout, then you need to be in an ownership mindset to take ownership of your life. You have to accept that it’s a real problem, and put effort into improving your life. Take it one step at a time. Lots of incremental improvements over time are much more sustainable than trying to solve everything at once. A great place to start is with Ikigai. This is a venn diagram you can create for the intersection of aspects of your professional life that can help you find your true purpose. List out the things you love, what you’re good at, what the world needs, and what you can get paid well for. If you find something that fits into all four categories, that’s your “Ikigai.” Create a plan to achieve it and you may just land in a career that maximizes your happiness.

What else have you been up to recently?

Dennis Consorte: Outside of work, I engage in a number of activities that feel purposeful. I was President of my local Toastmasters club where we help people to become better communicators and presenters. I manage minor party political campaigns and help independent candidates with their marketing because I want to maximize the choices that people have for something they feel impacts their lives greatly. Recently, I was the campaign manager for a candidate who became the Vice Presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party. Presently I’m doing some contract work for the PAC behind RFK. I don’t agree with him on everything, but I like doing my part to give Americans more choices in the next election.

How can our readers learn more about you?

Dennis Consorte: The best thing you can do is Google my name. Just type “Dennis Consorte” into Google and see what comes up. You’ll see some articles I’ve written, podcasts I’ve appeared on, and links to other great resources. You’ll find your way to my personal website where there are links to my podcast, “Snackable Solutions,” my column at Entrepreneur’s online magazine, and lots of great ways to connect.

Jerome Knyszewski, VIP Contributor to WellnessVoice and the host of this interview would like to thank Dennis Consorte for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.

If you would like to get in touch with Dennis Consorte or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page

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