You’ve got big ideas and a drive like no other. You want to create and innovate, and you’re not happy working for someone else. That’s why you became an entrepreneur in the first place. But even the brightest and most dedicated entrepreneurs can burn out — it’s actually quite easy to do.
What Does Entrepreneurial Burnout Look Like?
Oftentimes, entrepreneurs start to burn out without realizing it. All you can think about is the end game, and you’ll do whatever it takes to get there. You work with blinders on, not seeing the cautionary signs along the path that are telling you to slow down, take a detour, or stop altogether. And by the time you finally accept burnout for what it is, you’re so far off course that you’re not sure how to get back on track.
Burnout can look and feel different for different people. It might be a sudden loss of interest in the project that once made you so excited to get out of bed in the morning. It could be trouble sleeping because of dread or stress. Stomach aches, headaches, tiredness, and changes in appetite can also preclude burnout. You become forgetful, cynical, and neglectful. It might be one of these things. It can be all of these things at the same time.
If you’re feeling some of the above, know that it’s not too late to overcome the symptoms of burnout and start loving entrepreneurship again.
And if you’re not burned out (yet), you can keep it that way with these top tips:
Focus on Your Purpose
You chose to become an entrepreneur. But why?
The answer is all your own. It’s your purpose, your why behind what you do. That why is what will carry you through the highs and lows. It will motivate you to keep going even when you’re not sure if you want to. Keep your purpose in focus at all times. When burnout sets in, your purpose can help you emerge like a butterfly from its cocoon and help you come back stronger and more resilient than ever.
Stick to Specific Work Hours
When you’re passionate about something, be it your next big breakthrough as an entrepreneur or just your favorite hobby, it’s all too easy to pour all of your time and energy into it. But there’s so much more to life than work, even if work is truly something you enjoy.
To avoid spending too much time on work and not enough time on life, set up a work schedule and stick to it. This schedule doesn’t have to look like your old day job. Think about when you are at the height of productivity, whether it’s early in the morning or late at night. This allows you to pour the bulk of your creativity and productivity into your work, which can help you make even more progress during your work hours.
Prioritize Self Care
While you’re taking care of your growing business, you also need to take care of yourself. After all, you are the eyes, hand, and brain behind everything you are doing. If you get sick, there’s no one there to pick up where you left off. All your progress grinds to a halt.
Eating healthy foods, exercising, and practicing good hygiene are self-care minimums. You should also take time to do de-stressing activities, such as stretching, yoga, spa treatments, or whatever helps you feel relaxed. Take care of yourself so you can take care of your goals.
Have a Life Outside of Work
You are so much more than your work. Before you became an entrepreneur, you maybe played video games, read books, went hiking, cooked new foods, went to the movies, or any number of things that make life fun. Starting a new project doesn’t mean those things have to go away.
Having a life outside of work is easier when you stick to a work schedule. At the end of your workday, make it a point to power off your computer and go do things that have nothing to do with work. Who knows? Getting out and letting loose might just inspire your next big idea.
Take Time Off
Taking a vacation might sound easier said than done, especially when you’re just getting a new idea off the ground. But it can also be so rewarding when you are able to break free from work for a few days and focus on other things that matter to you.
Even if it’s just a long weekend, take some time off every now and then to give your brain a chance to recharge. You can make more progress on your projects when your mind is focused and energized.
One of the leading causes of entrepreneurial burnout is the idea that you have to do everything yourself. Entrepreneurs tend to be one-person shows, and while this is admirable, it’s also not healthy for your creativity and advancement.
In today’s era of side gigs, freelancing, and outsourcing, there’s no reason why you can’t contract some helpers. It’s easier than ever to find highly skilled contractors with sites like Fiverr, Upwork, or Freeeup. Delegate tasks that you don’t enjoy, aren’t good at, or otherwise take valuable time away from your core activities. This way, you can focus on your core mission without getting distracted by busy work.
Look Beyond the Paycheck
If you’re only in the game for the money, you’re probably going to burn out faster than the entrepreneurs who are passionate about what they do. Money is the byproduct of a great idea and all the hard work for that idea to take wing. This can take a lot of time, and you might not see a paycheck for months!
Instead, focus on the benefits of entrepreneurship beyond money: time freedom, location freedom, popularity, helping others, job security. There’s a lot to be thankful for, and gratitude can go a long way in keeping you out of the burnout zone.
Need to gain clarity and overcome burnout? Reach out to our team to see how we can help.