Entrepreneurial Burnout and How to Avoid It

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Entrepreneurial Burnout and How to Avoid It

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Did you know that 25% of entrepreneurs say they’re experiencing burnout? In addition to that, 3% felt ‘strongly burned out’. Burnout is a serious problem that entrepreneurs face, especially small business owners. Entrepreneurial burnout can be pretty insidious, especially for passionate business owners.

According to the Harvard Business Review, people with an obsessive passion for work are more likely to say they experienced burnout than entrepreneurs who practiced self-care techniques. 

Let’s discuss what burnout is, the signs of it, and how to practice self-care so you can avoid being burned out. 

What is Burnout?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), burnout is defined as a syndrome caused by chronic workplace stress that goes unmanaged. 

The Harvard Business Review says that some of the causes of burnout include lack of:

  • Autonomy
  • Engagement
  • Motivation
  • Passion

Burnout can also come from working too much, withdrawing from your social life, and just not having a healthy work-life balance. 

In addition to not practicing self-care, certain personality traits may make you more susceptible to burnout. According to Very Well Mind,  personality traits such as pessimism and perfectionism can add to the stress that contributes to burnout.  

woman experiencing entrepreneurial burnout because there are hands offering her a cup of coffee. a book, food and a clock

Signs of Entrepreneurial Burnout

Are you experiencing entrepreneurial burnout? Here are some of the symptoms according to Very Well Mind and WHO:

  • Feeling exhausted or depleted of energy
  • Mental distance from your business
  • Feeling frustrated or stressed
  • Physical symptoms like headache and stomach issues
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Reduced capacity to do your tasks

Burnout is commonly associated with working for other people. If you’re an entrepreneur with a full-time job you may notice feeling tired and drained at work. However, when it’s time to work on your business, you have renewed energy. 

Practice Self Care in Entrepreneurship

Self-care isn’t selfish and it’s so necessary for preventing and dealing with burnout. Practicing self-care is important for both you and your business. 

woman with black nail polish and towel wrapped on head smiling with sunlight displayed as horizontal lines across her face

Preventing burnout is also paramount because it can take a while to recover from it. 

Here are some practical ways you can practice self-care:

Schedule Regular Breaks

Of course, you have a million things to do but you have to take regular breaks, every day. 

A tired and worn-out brain doesn’t function as well as a well-rested brain. By not getting rest, you’re doing a disservice to both yourself and your clients. 

Breaks include taking vacation time too. We know it’s not always easy for entrepreneurs, especially solopreneurs to take vacations. Here are some tips to help you take longer periods of time off work:

Hire help

 Hiring help can help you take more time off. By hiring help you can have someone to take care of some or all aspects of your business while you’re on break. Hiring help can also help you avoid burnout even if you’re not going on break.  If you’re regularly too swamped, consider hiring someone to help you out. 

If you do hire help remember to treat them well so that your employees will love working for you. Look at it this way, if you take care of your employees, they’ll help to take care of your business. 

Not sure where to find help? We recommend Fiverr.

If you’re struggling to find the funds to hire help you can:

FYI, if you need help acing your grant applications, check out our checklist and cheat sheet. 

team sitting around table with their computers, cup of coffee, open notebook, tablet and cell phone and tiny plant

Pick the dates on your calendar in advance

To help you reduce stress, pick the dates on your calendar when you want to be out of the office. That way you can start to make plans and put systems in place for your absence. 

Prepare for your vacation

Preparing for your time off is key. If your staff is going to be taking over, make sure everyone is briefed on their role for your absence. 

In addition to that, let them know how they can reach you in case of an emergency. It’s a great idea to go over some scenarios and what their response could be. 

For example, if someone is managing your inbox, let them know how to respond to certain emails. 

You should also let people know what constitutes an emergency. 

Scheduling Vacation Time as A Solopreneur 

If you’re a solopreneur there are ways to schedule vacation time, the key is being prepared. You can do that by:

  • Creating and scheduling social media content for the time you’ll be unavailable
  • Telling relevant people when you will be out of office
  • Setting up a ‘out of office’ email automation 

Don’t Make Your Business Your Whole Life 

You might have your dream job or just really enjoy what you’re doing but don’t forget about the other things in mind.

Not only should you prioritize taking care of your basic needs and general self-care, nurture your relationships.  

All relationships, whether platonic, familial, or romantic, need nurturing. You can nurture your relationships by:

  • Setting aside time in regular intervals to communicate. 
  • Plan a get together over Zoom or in person as long as you’re doing it safely. 
  • If you celebrate birthdays, send them a card or a gift.

At the end of the day, everybody is busy but putting in a little effort can be very beneficial. 

In addition to nurturing relationships, don’t be afraid to find a hobby that has nothing to do with your business. You could take up painting, running, reading, anything to cultivate a life outside business. 

Finding activities outside of your business will help to prevent entrepreneurial burnout and you’ll have fun!

four people having a lunch date

Take Care of Your Body

Taking care of your body is essential. You can take care of your body by:

  • Having regular checkups
  • Getting 6-8 hours of sleep per night
  • Eating healthy foods
  • Moving your body regularly

Sometimes you may not feel so great and it’s actually because you’re not giving your body the care it needs. 

Take Care of Your Mind

Mental health is very important. One way you can take care of your mind is by practicing mindfulness. For some people, that’s writing in a journal, meditation, prayer, etc. Find what works for you and do it and do it regularly.

You can also invest in a therapist. You don’t have to have a single thing bothering you to visit a therapist. Therapy is a great way to maintain good mental health. 

woman in sports bra and leggings kneeling on a yoga mat looking at the sea

Conclusion

Entrepreneurial burnout can be scary and it’s much better to prevent it than treat it. Follow these tips and you’ll see a difference in your life and business. However, if you’re experiencing burnout, talking with a medical professional can help you get your life back on track.

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COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 8
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    Angela 11 months ago

    This way a very helpful article. I especially like how you suggested getting therapy. Therapy is so important. As a therapist, it is so important to get help for your mind too.

  • comment-avatar

    Burnout is real it is so important to practice radical self-care as an entrepreneur.

  • comment-avatar
    Tafari Roberts 11 months ago

    Definitely needed to read this. Great tips and tricks as always. I experience burnout a lot but didn’t know how to manage and be productive at the same time. Definitely a must read.

  • comment-avatar

    I so needed this one! I struggle to make time for myself and will definitely use your suggestions l. Thanks!

  • comment-avatar

    I so needed this one! I struggle to make time for myself and will definitely use your suggestions l. Thanks!

    I couldn’t find you on Pinterest https://pin.it/4ydojhE

  • comment-avatar

    I am a operate a recruiting agency as well as work a full time job outside my agency.  I have felt guilty about taking time off from my agency.  I’ve learned over time that I simply cannot feel guilty about taking some time off for ME.  Time to relax and reboot.  Time management is essential to being a business owner.  Make time for yourself!

  • comment-avatar
    Joyce Cheng 10 months ago

    This would be very helpful and ease the burden of being an entrepreneur. Thanks for sharing.

  • comment-avatar

    These are all wonderful suggestions! Can’t wait to be relaxed

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