Overcoming Entrepreneurial Burnout

You’ve dreamed, been given the gift of an idea from beyond, a special skill or service or any of the myriad reasons people get inspired to take the leap of faith and start your own business. You’ve been bit by the entrepreneurial bug.

Maybe you’ve been feeling life is taking you nowhere, that it’s time to do your own thing, live life on your own terms and be your own boss. You’ve decided that it’s time to take action and do what you love and allow others to compensate you for following your passionate dreams.

You love the freedom of being able to set your own hours, share your gifts, talents and special abilities while letting your inner light shine as you exercise your creativity, reach your lifestyle and financial goals, enjoy more happiness and make the world a better place.

You’ve taken action and made the commitment to take a risk to embrace your dream, and you find out that entrepreneurialism (starting and running your own business) may be more than you bargained for. When you started out, you were enthusiastic and empowered with self confidence and love. Then, after a while, of dealing with the day to day operations of running a business, your confidence and determination begins to wane. Even though you’re doing what you love, you may feel your energy draining, begin questioning yourself, and possibly find yourself entertaining a personal bout with depression.

In my work with entrepreneurs, it is not uncommon for these otherwise potentially hugely successful business people to waver, when this is the critical moment for them to push through this thicket we refer to as burnout.

15 Signs of Entrepreneurial Burnout

  1. Lack of energy
  2. Increased anxiety
  3. Work too much (long hours)
  4. Not eating right
  5. Denying your own self-care (exercise, meditation, reading, journaling etc.)
  6. Feeling as though the weight of the world (your business) is on your shoulders
  7. Not interacting socially
  8. Noticing your personal relationships are deteriorating
  9. Holding yourself to unrealistic high standards
  10. Doing everything yourself
  11. Feeling guilty for taking time for yourself
  12. Endlessly pushing yourself to do more than expected (or even possible)
  13. Beat yourself up for not managing your business better
  14. Being disappointed in the level of success you have attained
  15. Not taking the time to celebrate your wins along the way

If any of that sounds like you, it might be time to re-evaluate and get a grip on your life. Don’t sacrifice your quality of life for your business. It’s easy to get in over your head, it’s not only expected in business, but it is also a primary element to moving your business to the next level and allows you to increase your opportunity for massive success.

You have forgotten about yourself – the most valuable component – of our business. It’s time to focus more on caring for you and nurturing the most valuable asset you have: You.

You can do this by considering

It Is What It Is

Simply accept that things are the way they are. Sometimes stuff happens that you have no control over. Get a grip, it’s not all about you. Sometimes you make a mistake, accept responsibility for that, get over it and move on. Don’t beat yourself up. And when you have a win (look for them – even small ones), celebrate it!

Being bold enough to make your own way invites challenges. It’s up to you to make sure you have the strength to deal with them when they arise. And if you need a hand, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Not everything is your fault and don’t let anything get in the way of your attention to yourself comes first.

Make and Take Time

Make time to rest, relax and take care of yourself. We all have the same 24 hours a day, and you’ve been denying yourself a portion of the available hours. It’s time to reallocate and prioritize. Consider some time management and scheduling to maximize the time you have.

Look Out for You

Make priorities of making opportunities to do the things you love to do and take better care of yourself. Start paying more attention to the way you eat, exercise and sleep, make adjustments to enhance these basic primal needs for your mind and body. Also find ways to make room for activities that promote better health and joy. Rebuild neglected relationships (or make new ones) and manage the more important, meaningful areas of your life.

Do It

Think about it, if your son or daughter were conducting their affairs, like you, you would be all over them to make changes, to take better care of him/her self. Take your own advice. Make a commitment to you and your own self care and love. Learn (and practice) to say, “No,” when your business or others demand expectations of compromising your attention to you, without feeling guilty.

While it may sound counter-intuitive at the outset, your renewed mind, body and spirit will be better equipped to do more with less if you’ve put yourself first.

Cut Yourself Some Slack

When you’re frazzled, feeling like your world is crumbling around you and it’s all your fault, stop. Take a break. Try to look at it from a different perspective. In every tragedy there is treasure, you need only to take the time to find it. Then it all makes sense.

And if you fail, forgive yourself and get back on track as quickly as possible. Failures are necessary components of success empowering you with invaluable education as you push forward. Don’t beat yourself up and keep going. You have everything you need to get you from where you are to where you want to be. If you keep going, the things that you don’t have will appear when the time is right.

You got this

Look for the good in everything and you will find the success you’re looking for. It might not turn out like you thought it would, but the results will be better than you imagined because every adversity will lead you to a far better place if you persevere.

Time to Do Your Own Thing?

Ever feel like just another meaningless face in the maze, just like everyone else in the rat race? Just scurrying around among all the other vermin for whatever reason, with only a brief memory of the inspiring ideal of there being cheese?

Some mazes are better than others, and if you’re lucky to be in a good one, you’ll go to college to earn a ticket you can use to ride the good job bus so you can rack up some retirement and if you’re lucky enough to be one of the five percent in this maze, at some point you can take a break, relax and enjoy the good

The vast majority of those on the college educated, hard working class – yes, ninety-five percent of them – struggle when forced to retire, dependent on social security, family and government subsidies to have any hope of surviving advanced age.

If you’re not one of the 180 million people who win the lottery, you might consider subsidizing your income with a life of crime and enjoy having a place to live out your years with cable TV, surrounded by plenty of friends and not having to worry about paying bills or wondering where your next meal is coming from.

Is it time to do your own thing?
Is it time to do your own thing?

This starts getting real as you age. When you are still young it doesn’t matter much, you believe all the hype about being a productive piece of the machine and have faith there will be something there for you in the future.

There is a small percentage of the population that figures this out early in life and look for ways to take responsibility for their own survival seeking to create something on their own, without having to depend on an employer. About seven percent of us seek some form of self-employment (about seven percent) and of those about half of them are employers who put other employees to work.

The other half are considered mom and pop enterprises, who are just trying to eek out a living the best way they can.

Between the ages of 45 and 64, Americans increasingly seek out ways to subsidize their income, most of them starting a business of their own. As the age of 65 hits, fourteen percent of women and twenty-two percent of men are self employed.

If you’re not one of the 5 out of 100 educated hard-working employees lucky enough to be working with a good company or organization with good retirement packages, then chances are you are starting to look around wondering what you are going to do.

Your fear is the only thing holding you back as you question your own worthiness and talking yourself out of taking full responsibility for your financial future with negative self-talk, such as,

“I’m not educated enough.”

Lots of people, just like you, have launched successful careers and businesses with little or no education and you might be surprised how many of the most wealthy individuals barely have a high school education, no college or dropped out of college.

“I don’t have time.”

Everyone has time to do the things that are important to them. You can see in our youth we have no time for seriously considering any form of entrepreneurship, but as retirement age closes in more and more of us are making the time to get serious about staring something new.

“I don’t have the startup capital.”

Fortunately, nowadays, you can start something with very little overhead or initial cash outlay thanks to the Internet and modern communications technology. You can use these to your advantage and start your business with very little money and no need to have the expense of a brick and mortar enterprise.

“I don’t have a marketable product, skill or service.”

Everyone who comes to this planet has their own inherit skills and abilities. There is something (probably many things) that you are able to do that many other people cannot. This is way our natural system was designed. We all are designed to help each other. You can start doing your part today.

“Someone is already doing it and I can’t compete.”

Really? As a consumer, you know that’s not true. We all like to have choices. We’re not too crazy about the idea of only having one restaurant, gas station, cell phone provider or brand of laundry detergent to choose from. Think of it more as encouraging freedom of choice instead of competition.

“I tried and failed. I just can’t do it.”

If you’ve tried doing something on your own unsuccessfully: Bravo!

Don’t quit. You are 95 percent more qualified to start up a successful business after having at least one failure under your belt, as rarely does anyone start a successful business the first go round.

What’s holding you back?