5 tips to prevent burnout for entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurs are more likely to be affected by burnout than any other type of business owner. These 5 tips will help you to prevent burnout and save your business in the process.
As an entrepreneur myself, I speak from experience here. And boy, what an experience did I have. I was so good at ignoring the signs of my own burnout that I literally became paralyzed from the neck down.
The burnout was so destructive that doctors told me there was nothing I could do to heal. Needless to say, perhaps my greatest achievement in life was not listening to the doctors and finding my own solutions.
These 5 tips are just some of the ways I learned to heal my own body and save my business from ruin.
Tip 1 – Get clear on your vision
Sometimes the simplest of things makes the biggest difference in business. No matter how large or small your business is. Whether you are just thinking about starting a business or even been trading for years. The vision is always needed to ensure a healthy operating model. By vision, I mean, what’s your why? What is the reason why you started this business? Is it to leave a legacy? Is it to help others live better? Is it to create financial freedom for your kids? Whatever it is that drives you to make this business work write it down and review it daily!
When you are clear on why you’re doing this suddenly your to-do list makes sense. This is also incredibly useful exercise especially if you’re one of those entrepreneurs who can’t just stick to one business! If you suffer with shiny object syndrome – I.e constantly changing your mind, starting one business then being distracted by another business model and never committing to one. That shiny object syndrome will lead to burnout and financial ruin quicker than a gambling addict on the Vegas strip.
Let go of the idea that long working hours are a sign of a great entrepreneur and let them go. Ultimately, the success of an entrepreneur is not the number of hours you invest, but what you do with those hours.
Tip 2 – Manage your mindset
Your mind is the control centre of your life. Learning to manage how you operate, and dealing with issues where your mind just doesn’t want to play ball are essential to success in well everything in life. If you know me, you know I am all about the power of the mind to completely transform your life. It was only when I incorporated meditation and mindfulness into my daily routine that I truly began to see success in not just my own health transformation but in all aspects of my life.
Dedicating just 5 minutes a day for meditation will help you gain some calm in the chaos. It will help you to manage stress, and with time it will also help you become more creative and help you adapt better. All win-win’s in the world of entrepreneurship.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by your business, I urge you to take a step back and balance it out by implementing a meditation practice today, it truly was one of the biggest game changers for me. That’s why I now teach meditation world wide alongside my consulting business.
Tip 3 – Know your limits
But know this, as a human being you are only good at so many things. Yes, I know that’s hard to digest, you’re not perfect. You have your strengths and you have your weaknesses. Mapping these out and getting clear on what you are good at and not so good at, or even things that don’t necessarily need to be done by you will make a huge impact on your business. Hire a virtual assistant wherever possible to manage your admin tasks and spend your time doing the things that make you money.
As entrepreneurs we can easily get stuck in a vicious circle working so hard we forget we are not alone. We can become so used to doing all the tasks in our business ourselves that we may sometimes feel shame in having to ask for help. But there isn’t shame in asking. It’s wise to ask for help. In fact it’s one of my first recommendations to anyone starting a business. If you want your business to grow the sooner you get someone in replace you the better, why? Because it lets you move up the ladder to more strategy or even advisor role where you may get to the point where you can sell your business if that’s your goal.
Spreading that workload will be stressful in the beginning when you onboard someone but it will rapidly become a god send and you’ll wonder how you managed without support in the past.
Tip 4 – Respect your boundaries
Setting healthy boundaries is possibly the most difficult aspect of being an entrepreneur. There is a tendency, again with the ‘hustle’ culture that we need to be working all hours. But this is a surefire way to burnout. Longer, harder work does not necessarily equal more money or success.
You must learn to strike a true work-life balance or be prepared to either lose your friends, your partner, your health or your business or perhaps a combination of the above. Think of your business as a marathon and not a sprint. Take time each day to attend to your other needs, whether that’s exercising, enjoying lunch with a friend, dancing, painting, going to a museum, bingeing a Netflix series. Whatever it may be, do it daily!
Set the time in your diary like a meeting. For example at 5pm I shut my laptop down, no matter what. Clear my desk for the next day and I’m done. No, oh I’ll just do xyz or maybe I’ll just finish this. I respect the boundary I have set myself. And I stick to it. That clear line between work and private life is one it took me years to learn but boy did it pay off. I have worked with clients all over the world and I used to let them text me all hours of the day and night. This caused no end of stress, and if I didn’t respond because perhaps they messaged when I was asleep, I would feel like a failure. Now I have set times in my contact schedule so it’s not just me but also my customers who know when I am available. Just a little clear communication and everyone’s happy and stress free!
Tip 5 – Stop the comparison
Social media, what an absolute blessing and a curse! A blessing because today you can instantly connect with your customers and prospects around the world. And a curse because it can be the worst time suck, and a nightmare for our own mental health.
The whole hustle culture will lead you to believe that successful entrepreneurs rise at 5 am or earlier, run 10 miles, drink zero caffeine all day and create an empire from their laptop on a sandy beach somewhere and still have time to meditate for 4 hours, practice their yoga and dine out on lobster. Let’s be clear, most of those posts if not all are complete lies! Yes you can operate your business from a laptop, I do that with my own business. But to pretend that you are super human is lying not just to yourself but everyone around you. We’re human. Sometimes we need days off, a glass of wine and to curl up under the duvet.
So I urge you, whenever you see those perfect posts from entrepreneurs claiming to have all their stuff together the chances are they are lying through their teeth.
I love the quote ‘Stop comparing your behind the scenes to everyone else’s showreel’. It’s worth remembering that what most people are doing on social media is showing you their public face you don’t see the hell going on behind the scenes.
So don’t beat yourself up for not meeting some fake idea of perfection. Perfection simply doesn’t exist even for entrepreneurs.
Your goal as an entrepreneur is to have the courage to free yourself from the shackles of fear and risk. Taking risks is part of building a business but you need to do so with a level of self-care and compassion.
Ensure you create and stick to a daily routine, where you’re clear on the your daily vision, you know what the plan is for the day, you stick to it. You also have fun that day. You take time to manage your mind, delegate some admin tasks and switch off the computer when the work day is done.
These essential tips can make all the difference in helping you win the marathon of running a successful business.