Business owner burnout. Are you suffering from it? Learn about the causes, symptoms, and how to relieve the burnout that will damage you and your business.
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Recognize and Stop Business Owner Burnout

Relieve the Entrepreneurial Burnout You Are Causing Yourself

Business owner burnout is one of the biggest risks to you and your creative agency. If you get burned out your business performance will suffer and growth will falter! 

What happens to your business when you are burnt out? Does it continue to operate? A Xero survey published in Small Business Trends in 2017 found that more than three quarters of owners feel the effects of burnout. 

What Is Business Owner Burnout?

Entrepreneurial business owners who are burned out often feel alone. Like you are fighting a battle with no support. 

Are you burned out, or getting there? Here are a few questions to help you identify if you are:

  • Are you feeling mentally tired or physically exhausted? 

  • Do you have days when you aren’t interested in work? 

  • Do you suffer periods of underperformance? 

  • Are you stressed? 

  • Do you feel under increasing pressure?

  • Do you miss deadlines that you never used to?

Do you have hundreds of emails waiting for a reply? 7 Uncommon Signs of Entrepreneurial Burnout

If you have answered ‘yes’ to any of the above questions, then you are suffering from burnout. However, there are some other less common signs that indicate you are approaching burnout. Here are seven signs of B-U-R-N-O-U-T that you should stay alert to:

  1. Business always comes first

Even during your time off, you can’t leave your business alone. You check emails and your diary. You review work that has been done. You cast an eye over your accounts, and you look for more work to boost your sales and profits (even though you don’t have the time to do that work). You do all this, all the time – including when you should be sleeping.

  1. Unable to sleep well

You either can’t get to sleep or, more likely, you wake up in the early hours. Then you can’t get back to sleep.

  1. Reliance on ‘boosters’

You are drinking a little more coffee than you used to. Over time, that morning cup of Joe becomes three cups a day. Then four and more. (Other fake boosters apply here, too, like comfort food and alcohol.)

  1. Negativity

Nothing is good enough. Whereas you used to be optimistic, you find it increasingly difficult to see the positives. 

  1. Out no more

You break dates you have made to spend time with friends. Drinks after work just don’t happen anymore. Date nights are a thing of the past. That romantic meal out with your partner – surely, they will understand that business must come first?

  1. Unable to focus

When you should be focusing on work, your mind wanders. You start doing other things and looking for distractions. You forget the things you should be doing, even though they are on your to-do list.

  1. Trust has gone

You’ve become overly cynical. You trust nobody, and are becoming increasingly frustrated with the world. This will damage your business because your business is a mirror of you.

What causes burnout?

There is only one cause of burnout: Y-O-U:

  1. Your passion

The thing that pushed you to start a business is now crippling you. In research discussed by a Harvard Business Review it was found that entrepreneurs who exhibit obsessive passion are more likely to suffer burnout.

Obsessive passion can leave you feeling frustrated, anxious, and stressed. When you are changing the world can anything be good enough, or fast enough? When we lose perspective this leads to the next cause of burnout.

  1. Overwork

You are spending your days doing work that others could (and should) be doing, instead of promoting your business and developing your business strategy. You are always busy, but it is not paying moving you forward. Which brings us to cause number three:

  1. Under-rewarded

Because you are spending all your time in your business rather than on it, you are not building the team that is going to build your sales, revenues, and profits. The harder you work, the less reward you get. Your answer? You work harder. The result? You receive less. It’s a carousel you need to get off.

How do you beat burnout?

We’ve established that BURNOUT is caused by YOU. Therefore, only you can defeat it. You must alter your habits and how you work, and start treating yourself better. Here are seven tactics to R-E-L-I-E-V-E your burnout:

  1. Rest and relax

Take breaks during the day. Take days off. Put work to one side.

  1. Eat well and exercise 

Follow a healthy diet, with regular meals. Walk more and sit less.

  1. Listen to your body

Don’t push yourself through ‘the wall’. If you need sleep, sleep.

  1. Instruct and trust others

Instead of a to-do list, compose a ‘not-to-do list’. Delegate these tasks. Give clear instructions and trust people to follow them. Stop checking their work. If an employee wants you to review work, ask them if they have done their best.

  1. Enjoy the weekend

What’s your definition of a good weekend? The amount of work you got done, or the way you were able to ‘not get things done’ and spend your time doing other things instead? We all need time to recharge.

  1. Vacation

Take more time off. Take a vacation, during which you ensure you practice steps 1 to 5 and 7.

  1. Eliminate coffee

Cut out the coffee and other artificial boosters. Instead drink more water, infused with fruit. You’ll feel more alive, refreshed, and invigorated.

Are you ready to relieve the burnout caused by you?

Business owner burnout can leave you physically and mentally exhausted and jeopardize your business. You may already be suffering burnout. You may be seeking ways to avoid it. The place to begin is by altering your habitual behaviors. 

To get a head start, sign up for my 5-day Get Control course – an email each day for five days. Each email delivers practical actions to take to start to regain the focus and energy you had when you started your business. It’s the first step to getting out of your own way and growing your business to its full potential.

By the way, you can get a 5 day plan to get rid of that overwhelmed feeling and get moving again. Learn more here.