How to Avoid Entrepreneurial Burnout

How to Avoid Entrepreneurial BurnoutYou never realize how much work it is to run a business until you’re doing it.

The constant care required to keep things afloat, especially when times are tough, is enough to exhaust even the most resilient entrepreneur. And if you spend enough time exhausting yourself, eventually you’re going to burn out.

Trust me. I’ve been there more than once in the past ten years.

So how can you nurture your growing business and give it all the care it needs, and avoid a catastrophic burnout? Here are a few things I’ve learned.

You control your business. It doesn’t control you. 

At times it may seem like things are spinning out all around you. Clients are barking. Employees are frustrating. Bank accounts are dwindling. The more you push, the harder it seems to get.

But remember, even when things don’t appear to be in your control, they are. You get to choose how to react to every situation your business throws at you. If it all seems too overwhelming, then take each problem and break it down. Make a list of what you CAN control about the situation, focus on those things, and move forward.

Structure your days.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of working all the time when you run your own business. Being an owner does require you to be “clocked in” a little more often, however, all work and no play makes Jill a dull and unhealthy girl. The best thing I’ve ever done to maintain my balance of work and life is schedule my days.

Figure out when you want to start and finish work. Schedule time for workouts, lunch, and calls to your sweetie or your mom. Block hours for client work, phone calls, writing, and finances. Stick to a day to day structure and shut it down when you’re finished. You’ll get more done, and be in a much better position to tackle the next day if you aren’t burnt out from the day before.

Delegate the things you don’t want to (or can’t) do.

When my partner and I first started our business, it was just the two of us. We did everything, from designing and building websites to shooting and editing video.

Over time, we’ve learned that there are some things we are really good at, and some things we’re not so good at. So now, we focus on our strengths in strategy, training, and business development, and we have specialists that handle things like web site coding, graphic design, and math.

As a result, our products are better, our clients are happier and nobody on our team is burned out. Learn to delegate early on, and you’ll be grateful.

There’s nothing more rewarding than being an entrepreneur, but to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to be on top of your game. Control, structure, and delegation are keys to ensuring that you make it to the top and stay there.

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  • Mitch Jackson

    Susan- Careful client or customer selection (when this is an option) is in my opinion, a big factor in enjoying the journey and avoiding burnout. So is learning how to say the word “no”. Great article and tips. Thanks!

    • Susan Murphy

      Mitch that is so true! Thanks for reading and for your comments!

  • Renee Fishman

    Susan – thanks for some great insight. I agree with Mitch that careful client selection is a key. It helps manage your emotion and energy as well as your time. My struggle is with structuring my days, especially in client-service-centric businesses where attending to the needs of clients is so much of what I do. It’s a daily struggle!

    • Susan Murphy

      Yes, finding that balance is key. I find that setting the expectation with clients early on with such things as response times can greatly assist this. Let them know when you’re available and when you’re not (except in case of emergencies). Then you can more easily block your focused time.

      Thanks for your comment!

  • Kaela Scott

    This is great Susan and always a helpful reminder! Thanks for the article

    • Susan Murphy

      Thanks for reading!