Entrepreneurship can be a rewarding experience, but it can also require a ton of time, motivation, sacrifice, and energy. This often leads to burnouts. I’ve faced multiple burnouts as an entrepreneur and I’ve become pretty aware of the warning signs.
If you feel like you’re running on empty, worrying too much or having anxiety breakdowns, or if you just feel a lack motivation to be productive and work on what used to bring you excitement and joy, you are probably experiencing burnout.
As an entrepreneur, what makes it worse is trying to force yourself to push through regardless of how you feel. Deadlines still need to be met and you still need to eat but ignoring burnout will only make it worse. Here are a few things you can do to overcome entrepreneur burnout and get your spark back.
Identify the Source
First, you must get to the root of the cause of your burnout. Ask yourself what’s making you feel stressed, anxious, or tired when it comes to your work life.
Maybe you took on a project that has left you less than inspired or maybe you took on too much. It’s important to narrow down some sources that could be causing you distress so you can eliminate or reduce them.
Start Saying No
Are you a ‘yes’ person? Saying yes to everything can easily lead to burnout. When you say yes, it creates a new priority and everything can’t be prioritized when it comes to your business.
It’s important to go back to your core goals and values and only say yes to the projects and opportunities that align with that.
This may mean cutting ties with others or handing off assignments and tasks to your team or other colleagues. That’s okay. As you lighten, your burden, you will start to gain more clarity and overcome the burnout.
Set Realistic Expectations
Saying no more will help you begin to set realistic expectations and establish boundaries. If you’ve reached a point of burnout, that means you’re feeling fatigued and overworked.
As a result, you need to set more realistic expectations for yourself and your business. Break up larger goals, start block scheduling your days and don’t be afraid to take the necessary time to actually meet deadlines without added stress and pressure.
Take Time Off
Most people who are burnt out just need a break. Some entrepreneurs find it difficult to take time off because they can’t just cash in vacation hours like traditional employees can.
This just means you have to plan for breaks and create your own PTO package. Start setting a portion of your profit aside for a vacation or just a weekend relaxing at home.
Being your own boss means you have the freedom to control when you work and play so take advantage of it. When you come back to work, you’ll feel refueled.
Create Time For Your Passion Project
You may be experiencing burnout if you’re no longer doing work that you’re passionate about. Business owners get to choose what work they do but they also have to focus on profit. You may find yourself chasing after work that brings in good money but is mentally demanding and doesn’t really make you feel fulfilled.
This is the place I found myself in last year. I went to a summit and spoke with a mentor who recommended I find an easy and low-effort way to make money with my business to cover my basic expenses while I use the rest of my time to work on a passion project.
A passion project may not bring in any money at first, but it can help you break through burnout. When you start getting involved with work you love and enjoy again, you’ll have more motivation, energy, and drive to get up and work each day.
Have you ever experienced entrepreneur burnout? What led to the burnout and how did you overcome it?