Hey friends! Have you ever gone through burnout? I know I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. You might have experienced burnout before, whether you are/were….
- In school
- Caring for a family member
- A new parent
- Working in a super stressful job; or
- Starting or growing your own business
Entrepreneur burnout is like a whole new animal to me. As an attorney, I definitely ran myself into the ground. But back then, it was because I was really unhappy in my career and didn’t spend any time doing things I loved. I really let feeling down get to me back then.
As an entrepreneur, I’ve had to learn how to set boundaries, create my own schedule (and try to stick to it!), and a whole new level of toughness and discipline for a work life balance. I thought I’d share a few tips with fellow business owners 👋 on how to avoid entrepreneural burnout while building a business.
Ways To Avoid Entrepreneur Burnout
1- Set Office Hours
If you’re a full-time entrepreneur (with a large or small business), try to come up with an “Open Shop” time and a “Close Up Shop” time. As any entrepreneur knows, that time might not be something you can commit to long term and could change day-to-day. So remain flexible, but try to set a beginning and ending time each day. And make it count. Work intentionally during that time, close out of email when you can, and turn off social media notifications.
2 – Unplug
Carve out at least 2 hours at the end of each day where you put the phone down and stop checking email, social media, page views, and more. Here are some other ideas of how you can unplug in a mini way throughout the day…
- Take a walk without your phone
- Create a morning step by step routine centered around the feelings you want more of
- Put your phone on “Do Not Disturb” mode & listen to a Podcast or your favorite music
- Having a “Power-less Hour” for 1 hour each morning
- Create a habit of not checking your phone first thing in the morning
- Swap out your nightly scroll of Facebook for a few pages in a feel-good book
3 – Talk to Someone Who Knows
Like anything in life, it is so helpful to chat with someone who truly knows what you’re going through and has learned about avoiding burnout. Every entrepreneur I know says at one point or another they feel misunderstood or unheard by certain family members or friends about the entrepreneurs experience.
Chat with a friend or other small business owners that you’ve connected with online about how you’re feeling. Ask them how they’ve handled the stress of starting or running a business in the past. I guarantee you they’ve faced it at one time or another (for real – we ALL experience burnout at one point) and it’s so good to talk to someone for our mental health.
I really didn’t know any other health coaches or wellness professionals in the early days of my old business, Hygge Wellness. So I reached out directly to several women I had followed for years. I asked them to connect & if they’d be willing to chat with me about what I was experiencing at that time. 99% of them said yes! And I’m so glad they did. They’ve become such great friends along the way.
4 – Eat Well, Sleep Well, Move
This one can’t surprise you! I was a Health Coach, too! I think of starting your own business as training for a triathlon, with a marathon that comes after it. If you were training for a triathlon + marathon, you’d eat well, exercise, and sleep 7-8 hours/night. If you’re super stressed and not sleeping well, consider practicing self-care (including all the tips in this post!) to help you relax before bed.
5 – Live a Little
A few months after starting my first business and health coaching practice (excluding the 934 lemonade stands I started as a kid), I realized I had inadvertently entered a very serious relationship with my laptop. We were exclusive, and I hadn’t seen other people in months.
I experienced some major burnout – both mentally and physically. I remember having this “DUH!” moment thinking to myself, “Of course you are! You stopped living. You stopped doing all of the things you tell your clients to do!”
No matter what kind of business you run or want to start, you need to LIVE to be a more interested, interesting, diverse entrepreneur. You will come up with so many great ideas, clarity, and make new friends while living. You don’t come up with too much of that sitting behind your computer 24/7 at home.
So what do you do to avoid entrepreneur burnout? Have you ever felt like this before?