Whether you’re working your biz solo, have a small but mighty team, or have a multi-bajillion dollar net worth, being an entrepreneur isn’t easy. As soon as you cross something off your to-do list, three more tasks quickly add up.
Entrepreneurs consistently get things done; you create project plans, manage teams, set up interviews, and the list goes on – because as CEO of your business, it’s your job to make sure everything gets checked off the list.
However, more often than not, because you’re so incredibly busy paying attention to everything else, you neglect yourself. You don’t rest enough, you eat junk, skip meals, drink too much coffee… well, you get the idea. Unfortunately, your body can’t survive like that; your mind can’t survive in “go-mode,” so your body’s natural reaction is burnout.
What is burnout?
According to Jeanne Segal a Ph.D. with a specialty in holistic health, “Burnout is a state of emotional, mental and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed and unable to meet constant demands. As stress continues, you begin to lose interest or motivation that leads you to take on a certain role.”
Typically, along with burnout, you also experience guilt – you’re not good enough, present enough, trying hard enough… The list goes on.
While being an entrepreneur isn’t going to be stress-free, the good news is that avoiding burnout is possible. You can take proactive steps and set up processes in your business and life to ensure you keep burnout at bay. Here are my top fove strategies:
1. Learn to Say No
Remember every time you say “yes” to an opportunity, you’re effectively saying “no” to something else.
New opportunities and projects will always be tempting because you’re an entrepreneur. You’re excited by new ideas; it’s in your blood, but one of the best things to do is to choose your opportunities slowly.
Before saying yes, take time to evaluate the opportunity, the stress associated, the value of your time, and then make your decision slowly.
2. Set Boundaries
Just because you’re the CEO doesn’t mean you need to be working on your biz 24/7. Setting boundaries with your time and expectations is extremely important.
If you don’t set explicit and decisive boundaries, it’s easy for clients and your team to quickly start taking advantage of your time.
Some of my favorite ways to create boundaries are:
- Use your client and/or team handbook to describe your expectations of work boundaries. Set clear guidelines concerning your availability.
- Create an email autoresponder to let clients know it could take up to 24 hours for a response. It’s your business, take back the control. This little message will relieve the need for you to check your email at all times of the day.
3. Reignite Your Passion
Think back to the days when you felt passionate about your biz. You felt inspired and excited to work on your projects, communicate with your clients, write content, etc.
How do you reignite that passion?
You step away. You get creative. You look for inspiration in new places; thus jumpstarting your creativity.
Here are some ways to use your creativity in new ways:
- Experiment with new recipes.
- Take a class at a local art studio.
- Explore somewhere you’ve never been.
- Teach yourself something new.
4. Celebrate the Wins, Big or Small
Entrepreneurs are notorious for being in a constant “‘go mode” where they feel like they should always be doing more, constantly checking off one task or project and then quickly moving on to the next one.
It’s easy to celebrate the big wins, six-figure launches, a publisher for your book, a bazillion comments on your latest post, but it’s much more important to celebrate the small wins that it took to reach those big milestones. For example, letting someone read your first draft, hiring someone part-time to help you, or getting to “inbox zero.”
When you begin to celebrate every win, big or small, you will find that you want to achieve more. That rush you get when you achieve an accomplishment will last longer.
5. Figure out What Recharges You and Then, You Do That
What energizes you? Do you prefer a night out with your friends? Or do you feel more energized at home relaxing with a good book? Determine the activities that leave you feeling refreshed and motivated and add those activities to your calendar every week. Whatever makes you happy, go do that!
Remember, this is your business, and you need to be in your best form to be a great CEO. Take advantage of your role, and give yourself permission to do the things that make you happy.
The key to avoiding burnout is figuring out your personal plan to staying balanced and inspired.
What is your favorite strategy to keep burnout at bay?
About the Author
Amy Edge is the CEO + founder of Amy Edge & Co. It’s our mission to support impact-driven entrepreneurs with behind the scenes operational support so they can maximize their reach and growth potential. We are dedicated to creating a legacy that encompasses cultivation and community while building a thriving business that is also extremely fulfilling.
When Amy isn’t managing her clients’ projects, you can find her reading and enjoying hot tea while lounging on her couch as the craziness of four lovely kids surround her. She is active in her local networking groups and mentoring high-schoolers who are interested in learning more about entrepreneurship.