One of the most common issues facing my solo-entrepreneur clients is frustration, often followed swiftly by fatigue.
Suddenly swamped by so many roles, so many decisions, so many tasks, while trying to conserve expenditure – weariness sets in. What started as a dream business idea, to hone and drive further, has now become a 24/7 job, with no escape route. You realize you’re trapped working in your business, not on your business.
The rosy bloom of the start-phase has passed. The spark that created the initial explosion of energy is waning, but the machine is picking up speed. For some, this becomes a well-oiled wheel. Their dream begins to come true, and it propels forward with vigor. For others, this is the brink – the path to possible burnout.
I have seen these two symptoms rear their meddlesome heads so often that I am certain that indicators can be pinpointed early on – sort of like red flags, ignore them at your peril. This probe may ultimately identify the red flags; the trick however is how to resolve them.
Root Causes of Entrepreneurial Frustration and Fatigue
The frustration/fatigue spiral almost always evolves from these root causes:
- Poor time management
- Feeling stuck – the inability to progress faster
- Feeling hindered by poor cash flow
- Inability to create a sustainable sales and marketing strategy
- No identifiable ways of delegating
- Lack of sleep due to stress and/or work hours
- Loss of direction – confusion
The innate ‘vicious circle’ nature is a major contributory factor to the life-span of the whole predicament. Each part is feeding another and perpetuating the problem. This circle needs to be broken down and the parts inspected.
Some of these causes are related to the operation of the business – others are purely mindset. Either way, instead of working on your business, you end up working in your business. You’re the same as a multi-tasking underpaid employee, but with all the extra headaches.
All of these causes can be tackled undoubtedly. The steps to changing this situation are analysis and planning. Take a long honest look at the issues that sap time, energy, and headspace. By cracking even one of these aspects, the recovery has begun.
A good business coach or business strategist can help you regain your original vision, help you create the objectives and goals to attain it, and help you get back into the driving seat.
Sometimes, it can be simply a case of getting out of your own way. Maybe a personal SWOT analysis is in order? Are you the reason that you’re stuck?
Ponder on these fairly simple scenarios:
- If you outsourced occasionally, perhaps progress may come faster?
- Getting some help would definitely reduce your stress
- Perhaps if you outsourced the bookkeeping the cash flow might blossom?
- More time = more sleep – a rested mind might enable you to think through that new marketing idea?
- New marketing plan = potential new engaged customers/clients
- New customers seeing your brand = more sales
- If the cash-flow improved you could hire someone to help
- Some extra help means more free time to develop the business
And on it goes…see what I mean about the inter-related parts?!
Tackle Entrepreneurial Frustration and Fatigue Early
The best approach is to tackle the problems of frustration and fatigue at their onset. The business that you fought hard to begin didn’t come out of thin air. It took guts, determination and creative vision. Don’t let the day-to-day grind become bigger than that vision. Take the necessary steps NOW to take back the control to steer that business forward.
To do that, you need structure, systems, and time to plan. Taking time away from working in the business is time well spent. This will ultimately hand you back your dream, and release you from purely working in the business, to also creatively working on the business.