Not only is it a word that we all cringe at when said, but it’s the silent beast that everyone (and we mean everyone) will inevitably experience. A recent Gallup study of nearly 7,500 full-time employees found that 23% reported feeling burnt out at work very often or always, while an additional 44% reported feeling burnt out sometimes. This number is even higher for entrepreneurs.
There is burnout from school, burnout from work, burnout from being a parent, burnout from trying to do it all on your own. And when you step into the incredible (albeit daunting) world of entrepreneurship, you are going to feel excitement, adrenaline, exhaustion, hesitation, and stress. Even with how amazing it is to see your dreams turning into reality as you watch your new business come together, the burnout will be waiting for you. It may take two years, it may take five, but it will rear its ugly head eventually.
The good news is that even though we can’t necessarily avoid it entirely, we can ensure that burnout doesn’t consume you. That it doesn’t make you want to quit your passion because you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. We are here to show you the light and help you reconnect. After all, your connection to your clients is of the utmost importance and without it, we know you won’t feel like you are delivering to your creative standard.
First, here are a few signs of burnout. Sound familiar?
- Lack of motivation.
- Negative feelings.
- Exhaustion, both physically and mentally.
- Poor diet or simply not eating.
- Not interested in socializing.
- Trouble sleeping.
If any of those resonated with you, burnout might be trying to sink its proverbial teeth into your work and your life. Here are a few ways that we know can help stop it from taking you to the dark side:
- Sleep, sleep, and more sleep! – 4 broken hours a night is not enough peeps! Not nearly! You need to make this a priority. And if you suffer from insomnia, get yourself a meditation app (we cannot say it enough: Headspace!!) because having someone guide you into sleep is actually the best invention ever.
- Unplug. – I know, I know…that seems impossible, right?! But in a world of smartphones where you can literally check in with anyone at any time, it can become consuming. It’s so easy to just hit the refresh button on your inbox to see if someone replied to an email or you check the team Slack channel to keep in-the-loop and before you know it, you are actually working around the clock. Truly unplug from work or from social media so you can be more present in the life that is going on all around you.
- Exercise. – Even when it feels like another thing to add to your list, it is one of the most important tools to implement to bring value to your life. This goes for your physical health but also your mental health. I’m not saying you have to train for the Ironman, but add a daily run or a yoga session to clear your mind, focus, and get your body moving.
- Say no. – I mean, you can’t say no to paying your mortgage (although we wish that were the case!), but say no to extra projects or social activities that you know are going to drain you. You don’t have to do all the things for all the people! This is not sustainable nor is it fulfilling.
- Ask for help. – This is a tough one. So many people feel that they have to go through their entrepreneur journey alone. This couldn’t be more wrong! There are some incredible people out there that are available to help, so lean on them. Not just friends and family, but also other industry professionals. Outsource, partners, assistants. They all offer the most amazing support!
Okay so now that we know burnout is all around us, causing amazing entrepreneurs and people to second-guess whether they are making the right choice, we are here to tell you this: You are exactly where you are supposed to be. Not the exhausted part, but the following-your-dream part.
Whether you are a solopreneur, an entrepreneur with a full team, or anything in between, you created something that matters to you and we’ll be damned if you give that up! Having a work/life balance does exist and it means that you really can have it all; the business that thrives and the personal life that fulfills. You can land the big client and still spend Sunday afternoon with your kids without checking your email.
Burnout. It means that you’re successful, that your hard work paid off to get you so busy that you feel like you’re floundering a little (or a lot), but ultimately it means that you’ve seen the darkness and the dawn is coming. The time has come to reclaim your happiness. Ask for help, say no, unplug, and drink the beer (I know that wasn’t one of the tips, but let’s be honest….it should be!). You aren’t alone when the beast arrives, and you won’t be alone when you come out the other side stronger, healthier, more successful, and happier than ever!
Badass Assistant to the CEO
Pepper – Your Badass Business BFF Inc.