You are an entrepreneur and running your own business, Running a business is hard work, especially if you’re doing it all on your own. There is always a chance to burnout the business. Then you maybe wants to know “How to avoid a business burnout?” This article will help you all the steps you need to avoid this problem.
You have to juggle every project, every client, every task & every detail.
(Not to mention all of the stuff in between)
There are so many ups & downs with running your own business, it’s quite the roller-coaster.
When business is great, it’s seriously wonderful. You feel on top of the world.
When business isn’t so great…..it feels like your life is coming toan end (maybe not literally, but you know what I mean). Your spendingmost of your time worrying, than actually creating. It feels like you’ve just totally lost interest in your own business…and that’s scary.
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What’s is a Burnout?
Burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and physicalexhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when youfeel overwhelmed and unable to meet constant demands. As the stresscontinues, you begin to lose the interest or motivation that led you totake on a certain role in the first place.” Source: www.helpguide.org
So, What’s a Business Burnout?!
It’s when you become unproductive & totally unmotivated to do ANYTHING related to your business. Even if you love your clients, your industry & your business…. too much of a good thing, can still be too much.
Running your own business & having to deal with all the highs& lows…. and stress, can lead to some crazy emotional & mentalexhaustion. It’s like, even though you have things you have to do (which normally you love doing)…. you’d rather curl up into a blanket cocoonand watch Netflix for 47 straight hours.
I think the biggest culprit of the-big-bad-burnout…..is lack of balance.
Focusing too much on business & not enough on ourselves.
Always putting clients & projects in front of our own priorities.
Having to juggle so many things, by yourself.
All of this causes stress and the burnout is a direct reflection of that.
I’m sure we’ve all felt this way, to some extent, in one way or another.
Sometimes, we totally know we’re in a burnout stage… and than we start to feel guilty about it, which just adds to the exhaustion…. which justamplifies the burnout.
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So How do we avoid it?
Here’s 5 strategies to help you stay motivated as a creative entrepreneur:
#1 – Set Boundaries & Learn When To Say No
When you run your own business, you makethe rules. Most of the time this is wonderful, but when it comes tomaking decisions…you have no one to fall back on. The hardest thing forme to figure out was who to say no to.
Opportunities come & go and it’s very tempting to always say yes to them, especially when you’re firststarting out. But, one of the best things I’ve learned to do is to take a second and evaluate each opportunity.
Are you excited to work with that clienton that project, or are you doing it just so scrounge up some extracash? Do you really want to go to that networking event, or are yougoing to make an appearance just because you think you should?
Don’t get me wrong, a big part ofbusiness is stepping out of your comfort zone; trying new things andtesting out new waters. But, all of that doesn’t mean you have to sayyes to every opportunity that comes knocking on your door.
Setting boundaries, especially withclients is another big thing to get used to. If you don’t give themboundaries, regardless of how lovely they are, they may start to takeadvantage of your time (even if it’s not on purpose)…. causing you tofeel guilty for saying no…. and ultimately interfering with you-time.
Just because you own the business, doesn’t mean you have to be working on it 24/7.
Make a schedule or block out officehours. Set up an auto responder in your email, letting clients know that it could take up to 24 hours for you to get back to them. (Thistotal helps with the “Omg, I have an email from a client and I need toanswer right now before they think I’m ignoring them…. type of feeling)
#2 – Make Time For Yourself
Do you know that the most important part of your business is?You. Without you, your business wouldn’t function.
Take a step back.
Not making time for yourself is a one-way ticket to burnout highway.
Don’t think there’s enough time in the day, to take a little break for yourself? Commit to less. No one said you have to do everything, all the time, for everyone.
Give your brain a break. No human is wired to move at the speed of light all the time.
Don’t feel guilty about it, just go relax.
Sometimes, thinking about taking a little break actually creates MORE stress because you’re not actively tackling your to-do list BUT once you take the step away, you’ll realize it’sactually quite the opposite. Self-care is just as important as all ofyour business tasks. Taking some time away from working can actuallyhelp you come back 10x more focused. So, instead ofmindlessly working like a robot to finish tasks, you actually end upbeing more productive because you’re re-energized & refocused.
Making time for your mind to stay balanced…and healthy.
Put the work down & go hang out withyour friends & family. Plan a weekend getaway. Go get a pedicure or a massage. Drink lots of water and eat more vegetables. Grab some friends and try a new workout class or go for a walk around your neighborhood.
Taking a break (big or small) helps youclear your head so when you come back to your work, you might just seethings with a whole new perspective.
#3 – Get Organized
Organization is one of those things thatwe all know we have to focus on. Disorganization starts tosnowball…. until the mess becomes chaos and the chaos starts to give you a ginormous headache to even think about.
If you feel a burnout coming on…..conquer strategy #2…..and then come back with a clear mind and take a look at your work flow.Sometimes we get stuck in such a cycle that we don’t realize how totally ineffective & chaotic it is.
Analyze your daily tasks & your business flow. Could you benefit from a new process?
Implementing new business systems soundlike a headache at first, but they can help smooth out some of thoseannoying time-draining processes…. like bookkeeping.
It’s not just about your onlinebusiness systems…but what about the way you organize your files on yourcomputer…could those be better organized? Or what about your stack ofscribbled notes next to your desk?
Businesses evolve and so do processes, so it’s important to analyze them to make sure that whats worked in thepast…. still makes sense now.
Take a look at your workspace.
Is it a mess? Organize that too.
It’ll make you feel more productive, being surrounded by a nicely organized, clean work space.
Have too many little tasks that you’re not a fan of doing? Outsource them.
Hire a virtual assistant to give you a hand…..your sanity is totally worth the investment.
Take some time to organize every aspect of your business, one step at a time.
I promise, you’ll be thanking yourself later!
#4 – Re-Evaluate Your Goals & Priorities
Sometimes the best way to figure things out in business is to learn as you go. It helps you gain experience & improve your problem solving skills. When you’re the boss, you get to decide when something is no longer important or if you’d like to change up the direction of your business. You have the opportunity to test out new tactics, services, & products. You have the freedom to shift your entire strategy if you really want to. This all sounds great in the big scheme of things, but having too many choices, too many options & too many things to focus on becomes overwhelming and exhausting.
If you’re about to hit burnout-mode maybe it’s time for a little reevaluating.
Sometimes we’re too close to the business to realize that it’s changing, little by little.
Sometimes we’re too focused on the little things, that we forget to look at the big picture.
Sit down and focus on what your business goal is, right now.
Maybe it’s different from when you first started, but that’s okay!
Write down your big business goal.
Write down & explain your ideal client.
Write down the motivation behind running your own business.
Write down the things that are most important to you; your priorities.
Looking at this information can help you visualize the big picture.
Visualizing your business this way can help you define little goals & priorities to help you get to where you want to be.
When you start to figure out what’simportant to you and your business, you can stop worrying about theother things that aren’t in your best interest. You stop wasting energy& time on tasks that won’t benefit your business goal…. which makesmore space for the things that actually matter.
#5 – Find Your Inspiration
Remember your pre-burnout days…where youwould jump out of bed, ready to get moving on all of your fun projectsyou have lined up? (okay, maybe not jump out of bed…. I need coffeefirst)
You were inspired to work:
Work with your clients.
Work on your projects.
Work on your business.
But what happens when you’re inbig-bad-burnout mode and you literally don’t even want to think aboutyour business or your to-do list?
You have to get re-inspired.
How do you get your inspiration back?
Everyone is different, but typically ifyou’re a creative entrepreneur…. you generally get joy out of the wholebeing-creative aspect of it.
So, use your creativity in a whole new way.
- Go experiment with recipes in the kitchen.
- Read a book about other successful creative’s business journey.
- Look at another person’s creative work, that isn’t in your industry.
- Browse Pinterest and try out a new craft.
- If you’re feeling extra saucy, get a new haircut.
Use your hands…. and make something,anything…. even if it’s a paperclip monkey. (if you can make a monkey out of a paper clip…send me a picture)
Using your creativity in a new way is a great way to get your inspiration back.
Some ways that help me:
- Trying out new restaurants across town.
- Exploring somewhere I’ve never been, whether it’s a new hiking trail…or a trip out of town.
- Scooping out Groupon for deals on activities I haven’t tried out yet (this is how I started kickboxing…. and now I’m obsessed with it)
- Walking around the thrift store, looking for furniture to up-style & makeover.
- Teaching myself something new…..last year I bought a sewing machine…
- Browsing Pinterest for either inspirational quotes, or new DIY crafts.
- Experimenting with new recipes & tweaking them to make them my own.
- Reading books… self-help books, business books, or fiction books…. any books.
- Painting. Drawing. Coloring…..those adult coloring books are pretty addictive.
- Helping someone, with anything. Whether it’s in the form ofdonations, volunteering or teaching someone a few web design tricks that they’re having trouble with.
- Watching Shark Tank. Seriously. Something about those entrepreneursmake me want to get out a notebook and scribble down a million newbusiness ideas.
Basically, do something that makes you happy.
Really happy, like can’t think of anything else because you’re sofocused on what you’re doing because it makes you happy…. happy.
Your inspiration isn’t gone forever, it’s just hiding…you have to go find it.
Basically, the bottom line is, burnouts suck. The key to avoidingthem is figuring out your personal plan to staying balanced &motivated.
What is your strategy for avoiding a burnout?