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Three simple ways to overcome entrepreneur burnout as a start-up owner

Being in the midst of launching a business is an exciting time.

You’re bringing your vision to life, and the possibilities can feel endless…

… but so can your to-do list.

And if you’re not careful, you can quickly burn out.

Here are eight signs that you might be burned out:

Eight signs you’re suffering from entrepreneurial burnout

  • You’re feeling low on energy
  • You’re struggling to concentrate
  • You’re feeling overwhelmed by everything that’s on your plate
  • You’re stressed and irritable
  • You’re struggling to grow your business
  • You don’t feel like you can come up with creative ideas or solutions
  • Your family, friends, and colleagues have noticed you’re acting differently
  • You’re dreading going into the office on workdays

If you tick these boxes, don’t worry – burnout is something every business owner has gone through at one time or another. It’s part and parcel of the entrepreneurial journey.

Plus, there’s plenty you can do to combat feeling overwhelmed and get back to feeling your best and firing on all cylinders in the office.

Here are four ways to overcome entrepreneur burnout as a start-up owner.

Learn to say “no”

There’s a lot on your plate while you’re trying to grow a start-up.

You’re not only responsible for delivering the work, but also for growing the company, making sure the finances are in order, keeping your staff happy and motivated, and so much more.

What’s more, it can often feel like you have to throw yourself into every single opportunity that comes along. That means stacking networking events, coffees, and the latest marketing trends on top of your already hectic schedule.

Is it any wonder you’re feeling burned out?

While this all might be good for business, it’s not good for your wellbeing.

And a burned out business owner isn’t an effective leader.

To maintain your mental health – not to mention give your business the best chances of succeeding – you need to learn to say “no” to the things that don’t directly contribute to your business’s key objectives.

So first, define your one clear goal – the one thing that if it’s all you achieved this year it would still be a successful year for your business.

That might be a number of sales, an amount of revenue, or a number of active users on your platform.

Once you’ve nailed down your one clear goal, say “no” to everything that doesn’t directly contribute towards helping you achieve it.

For example, if your goal is to run a successful investment round, is the half-an-hour interacting with posts on LinkedIn each day really helping you achieve that?

If you’re like most start-up owners, you’ll quickly find that plenty of the tasks, meetings, and events you’ve committed to don’t directly contribute to your business’s one key objective.

Culling these commitments from your calendar will go a long way to protecting you from burnout – not to mention make you a more effective leader.

Find a schedule that works for you

There’s always something else to do if you’re a start-up owner.

And if you don’t put boundaries on your time, work is likely to take it all up – a surefire recipe for burnout.

The best way to avoid this?

Find a schedule that works for you and stick to it.

First, ask yourself a few questions to find out your ideal working style:

  • Are you an early bird or a night owl?
  • What are your most productive hours?
  • Do you get more done in short bursts or long stretches at your desk?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions, it’s well worth experimenting with a few different schedules to see what works for you.

Once you’ve found your preferred working style, design your work life around it.

For example, if you get the most done on the days where you have a completely empty calendar, you might set aside a day or two where you conduct all your calls and meetings. That will leave the rest of the week free for you to delve into the deep work that will push your business forward.

On the other hand, if you find that you struggle to concentrate on desk work in the early afternoon, you might want to make sure to schedule meetings and calls then so you’re using that time productively.

Everyone prefers a different schedule. Finding out what works for you and sticking to it is a very effective way to get more done in less time, giving you more time to relax and recharge.

Find a healthy way to deal with stress

Stress goes hand-in-hand with launching a business, so it’s crucial that you find a healthy way of dealing with it.

Unplugging from work when you leave the office and enjoying some quality downtime each day will go a long way to preventing burnout.

But it’s also well worth finding a ritual for releasing stress for when things get really hectic.

Some people do yoga or meditate to unwind, and some prefer an intense session at the gym. Others like to destress in nature or with some retail therapy, a movie night, or a long soak in the bath.

It’s important to find your own way to unwind and make it a part of your regular routine so you’re always releasing the stress that comes with running your own business.

To make sure these things always get done, schedule them on your calendar and treat them like you would a business meeting.

Because avoiding burnout is critical for your business’s long-term success, scheduling time to unwind is business critical.

So, make appointments with yourself each week to unplug, engage in quality activities, and do whatever helps you destress – and make sure you stick to them.

If you’re suffering from entrepreneur burnout, these three tips will help you overcome the overwhelm and get back to firing on all cylinders.

And if you’re a Durham-based business owner looking to take the stress out of growing your business, our incubator programme can help you take your start-up to the next level. Apply now or get in touch if you’d like to know more about how we can help you.

The next application deadline is Friday 6th May 2022

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