Preventing & Dealing with Entrepreneur Burnout

In honor of World Mental Health Day on October 10th, 2021, we are talking about the importance of preventing and dealing with entrepreneur burnout.  According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, 25% of entrepreneurs feel moderately burned out at some point in their careers. It’s not uncommon for business owners to suffer from anxiety, panic attacks, overwhelm, and exhaustion.  Often these symptoms go unrecognized or dealt with as entrepreneurs tend to pride themselves on pushing through and hustling.  

Yes as an entrepreneur you can expect to go through periods of overwhelm and fatigue as you start or grow your business, but when this experience becomes chronic that’s a sign something needs to change.  Burnout should not be ignored as it can have a serious impact on your physical health, relationships, business success and overall well being.

I’ve personally experienced burnout as an entrepreneur and it eventually resulted in me closing my business and moving from Illinois to Tennessee.  While I’m so grateful for where I landed following that experience, looking back I know there were things I could have done differently to prevent the emotional toll entrepreneurship took on my personal and professional wellbeing. 

Top 3 tips for preventing or dealing with burnout

As someone who let entrepreneur burnout get too far, take it from me an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Set boundaries

Mastering the art of setting boundaries isn’t easy, but it’s absolutely necessary for you to stay healthy and sane in both your personal and business life.  Without boundaries in place around your time, scope of work, communication and policies you will end up feeling taken advantage of, overworked and drained. I recommend learning how to say ‘no’ and embracing the concept that there is a difference between good customer service and letting clients/customers run the show.

For more information on setting boundaries as a small business owner check out these articles:

Find a supportive community

As entrepreneurs we often feel like we are on an island all by ourselves and over time this can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. Finding or creating a community of fellow entrepreneurs can do wonders for your mental health.  Just having those people you can vent to, brainstorm with and get support from is priceless. Prioritize this as soon as possible!

Delegate & Outsource

While not every entrepreneur has the budget to delegate or outsource, doing so can make a world of difference in your level of fatigue.  Whether it’s simply hiring a cleaning person for your home or a virtual assistant to take some administrative tasks off your plate, having others help you manage everything is a game changer.

Why running on passion can lead to entrepreneur burnout

When you are passionate about what you do, it’s hard to step back and take a break. While the flames of passion that got you started will help you keep going, if you push too hard for too long, you’ll end up running on fumes. It’s essential you become mindful of your energy levels and emotional states so you can constantly assess what you need to succeed.  Being a happy, healthy entrepreneur means being as diligent about caring for yourself as you do your business.

The truth is burnout can turn into a serious problem if you aren’t careful. In fact Tiffany Anton, Vice President of The Biz Foundry and Founder of Powered By Her, interviewed Booth Andrews on her podcast about what can happen when the entrepreneurial hustle turns dark.  Check out Booth’s story and learn more tips on how to avoid burnout.

Don’t be afraid to reach out

If you are struggling with entrepreneur burnout and need support, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at The Biz Foundry. We are here if you need someone to listen and help you find the resources you need to succeed.

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2 Responses

  1. Thank you for being bold enough to write this. Since I stepped up into entrepreneurship 25 years ago, this is one of the few times that I have seen this addressed publicly. I’ve talked to hundreds of owners and managers privately who were experiencing burnout or worse. The dark side of business is rarely addressed openly. Health consequences, divorce, bankruptcy, addictions and even suicide are far more common amongst entrepreneurs than anyone is comfortable opening their mouths about. Trusted confidants and established boundaries are critical to a balanced entrepreneurial journey because that life/work balance thing is a magic unicorn in parts of it.

    1. Hi Blair! Thank you so much for reading my blog post. I couldn’t agree more with everything you said. So often biz ownership only gets talked about from the angle of sunshine and rainbows but the truth is it can be a very stressful experience that can lead to serious challenges. And we all need a trusted group of people we can confide in for sure!

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