It is common to come across employees who don’t particularly like their job. They do it nonetheless for the sake of earning a living. On the other hand, entrepreneurs are known to love what they do. They are passionate about their business and keen to take it to great heights.
So, is it possible for entrepreneurs to burnout? Can they be dissatisfied with their work too?
The answer is, yes. Not only is it very possible for entrepreneurs to burnout, unfortunately it is highly common as well.
Self-help books and success stories of business owners who made it big in the industry might motivate you to start your own company. But once you are past the initial set up phase, you begin to realize that no matter how small, managing a business is anything but easy.
From working over 18 hours a day and having to sleep at the office, to shunning friends and family, and devoting all your time and energy to the business, there are many reasons why entrepreneurs burnout.
Building a successful business takes a lot of efforts. So, if you wish to thrive and prosper, it is important to know all about entrepreneurial burnout.
What is Burnout?
Burnout is defined as a state of extreme mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion. It is normally caused by excessive fatigue and prolonged stress.
Simply put, burnout is a point where everything seems to fall apart. It is where you lose the motivation to work, and are unable to fulfill your responsibilities and meet the requirements at work.
Experiencing burnout is a grave matter as it can have adverse effects on your personal and professional life. In the case of entrepreneurs, it can easily lead to the downfall of your business before it even has the chance to flourish.
Here’s why entrepreneurs burnout and how you can avoid it.
Reasons Behind Entrepreneurial Burnout and How to Prevent It
Identifying Self with Work
No matter how passionate you might be about your work, you must try to maintain a boundary between the success of your business and your own personal success.
The thing is that many entrepreneurs who identify themselves solely with their work become depressed easily when things don’t go as planned. Their mood and perceived self-worth are intertwined with their business’s reputation. So, if they are unable to achieve the business goals due to any reason, or if their startup isn’t an instant hit, they feel like they have failed in life altogether.
Every failure is a stepping stone to success. Keep this in mind, and don’t let small setbacks deter you from the path to greatness.
Lack of Proper Knowledge
You don’t need to be a jack of all trades, but you must know something about everything. Be it the legalities involved in creating a company, managing finances, hiring employees, or several other things related to business management – make sure you have a basic know-how of it all.
Entrepreneurs who dive headfirst into new ventures without doing proper research are bound to have a tough time pulling things together.
The Drive to Prove Oneself
In case you don’t know it already, successful entrepreneurs don’t work hard; they work smart.
Yes, you will have to do many things on your own, but trying to do everything on your own is not only impractical but also impossible. Business owners who are under the illusion that a real entrepreneur is also a manager, director, accountant, and a supervisor at the same time are definitely going to tire themselves out within a few days.
This is not what entrepreneurship is all about. You can and should hire help where required. If you cannot afford to hire full-time employees, you can consider outsourcing certain tasks to freelancers. If that isn’t feasible either, try asking your friends and family members. Someone might be willing to volunteer and take some of the burden off your shoulders.
Signs of Burnout
Burnout does not happen overnight. Its effects build up slowly until you reach a point where it feels like you can no longer work or function like a normal human being.
Here are the signs that you are experiencing burnout, in order of increasing severity.
You Lack Clarity and Focus
The earliest sign of burnout is that you will find yourself stuck in a mental fog. It becomes hard to focus on the task at hand. So, for instance, if you often find yourself reading the same email over and over again and still have no idea what it says, be on high alert – you might have started on the road to burnout.
You Make More Mistakes
When you have trouble staying focused, you are bound to make more mistakes. Also, you will take longer than usual to complete a given task.
You Become Irritated Easily
As exhaustion builds up, you become irritated more easily. Small things that might not annoy you otherwise tend to agitate you now. You not only become angry more often, but also find it hard to switch back to your happy self.
You Fall Sick More Often
Chronic stress weakens your immune system. So, if you start falling sick more often or catch the flu time and again, take note for you might be experiencing a burnout even if you don’t realize it at first.
You Feel Tired All the Time
Continuous exhaustion is at the core of burnout. No matter how many hours you sleep at night or how many breaks you take from work, if the tiredness just won’t go away, you need to take a step back and reassess things immediately.
Experiencing burnout is way different (and far more serious) than facing ‘regular’ stress that is typically caused by a fear of failure, a poor night’s sleep, and so on.
At its highest degree, burnout calls for medical attention as it can result in various health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, weakened immune system, insomnia, and depression to name a few.
Follow the tips to avoid entrepreneurial burnout as discussed above to ensure that you never face such adverse effects.