Causes of and Cures for Entrepreneurial Burnout

By September 15, 2022 Self Management Tips

What Is Entrepreneurial Burnout?

Entrepreneurial burnout is a particular type of long-term stress that’s related to work. It usually happens when we’ve been stressed out for an extended period. The Mayo Clinic describes burnout as “a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.”A woman entrepreneur is face down on her desk surrounded by stacks of books and crumpled papers

Some common entrepreneur burnout signs include:

  • Lack of focus
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Lack of motivation
  • Difficulty completing tasks
  • Depression
  • Irritation
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Apathy about your job
  • Feelings of failure
  • Persistent negative outlook
  • Feeling like things will never get better

If you suffer from any of these and can trace the cause back to work, you may be suffering from entrepreneurial burnout.

How Can Entrepreneurial Burnout Be Overcome?

Business owners, in particular, are prone to burnout due to their struggle to separate stress from productivity. They tend to feel like if they aren’t stressed out about work, they aren’t working hard enough. Not only is this untrue, but the exact opposite is true: the more stressed you are, the less able you are to work effectively.

The best way to overcome entrepreneurial burnout is to avoid it altogether by reframing that business owner mindset and maintaining your mental health. Get enough sleep, exercise regularly, maintain a solid work-life balance, and talk to mentors, friends, and therapists when you’re stressed.

Unfortunately, those things are much easier said than done. But, if entrepreneurial burnout  has already set in or is creeping closer, here are some tips for pulling yourself out of that rut.

  1. Look at the bigger picture. Although the day-to-day may burden you, what larger purpose does work hold for you? How is your organization improving the lives of others or the world around you? Solving customer problems and providing opportunities for employees to make a living are accomplishments to be proud of.
  2. Set boundaries. Now is the time to discover that elusive work-life balance. Except for emergencies, do not take work calls or answer work emails after hours. Delete your email app from your phone lest you be tempted to check it at home. Be fully present with your family and friends when you are with them.
  3. Tend to your physical health. You’ve heard it repeatedly, but your physical health dramatically impacts your mental health. Pay attention to your diet, incorporate some movement into your day, and go to bed early, even if you have trouble falling asleep immediately. Eventually, your body will adjust.
  4. Manage your stress levels. Whether you take up meditation or find a new hobby, finding ways to relax is essential. Download an app like Calm or Headspace to help you unwind in a pinch.
  5. Finally, when in doubt, talk to a therapist. Burnout can severely impact your mental, physical, and emotional health. However, confiding in those closest to you is not always enough. Sometimes a professional is needed to help you make lasting changes in your life.

Do you regularly fall into the burnout trap? A business coach can help you reframe your mindset and develop healthy ways to cope with stress. Click here for a complimentary video coaching session to help you avoid and deal with entrepreneurial burnout.

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Dave Schoenbeck
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