Why entrepreneurs constantly burnout and how you can prevent it.
Most entrepreneurs never see it coming. They think they are immune to burning out, that they can push forever. Some probably can, I mean I thought I could, but I was wrong. In this modern age, entrepreneurship revolves around promoting your hustle 24 hours a day. This means that you don’t get sleep, shunning your friends, and above all your happiness is put on the back seat. The only thing you are thinking about at this point is “How much money I’m I making” or “When will be recognized by Forbes”.
Truthfully, this works temporarily, but it never lasts. What most beginner entrepreneurs fail to realize is that building a real business that would stay for a long time takes incredible patience and real time.
Creating a brand is step one, getting five customers is step two, getting one hundred customers is step three and this continues on and on. In entrepreneurship, there is no end. There is no finish line; there is no winner and definitely no loser. We are all just playing an endless game.
If you start with a ‘finish’ or an ‘exit’ in mind before you even start your entrepreneurship journey, you will never make it there. However, the fact that there is no ‘finish line’ is not a terrible thing. So don’t pay attention to that. If you build your company the right way, trust me the thought of a finish line won’t cross your mind.
Any entrepreneur can experience a burnout. It is a situation where we should not anticipate but we should all note that it can happen at any time. Nonetheless, if you wait until it happens to address it, it might or will be too late. This is why it’s important to practice sustainability now, so you can prevent burnout from happening.
What is burnout? Is it a fable?
The simplest way to define a burnout is a point where everything falls apart. You feel like your body weight of 100kg is on your shoulders. You feel like giving up. You can’t think clearly. You lose touch with why you started in the first place. Every area in your personal life is affected and any hope you once had is completely gone.
At this stage, the only reason you continue doing anything is that you feel trapped like there’s no way out and you are just looking for a way out or a light at the end of the tunnel, which will never come.
Burnout is not a fable. The real fable is thinking you can work with unsustainable behaviour for a long period of time. By clarity, you cannot. In no way should there be a ‘badge of honour’ when you overwork yourself.
Your business is not your family, it is your business and it should be treated as such. It shouldn’t control you, affect your personal relationships, affect your appetite and definitely damage your skin.
The real badge of honour should go to those who can build a profitable business that lasts for years preferably decades while enabling freedom at the same time.
How to prevent a burnout
Preventing a burnout is something you constantly have to work at. As soon as you get your mind off it, it will start to tip-toe upon you. You should actively be working on implementing sustainable work practice into your life.
When applying, it means setting limits, boundaries, meditating, taking time out for you and going on vacations with your family and friends.
In no way does this mean avoiding hard work or not facing disappointments. There are times for these things and they are bound to happen.
Creating a sustainable work life is about changing and moderating what you have control over. It is about constantly re-assessing what you’re doing on a daily basis and only focusing on what matters. It is about coming to work in the right state of mind and always aiming to produce your best work. It’s about removing self-applied pressure and separating business from personal.
Every time you are going to make a decision, you should propel yourself forward five years with the consequences of that decision to see if you’d still be happy with it.
Work-holism is an addiction and like all addictions, it is very unhealthy. The irony is, you produce better work when you work less and take breaks. It seems backwards but it’s actually quite logical. The mind just like your body must rest and recover. In a society of distraction, being able to focus intently is a huge competitive advantage.
It has been documented for 2,300 + years: “the mind must be given relaxation- it will rise improved and sharper after a good break”. Constant work gives rise to a certain kind of dullness and feebleness in the rational soul.
Keep in mind that, it’s not about how much time you spend at work, it’s about how you spend your time at work.
Your business is your business. Don’t forget about it. There are other things in life that are equally important and they deserve your full attention