3 Ways to Avoid Entrepreneur Burnout
Hustling 24/7 might allow you to reach your short-term goals, but down the road, burnout will creep in.
Even the most motivated entrepreneurs can be completely drained following the "hustle harder" culture.
I had a long, ladder-climbing career in the corporate technology world, reaching leadership positions where I worked alongside the executives of large international organizations. At the same time, I was trying to build my own side hustle in my spare time. I spent my days working as normal, but my evenings became consumed with studying everything I could find about how to start my own business. Enjoying leisure time on the weekends became a thing of the past.
I started with freelance web design to help other small business owners build websites. The extra money and sense of entrepreneurship felt nice, but the hours racking up between my corporate job and my new side hustle increased and continued to take its toll.
I didn’t realize the signs until it was too late. This eventually led down a path into complete exhaustion, limited to no sleep, loss of interest, energy and even hunger.
After years of unrecommended self-medication, I found the personal development and mentorship world. After investing over six figures in myself financially, mentally and physically; my recovery has been nothing short of unstoppable. I came out the other side with a new sense of purpose and a mission to help others, which led me to part ways with the corporate world completely, regain focus, and set up my own consulting business.
My mission is to help as many entrepreneurs get the life they've always wanted while not being overwhelmed from burnout. I want them all set up with healthy routines and to use technology to their advantage so their brain can stay in top form!
If your business is a startup or you're an independent consultant with a handful of clients, chances are you're burning the midnight oil binging on caffeine-laced drinks to stay alert and functional. Going from client to client may seem like a great way to gain exposure for your products or services but it's actually a recipe for burnout, especially as you try to scale up.
Here are three ways to avoid entrepreneur burnout:
1. Document your processes to create Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
SOPs are important for running a smooth business operation. This is a process where you create step-by-step documentation for tasks so that anyone can complete them. As your small business grows, your need for SOPs will as well. SOPs help new hires get up to speed on how things get done at your company. With documented processes in place, you won't have to think about everything when you start working or when you need to delegate a task, leaving more time for the important things. Use a knowledge management software like GetGuru to easily keep all your SOPs organized in one place for everyone to access.
2. Delegate more to free up your time
Never stop growing and always look for ways to improve your business. It's okay to let go of some tasks that may drain your energy or hold you back from other goals that require your attention. Be clear about what you want to accomplish by documenting your manual processes. Find people who can help get it done either through hiring someone full-time or finding reliable part-time assistance on platforms like Upwork and Fiverr.
3. Use automation to scale
Finally, take advantage of technology and apps to automate processes in your business so they run smoothly without requiring much effort and time from you and your team. There are times when doing things manually will make you feel like a slave to your own business. Use technology to automate all your repetitive tasks so you can focus on creating value for future clients. There are many tools to choose from — Zapier, Trello, Dropbox, Slack and Asana — that will help keep things running smoothly. Many of these technologies offer free trials so you can test them out before committing to a purchase.
As entrepreneurs, we shouldn't want to "hustle harder." We should organize and automate the hustle. Hustling should be about achieving greater results in less time, delegating effectively, and using tools instead of working overtime all the time.
With thesethree suggestions, you should be set up to avoid the dreaded entrepreneurial burnout. Remember to take time for yourself and get enough sleep so you stay energized and focused when it's time to work hard on your business goals.