7 Ways to Avoid Small Business Burnout

Is work dragging you down? Do you run yourself ragged trying to grow your business day in and day out and find yourself lacking that entrepreneurial joy and passion you once had for your company?

Most small business owners face the struggles of burnout at one time or another. After all, running your own business is hard work! Here are some things you can do right now to be a happier, more success entrepreneur.

1. Network with positive entrepreneurs.

No one gets an entrepreneur quite like another entrepreneur. You don’t need formal meet-and-greets or local Chamber luncheons. Just grab a bite for lunch and catch up with someone who’ll laugh at all of your “You know you’re an entrepreneur when…” jokes. It’s easier to let go of stress when you realize you’re not the only one who struggles.

2. Spend less time with people who stress you out.

If you hire the wrong people, there will be repercussions. So don’t forget that interpersonal relationships matter as much as professional skills when adding to the team. That means letting go of poor performers when you know it’s time — even if you like them a lot. But it also means choosing candidates with similar interests and values — even if that means a little extra training might be required.

3. Accept chaos, but strive for organization.

Burnout comes more quickly with the need for perfection. Learn to accept that running your own business can be crazy, and that sometimes (okay, most of the time) things won’t go according to your plan. Don’t give up on the organized life, just learn to accept the chaos and keep moving.

4. Be kind to yourself.

That means take time off when you need it. Delegate tasks that make you cranky and unpleasant to work with. And say no when your calendar is full. It’s a harsh reality: if you stretch yourself beyond your limits, you probably deserve what you get. 

5. Ditch the guilt.

Guilt about your work-life balance can make you hate your job. Entrepreneurs are normal people with limits. Learn to work within those limits. Forgive yourself if your business doesn’t grow 500% in the first year or you accidentally dropped the wrong kid off at T-ball practice on Tuesday. You’re human.

6. Try something new.

Getting bored of the monotony? Try something new! Whether at work or at home, breaking out of your shell can give you a lift. Who knows, maybe your new hobby will give you new ideas for expanding your business? Don’t be afraid to ditch the doldrums for something a little more exiting.

7. Remember that giving up and moving on are not the same thing.

If you’re honest with yourself, you know when something’s just not working. Moving on to a new idea does not make you a quitter or a failure; it makes you business savvy. Give yourself a pat on the back for recognizing when it’s time to make a change, and move forward with confidence.

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Emily Suess
Emily Suess is a full-time technical marketing writer in the software industry and a part-time freelance copywriter. To learn more about marketing your small business online, check out her copywriting blog, Say It With Me.

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