Entrepreneurial Burnouts: Warning Signs and Recovery Solutions

Burnout is no joke to every entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship requires a lot of time, energy, motivation, and sacrifice. Being an entrepreneur is a rewarding experience and a fantastic journey—a journey filled with great prizes and surprises, but also with uncertainty, complications, issues, and tons of stress. This often leads to burnouts.

You’re going to face multiple burnouts as an entrepreneur, and it’s going to be useful if you’re well aware of the warning signs. If you feel like you’re running on empty, worry too much, or having anxiety breakdowns, or if you feel a lack of motivation to be productive and work on what used to bring you excitement and joy, you’re likely to encounter burnout. What makes it worse is that you try to force yourself to push through despite how you feel. Deadlines and targets still need to be fulfilled, and you still need to eat, but ignoring burnout will make it worse.

Some studies suggest that entrepreneurs are more at risk of burnout because they happen to be highly passionate about business and work. They are more socially distant, have a little safety net, and perform in high uncertainty.

How to Recognize the Symptoms of Entrepreneur Burnout

Burnout is a common issue among entrepreneurs. They are known for excessive workload in the pursuit of excellence in your businesses. Entrepreneurship demands, combined with the packed schedule that many entrepreneurs work, often lead to chronic stress, leading to burnout. The very first step towards avoiding burnout is to recognize the signs. In this guide, you’re going to assess the specific issues to help you see the signs of burnout and how to resolve it.

  • Exhaustion – Almost All the Time

For many, being exhausted almost all the time becomes a norm. If this defines you correctly, you’ll probably blame it on the constant juggling your career and family life and not finding the best balance between the two.   It is indeed normal to get exhausted from time to time, but if you feel physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted most of the time and begin to suffer from physical ailments; as a result, it’s a sign of a much broader issue. Your body tells you that you need to take some time off and recharge for yourself.

  • Poor Performance and Creativity

Your job is not your best job anymore, no matter how hard you try it out. It might feel like you’re forever treading water, trying to keep your head above the water. You haven’t had a new idea since a long time ago. New, innovative, original, and exciting ideas that have come easily to you in the past are no longer pouring.

  • Procrastination

Another noticeable sign is that you lose the drive and resolve to keep up with your current workload. The feeling of apathy and sometimes anxiety that you feel will result in unfinished work. You no longer have the desire to complete them, the heaping pile on your desk or your overflowing inbox. In comparison, everyone is struck by the desire to procrastinate at one point or another. But when it becomes a routine, it becomes the enemy of progress and success, and it is a strong indication that you are on the path towards burnout.

  • Increased Forgetfulness

Typically, being tired, overwhelmed, and mentally checked out means you’re even more forgetful than normal. Maybe you missed a big meeting accidentally or forgot an important deadline. Your brain is in a fog when you are burnt out, and it affects your ability to recall details that would otherwise be top-of-mind. Everyone has days when they feel unmotivated and exhausted. Entrepreneurs are human, too, and being motivated all the time can be difficult.

  • Neglecting essential needs

Experiencing poor diets and lack of quality sleeping patterns?  You may even be kind of ignoring your hygiene too.

  • Irritableness (especially with the people you work with)

You selected every single person who works with you. You have accepted the opportunity to partner with your customers to help them fulfill their vision. So why are all these people seeming to be getting on your last nerve these days? Why do you find yourself yelling at your team over the most relatively tiny problems? Why are you annoyed with everyone constantly?

You might need to take a step back and assess what the root cause of your anger may be.  You will probably find that it has nothing to do with the people whom you work with.

  • Emendation of Values and Principles

This can mean a variety of things such as no longer caring for your clients and coworkers, doing things cheaper even if the standard and quality decreases, subcontracting to less-than-credible contractors just to make the job no longer annoying, or causing inconvenience for you.

  • Social Withdrawal

You slowly stop attending all those networking activities you signed up for in the past. You’re beginning to say no to every coffee, lunch, or dinner invitation. You even avoid meetings with clients every opportunity you get. You start to feel empty inside; there’s always space that cannot be filled. Activities that used to inspire or thrill you are no longer satisfying.

  • Behavioral Changes, Depression, Disassociation

You used to be so relaxed and happy now everything upsets you. You get irritated easily with team members and even suppliers and customers; you effortlessly get angry and fly off the handle. You may have previously prided yourself on being unshakeable, but despite your best efforts, you feel down and out now. You feel totally disconnected from everything, and you don’t even feel like it’s your business anymore.

Do not Attempt to Deal with Entrepreneur Burnout Alone

You may want to speak to someone if you feel the extreme signs and symptoms of entrepreneur burnout; a confidant, a counselor, a therapist, a mentor, a close friend, or someone just someone who can support you through these hard times of your entrepreneurial journey. The part of the Entrepreneur’s DNA that makes you passionate, motivated, optimistic, and hard-working sometimes blinds you into believing that if you are capable of doing anything necessary to boost your business, then it is your responsibility to ensure that it gets done.

Beat Entrepreneur Burnout and Make a Fresh Start

So you have a pretty good idea now of what entrepreneur burnout is and what it feels like. How can it be crushed? Or, better yet, avoid it completely from coming back? Well, the fact is, despite your great intentions and efforts; it can still creep up on you.  Here some thoughts that can help you to get rid of it or prevent it from returning. This is far from an exhaustive list above, but nevertheless, it will inspire you!

  • Meditate 

You don’t need to study transcendental meditation or take a vow of silence to make it work. Simply sit still and breathe deeply; you can even close your eyes if you like to. Just a couple of minutes, a few times a day.  You can use a meditation app or go to YouTube and find one of the hundreds of guided meditations for burnout, free of charge. A brief mental break might just be everything you need to get out of your funk.

  • Reunite with Your Passion

Do you remember the days where you were encouraged by a passion deep inside you?  The force that made you get out of bed in the morning and the passion that made you take on the journey of an entrepreneur? You lost your passion if you’re experiencing burnout. Again, search for it.  Look deep inside yourself to get back what you’ve lost. Once again, fan the flame of passion into a furious fire, and let it fuel you back into health.

  • Enough Sleep is A Big Help

Make sure there’s enough sleep time you get. Many physical and mental conditions might have resulted from a lack of REM sleep, which can even be fatal. Enough sleep can help your body heal, repair, restore, and relax after your heavy workdays.  Severe medical conditions such as burnout, high blood pressure, and stroke might be caused by insufficient sleep. Think of it this way-how are you going to effectively run your company if your body doesn’t allow it anymore?

  • Relearn Positive Thinking

Concentrate on your business’s positive aspects. Think about how cool it is that you to get to work for yourself.  Understand how fortunate you are to be the boss and to get to call the shots.

  • Unplug

Create time for yourself; take a step back from technology. Get off your desk, turn your phone off, and do something entirely unrelated to your career. For instance, spending time with your family, go on mountain biking, hiking, or simply exercising. Or maybe a vacation would do; the best way to alleviate tension and stress and refresh your battery is taking time off, so you can return to your company with the capacity to be more creative, productive, and efficient.

  • Outsource Stressful Tasks

You are no Superman, avoid trying to be like one who can do anything easily. Anything that you don’t need to do can be handled by someone else. Always reserve your energy for the things that keep you functioning and focused on your business.

  • Seek Professional Help (If Necessary)

You can speak to a therapist or a counselor about what’s going on, what’s on your mind, what’s disturbing you, and what made you drag yourself down that made you less functional as an entrepreneur. Is therapy worth the cost? Well, the truth is, it still depends on you; counselors and therapies are there to help you solve the issues you’re dealing with, clearing and conditioning your mind to continue to make good choices in the future and guide you to get back on track and be a better person (entrepreneur) than before. So if it gets the job well done, why not?

The Best Part: Entrepreneur Burnout is Preventable and Always Has a Solution.

As burnout symptoms begin to increase, your businesses tend to suffer. With a little scheduling and preparation, taking better care of yourself and your company, recruiting some help, and concentrating on the things that got you motivated about your company, hopefully, you can keep the burnout at bay.  You can try any of the solutions listed in this post if you are still or already dealing with symptoms of burnout. Your company is important to the world, but even more important is your wellbeing.  It must always be your first priority to take care of yourself first so that you have the passion and desire to give your company the best way you can.

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