Business Owner Burnout: Recognize It and Overcome It

business owner burnoutMost of us start our businesses with great dreams and energy. However, over time we discover that ownership can be very stressful. Over time clutter, messes, complexity, demands, and busy-ness can begin to overwhelm us. Add to that, continual marketing challenges, personnel issues, tight cash flow; and you’re on your way to burnout. Every business owner has to deal with these things. But many find themselves in the grind of this day after day after day. The reality is that this is not sustainable without experiencing some measure of burnout.

So, how do you overcome business owner burnout?

First, realize that you are human. Most business owners that I work with are tough-minded, determined, hard-working individuals who are not intimidated by the demands or challenges of responsibility. These characteristics are all ingredients to their success. However, over time even people with great perseverance get tired! If you don’t have a strategy for dealing with the fatigue and ongoing challenges of business ownership you can become burnt-out. You’re human. You’re not immune.
“I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish He didn’t trust me so much.” – Mother Teresa
As human beings we must develop routines that will enable us to replenish ourselves. We must renew our minds, our emotions, and our bodies. We must recharge. However, when we get extremely depleted, recharging may not come quickly. The next thing we must do when we detect that we may be experiencing burnout is to make a change! You must break the cycle that is leading to the exhaustion. Change your schedule. Change your routine. But most importantly, begin changing your mindset. Without a change in your thinking there will be no change in your habits, particularly those that are leading to burnout.
“When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” – Benjamin Franklin
This often seems impossible to the hard driving business owner. There’s always too much to do and too little time. But this is essential because as Jim Rohn once said, “If I don’t change, nothing will change.” Brian Dyson, the former COO of Coca-Cola, delivered the commencement address at Georgia Tech in 1996. In it he gave a simile that explained why this is so important. He said:
“Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them – work, family, health, friends, and spirit – and you are keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls – family, health, friends, and spirit – are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged, or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.”
I encourage business owners to take a personal, strategic retreat every 90 days to refocus and recharge. This is a powerful tool for developing the right mindset and the right habits for long-term health, joy, and success.

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One Response to “Business Owner Burnout: Recognize It and Overcome It”

  1. […] Keeping your business growing can turn into a grind, if you let it, leading you down the path to overwhelm. […]

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