Today let’s have a quick look at some tips to avoid entrepreneur’s burnout.

Entrepreneurs’ burnout is basically that feeling of being too exhausted mentally, physically, emotionally and otherwise, due to working too much and under pressure to attain some goals and objectives. It’s that constant feeling of being tired and lacking motivation. Business owners who overwork themselves without self-control often end up in this situation. Of course, many negative effects of this, such as low productivity, health problems, anger, and lack of sleep gradually start manifesting. In the words of Dr. Mike Murdock, ‘What you fail to master in your life will eventually master you’.

Some years ago I was reading articles about this subject, and came across an article by a Nigerian by the names Olakunle Soriyan. While commenting on entrepreneur burnout, he said, and I quote; ‘Business owners and their staffs work themselves into burnouts and are distracted by the ‘results’ they achieve not thinking of the results they could have or may yet achieve with a clear strategy against stress and burnouts in place’. This was quite correct I think. In fact, beyond entrepreneurs, many workers today also suffer from this phenomenon.

Now, you have got to get me right here. I’m not discouraging you from working your lungs out to achieve your enterprise and personal goals. Ok? I’m not spreading the idea of ‘laziness’ as some people think that those who don’t work in that manner are ‘lazy’. You can choose to work so hard that you even forget your children’s names. That is up to you. I’m simply going to give you some pieces of advice to help avoid entrepreneurs’ burnout. It’s really up to you to adopt these if you like, or simply brush them aside. So let’s proceed.

  • Make the best use of your time and get organized. Identify the non-critical things that take a lot of your time and eliminate them. I candidly think time management and personal organization including planning, are some of the vital issues to help avoid entrepreneurs burnout. Try and identify the most critical things you should do and then let your staffs do the rest. However, if you want to personally type every memo that gets out of your enterprise, it’s absolutely your choice. Start your work at some reasonably good or high level. Plan your work and get more organized.
  • Delegate as much as you can. Entrepreneur, please kindly learn to trust your staffs more and release. Train and develop them and provide to them the requisite skills sets they need to perform. Push them towards your enterprise goals and objectives and yet with care and not recklessly. This is sometimes referred to as tough love. This is a good way to avoid entrepreneurs’ burnout. This reminds me of a book I read about two years ago entitled ‘Do Nothing’ – by J. Keith Murnighan. It’s a good read in my opinion and you could give it a try if you haven’t. I know some entrepreneurs push with pretty raw approaches and pay a high price being poor in managing people. Don’t be daft. Avoid micromanaging, adopt good people management skills and work smart. Do you understand me?
  • Learn to lead and not manage. Now, I know some of you entrepreneurs have no clue about the differences between a leader and a manager. I’m not going to delve into that in this article, but if your knowledge is grey here, I advise you to try and discover more about this. Ok? Will you promise me that? Come on. A leader facilitates and orchestrates strategically with the big picture in mind, focusing purposefully on final results and not the gymnastics involved in getting that result. A manager ensures the gymnastics are done very effectively and efficiently. By the way these are my words, and don’t search the internet silly to get these same words in some management book. You will get disappointed. Nevertheless, whatsoever you get there may come back to the summary I’m giving here.   
  • Have fun and renew. By the by, if you are an entrepreneur or leader that is too serious 24/7, without any time for jokes and fun, then I can assure you that you are on a dangerous path. My candid advice is this. Don’t be too serious. Don’t punish yourself. Never allow yourself to be overstressed. Money will not go with you to the grave. Take breaks. Meditate. Sharpen the saw. Recreate. Renew yourself occasionally like the eagle does. Have you read my blog on the Top 6 lessons for the entrepreneur from the eagle? You might find a link below this article I believe. I love the way Sir Richard Branson enjoys himself. How about you? Having fun and self-renewal helps you avoid entrepreneurs’ burnout.
  • It’s no more you but your team. Invest emotionally and ensure that your staffs are psychologically and emotionally safe. Focus more on your team as it’s no more you but your team that will really drive your enterprise forward. Are we together? Ensure staffs buy into your vision and mission, and once they do, I can promise you they will work diligently and do the rest of the nitty-gritties while you focus on other tactical and strategic issues.
  • Mind your mindset and attitude. Now, this is a bit dangerous as I’m talking about your mind and attitude. Many people don’t like other people to do this but I request your permission here before I proceed. Don’t feel guilty that you are not working or not achieving much. What are your expectations? Are they realistic? What is your attitude towards work life balance? Get your boundaries right. As a man thinketh so is he. Please I beg you. Get your mind and attitude right if you want to avoid entrepreneur’s burnout.
  • Work around important things. Again, there is this issue about important versus urgent things, and managing about important things or priorities. Have you read The seven habits of highly effective people by Stephen Covey? Working and managing around important things helps you get more effective as a leader, and this implies that you won’t need to be following every tiny urgent thing. It is these small chaotic issues in your enterprise that can easily consume you if you are not careful. So, take note.

Let me remind you here. In my first sentence today I said I would quickly look at some tips to avoid entrepreneur’s burnout, and I have done just that. I don’t intend to hold you anymore on this matter. I’ve kept my promise. Haven’t I?

So – till then, and with every good wish,

The Wise Entrepreneur


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