Council Post: Six Ways To Prevent Entrepreneur Burnout

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Matthew R. Meehan is a leading finance expert and CEO of Shield Advisory Group, He specializes in helping SMEs access credit and capital.

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Steve Jobs once said“I’m convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”

Entrepreneur burnout. It’s a very real thing.

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To be an entrepreneur means living the dream, right? Be your own boss. Enjoy complete freedom. Do what you want, when you want. Answer to no one. Make your own rules. No corporate ladder to climb. No boss to impress. The only limitations are those you set for yourself. The sky is the limit. Fly baby, fly.

Now that we’re done daydreaming, let’s come back to Earth.

Yes, entrepreneurship can be those things. But it can be a lot of other things, too. There are many risks involved. You could face bankruptcy and financial ruin. It could negatively impact your relationships. Your health could suffer, both physically and mentally. The strain of it all can easily and quickly lead to burnout. Instead of lighting the world on fire, it’s you who is going up in flames.

Now that you have that little dose of a reality check in the back of your mind, what then? How do you successfully pursue your calling of entrepreneurship without allowing it to become an all-consuming beast you cannot control? Do you just throw in the towel and expect the inevitable? Absolutely not. Remember, you make your own rules.

If you are an entrepreneur or have goals to become one, here are six ways you can still chase your dreams but prevent burnout.

Set Your Agenda For The Day

From the moment you open your eyes and rejoin the conscious world, you are faced with a million tiny decisions for the next 16-18 hours. Establishing a morning routine and setting your agenda for the day will allow you to control your schedule, rather than your schedule controlling you.

Avoid distractions

If the first thing you do each morning is to grab your phone and check social media or emails or the news, you have already succumbed to the noise of outside distractions. Your mind isn’t focused on what you want to accomplish, and you’ll go into the day feeling like you’re already behind.

Manage Expectations

Not every day will be a red banner day. Deals will fall through. Plans will crumble. People will disappoint. Some days, you order a glass of single-malt whiskey, but you’re given a lukewarm ginger ale instead. It happens. It’s part of the process. Expecting it will help with its acceptance, no matter how bad a taste it leaves in your mouth.

Set Reasonable Goals

It’s great to set big goals and have big dreams. Do you want to achieve a million dollars in revenue next year? Great, go for it! But don’t overlook the smaller steps and goals that will get you to that end result. They should be realistic, specific and attainable.

If you regularly fall short of the goals you set for yourself, you’ll feel permanently defeated. If you tell your three-year-old who has never ridden a bike that you expect them to make it around the block without falling over, you’d not only be a terrible parent, but it might be weeks or months, or years, before your kid works up the courage to try again. Don’t set yourself up for failure.

Practice Self-Care

When it comes to our to-do lists for the day, our personal needs are usually at the bottom. We need to rethink that. According to a study from the University of San Francisco, approximately 49% of entrepreneurs in the study “suffer from at least one form of mental health condition during their lifetimes.” This can include depression, ADHD, substance abuse and psychiatric hospitalizations. That’s nearly half—what a sobering thought.

Jake Mitchell, COO of Serenity Labs, explains that the way “you live your life directly influences the way that you build your business.” Prioritizing sleep, exercising regularly, spending time with family and friends, taking breaks, going to therapy, finding support groups or practicing meditation are all ways you can practice self-care.

Ask For Help—Or Hire It

Entrepreneurs are visionaries. And for that reason, they tend to have a very clear and specific idea of ​​how they want things done. There is merit in that, one-hundred percent. But that doesn’t mean you have to be the one doing it all. If you have a fantastic business model but can’t write sales copy to save your life, don’t churn out subpar sales copy because you want to do it all. Know your strengths, and pass the tasks you can onto other people more qualified who can help you bring your vision to life.

Final Thoughts

Entrepreneurship, tenuous though it may be, is 100% worth it, in my opinion. It’s thrilling to pour your blood, sweat and tears into something you passionately believe in and watch it grow before your eyes. The long hours, personal sacrifices and risks make the reward that much sweeter. Just remember to continually reevaluate, reassess and check in with yourself to avoid burnout. After all, you have big things to accomplish.

Forbes Finance Council is an invitation-only organization for executives in successful accounting, financial planning and wealth management firms. Do I qualify?

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