Ask any entrepreneur how they got where they are today, and odds are you’ll be in for a riveting tale of both feats and failures. The cutthroat world of ideas rarely makes room for a success story without first tossing out a heartbreak or two.
Occasionally, the heartbreak holds out until after success has been achieved. This sudden sad story might be the result of entrepreneurial burnout.
Unlike regular career burnout, which is typically caused by “lack of autonomy, engagement, motivation, or passion,” entrepreneurial burnout is often the result of excess passion, lengthy periods of solitary time, and extreme uncertainty. Entrepreneurial burnout is a very real problem affecting at least 25% of entrepreneurs according to this Harvard Business Review study.
So, how do you prevent yourself from experiencing symptoms of too much work and not enough stability?
- Take a step back
As entrepreneurs, you are passionate about what you do, and you should be. But sometimes that passion translates to nearsightedness when it comes to business endeavors. It’s a good idea to hold back some of that excitement every once in a while. Think about other things that you are passionate about. Reminding yourself of other interests helps to take the pressure off of the one currently linked to your bank accounts.
- Set aside time for friends and family
The nature of the entrepreneurial beast is such that there is little time left for social engagements. Unfortunately, social isolation is a cause of burnout. “If you start skipping family time, avoiding hobbies, and neglecting friends, you’ll eventually find yourself resentful of your position,” writes Jose Vasquez. Combat a lack of social time by planning ahead. Include family events and stress-free meet-ups directly in your daily calendar. Then, do your best not to miss them.
- Set aside time for yourself
Entrepreneurship is tough. Webs of uncertainty surround your business ventures, which ultimately means that they surround your life as well. It’s easy to get caught up in the frailty of it all. Take the edge off of your constantly-buzzing brain by scheduling time for you to engage in a recovery activity. Read a self-help book, get in a good workout, or simply take a nap – any activity that works to relax and reset your body and brain.
Burnout can happen at any time to anyone. Protect yourself and prevent your heartbreak story by engaging in self-preserving activities.
Sol Trickey is a Vancouver based entrepreneur that oversees the acquisition of property and the subsequent planning and construction for specific use of the land.