When you wake up in the morning are you fired up and ready to take action? Or do you pull the covers over your head and ruminate about all the things on your to-do list? If you lean towards the second you might be heading towards burn out.
There are a lot of ways that burn out manifests but if you catch it early, you can turn yourself around before your energy becomes toxic to your business. Here are some of the warning signs:
- You are exhausted before lunch time (and maybe the minute you step out of bed.)
- Your motivation is waning — thing that used to be exciting you now procrastinate or avoid.
- You might find yourself in an abnormal amount of confusion or overwhelm.
- You can’t imagine anything bigger than your current business. Just the idea of fitting more in makes you feel more overwhelmed.
- You get easily frustrated with your clients, colleagues or team members.
- Problems that used to roll off your back now become mountains that you worry about.
- You don’t remember why you started your business and it now feels more like a job than an extension of your passion and purpose.
Fast-paced, creative entrepreneurs are highly susceptible to entrepreneur burn out. For a visionary entrepreneur, ideas are like babies –you give birth to something new and guide your idea every step of the way from a seed of possibility to fruition — which is creates a major attachment to your idea.
When you fall in love with your vision of what’s possible it can be frustrating when it doesn’t happen fast enough. And quite frequently, the creative business owner’s identity and self-esteem gets wrapped up in the success of their business.
If you are heading towards burn out, here are a few ways to get your inspiration back:
1) Take some time off. I know this might sound completely insane, especially if your cash flow is tight or you are behind schedule. But it works. Jim Palmer, author of Stick Like Glue, was hitting the wall and I prescribed a “recharge day.” He took a mini-vacation and spent a work day at the ball park and came back to his desk feeling completely recharged. Schedule a day, week or even two weeks off to reconnect to your passion.
2) Go back to your why. When you reconnect to WHY you wanted your own business in the first place you can re-spark all of the passion you originally felt? Who did you want to serve? What did you want to accomplish? What was important to you about being an entrepreneur? Perhaps you got off track from your original mission and all you have to do is revitalize your original vision.
3) Get help. The biggest cause of entrepreneur burn out is trying to do everything it takes to grow your business alone. Even those business owners who do hire help often under-delegate the energy draining tasks. Create a liberation plan so you can outsource profitably – and free yourself up to do the things you love most.
What do YOU do to avoid burn out? We all want to know what works for you…feel free to share your ideas in the comments below.