How do you avoid burn out as an entrepreneur? What is the best way to avoid burning out?
That’s the number one question that I get.
When I first started a business it was very, very tough.
I still remember when I was at a Christmas dinner with my girlfriend after three months of going hard 12-hour days, every single day. Prior to the food coming, I was on the phone for more than 10 times.
My phone was ringing off the hook.
I was running a tutoring service at that time and it was actually during finals seasons. So, everyone was just giving me back to back calls.
It didn’t even feel like I was at dinner. I didn’t even know what I ordered.
We were eating at a place where you cook your own steak on a hot sizzling stone plate. So, when I came back I was kind of pissed off. Like why is my steak well done? What’s going on?
My girlfriend was told me, “Your steak has been here for 20 minutes.”
That really, really hurt me.
That really made me feel so guilty and shameful of what I was doing. Eventually, I started burning out and didn’t go back to work for a long time.
It made me really reflect on why I was doing what I was doing and how I should approach this whole thing differently.
Finding What Is Important To You
A lot of us have these different kinds of moments that put things into perspective of what is truly important to us.
Is it all work or is it all family or is it all relationship?
For me, it’s all about the balance between being able to take care of yourself physically and emotionally, taking care of your family, your significant other and your friends, and then your business.
Having these different pillars in my life allowed me to not burn out because I know that my life consists of these six different pillars. If I put too much attention in one and neglect the other, I’m not going to have a strong foundation.
Right now I’m operating three different companies at the same time and managing over 100 staff. Yet, I still have time to take care of my family, my loved ones, myself.
It is all because of the fact that of understanding what I truly value. Understanding what keeps me grounded and seeing things in perspective.
It really comes back down to you.
- What do you believe in?
- What are your values?
- What are things that are not negotiable for you?
- What makes you truly happy?
Don’t Avoid The Problem
If it’s about all about business success, then you go full steam on it. You’ll never burn out if that is truly what makes you happy.
But if you use work as an excuse to avoid other problems, you’re going to burn out. Sooner or later you’re going to burn out.
Even if you don’t burn out in the next few months, it’s not going to be effective work.
Now when I go to work it’s much more effective, it’s much more efficient because I know for a fact that I only have this much allotted to finish my work. Then, I need to move onto taking care of my family. Then, I need to take care of myself. Self-development, business, all these different chunks. It’s about knowing your balance, knowing your values. That’s what’s going to prevent you from burning out.
Next time you’re thinking about how to avoid burning out, ask yourself: What do you truly value? What are the non-negotiables? What makes you truly happy?
Once you have those answers, hold tight to them and be true to them and be honest with yourself.
That’s how you avoid burn out.
Wilson is a serial entrepreneur that helps transform e-commerce businesses into scalable and sellable brands. He is also an avid fan of personal development, entrepreneurship, and mentorship.