The 4 Signs of Entrepreneurial Burnout

By October 3, 2014General Biz

Originally posted on July 4, 2013.

You may be in burnout right now and not even realize it.

I’ve had this conversation with a few clients recently about burnout and how their current challenges simply boiled down to the fact that they are in burnout and need to take a break.

(My favorite assignment to give someone is to take a week off – woo hoo!)

Here are my top 4 signs of entrepreneurial burnout:

  1. You are perpetually stressed – grumpy, frustrated, impatient, annoyed, overwhelmed. I don’t mean having a bad day here and there – we all have those as entrepreneurs! I’m talking about feeling this way for weeks on end and it’s not getting any better.
  2. The people around you are noticing that you are stressed – if those that you spend the most time with (family, team or clients) are noticing this, then it may be a bigger deal then you realize. And they might not want to mention it to you, so you may need to ask if you want to know what they are noticing.
  3. You aren’t able to get stuff done anymore – the things that you would normally do really quickly and easily you are suddenly not doing well anymore. You are dropping the ball, missing stuff that you normally wouldn’t miss or simply aren’t performing at the level you want to be.
  4. You are experiencing health issues – you may be having trouble sleeping. Or perhaps you are getting sick more often or for longer periods of time. For some folks you may suddenly find yourself getting hurt or having accidents.

Believe me I get it – I’ve experienced all of these myself over the years.

The solution? First step is to recognize it for what it is. In my experience, burnout is not something you can “push through”… it’s something you need to release.

When I have a client in burnout, my recommendation is that they start by taking a break – preferably at least a week of 100% unplugged time. For many of you, that will be enough to hit the reset button and you’ll be back in action… if not then there might be bigger issues at hand that you’ll need to explore.

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  • Zen

    Help me Tina. This is me right now to a T. I’m done. Stick a fork in me. Need at least a week break but how? I’m running 2 group programs with videos to present weekly. I see no end in site and my business is falling apart. Help!!!!

    • Patience

      Hi Zen,

      if you can’t take a week out, start by knowing what time out is for you.

      I run a program called DeepWell(tm). It is about tuning in to your own deepest wellness. And that can be done in a matter of moments. Self-check is the first level and can be as simple as asking “what do I most need right now?”

      This is not about writing a To-Do list, but about taking a breath. (No not a smoko either! 😉 With one simple deep breath fully breathed in, then slowly released out, JUST NOTICE what is going on in your body right now.

      What are you feeling and where are you feeling it?
      With that awareness, just add the little question above “what do I most need right now?” Your body already knows the answer. Let it tell you.

      If you can find that simple release in this very moment, know that a week of time out is just a prolonged version of this same process. If you can’t get a whole week into your schedule, just choose this moment as a time out. Then in half an hour if you need another one, slot it in then.

      Time management can be that spontaneous too! Build on the little things, they add up to whatever that burden is you think you are carrying. Maybe you just need to let it go… 🙂

    • tinaforsyth

      Ditto what Patience said – even if you can’t do a week right now look for ways to do a mini-vacation – at least one day /week imo.
      And then plan for when you do want to take a week off – when do your group programs end? Can you record stuff in advance? Do you have any support via a team who can take care of things while you are away?

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