Entrepreneurial Burnout: What is It and How to Beat it

Are you feeling exhausted? Are you feeling like you can’t possibly keep going at the pace you are currently going? Are you struggling to find motivation? Do you feel like giving up? If so, you may be experiencing entrepreneurial burnout.



What is entrepreneurial burnout?


As we all know, entrepreneurial life is synonymous with long hours of work, sleepless nights, and forgone vacations. While most people can take these in their stride, at times all of this can become far too much to handle, leading to entrepreneurial burnout.


Entrepreneurial burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion that is caused due to excessive work-related stress. It can lead to decreased productivity, decreased creativity, negative moods, and in extreme cases, even depression.


Though difficult to detect in the initial stages, burnout is a slow and gradual process. You don’t necessarily go from being enthusiastic about your job to completely burnt out overnight. The condition slowly affects performance and well-being that instead of making any more bad decisions most people ultimately decide to quit their positions.


Fortunately, entrepreneurial burnout is preventable at most times.


What are the signs of entrepreneurial burnout?


It is a shame to have to throw away everything you’ve built with hard work and effort. The best way out is to watch out for the warning signs of burnout so that you can seek help or take a break when they finally arrive. Here are a few as suggested by executive coach and entrepreneur Jamie Crooks.


  1. Mental fog: If you find yourself repeating mundane tasks such as re-reading the same sentence without being able to comprehend anything, know that it’s time to back away
  2. Irritability: People experiencing burnout find themselves getting irritated over the slightest matters. It can be something as simple as a gadget that does not work or a delay in the completion of a project.
  3. Low immunity: Extended periods of stress can lead to a decline in immunity which may show itself in the form of constant bouts of the flu and soreness.
  4. Unexplained weight gain: Apart from stress eating, the body itself retains calories when it detects stress and concludes that the person in question is in danger, leading to an increase in body weight.
  5. Exhaustion: If you are constantly tired irrespective of how much you slept or how many cups of coffee you’ve consumed, you are possibly closing in on burnout.6.
  6. Loss of interest: Sadly, burnout doesn’t just affect your performance at work. It would take away your interest in almost all the activities you once enjoyed. Hence, if you find yourself bored while pursuing your hobby, it’s time to acknowledge what you are going through.


What to do if you are experiencing burnout?


There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. What works for one entrepreneur may not work for another. However, here are some general tips that may help you overcome entrepreneur burnout:


  1. Take a break: This is probably the most important thing you can do to combat entrepreneur burnout. If you are feeling overwhelmed, take a few days or even weeks off to relax and rejuvenate yourself.
  2. Set realistic goals: Don’t try to accomplish too much at once. Instead, set realistic goals and take it one step at a time.
  3. Delegate tasks: If you are feeling overwhelmed, delegate some of your tasks to others. This will lighten the load for you and make things a bit more manageable.
  4. Take care of yourself: Make sure you are taking care of yourself both mentally and physically. Eat healthy, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly.


The most important thing to know is that there is nothing to be embarrassed about having an entrepreneurial burnout. It is very common occurrence within the business community, and can be overcome with self-care.


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