The Rise Of Entrepreneurial Burnout: Are you at risk, and how can you avoid it?

burnt match

The entrepreneurial brain is an amazing machine. It’s creative, innovative, driven, motivated, dedicated, focussed. It contributes to the economy, to social development and develops others through first-class leadership skills. It finds solutions to problems, transforming business and lives alike. The owner of such a brain can be seen as the most important asset of an organisation as it promotes the growth of the business from the inside out.

Research from the 2018 International Business Festival revealed that UK entrepreneurs find it hard to strike the work life balance to suit them. The ripple effect of this causes personal and professional consequences creating stress and anxiety and the unsustainability of high productivity levels.

The most damaging experience is burnout.

Think BIG

Do you think BIG, perhaps you’re prone to exaggeration or being overly optimistic? Do you think quick; are things a done deal in your mind, although it may take a while before the deal is actually done?

It’s a great trait to have where your motivation levels are high, and you naturally know how to feed the fire in your belly. But it’s equally important to learn the importance of keeping your expectations in check. They should be realistic to avoid you becoming disappointed or disillusioned.

Ideas coming out of your ears?

This is what sets you apart from others, and you should recognise this as something to celebrate. Your spark and creativity are in abundance. But do you ever stop to think that maybe you are spreading yourself to thin and loosing some of the focus? This is one area where you are at high risk of burnout – keep an eye on your behaviour.

This exuberance for coming up with multiple ideas and making plans may lead to you not always having the time, energy and resources to finish everything you start.

And I bet that rather than stopping and reflecting on the workload you already have in front of you, you have a tendency to keep adding and spreading yourselves even thinner.

I’m the same. I network like crazy and create lead after lead. But how effective is this really? I keep going and forget to ask myself, “have I reached my target this month?”. I just keep going until I feel overwhelmed with the work I have created for myself.

A great juggler

Entrepreneurs tend to be excellent jugglers, and in my experience female entrepreneurs even more so. They’re hard-wired to juggle a primary caring role and a business.

“If you’re afraid to drop a ball, you’ll never juggle.”

Entrepreneurial life is exciting, engaging, and compelling. It’s also a bit messy at times with many hurdles to jump over and as we relish in taking on so much we find ourselves running out of time – one commodity we simply can’t make more of. These issues take their toll both physically and mentally.

I see my time as a piece of pie. I can cut it up into the pieces representing everything I have to do. But all that happens is that the slices get smaller – the pie stays the same size.

Driven and ambitious

If you’re anything like me then you are driven to be independent, it is my choice, and my choice alone to put in many more hours working for myself than I would if I worked for someone else.

Entrepreneurs want to be successful – I want to be successful. We learn by doing, failing and then rising again with fresh spark and fire to go again, but we pay a high price for this (and in some case, our families and friends pay a high price too).

Success on your terms

What does success mean to you? My definition is borrowed from Maya Angelou:

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”

How ever you define your own success, it must be what you want. Remembering your ‘why’ is key to success. Be kind to yourself getting there!

Preventing burnout

Are you opportunity driven and comfortable with levels of risk that would stop many business people in their tracks?

Are you prepared for a life, and for your finances, to take a seat on a roller coaster accepting the many ups, down and twists?

Have you considered the long-term sustainability?

This blog should have got you thinking about your own journey, to look deep into yourself and to recognise actions you take that could actually be holding you back. It’s exciting yet scary – I get it, I’ve been there. If you feel you would benefit from my skills and experience in mindset to help your business thrive, please get in touch.

Thoughts by Kathryn , Up+thrive Words by Amanda, Redwood Copy


If you or your organisation is looking for support we’d love to hear from you. Contact Kathryn to discuss your training/coaching needs, and Amanda to tell the world about it.

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