4 Essential Tips for Avoiding Burnout as a Small Business Owner
Entrepreneurship is empowering and exciting; it’s about living the dream that you’ve had for years and having the ability to shape your own future. This grand vision of small business ownership is commonly held by many people, but what many don’t realize is that running a small business can quickly lead to burnout if you’re not mindful of how you spend your time and invest your resources. These tips will help you avoid entrepreneurial burnout so you can stay at the top of your game.
Plan Time Every Day to Do Nothing
Managing a small business is all-consuming; you’re constantly going, constantly plugged in, and constantly available to put out fires and meet the needs of your employees, customers, or clients. These fires are unpredictable, leading many small business owners to feel as though they’re working around the clock; someone always needs something, and it’s always an emergency.
That’s why it’s important to plan some time in your schedule every day to do absolutely nothing. You know that overwhelming desire you had to veg and stare at the ceiling or consume mindless television after finishing a massive college paper or project? That applies in the real world, too. Even if you don’t fit it in every day, spend some time a few times each week just focusing on you, whether you do absolutely nothing or something you enjoy – whatever it is that allows you to recharge.
Cultivate an Atmosphere of Work-Life Balance
If you have employees or contractors, cultivate an atmosphere of work-life balance company-wide. Doing so not only generates loyalty, but it reduces the number of employee-related fires you’ll need to deal with during off-hours. When you demonstrate that you respect your employees’ personal time, they’ll respect yours, too. Plus, a team fully rested and recharged is much more effective than a tired, burned out crew running on caffeine alone.
Hire the Right Fit
If you don’t yet have employees, you’re probably suffering from the common issue of trying to do ‘all of the things.’ Hiring is tough when you’ve been the only one providing services or producing products, so bringing someone new into the equation is stressful as you want to ensure a consistent experience for your customers or clients and continue to meet expectations with the same level of quality.
Taking the time to find employees who are the right fit is well worth it in the end. High turnover is never good, plus you’ll spend twice the time hiring and retraining new employees than you would had you taken the time to hire right the first time. Of course, not every hire pans out, but you can reduce the stress and time involved in repeating the process multiple times through careful screening, interviewing, and probationary periods.
Learn to Delegate
Do you have a small team (or even a robust team) but are still trying to do “all of the things”? You might be suffering from an inability to delegate. Again, this typically stems from the desire to maintain consistency, but when you’re burned out and burning the midnight oil to get things done, you’re probably not providing the level of quality you’d produce if you were refreshed and recharged.
Figure out what absolutely must be done by you, and then determine how best to delegate everything else. Maybe you need an assistant who can handle most of your administrative tasks or someone who can manage social media and customer service functions. Perhaps you need a protégé, someone you can mold into another you. Whatever the case, finding the right method for delegating non-essential tasks is one of the most effective ways to reduce small business burnout.
Learning how to delegate effectively, making smart hiring decisions, and letting go of the idea that you must be always-on, always-available, and the only person able to perform every task will go a long way in helping you to avoid the burnout that causes many small business owners to give up. If you’re in this for the long haul, avoiding burnout is your secret to long-term success.
Sean Morris is a former social worker turned stay-at-home dad. He knows what it’s like to juggle family and career. He did it for years until deciding to become a stay-at-home dad after the birth of his son. Though he loved his career in social work, he has found this additional time with his kids to be the most rewarding experience of his life. He began writing for LearnFit.org to share his experiences and to help guide anyone struggling to find the best path for their life, career, and/or family.
Image via Pixabay by PourquoiPas