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Why does entrepreneur burnout happen?

Understanding entrepreneurial burnout


At some point in your career, you’ve decided that it’s better to start your own business. Believing that thanks to this, for the rest of your life, you will be able to do what you love the most. A few years later, it turns out that you only spend 20% of the time on your actual business  during the working day.

The rest of your time, you have to spend on matters related to: logistics, administrative and organizational matters, accounting, bookkeeping, and marketing.  The result is that you become an entrepreneur who lacks time to achieve your goals. It is like having two different professions, requiring different competences and passions. 

One of the reasons for burnout is a professional mismatch, because we spend most of our time on things that we do not like to do, that are completely different from what we wanted and dreamed of in the first place. 

We deal with burnout when professional work stops satisfying us and we no longer achieve the old joy from it, and instead there is depression and exhaustion, both physical and emotional.

It is worth pointing out that burnout doesn’t only occur when things aren’t going well. Many entrepreneurs running very successful businesses can be, and are, just as susceptible to burnout.  The trouble is, burnout is difficult to catch, especially early on. 

A study released by The Harvard Business review showed that roughly 25 % of entrepreneurs taking part in the study described themselves as moderately burned out, while an additional 3% identified themselves as strongly burned out. 

What are the symptoms of burnout?

  1. Lack of job satisfaction.

You have been performing the same duties for a long time and they do not give you any pleasure. You have a feeling that you do not develop and professionally stand still.

  1. Overwork and a constant feeling of fatigue.

You feel drowsy and exhausted all the time.

  1. Sleep problem.

 Even if you manage to fall asleep and sleep through the night, you wake up tired.

  1. Health problems, weight fluctuations.

For no reason you started to have a headache or stomach, maybe you have chest pains? Doctors say that everything is fine with you. These symptoms may be related to the stress that accompanies burnout.

  1. Problems with concentration. 

You have the impression that your duties are beyond you and you are not keeping the deadlines?

  1. Lost sight of your goals and the reasons you started your business. 

Nowadays, people are chasing success, career and money, and at the same time they do not notice the fatigue and exhaustion of the body. Hence, the phenomenon of burnout is becoming more and more common.

How to deal with burnout?

If you feel overwhelmed and have noticed the above changes in your behaviour, pause for a moment, keep an eye on it, and make sure you are prioritizing your mental well-being. 

Are you wondering what to do to be happy? Remember why you decided to start your business? If you want to be a happy entrepreneur, it’s important that you see the meaning in it.

Ask yourself questions: Why do you do what you do?

What was your motivation to start a business? 

But more importantly, appreciate yourself. Especially in moments when everything’s going wrong. Treat yourself with forbearance. Remember your successes. Think about where you’ve already come and how much you’ve achieved. Let it be your “reminder” in moments of doubt or when problems overwhelm you.

Make time for yourself. During the day, reserve time for your own work, so that no one disturbs you.  Catch the balance. If you have too much work, delegate it to someone who can do the work for you. In constant busyness and irritation, we are not able to feel satisfaction or joy from what we do, because the lengthening list of tasks to do and constant time pressure effectively prevent it.

Believe that you can trust others. Delegate some responsibilities and leave yourself more space for important and strategic activities for the company. 

A lower burden will also allow you to increase the need to maintain a balance between being at work and personal life, which is generally difficult for entrepreneurs. It is sometimes impossible to completely separate these spheres, especially when you are working on a new project or launching a new product or service. It’s rare to find an entrepreneur who works just 40 hours a week. In fact developing a business is a long process, and it can take months of hard work. Entrepreneurs will do whatever it takes to achieve their goals. They will work long hours, answering emails on weekends and sacrificing their days off. 

That is why it is so important to take off tasks that someone else can easily do and gain more time for yourself and your family

Life as an entrepreneur requires many skills that you may not have needed when you were working in a corporation. Self-discipline, the ability to motivate oneself and others, communication, self-management in time, resistance to stress – it is worth educating these skills.

Read, develop, expand your competences, or use the help of a trainer, coach,  mentor or virtual assistant  who can suggest ready-made solutions that make life easier with immediate effect.

Take care of the development of the company and yours, take care of your well-being, maintain a balance between work and personal life and, above all, understand that you do not have to do everything yourself. Use help, make your life easier and, above all, be at peace with yourself.

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