How to avoid business owner burnout

Being a small business owner is all about passion! Sure, you need to pay your bills and make a profit and manage your credit, but there are so many other little things that go into owning a business. From funding, business banking and taxes, the stress can be overwhelming. 

Most small business owners are motivated to work long hours and complete mundane tasks. They often take significant risks, because they believe in their brand and have a clear vision and mission for what they want their business to achieve.

Unfortunately, even the most motivated small business owner or aspiring entrepreneur will encounter obstacles that stand in the way of their business goals

Personal and life obstacles, setting unrealistic expectations and overworking can all cause prolonged stress that drains mental energy and leads to business burnout

How to recognize signs of small business owner burnout 

Sometimes your body can tell you things that your mind isn’t ready to admit. If you’re making a wrong business decision or onboarding a client that’s not a good fit, your body will sometimes send you physical signals. Listen to your body. The old saying, listen to your gut, holds true even with business decisions. 

Even if you are not making a big business decision or working with a client, the simple task of running a business can take a toll on a person. Here are a few signs you may be getting burnt out. 

Feeling exhausted, even after a good night’s sleep

If you’re feeling exhausted most of the time, or feel tired even after a good night’s sleep, this is a sign that you need to take care of yourself. Give yourself time to get ample rest, eat healthily, relax and recharge. You need to make time for fun and be good to yourself first. The business will still be there waiting for you. 

Overwhelmed and tired of being tired 

There comes a time when the work you used to love or have an obsessive passion for becomes a chore. If you find yourself with less enthusiasm or energy to complete the job you once loved, or if you dread the thought of your business, you are probably on the road to burnout. 

Feel frustrated and mad 

Often it is hard to find the good in each workday, especially when you handle issue after issue coming your way. Juggling many hats and roles as a business owner can cause a good mood to turn sour quickly. Sometimes the negative can cloud the positive vision and cause a downhill spiral. If you find yourself with a short fuse, lashing out over things you usually wouldn’t have, you need a break. Find time in your day to recharge. A short nap, a walk, listening to music or finding time to do nothing at all can help your mood. 

Trouble staying focused 

If you find yourself having a hard time focusing, forgetting things or making strange decisions, it is a sign that you need to recharge. Juggling long hours and dealing with the many things that go into running a business takes a toll on the mind. 

You do not leave work at work 

One of the biggest struggles of a business owner is leaving work at work. Emotionally and mentally, many business owners take their work home, seemingly never leaving the office. With business always on your mind, it is hard to be present with friends and family. You should set working hours and leave work mentally and physically when you leave the office. Work will still be there tomorrow. 

Increased stress and anxiety can lead to health issues

When your stress level increases, your mental energy decreases and you continue to neglect your body’s signals of being overloaded, many health issues can crop up. Pay attention to your body and mental health. If you are not well, you can’t run a successful business. 

Ways to prevent small business burnout 

When you start a new business, you often feel like you need to be a part of every aspect. There are ways to help you juggle life and business and juggle in a way that you feel successful. When you feel successful, your business has a better chance of succeeding. 

Set reasonable business expectations 

When you are outlining your business plan, you typically define what you expect from your business. You should also outline and define what you expect from your team and set your regular business hours to prevent burnout. Most of us have the mindset that we should work long hours to make sure our business succeeds. What we don’t always realize is that we have to draw a stopping point by setting boundaries. Set a reasonable expectation for yourself weekly and monthly to prevent you from working an overload and burning out prematurely. 

Delegate and divide responsibility

Because you should set reasonable expectations on your workload, one way to do that is to delegate your workload at the very beginning. Even if you are past the startup period, there’s no better time than now to start delegating, from bookkeeping to maintenance needs. 

Take time off 

Take breaks. Make sure you set your daily break time just as you would for your employees. Take a vacation, and take holiday time off. By setting time aside for your own breaks, you will see an increase in productivity.  

Growth opportunities 

Everyday business tasks can take over the day. However, it is essential to find ways for you and your employees to learn new things. Further learning does not have to be boring. There are many resources out there for small businesses, from learning a new task to optimizing your products and services. Include your employees to help empower them to think outside the box and spice up the boring everyday work life. 

Find a support network 

Whether you’re a one-person-band, or you’re the leader of your business, having a support system where you can reach out to vent or ask questions is important. There are many places to find a neutral peer in your industry through networking events and online forums. Knowing you have someone to lean on during difficult times will help take a bit of the stress off of your shoulders.  

Running a business can be challenging, draining and downright exhausting. As a business owner, you will go through ups and downs of frustration and feeling uninspired. Make sure to take time out for yourself, eat healthily and get plenty of sleep. 

You can also look for small business resources to help educate yourself and meet other like-minded business owners. Reach out to your local chamber of commerce for local resources. There are many online resources from government agencies and nonprofit organizations to help build a network of support. 

Kabbage offers many resources to help you and your business be successful. From small business checking accounts and payment options to business funding, Kabbage is there for you. Find out how Kabbage can help your business succeed. 

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