3, 2, 1 . . . Burnout, Part 1 – Recognizing the Problem

Author: Danielle Elliott


Have you already responded to a cheerful “Happy New Year!” with an exasperated eye roll at the thought of tasks left undone from last year, dread about the meeting with your accountant, or a mini-anxiety attack because you’ve been so busy working that you were like, “wait, it’s new year already?”

If you’ve had these or similar responses just a week into the new year, chances are you are experiencing entrepreneurial burnout. 

It’s true that for most of us, the page turn to January on the calendar typically comes with feelings of hopefulness – a kind of “we go get dem this time!” kind of optimism toward the prospects of continuing to build your business.  It’s also true, though, that at some point in the entrepreneurial journey, you are likely to run out of steam, 💨💨💨 or more accurately, to run out of flame. 🔥🔥🔥 And this goes for entrepreneurs of all stripes: from the most motivated and driven solopreneur building an online empire to the head of the family-owned storefront retail outfit; from the side-hustler offering boutique wellness services on the weekend to the medium-sized moving company exec overseeing a fleet of trucks. 🚛

Whether you are newly bussin’ it to give your fledgling business life in spite of the pandemic’s restrictions or you’ve been around since your present prime minister was in primary school, burnout is a possibility and often a reality.  No shade and no shame in that.  Recognizing burnout, though, is the first step toward dealing with it and preventing it.

Recognizing the Signs of Burnout

  • Experiencing stress is such a part of our modern lives that it can sometimes go unnoticed as just part of the package. However, burnout is usually marked by exhaustion that feels overwhelming, typically because it’s physical as well as mental and emotional. 
  • You may be feeling stressed, anxious and/or angry all the time  – a shorter fuse than usual meaning you are often ready either to break down or blow out (and heaven help whoever happens to be around for either).
  • You feel disengaged from what you are doing.  This very business that once brought excitement and passion to the point that you made every conversation about it, now is the one thing you can’t stand thinking about.  In fact, you’d rather do or talk about anything else.
  • Worry or preoccupation with the issues and problems of your business is your constant state, sometimes so much so that it may be affecting your sleep or other areas of your health, personal relationships or your performance at work.

Sound like you or a business owner you know? Then stay tuned for a follow-up in which we’ll go through how to get through this difficult part of business-owning life.  

In the meantime, know that you are not a lone unicorn suffering some strange fate – this is all more common than you know. And you can get through it with flying colours. We’ve got your back!

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