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Overcoming Entrepreneurial Burnout

Those who shoot for the stars have a long way to travel. Starting, running, and continually building a business is an exhausting process, and it can lead to what’s known as entrepreneurial burnout.

This article describes how entrepreneurs might find balance in their workloads and lives to avoid burning out – and an extra suggestion for what to do when it’s just too much.

Keep Goals Realistic

Entrepreneurs who see overnight success as a priority are likely to be among the most stressed and constantly disappointed individuals in the business world.

Why isn’t it working? Why don’t people see? They will – but it takes time.

Setting realistic growth goals helps keep ambition in check and reduce stress. Over committing to unrealistic targets is a great way to deliver a rushed, underperforming core product and wear oneself down. Further disappointment and burnout are sure to follow.

Set Boundaries

There’s no real correlation between 20-hour working days and meteoric success. Everyone’s heard the supposedly inspirational stories of leaders who simply couldn’t rest while there was work to be done.

It doesn’t work for everyone. It might not even work for those “inspirational” leaders. A balanced analysis of most all-work-no-sleep individuals’ lives reveals exhaustion, disconnection, and long-term health problems that just aren’t worth it.

The impact of boundless work on family life is devastating. It impacts relationships and causes entrepreneurs to miss key moments in their lives – and those of their loved ones. Set a reasonable working day and stick to it.

Find People to Trust – and Trust Them

Being a visionary is great! Being a visionary who doesn’t trust anyone else to share or deliver their vision is much worse.

Entrepreneurs should have at least one person in their inner circle who they’d trust to run the business while they were away at 100% effectiveness. Finding this person should be a core mission because, guess what?

That’s the person who will run the company when the entrepreneur enjoys some much-needed vacation time! And they’ll do an excellent job because they know they’re trusted to do it.

Mandate Vacation Time

Many entrepreneurs complain that vacation time is pointless because they can’t sit still – they’re itching to get back to work.

Vacations don’t have to be about sunbathing or doing nothing. They should just be about something other than the company. A two-week thought project is a great way to focus on something else. Leaders often find inspiration in unlikely places when they look away from the drawing board for a moment!

Ask Family for Their Opinions

Whether it’s a parent, a spouse, or even a child, there should be someone in any entrepreneur’s personal life ready to tell them, “you’re doing too much, and you need a break.” And the entrepreneur needs to listen.

Even if it means assigning one person to break the bad news, this is an essential role.

The Nuclear Option – Sell Up, Take Time Off, Start Again

The end result of entrepreneurial burnout is just that – getting burned out. When any business leader feels they have nothing left to give, it’s time to step away.

Selling the company and using the proceeds to regroup and reassess is a valid option. It may seem unthinkable, but isn’t thinking the unthinkable an entrepreneur’s job anyway?

There’s always time to start another business. There’s always time to come up with a better idea. Both are much easier to achieve as a well-rested, re-motivated individual than as a burned-out husk.


Entrepreneurs should always see the glow around their lives – that’s the glow of a well-balanced life and personal happiness. And when the time to shine bright again arrives, the wise will recognize it and seize the moment.

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