— Neil F. Anderson, Founder & President, The Courage Group, Inc.
Starting a company from scratch, bootstrapping it all the way, trying to grow your business on a dime (especially during touch economic times) is hard, to say the least. Not to mention the toll is can take on your well-being.
All of which can lead to something that many entrepreneurs/business owners (including this one) have experienced, business owner burnout. And if not tackled, can be the final “nail in the coffin” on business survival.
Business owners face an endless array of problems and challenges each day. Getting burned out is just really one more problem in the bucket. One, just like the others, that will need to be addressed and fixed.
When you hit the burnout wall, really begin to feel maxed out, here are five quick ideas that may help you “keep the train on the tracks.” And keep your business owner hopes and dreams alive and well:
1. Stop Wasting Your Time, Daily-Let’s start with something that is probably causing most of the business owner burnout, a lack of sales. So now would be a very good time, to stop wasting your time. Time to quit watching so much television, playing games/videos, watching movies on your smart phone, or constantly checking your FaceBook page. To make the cash register ring, here’s what you must do everyday; market, sell, and work with customers/clients everyday. If you are not doing this, you are wasting your time and setting yourself up for business failure. Mark Cuban, famous entrepreneur/owner of the Dallas Mavericks and star of ABC’s: Shark Tank: show is right; “Sales cures everything.” Overcome business owner burnout by making money.
2. Make Needed Adjustments, Quickly-If your current business model, service or product offerings are not working, time to step back. Time to re-analyze and make the necessary adjustments. Take your pricing for example; don’t just offer one, “It’s my way or the highway” service package. Try offering an A, B or C package ( I am guilty on this one). This gets back to sales, listening to what your prospective clients/customers people need and want. Listen more and talk even less, if you want to win new business. Beat business owner burnout by making adjustments, only faster.
3. Learn New Things, Daily-As a business owner, you have to be on top of your game, be constantly aware of the many things that can impact your business, both positive and negative. And this all takes time. You already know that educating yourself on various business matters, that you don’t know anything about, will help you. So carve out some time daily, learn something new on marketing, sales, finance, technology, legal, or operations topic. The only way to learn something is to learn something. Knowledge is power. Power gained each day by learning new stuff, helping to overcome business owner burnout and succeed.
4. Map Things Out Over Coffee, Daily-Stress is a given in the life of an entrepreneur/business owner. And what compounds stress levels even more, leading to burnout, is trying to “wing it” each day. With no daily action plan in sight. Try this; stop by your favorite coffee shop every morning to compile your 8, “gotta get these things done” list. Then, with the help of some strong coffee, narrow your list down to 3, mandatory things that will get done today. Don’t let yourself get distracted while doing this by powering up your gadgets, checking out the sports scores, or stories in the newspaper. Just use a plain piece of paper, a pen, or pencil and write up your list. Then you can check things out on your electronic gizmo, finish up your coffee and newspaper, and get to work on the list. Minus the burned out feelings.
5. Keep Thinking About The Future, Daily-When times get bad (and they usually do) the burnout blues can really hit hard. You need to keep reminding yourself why you are doing this in the first place. That long term, you want to better control your own time, income, and destiny. It’s that simple. That your sacrifices, past, present, and future, will help you achieve your goals. Just think of the alternative, going back to work at something that you really don’t like doing, reporting to incompetent bosses, and playing office politics to get your 3% annual raise. Then waking up at 50 years old (or even sooner) and losing your job because you are considered a dinosaur.
Bonus Step-Try listening to Beethoven, When feeling burned out, put on some of his music. Beethoven, despite being totally deaf, composed some of the world’s most beautiful, optimistic, and inspiring music. Music that may be helpful to you for generating new ideas, coming up with solutions to your business problems. You may want to do something that Beethoven did as well, change the work environment. Many of his famous symphonies were composed in his mind, while taking long walks in nature. You may find that “going off campus” will benefit both you and your business.
Getting burned out is no crime. But what is, is not doing anything to fix it.