When it comes to learning how to prevent burnout in your business, there are a few things you need to know.
The first is that it’s about more than just incorporating self-care into your day-to-day routine.
Are things like that important? Absolutely.
However, in order to reduce the negative impact of burnout, you’ve got to know how to identify the causes of burnout for you in the first place. So today, we’re taking a holistic view of how to do exactly that.
Recently, I was chatting with a new client, reflecting on what it truly means to burnout-proof your business.
I explained to her that it’s not about sipping fruit-infused cocktails on the beach (although I fully support that lifestyle). It’s actually much bigger than that.
The thing about burnout is that by the time you’re experiencing the symptoms of it, your brain and body are deep in the thick of it.
Knowing the signs and symptoms of burnout is imperative. However, it’s also important to note that each of us experiences the world in a unique way. Because of that, we need to look at how you perceive things before we can decide if something is right for you or if it leads to burnout.
Here are three tips for cutting off burnout at the source.
Tip 1: Know your non-negotiables
One of the first things I do with clients is to have them create a list of “non-negotiables”. These non-negotiables go on to create an auditing tool of sorts for deciding if certain tasks stay in their business, get delegated, or are eliminated.
How do we decide what goes on the list?
You guessed it, we look at things that lead to burnout.
There are a few things that you personally must have in order to be satisfied in your business. I call these your “must-haves”.
Likewise, there are things you want badly to avoid, which are your “non-starters”. These are the things you think of when I say, “What do you wish you never had to do again?”
Once you’ve identified your non-negotiables, the next step is to incorporate them directly into your business strategy.
When you do, you’re giving yourself a blueprint for sustainability. All roads lead away from burnout when you strategically follow your non-negotiables.
Tip 2: Play to your strengths.
In his book The Big Leap, Gay Hendricks teaches the importance of working in your zone of genius. Ultimately, not working in your Z-O-G also leads to burnout.
Often, clients will tell me they want to change their entire business model when they hit burnout.
As I like to say, they want to “blow their business up”.
However, the vast majority of the time, all they really need is to eliminate tasks, offerings, or processes that bring resistance.
Sometimes, this requires delegating to an assistant. Sometimes it’s a matter of finding a new way to do things.
When we actually look at things from an aerial view, more often than not, they’re doing things on a daily basis that neither their clients nor their business truly needs.
When that’s the case, the non-starter tasks or processes can simply be dropped.
Tip 3: Prevent Professional Isolation
If you’re running your own business in 2021, there’s a good chance you’re working remotely and without a ton of “watercooler time”. That was the case for me when I first started my company and I felt it big time.
From office water cooler banter to slack channels centered around dog memes, one benefit to corporate work is that it comes with built-in ways of connecting with colleagues and making friends.
When I started my business, one of the hardest things to cope with was the lack of a built-in community. This took me a bit by surprise since I’m extremely introverted and enjoy quiet time. The thing is, I truly missed the ongoing interaction and feeling of being on a team. I went from leading more than 20 full-time team members to becoming a one-woman show.
Now, I often help clients to experience that sense of community they’ve been missing. The feeling of isolation is real but there are ways to work around it.
Here are just a few:
- You can find a coworking group in your city that meets for lunch a few times a month.
- You can rent shared space at a shared coworking facility to relocate for the day now and again.
- Join an online community like WBD.
- You can enroll in a group program with a mentor from whom you enjoy learning who teaches something you want to implement in your business.
For myself and my clients, a combination of the ideas above works best.
There are tons of outlets for finding community as a business owner and you can choose the approach that feels best for you. Just know that avoiding isolation is a key factor in preventing burnout, even for introverts.
Looking at the bigger picture
Why does this all matter so much?
The short answer is that life comes with ebbs and flows. When you build your business in a way that aligns with your needs, you’re able to keep going when things get tough.
We all know that difficult times happen. Ultimately, all business owners are bound to experience illness, family emergencies, seasonal depression or, you know, a global pandemic.
As a result, it is critical to align your business with your needs in advance, so you don’t have to close up shop when life throws curveballs your way.
After reading this, I encourage you to think about how your business measures up when life gets a little too real.
Do you feel supported by your business or drained from it?
If the latter is true for you right now, what is one small thing you can change to align your business with the needs of your life?
Ultimately, when you create a business that is designed with your quality of life first, you learn how to avoid burnout, instead of having to treat the symptoms when it occurs.
Grab this free Revenue Goal + Pricing Comparison Calculator to see how you can reach your revenue goals in a way that leverages your time and energy most effectively, without the burnout.
Jackie is an Author, Speaker, CEO, Certified Business Coach and former Fortune 500 and Inc 500 Entertainment Executive.
After hitting severe burnout from years of overworking in high-stress environments, Jackie vowed to slow down and started her own consulting company in 2019. She quickly realized that the same cycle of overwhelm and burnout she experienced in her corporate career is what a lot of women fall into even in their own businesses. These days, Jackie helps Service-Based Entrepreneurs employ smart strategies to grow businesses without the overwhelm through her Education and Coaching Program, Full Circle Freedom™.
In her column on Women’s Business Daily, Jackie draws on her own journey along with the countless lessons she’s learned helping clients transform their work into businesses that put their quality of life first.
Learn more about Jackie’s work and gain access to educational resources at JackiePrutsman.com.