By Kenny Kline
Small business entrepreneurship is an amazing ride. But let’s be honest—it can also be exhausting. Putting in long work weeks, shouldering the stress of make-or-break decisions, and every other responsibility that sits squarely with an entrepreneur can push any sane person past their breaking point.
This is called burnout, and it’s a very a real thing. And yet, it often seems like the expectation in the wider workplace is that burnout is shameful, or wrong: if you experience it, it’s seen as a sign of weakness, or that your business is floundering.
In reality, burnout is a reality that many small business owners will face during their career as entrepreneurs. But that doesn’t mean that burnout should just be accepted. I want to talk about four tips to help regulate lifestyle so that a burnout doesn’t happen.
Learn How to Delegate
One of the single greatest skills that a small business owner can learn to prevent burnout is to delegate—entrepreneurs need to seek strategic help with the aspects of their business that drain them, distract them, and demand too much time.
It’s easy to feel completely responsible for every aspect of a business. And, at the end of the day, you are. But that makes it even more important to delegate, and save your strength for the really important, high-level tasks and decisions.
Even if it’s a sole proprietorship, it’s important to think of strategic alliances that will help take the burden off the entrepreneur. Outsourcing accounting, marketing, and other tasks can go a long way to heading off burnout at the pass.
Share Your Vision
Part of delegating also means being able to trust staff or contractors with the work you send to them. And trust is built through sharing vision. If the people working with you understand the importance of what they’re doing and of the work generally, they will perform at a level that will let you feel comfortable to let them be self-directing.
Sharing your vision frequently will also reconnect you with the reasons you started your business in the first place, reinforcing your own sense of mission and purpose in your work.
Keep Consistent Hours
One of the big reasons burnout occurs is that entrepreneurs don’t feel the need to respect a schedule. With nobody enforcing hours, it’s easy to just let the work envelop you. But doing this risks burnout.
Make a regular schedule, and whenever possible, stick to it religiously. A little overtime here and there won’t hurt, especially when things are just getting off the ground, but too much in the long run will deplete your reserves, and you won’t want to work at all.
Recharge Your Batteries
Entrepreneurs need to take time for self-care. This isn’t a matter of indulgence, it’s a matter of survival. Without it, burnout becomes less of a possibility and more of an inevitability.
Self-care looks different for different people, but a few key elements are common to everybody. Good sleep, quality time with loved ones, diet, and exercise are all universal components. Researching and investing in quality bedding and sleepwear, getting a gym membership, and blocking off time with family can all help create the work-life balance that staves off burnout.
Kenny Kline is a serial entrepreneur. His ventures are primarily focused on media and digital marketing. When not in front of his computer, he can be found beekeeping, knitting, and being as Brooklyn as humanly possible. @ThisBeKenny.