If you’re bootstrapping your business, you might be familiar with the concept of entrepreneur burnout. Entrepreneurship is a rewarding, but also a challenging career path. As a founder, you’re faced with many challenges, including finding funding for your business. Also, every day might be filled with uncertainty, risk, and sacrifice.
But if you want to achieve success as an entrepreneur, you need to be able to weather the ups and downs of business ownership for the long haul. And learn how to deal with stress and adversity without burning out. This means understanding yourself better than ever before and taking care of yourself like never before.
What Causes Burnout in Bootstrappers?
The main causes of burnout among entrepreneurs include social isolation, limited safety nets, and high levels of uncertainty. An extreme passion for one’s work can also lead to more stress and thus burnout.
Limited safety nets can lead to entrepreneur burnout. As when things go wrong in your business, you might have no one to turn to for support. The lack of support can therefore leave you feeling stressed and overwhelmed. This can lead to burnout symptoms such as exhaustion, depression, and irritability.
High levels of uncertainty also have a negative impact on a person’s mental health. Especially when there’s no clear path to success or failure after the launch of a new company or product.
Also, when you work alone on your business all day, it’s easy to feel like you’re on an island with no human contact. Many entrepreneurs try to overcome this social isolation by working longer hours or hiring new employees.
However, a good solution is to find a co-founder or partner to share some of the workloads with you. That way, neither of you has to carry the full load alone for too long.
Entrepreneur Burnout Statistics
There aren’t many statistics on the occurrence of entrepreneur burnout. That’s why Eva de Mol, Jeff Pollack, and Violet T. Ho conducted a study to understand what factors lead to burnout among entrepreneurs.
Of the 326 entrepreneurs surveyed, 25% felt moderately burned out, while 3% felt severely burned out. However, they found that those who reported high levels of obsessive passion were most likely to experience burnout than those who reported harmonious passion.
Avoid Entrepreneur Burnout Before It Costs Your Business
It’s not uncommon for entrepreneurs to become so engrossed in their work that they forget to take care of themselves. This can lead to burnout – and if left unchecked, it could cause the business to fail.
#1: Set Boundaries
It’s important for entrepreneurs to set boundaries for themselves and their employees. If you’re working 24/7, you’re probably not taking care of your health or family. This means it will be impossible for you to make good decisions about your business.
#2: Find Other Interests
It’s essential that you find hobbies outside of work that help you stay motivated and engaged while relieving stress.
#3: Work By Goals
As an entrepreneur, it’s important that you focus on what matters most: growth and success. Stay focused on these goals rather than getting caught up in the daily grind of running a company. To do so, you could set realistic goals with measurable outcomes. Such as increasing sales by 20% or hiring three new employees within six months time frame.
#4: Choose A Strategy
In his book Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, Cal Newport mentions some philosophies that can be applied when choosing a work strategy. Among them are:
1️⃣ Rhythmic philosophy: it consists of acquiring a regular work rhythm, blocking off chunks of between 1 and 4 hours a day, always on the same schedule. The key to making this strategy work is consistency.
2️⃣ Journalistic philosophy: this method consists of seeing, day by day, which time slot is more convenient to dedicate to deep work.
3️⃣ Bimodal philosophy: this technique consists of dividing the week into full days dedicated to deep work. For example, a good idea is to have one day a week without meetings, dedicating all that time to deeper tasks. This will avoid any kind of interruption.
#5: Create Work Rituals
To maintain productivity and efficiency, it’s essential to be motivated. Many times, work rituals can help. When planning the ritual, you can consider the environment in which you will work and how much time you’ll spend on each task. Also, how you will concentrate, and what things you’ll need to accomplish each task.
#6: Prioritize the Most Important Work & Organize Your Day
At the beginning of each week, it’s good to organize your day according to the goals you want to achieve. This includes asking yourself what tasks you need to do to achieve those goals. Therefore, it’s important that the goals are measurable and realistic. In this sense, it’s important to stick to the schedule so that at the end of the day you have fulfilled the proposal.
#7: Minimize Distractions
Remove notifications from mobile, close browser tabs, and avoid checking email. These are some of the things you can do to minimize distractions when you are busy with intense work.
#8: Implement Micropauses
When introducing deep work slots (between 60 and 90 minutes), you can also include small breaks between each slot. Each “micro-break” can last between 15 and 20 minutes. During this time, you can grab a coffee, get some fresh air, or answer pending messages.
#9: Spend Time With Your Loved Ones
In a world full of stressful situations involved in everyday work, we need safe places to take care of ourselves. That’s why it’s essential to spend quality time with your loved ones and prioritize cultivating your bonds, even if it’s just a few hours per week.
#10: Join Accountability Groups or Communities
Despite all these techniques, it’s normal to feel demotivated from time to time. That’s when accountability groups come into play. Accountability groups are digital communities that help professionals motivate themselves. Within this group, people often choose a partner whose role could be compared to that of a sports coach.
Join the conversation
Overcoming Entrepreneur Burnout With the Power of Community
If you’re going through a challenging time, support is essential. That’s when community comes into play to boost your willpower, energy and serotonin levels, helping you overcome entrepreneur burnout.
So if you’re looking to balance productivity with a healthy lifestyle, these founder and entrepreneur communities can help in the process:
There are communities that organize events to motivate encounters between entrepreneurs and fellow cofounders and advisors. An example of this is FoundersBeta. This type of space is good to create connections.
El Club de Emprendedoras is a Spanish-speaking online community for people who identify as women and want to learn how to build, launch, and scale their startups. This community was founded in 2019, and it already has more than 9,000 members.
This community’s mission is to help founders build a sustainable career following healthier habits. The group’s members meet in events, forums, and workshops to focus on goals without losing their minds in the process!
It’s a community of curious minds seeking to improve productivity without sacrificing mental health. As a member, you can learn along with other knowledge workers, entrepreneurs, content creators, researchers, indie makers, designers, and writers.