WATCH THIS EPISODE:As entrepreneurs, we like to think we can handle it all.
We put our business on our back, carrying it across every threshold ourselves.
We also believe that every problem should have a clear solution that’s solved by, you guessed it — us.
While this take the world on attitude is part of the mindset of many entrepreneurs, it’s a double-edged sword.
When we become the conqueror of all things in all areas of our life, it’s easy to see how we can become overworked, overstressed, and overwhelmed.
It’s what most people would call burnout.
On the latest episode of The Art of Making Things Happen with Steve Sims, we spoke about the warning signs of entrepreneurial burnout and how to overcome them.
We spoke with Dr. Sharon Grossman, an author, speaker, and entrepreneur who helps entrepreneurs deal with the challenge of burnout.
Warning Signs of Burnout
The problem with burnout is that many people don’t recognize it until it’s too late!
So Dr. Sharon Grossman provided some telltale signs that can warn you that you’re experiencing entrepreneurial burnout:
Exhaustion may be the model picture of someone who is burned out.
However, Dr. Grossman quickly points out that burnout exhaustion is different from other forms of tiredness.
It’s not like being tired after running a marathon.
Burnout exhaustion is mental exhaustion.
So if you’re typically the type of person who has tons of energy and always has their hands in everything, all the sudden, you may start to notice
- You can’t keep up like you used to
- Your overall productivity is going down
- It’s harder to focus and concentrate your efforts
You may even wonder if something is wrong with you or have doubts about your abilities.
This is usually the very first red flag.
You Become More Cynical.
Have you ever been trained at a new job by someone who appears overly critical, cynical, or miserable — they may be experiencing burnout.
We’ve all seen them. The type of worker who has a snide comment about everything going wrong in a company.
While we may regard these people as overly cynical, negative, or bad workers, there may be a deeper meaning.
They may just be burned out.
You may hear them say things like:
- This is bullshit!
- Who are these people?
- What am I even doing here?
This mindset can lead to other problems, such as arguments with coworkers or problems with your boss.
On the entrepreneurial side, you may have less patience for your suppliers or wonder what’s taking so long.
The overall feeling is that of frustration and lack of control.
Your Productivity Decreases
Of course, it’s only natural that your productivity will begin to wane when you feel mentally drained, can’t focus, and have a negative attitude.
However, you may be starting to see things coming more into focus at this step. Your brain is waking up to react to your current situation.
It can lead to feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt, and thoughts of quitting your dream to be an entrepreneur.
At this point, it’s important to stop and reassess your reality.
If not, you can become wrapped into a vicious cycle that repeats.
How to Overcome or Protect Yourself From Burnout
Dr. Grossman is a big proponent of emotional intelligence and self-awareness.
She explains that the easiest way to remove yourself from entrepreneurial burnout is to reframe your questions.
Often, when you’re burned out, you’re saying things like:
- This shouldn’t be this hard!
- Why can’t I get these people to do what I need them to do?
It’s hard to see the solution when coming from a place of frustration, which takes emotional intelligence and self-awareness.
So what’s the solution?
Dr. Grossman says it’s best to pause and reflect on your strengths, weaknesses, and triggers.
- What’s causing your frustration, stress, and anxiety?
- How could you take a step back from things causing this?
- Could someone help take those things off your plate for you?
This reframing changes your thinking from focusing on the problem to focusing on the solution.
Not Sure If You Have Burnout? Need Guidance?
Dr. Grossman has a free Burnout Meter self-assessment quiz if you need guidance.
It’s a great way to assess where you are and if you need guidance to overcome your entrepreneurial burnout.
Want to learn more about your personality to help you effectively engage with others, check out Dr. Grossman’s Codebreaker Personality Test.