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Even the most motivated entrepreneurs can be completely drained by following the “hustle hard” culture.
I have had a long career that rose through the ranks in the corporate tech world, reaching executive positions where I worked alongside executives of large international organizations. At the same time, I was trying to create my own side activity in my free time. I spent my days working normally, but my evenings were spent studying everything I could find on how to start my own business. Enjoying free time on weekends has become a thing of the past.
I started out designing freelance websites to help other small business owners build websites. The extra money and sense of entrepreneurship was nice, but the hours piling up between my business job and my new sideline grew and continued to wreak havoc.
I didn’t realize the signs until it was too late. This ultimately led to complete exhaustion, limited to lack of sleep, loss of interest, energy, and even hunger.
Related: How to Spot Burnout (Before It’s Too Late)
After years of non-recommended self-medication, I discovered the world of personal development and mentoring. After investing more than six figures in me financially, mentally and physically; my recovery has been simply unstoppable. I came out to the other side with a new sense of purpose and a mission to help others, which led me to separate myself from the corporate world completely, refocus and start my own business from advice.
My mission is to help so many entrepreneurs have the life they always wanted without being overwhelmed by burnout. I want them all to be set up with healthy routines and use technology to their advantage so their brains can stay in great shape!
If your business is a startup, or if you’re an independent consultant with a handful of clients, there’s a good chance you’ll burn midnight oil by drinking caffeinated drinks to stay alert and functional. Going from customer to customer might seem like a great way to market your product or service, but it’s actually a recipe for burnout, especially when trying to grow.
Here are three ways to avoid burnout:
1. Document your processes to create standard operating procedures (SOPs)
SOPs are important for the proper functioning of the business. This is a process where you create step-by-step documentation for tasks so that anyone can complete them. As your small business grows, so will your SOP needs. SOPs help new hires become familiar with the way things are done in your business. With documented processes in place, you won’t have to think of everything when you start work or when you need to delegate a task, leaving more time for the important things. Use knowledge management software like GetGuru to easily keep all your SOPs organized in one place for everyone to access.
2. Delegate more to free up your time
Never stop growing and always look for ways to improve your business. There is nothing wrong with giving up certain tasks that can drain your energy or prevent you from achieving other goals that need your attention. Be clear on what you want to accomplish by documenting your manual processes. Find people who can help you do that, either by hiring someone full-time or finding reliable part-time support on platforms like Upwork and Fiverr.
Related: How Entrepreneurs Can Prevent Burnout In Their Teams
3. Use automation to scale
Finally, take advantage of technology and applications to automate your business processes so that they run smoothly without requiring a lot of effort and time from you and your team. There are times when doing things manually will make you feel like a slave to your own business. Use technology to automate all of your repetitive tasks so you can focus on creating value for future customers. There are plenty of tools to choose from (Zapier, Trello, Dropbox, Slack, and Asana) that will help you make sure everything runs smoothly. Many of these technologies offer free trials so that you can test them out before committing to a purchase.
As entrepreneurs, we shouldn’t want to “push harder”. We should organize and automate the agitation. The fuss should be about getting better results in less time, delegating effectively, and using tools instead of working overtime all the time.
With these three suggestions, you should be in place to avoid the dreaded entrepreneurial burnout. Remember to make time for yourself and get enough sleep to stay energized and focused when it’s time to work hard on your business goals.