Being an entrepreneur is not a race, although it’s been compared to running a marathon.
There’s always something to be done and it’s easy to get caught up in working more and more hours to try to accomplish that “one last thing.”
This is definitely a recipe for burnout. If you are in business for the long haul, here are a few tips to avoid burning yourself out by trying to do too much, too quickly.
- You set the pace. Entrepreneurs love to compare ourselves to others. We all listen to the stories of those who set a fast pace and make “6-figures in 6 months.” Then after hearing this, we look at our own situation and think “boy, I’d better step it up!” This is not a very wise thing to do. Everyone has their own pace and speed. If you attempt to build your business based upon someone else’s life, then not only will you burn out, but you will be very unhappy during this journey. Set a pace that is right for you and your lifestyle and be consistent with your efforts. Steady steps, at the speed that is right for you will get you to your goals and allow you to enjoy the path along the way.
- Work to your strengths and use your energy at its prime. There are many who suggest that all successful business people get up at the crack of dawn and work through their day so they can be home with the family in the evening. I agree this may be very true for some successful people, but it doesn’t take into account that every person and every situation is different. I believe that trying to get up early, when you are most awake and creative at night, is counter-productive. You should create a schedule and plan your day to make best use of your high energy times. This may mean that you work from 1:00 a.m. until 4:00 a.m. and then sleep until noon. The remainder of your day s scheduled around time blocked for work and family, but prioritize having this post-midnight time to yourself. Some out there are gasping at this unconventional manner of working. I’m all for it, if it is planned so that all your needs are met. One of the privileges of being an entrepreneur is being unique. Work to your strengths and don’t feel guilty!
- Be brutally honest with your workload. This is a big one. Over scheduling and jam packed to-do lists make for a very cranky business person. Let’s be honest, you can’t do it all yourself. Constantly trying to pack it all in without delegating or hiring proper help, is not going to keep you going for very long. You are heaping pressure on yourself. Get real and honest about how long it really takes to do things. Over-estimate the amount of time you allot to complete tasks and allow for interruptions. Seldom do we work fully focused and uninterrupted during a work day. Get Help! There are many tasks that you do not need to perform. Get the idea that you can’t afford to hire help. Here’s the thing, you can affordably hire a Virtual Assistant for as little as $14/hour. Assign tasks that you do not need to be handling, and free up that hour for the tasks that only you can perform. Better yet, fill that hour with a client and you’ll be making money while still getting things accomplished. Seriously, this is what business is about!
Pace yourself and enjoy the journey. Fulfilling work is already in your hands.