How to Prevent Burnout as an Entrepreneur

You’re an entrepreneur. You’re finally living the dream: running your own business, setting your own hours, and being your own boss. Whether your company is large or small, and whether you employ dozens of people or just yourself, you need to stay at your best, most creative self in order to keep your business running successfully. But how do you stay at the top of your game when your email Inbox is overflowing, your to-do list is a mile long, and you have meetings and appointments booked up over the next few months?

Remember to take care of yourself, emotionally and physically

If you run your own business, sick days can feel like a roadblock. After all, if you call in sick who’s going to deal with your clients for you? Projects and emails just pile up. It can be tempting to keep working, no matter how ill you feel. The same situation can arise when it comes time for your vacation. Again, consecutive days away from work can feel like a luxury you simply can’t afford–so instead of enjoying your vacation with family, you spend your break tethered to your laptop or cell phone. Then, you feel stress for working and guilt for not relaxing!

I recommend that you let your vacation or sick time be just that: a brief break from work and the office, where you allow your mind and body to recharge. Don’t feel the pressure to connect or work while on break. Even if you love your job–and let’s face it, you probably do or you wouldn’t be an entrepreneur–you still need to take some time away from it every once in a while to remember how much you enjoy it. “Absence makes the heart grow fonder: is as true in love as it is in work.

Delegate, delegate, delegate

All leaders need to know how to delegate, but it’s even more important for entrepreneurs to have this skill since they can’t possibly know and do everything. Because you’ve created the business yourself, it can be even more difficult to allow other people to step in and carry out some projects for you. Just remember: delegating is key in order for your business to grow and succeed.

Don’t get too bogged down in the details

When you’re trying to manage a business, it can be easy to get caught up in the day-to-day running and become distanced from the overarching company mission. In order to prevent burnout, you sometimes need to remind yourself of why you fell in love with your business in the first place. Get back to what you do well, whether that’s talking to customers, designing new products, or creating compelling brand stories. If you feel like the other aspects of business life are detracting from your core mission, then hire on additional staff to handle the accounting, secretarial, or HR duties and stick to what you’re best at.

It can also be helpful to regularly look at your company’s mission statement (and if you don’t have one, you should create it ASAP) to recall what you’re working towards. And remember, your business needs you to be at your best in order for it to succeed.