You must be able to balance both on the balance beam safely if you want to be successful in your life and company. I launched an internet business two years ago. Both excited and terrified, the idea of strangers paying me to put my recommendations into action was far from what my five years of academic education had taught me.
But the thrill was short-lived. I started a new life as a graduate student in an accelerated nursing school while I was launching my internet business. Writing blog entries, social media advertising, interviewing guests, studying for classes, going on clinical rotations, working my practically full-time job, and creating an internet business were now all part of my daily routine.
I was diagnosed with critically low vitamin D levels for the first time in my life. My memory degraded because I couldn’t keep up with the demands of school, operating a blog, and producing a course. Finally, I gave up. It took me two years to achieve my mental-physical equilibrium and return to the game.
Here are five things I’ve learned regarding the burnout recovery process:
1. Figure out where your motivation is coming from
With the rising number of online entrepreneurs abandoning their businesses, shifting to new company concepts, or just being burned out, it’s more critical than ever to address your WHY.
Making money is great, but consider why you’re doing it in the first place. Are you in business to cash in on the latest marketing fad, or are you trying to create an audience organically? Are you only focused on traffic and conversion strategies rather than selling with integrity?
This may seem insignificant, but your WHY is the only thing that will keep you from shutting down your business on days when you don’t feel like it. When you’re trapped in indecision, your intentions of establishing your business will always find a way to become relevant. Checking in with your aim will give you a boost in clarity if you feel like you’ve lost your voice among a sea of entrepreneurs who operate in similar sectors as you.
2. Don’t be overly enthusiastic about your passion
Know your body and mind better than anybody else before jumping on the next hot challenge to make a video or audio series. During my burnout time, I sat in front of my laptop for 12 straight hours at one point.
There were social media posts to schedule, lead generation platforms to automate, CSS and HTML to master, and a plethora of webinars to wade through. Your passion, if anything, is in desperate need of serenity right now. Remove all of the checklists from your desktop to make room for serenity.
3. Change your business model to one that works for you
Prior to that, I listened to several coaches and online gurus who wanted you to do things their way, with their identical plans and language. I’ve got some excellent news for you if this makes you shudder or want to claw your way to freedom.
It’s fine to only do work that you enjoy. It’s quite OK to be brave enough to put a halt to a product that appears to be a cash cow but binds you to an unsustainable lifestyle. If creating monthly content for a membership site causes you distress every month, you should reconsider why you think you need it. For the sake of money, you should never put your health or relationships on hold.
4. Instead of to-do lists, develop little lasting routines
For a long time, I despised to-do lists and found procrastination to be far more exciting. These lists seemed to never end for me, and they were always a symptom of busyness and a lack of freedom. So I ditched all my lists and did exactly what every marketing guru advised.
This may appear to be a questionable method of productivity, but it soon paid off. Rather than keeping track of long to-do lists and deadlines, I focused on small, manageable adjustments that I could track.
For example, waking up an hour earlier than usual let me understand that when there is less noise around me, my ideas flow better. I wasn’t aware of this before, but it’s now something I’m conscious of when I need to schedule time for content development.
So, ask yourself, “Would I be able to accomplish this activity without interruption for the next 21 days?” Commit to small, manageable steps to develop the habit of valuing your time and energy. As a result, you’ll know where your margin is and how to creatively and productively improve it.
5. Look for a community that supports and encourages entrepreneurship
The realities of what it takes to be an entrepreneur can be daunting if you’re currently navigating the space between being an employee, a hustler, and a full-time business owner. There will be days when you doubt your calling and consider quitting because you aren’t making sales. Perhaps your most recent promotion was a flop despite all of your meticulous planning and investment in a strategy coach.
In times like these, belonging to a group that understands the delicate dynamics of entrepreneurship has been reassuring. Sharing and selling your work can be intimidating, taxing, and make you want to hide under your covers. However, as an entrepreneur, you can’t do it all by yourself. You need a community of like-minded people who will rally around you and urge you to take the next step, just as you would feel obligated to share your victories and accomplishments.
It took me over two years to recover from my burnout, but I now have the strategies I need to succeed as a creative entrepreneur.