The entrepreneur’s road to burnout

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Welcome to the latest episode of The Simply Smart Business Show. In this show I’ll be talking about the single biggest cause of business failure – burnout (and the strategies I use to avoid it).

Listen to this episode here:

This episode follows on nicely from last week’s show on marketing overwhelm, so if you haven’t already, listen to it here.

Burnout really is one of the biggest causes of business failure, and it’s something we will all suffer from at some point.

I know just how important it is to factor self-care into my day-to-day business – it’s essential. But I do let it slide from time to time. In fact, I’ve been down for the count for the past few weeks, first with a chest infection, and then with a nasty bout of flu.

And I know that was because I hadn’t been taking care of myself. I know my body, and I know my mind, and I know how important it is for me to invest in downtime from my business. But instead I took on too many projects, agreed to too many things, and ended up in a mini state of burnout.

This isn’t new, it’s happened before. When you’re running your own business it’s so easy to over-commit. We end up being slaves to ourselves.

There are series of strategies I’ve implemented in my business to ensure this doesn’t happen again:

90 day planning

I like to be super clear on my goals, and I like to work in 90 day chunks. This give me the time I need to get really clear on all the activities I need to complete in order to achieve those goals.

If you have total clarity on your goals, and you only agree to do things that align with those goals, it becomes much easier to avoid shiny object syndrome. Other lovely opportunities may come up, but if they don’t fall in line with your vision, they’re not for you. There aren’t enough hours in the day to do it all.

Social media wariness

Be wary of (or avoid completely) comparing yourself to what your peers are doing on social media.

Just because they’re doing something, it doesn’t mean you have to. You have your own goals, and your own objectives. Also, you don’t know what results they’re getting.

Stay in your own lane and focus on your own stuff.

Book your business time

Book work time into your diary. This is a tip I learnt from The 12 Week Year. And it’s about more than writing out a to do list – it’s about physically putting those tasks into your calendar so you know how much time you have. This is a great way to avoid over-committing yourself.

I’d also recommend being really strict about your working hours. Pick a start time and finish time, and stick to those. Honour your break times too.

Step away

It’s important to step away and have non-work time. Be really strict with those working hours – don’t let business creep into your evenings. You’ll thank yourself for it.

Downtime lets your brain calm down from the stresses of running a business.

Prioritise some sort of mindset work, whatever that means for you. I have a really lovely morning routine that truly fills me with joy. It takes no more than 20 minutes, but it impacts my day in a big way.

I take my son to nursery and spend some time with him. I have breakfast., then I grab my journal and write a gratitude list. It’s so easy to miss the good stuff when you’re always moving. After that, I write my forgiveness list – more often than not it’s myself I need to forgive. This helps free me from any niggling negativity that might creep into my head later in the day. Next, I move onto EFT, or tapping, which works on clearing energy blocks in your body, before a a bit of free journaling (usually written as my future self).

Woo woo, I know, but it works for me.

You might be into meditation, or journaling. You might love vision boards, or want to give yoga a try. Whatever your style, try to make space for that mindset work.

Eat well

Running a business takes so much out of you emotionally, energetically and physically… so it’s important to put good stuff back in. That starts with food.

Be really clear on what food works for you and your body, and cut out what doesn’t. Then add in any extras where you need it – I started taking magnesium supplements, and they’ve really helped me.

Sleep well

Good sleep is what keeps successful entrepreneurs going – and keeps them well away from burnout. The days of business owners bragging about their lack of sleep are over.

Make sleep important to you – that’s your time to rejuvenate.

Create space

Home is super important to me, and so is my office space. I’m lucky enough to have a dedicated office space, with lots of sunlight and natural air. I have a lovely big desk, two screens, and brilliant lighting for when I’m doing video.

Even if you don’t have an office per se, you can create a work space that feels comfortable, and works for you. If you need some candles, or a mister, or some relaxing music in the background, do that.

Make sure you’re supported by a really good chair, if nothing else.


I insist on unplugging at the weekend, and actually, I find it quite easy.

I often find I have some of my best ideas when I’ve completely unplugged and stepped away from my business mindset. Whether I’m at the spa, curled up on the couch, or having dinner with friends.

Just remember that you should be your biggest business investment, so let’s work on beating that burnout back!

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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For those conscious souls ready to step up and serve. Suitable for established or new coaches.

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