Today’s Kallum with a K Blog: If you’ve ever experienced “entrepreneurial burnout”, I hope you got through it quickly and with no lasting damage. And if you’ve not suffered this, I wish you never do.
We can all have “off days” as a business owner - it goes with the territory.
On the whole, you probably enjoy running your own business a lot more than being an employee. However, that doesn't mean you will enjoy every single task and every single second. This is normal and it’s called life!
What I’m talking about here is much worse than a few bad day here and there. When you’ve suffered a burnout, you can feel totally hopeless and helpless. It’s a pretty nasty concoction of negative energy!
It’s a wall you hit that totally knocks the wind out of you. And when you hit, trust me, you know!
You have no motivation or energy to do anything. Everything feels like an impossible task, even getting out of bed. This is not a throw-away phrase, I genuinely mean that you struggle to even leave your bed in the morning.
What’s the point?
I was chatting to one of the business owners who I privately mentor, and he’s starting to struggle with these feelings.
Thankfully, he’s not completely trapped in the negative funk yet, however, he could be heading that way soon. Everything is going wrong in his business and personal life - it’s all gone to shit and there seems to be no escape!
If you’re feeling this way, of have done in the past, there are some things you can do to nip it in the bud, and ensure you don’t spiral further into this burnout. I spoke about this before in a previous blog.
I’m not medically trained, so I don’t know if this is a form of depression, however, I do know that can be a very dark place - one that is difficult to escape from. I’ve experienced this feeling at least three times through running my own businesses since 2011, and I wouldn’t wish it on any one. Here's what worked for me.
The key is to be super self-aware and constantly checking in with yourself - how do I really feel?
If you have too many bad days in a row, you know it could be the start of your descent into burnout.
Don’t let it take control of you. Learn to spot signs that something is not right.
What triggers you?
Do you completely stop responding to your emails? Do you cancel on social events (often last minute!)? Do you stop your hobbies, like playing your favourite instrument?
Do you generally ask, “what's the point?” about everything.
These can seem like normal things on the surface, however, if you digger deeper and experience them for too long, it can spiral downward fast.
Sometimes you can’t spot these triggers - or sometimes you do but you’re in denial.
The quicker you recognise and accept where your mindset is at,
the quicker you can begin to shift it and get back on track.
What things do you enjoy doing outside of work? Do more of them.
When did you last take some time off? I mean completely off - not sitting at home on the couch reading emails, but not replying to them!
Go out in nature. Spend time with friends and family. Exercise. Draw, play instruments, paint. Eat better. Read. Drink more water. Try meditating (seriously it works for me, although at first I was very sceptical!). Ensure you get enough sleep.
I know it can seem easy reading these nice ideas in this blog. However, believe me, I know these sort of actions can help you get back to being you again!
If you’re healthy, than there’s more chance your business will be healthy.
You’ll make better decisions, have more positive breakthroughs and be in a better mindset to handle the challenges of running a business.
The opposite is also true - and if you don’t look after yourself, you can’t look after your business!
Kallum with a K
P.S. This is Mental Health Awareness Week here in the UK and sadly this is still something of a “taboo” subject, especially when you have your own business.
If you need help, please reach out to someone - don't suffer in silence and think that you're the "only one".