As a business owner or entrepreneur you find yourself working exceptionally hard for long periods of time because you love what you do. You feel you’re out there making a difference to the world and making your dreams come true. But keep in mind the famous saying that, “The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long.” This is especially true for business owners and entrepreneurs alike.
There are many signs that you are on the road to burnout and these can be very easily categorised into three tell-tale signs:
- Neglecting your health and always feeling that you’re not running at your optimal pace.
- Getting less than six hours sleep per night.
- Saying yes to every opportunity knowing that you can complete the work later (usually that night) if needed.
If you’re actually wanting all of your dreams and goals to be realised, then you’re going to need more than the next five years to achieve them. Often, business owners neglect their health, eat poorly and stop exercising. It’s not a coincidence that many of the big business entrepreneurs are quite large in size, not just nature.
Stress and anxiety are some of the big things that also weigh heavily on your health. Even the simplest of strategies such as getting some fresh air, going for a short walk or having a smaller proportion at lunch are very simple tips that can make a big difference to your long term health.
Sleep is one of the most important tools in an entrepreneur or business owner’s tool box. Although in an ideal world we’re all recommended to get at least 8 hours sleep, the reality is, surviving on 6 or 7 hours is the bare minimum. Sleep gives you the ability to shut down, let your body reset and often allows greater clarity upon waking up. Too many business owners burn the midnight candle trying to knuckle through a challenge they are facing when in fact it would be best for them to go to bed and get up early the next morning with a clear thought process and greater efficiency.
And finally, being the chronically known “yes” man or woman is a very dangerous strategy to undertake. Often, in our infant years of business we are happy to accept all opportunities that present to us on the mentality that although you don’t have time to complete it today, you can complete it later. Which for most entrepreneurs, means, late that night. This is a very dangerous precedent to enable yourself to set.
As a business owner and entrepreneur you should let go of the idea that working long hours is a sign of greatness.
In actual fact, the ability to work smarter, not harder or longer is actually the key to success. As a long-term mentor of mine always says, “There’s no use being the richest man in the graveyard.”
These three clues above are some things all business owners and entrepreneurs should look out for as warning signs to long-term burnout. Keep these three avenues in clear view at all times and you’ll be much better placed to realise all of your goals and dreams in life.