5 Signs You are Burning Out (and 10 Strategies to Fix It!)


There’s a fair amount of content available these days on burnout. Far from our future of flying cars that The Jetsons promised us, we’re tapping out email responses while “making a visit” to the one place where most of us have to go at least once a day.

Alas, burnout is not just confined to employees. It’s something that can (and often does) persist in the ownership levels of business. How can you spot these signs of burnout and make the right adjustments? We’ll discuss that in the article below!

1) You’ve got health issues

We can all face the fact that health issues may predate your business ownership journey, but if they have recently appeared, very often there is a link to what is going on at work. This is your body’s way of pushing back on your insistence that you can keep going. Listen to your body.

But additionally:

  • It’s important to manage your diet and have some kind of minimum exercise routine. Your body can’t do everything by itself.
  • Consider taking some time off (as little as a week) to reset and institute some better habits for yourself. Your body and your business will thank you.

2) Your business performance is dropping

We’re not talking about the ebbs and flows of the market and economy. We are talking about the ecosystem of your business. You’re not accomplishing tasks that need to get done and you’re not maintaining or developing the relationships that your business needs to thrive.

You have to get re-centered, and you can do that by:

  • Having a clear set of goals. What does success look like for your business in the short, medium, and long term. Keep in mind that “making more money” is not really an acceptable answer. Be specific, not arbitrary, in setting your goals and you’ll be amazed at how much more attainable they become.
  • Having mentors and/or coaches in your life. We may start a business journey alone, but we’ll never complete it successfully that way. Are you willing to be humble enough to admit you need help, and to seek it out? You’ll be amazed at how insights from others can re-energize and refocus you.

3) You seem to always feel tired

Closely tied to the point above about health issues, proper sleep is a common trait of many top performers. Block out the time you need for a proper night’s rest.

Aid yourself in that way by making sure you are:

  • Delegating enough. Remember that anytime you are performing a task in which you are not the best person in the company at, you are costing your company money. Remove everything from your plate in which you are not the best in the company at performing.
  • Blocking out personal time. Schedule “do not disturb” parts of your day and week in which your mind and body have time to relax. Athletes know that the overworked muscle tears. It’s no different for the “sport” of business.

4) You never feel caught up

We all have to-do lists that will always be added to. That’s not the question. The question is that nagging concern that you’ve forgotten something and that it will lead to a catastrophe in your business. 

Fight this feeling by:

  • Having systems in place. Systems don’t only reduce your to-do list, they also make your business more likely to sell.
  • Say “No” more. People often mistake saying “no” as something negative, but the reality is that we are finite beings with finite amounts of time. Saying “no” means saying “yes” to the other commitments you already have. Failing to appropriately say “no” means multiplying your to-do list beyond your control.

5) You dread work

The whole point of “being your own boss” was to ensure you didn’t hate work, right? So this is an unacceptable place to be. Dreading work can be a prelude to disaster in your business.

So, first:

  • Go back to why you started or bought the business and ask yourself if you are aligned with that. If not, why not?
  • Celebrate victories. We often don’t remind ourselves of those important milestones: getting or keeping a key client, hitting a revenue high, or introducing a new product or service. Celebration is healthy for you and healthy for your team.

Burnout is a danger, but it is not a necessary rite of passage. Indeed you too can be a successful business owner without burning out! Be wary of these warning signs and take the necessary countermeasures and you will be glad you did!