My tough love approach (heavy on the love) focuses on bringing order to chaos, and creating solid (and straightforward) strategic plans. I take surveys for fun, never met a process I didn’t like, and am a big believer in personal growth as a keystone to business growth.
Being busy feels good. Hitting send on those newsletter emails, getting on discovery calls, and that sense of accomplishment when you complete a mind-blowing client project? Who needs to exercise for endorphins when you run a business?
Well, you might, once your happy clients start tagging you in their Insta stories and your waitlist gets longer.
April is Stress Awareness Month and 61% of people cite work as a source of stress, according to the American Psychological Association. Even if you love your work, you can still be adversely affected by the stress of running your own business.
The conditions that create burnout are normalized in business and hustle culture, so it could be difficult to see the warning signs until you’re already avoiding work, losing sleep, or apologizing for losing your cool with a customer service rep.
Some signs of burnout to look out for:
Feeling physically and emotionally depleted. Physical symptoms could include headaches, stomachaches, and appetite or sleeping changes.
People with burnout tend to feel overwhelmed. As a result, they may stop socializing and confiding in friends, family members, and co-workers.
Overwhelmed by the never-ending demands of business, people with burnout may fantasize about running away or going on a solo-vacation. In extreme cases, they may turn to drugs, alcohol, or food to numb their emotional pain.
Burnout can cause people to lose their cool with friends, co-workers, and family members more easily. Coping with normal stressors like preparing for a work meeting, driving kids to school, and household tasks also may start to feel overwhelming, especially if things don’t go as planned.
Like other long-term stress, burnout can lower your immune system, making you more susceptible to colds, the flu, and insomnia. (Especially important during a global pandemic.) Burnout can also lead to mental health concerns like depression and anxiety.
Ways to Prevent Burnout as a Soul-Centered Business Owner
Just as your body recovers from illness with adequate rest, exercise, and nutrition, build in some “self-care” for your business.
Set and communicate clear boundaries with your clients. This includes hours of operation, modes of communication, and the scope of your work together.
Your needs and preferences can be the guideposts here. If you’re working part-time on your business in order to take care of your family, honor that. It’s not necessary to try to please everyone.
And, if you want to be more available to your clients than your current schedule allows, consider hiring a General Admin Virtual Assistant to help with customer service during your off-hours.
To learn how to hire and train your next epic VA for a lasting, successful relationship, check out How To Hire And Train Your First Virtual Assistant.
A body in motion stays in motion! Client work? Education? Networking? Email Tagging?
A body in motion stays in motion! The same is true for your business. Client work brings in the big bucks, but don’t forget to maintain your business’s mobility with a good mix of business-building activities. Consider blocking some time in your calendar and budgeting for:
Education and training – whether it’s an online course you’ve purchased or a saved Facebook Q&A, dedicate some time to stay current with your industry.
Networking – Online masterminds, Facebook groups, and even scrolling Instagram count just as much as in-person networking events! Just make sure you’re spending a few minutes dedicated to commenting in relevant threads and finding people to follow who you can help.
Marketing – Don’t let your potential clients forget how you can help them. Emailing to your list regularly is my favourite way to get to know your audience and keep your calendar booked. It’s even more effective when you send the right emails to the right people at the right time. Check out The AOT Targeted Tagging System to simplify marketing to your email list.
The life force of any business is clients. Make sure you’re feeding your business with a steady diet of the right clients by occasionally inspecting your lead generation and your offers. Your annual planning meeting is a perfect opportunity to do this.
Include your team in your planning meetings to gain insightful depth and dimension into your business. As the people on the ground in your business, they know your audience and what they’re asking for. They also know YOU and can help connect your day-to-day idiosyncrasies to your big picture vision.
Learn more about the foundations of a sustainable, scalable business (even if you don’t have a team) inside The Scale Society, my 6-month small group experience for soul-centered entrepreneurs. Get notified when it reopens.
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