Many small business owners suffer from this syndrome. The World Health Organization has recognized workplace stress and burnout for years in it’s disease handbook, the ICD-10. But it’s most recent update set to go into effect January 2022 will upgrade work burnout from a state of exhaustion to a full blown syndrome.
According to WHO, “Burn-out is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions: 1) feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; 2) increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and 3) reduced professional efficacy. Burn-out refers specifically to phenomena in the occupational context and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life.”
I see it every single day in business coaching. New clients will come to us with a great business idea and a loyal customer following, yet they struggle to get through the day. They are in a constant state of exhaustion and have trouble focusing or working on the tasks that produce value for their businesses. They feel alone and isolated and anxious.
They need help.
Over the past twenty five years, I have helped thousands of business owners on the verge or in the midst of a burnout. And it’s important to note that individuals that experience burnout have a tendency to relapse if the circumstances surrounding their burnout are not addressed. Which is why I suggest the following:
- Develop Systems and Controls
The leading cause of burnout has to to with you working too many hours and trying to control all aspects of the business. Which is why developing a good series of systems and controls will not only help you grow faster but take some of the pressure of you. (Hence less chance of burnout.)
The best controls make the default behavior the right behavior. And they empower your team to get better results with less effort by giving them immediate feedback and a more defined playing field.
Controls are not about you being a traffic cop hiding in the bushes to leap out and give an unwary team member a speeding ticket, rather, you want your controls to be more like a speedometer or cruise control system that helps individual team members autonomously do better work. Your controls, which are really just a specialized subset of your business systems, help your team members do better work.
- Join a Mastermind Group
Being a business owner can be lonely. You have put in the work and grown a business that is “successful” by most measures, and now you find yourself in a rut. How long can you last in a relationship that doesn’t stimulate you mentally? Finding a good peer group is critical to keeping burnout at bay. Join a mastermind group that challenges you, that helps you find the passion and pushes you further than you thought possible. A good mastermind session will have you beaming from ear to ear again and remembering all the reasons you made the leap into business ownership.
These two things will dramatically decrease your chances of developing burnout syndrome and allow you to regain your personal life all while growing your business.
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