Business is tricky. Sacrifices like time, money, energy, and security make sense for success in the long run. But how much sacrifice is too much? How can you tell when your business is hurting its most important asset: you?
Hi, I’m Emma, a traitor to my trade—a health and wellness freelance writer who let her business burn out her health. Yep, I know. It’s the ultimate paradox. And while at first, I was horrified to share this mistake, it’s time to spread the awareness. Here are some signs of burnout I wish I had paid more attention to:
Anxiety Out the Wazooh
Business anxiety: What if I totally fluff up my business and end up a “BIGGEST FAILURE OF ALL TIME” Google headline? To an extent, we all probably carry a bit of business anxiety, but mine got out of control when the worries checked out productive focus. I couldn’t even complete a half days’ worth of work!
To kick the pickle, I had to give myself permission to fail.
Those unrealistic, “perfect” expectations aren’t setting us up for success. They’re demonizing failure and corrupting self-love, both of which we need to succeed.
Instead, allow yourself to bite the dust. And when you do fail, use self-love as a lifeline to get back up smarter and stronger than before.
Waking Up Thinking About To-Do’s
I’m sure everyone has done this, especially at the beginning of your career when getting organized feels like trying to accomplish world peace. Impossible!
But waking up once or more a week soaked in to-do lists? The stress had worked its way into my only source of escape.
So, I set some boundaries.
- No checking email in bed
- No writing an hour before bedtime
- No working for an hour after I wake up
These tiny alterations made a huge difference in creating a mental wall between my life and my business, and hopefully, they can for you too!
Always Tired– Like Really, Really Tired
I wasn’t just physically exhausted; I was emotionally and mentally tapped out. The kind of tired that made me snap at my boyfriend for speaking or get annoyed at a clanking spoon from sensory overload.
Entrepreneurship is a huge responsibility, and we spend so much time showing up for our business that sometimes we neglect to show up for ourselves. This often results in some pretty serious fatigue, and to mend the mess, we have to rest.
If you can afford a week off, do it. But if you’re like me and aren’t comfortable with that yet, plan breaks throughout the day, at least one day off a week, and lower your overall work hours.
What’s that saying? You can’t pour from an empty cup. The more you take care of yourself, the more you can take care of your business.
What Are Your Signs?
At some point, every business owner comes to this realization: my business is hurting me. And most of the time, we brush this realization aside, because my business needs me.
But, I’m here to ask you this: At what point is your business worth more than yourself?
In the end, running a business should be a fun, uplifting, and fulfilling experience that shouldn’t come at the cost of your health. We’re not here to sacrifice our future. We’re here to create it.
So, take care of yourself and enjoy it. You got this!