How Business Owners Can Stay Passionate and Avoid Burnout
Any business owner will tell you, it takes courage to go out on your own. Leaving behind a comfortable 9 to 5 to turn a dream into a full-time job takes a measure of doing. When you consider the long hours, the stress, the people management, and the never-ending list of responsibilities, there’s only one thing that keeps small business owners going when times start to get tough: passion.
But what happens when that passion starts to wane and your motivation begins to suffer?
You may think it won’t happen to you, but there are many reasons why passion fades as a business grows.
Fortunately, there are also ways to avoid it. Here are a few things to look out for as you seek to stay motivated through the challenges of running a small business, as well as tips on how smart financing can help you maintain the passion you need to succeed:
Success doesn’t happen overnight, and small business owners know that. But reaching for success day in and day out can often lead to burnout. It might not be obvious when burnout rears its ugly head; some common signs include:
Anxiety and panic attacks
It’s not uncommon for hardworking small business owners to feel a burnout approaching. A 2016 study from Business Networking International found that one in four entrepreneurs say they feel moderately burned out. When burnout starts to happen, there are a few ways small business owners can pump some gas back into the tank:
Delegate to lessen the workload
Take a vacation
Disconnect from digital life, including work e-mail, for a few days
Designate at least one day off every week and stick to it
Burnout isn’t something to take lightly—understand the signs of burnout and have a few tools for managing it so you can come back refreshed and energized.
Fear of competition
It’s pretty normal as a small business owner to fear a competitor might put you out of business. But that fear can be crippling. By fearing your competitors and putting your focus on them, you are giving them a great deal of power. Instead, focus your time and energy on making your customers happy and improving your own business.
It’s not a bad idea to keep up with what your competition is doing, but it’s more important to reflect on your own business. Take some time to ask yourself these questions:
What is your business good at?
What is your business bad at?
What’s your long-term plan?
Who is your competition?
How are you going to make adjustments to improve?
Instead of fearing the competition or being complacent about it, think of all the ways you can be better and subsequently, outperform the competition.
Getting stuck is part of life. We all hit roadblocks, fall into exhaustion, and have difficult challenges to navigate. In business, learning how to get unstuck is critical. If you’re feeling stuck, try taking a break, free from guilt. You’ll come back more relaxed and productive.
Another effective way of getting out of an uninspired rut is to talk to someone. It’s much easier to approach a problem with support from people in your network. Talk to an employee, a business partner or even a business coach to get the ideas flowing again and restore your excitement and motivation.
Every business has to handle peaks and valleys in revenue, and these large swings can make it difficult to manage your cash flow. The reality is most small businesses fail within five years, in large part because they don’t have the capital to keep the doors open. When it comes to using smart financing to solve this big problem, the secret lies in being proactive about accessing capital.
Business credit cards, lines of credit, short term loans and cash advances are all ways to be proactive about money problems. When you have access to funds you can build a safety net for cash flow emergencies as well as better support innovation and prevent missed opportunities for your business to grow.
Having sufficient funds to innovate and grow helps you maintain the entrepreneurial passion that drove you to start your business in the first place. To get ahead of this, make sure you understand the pros and cons of each type of financing as well as your return on investment before deciding which one is right for you and your business.
Check back next month for part 4 of this series, How Smart Financing Can Solve Big Problems for Small Businesses, where we’ll talk about innovative ways to attract new customers and how to retain them.
Want to catch up on the previous article in the series? Read on for Helpful Strategies to Manage Your Next Cash Flow Crunch.
No matter the size, the time in business, or the industry, every small business faces a myriad of challenges daily. Access to capital is arguably the biggest roadblock to every business owner’s ability to address these pains and problems. This 5-part series pinpoints some of the most common bumps in the road for small business owners as well as smart, effective solutions for navigating these challenges. Learn how to deal with hiring frustrations, cash flow woes, business owner burnout, customer retention issues, and time management struggles, as well as how to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to accessing the funds you’ll need to face these issues head on.