We’ve all heard the term “burnout.” Many people have had this experience. Everyone makes an effort to avoid it. Most people don’t understand or see it coming. Feelings of stress, irritability, indecision, lack of concern for your work, exhaustion, or fatigue can be crippling for anyone in business, but it may be especially so for entrepreneurs.
Burnout is defined as “exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation, usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration.” It begins with disproportionate and prolonged levels of stress. You are unable to complete tasks or projects due to the tension you are experiencing. Tension progresses to apathy, boredom, and poor performance over time.
Sales burnout affects entrepreneurs who are doing their own selling, as well as those who manage salespeople, not to mention the salespeople they manage. The brand new start-up entrepreneur, worn out from doing a hundred other things, is more likely to succumb to sales burnout because his sales hat is only one of many he wears. And he knows that this critical period is when he really must dig in burnout and succumb to one of the worst pitfalls you can imagine. If your salespeople share your sense of urgency too intensely, they can share your burnout too! That’s why it is so important to learn to recognize and avoid sales burnout.
Sales burnout affects both entrepreneurs who do their own selling and those who manage salespeople, as well as the salespeople they manage. Because his sales hat is only one of many that he wears, the brand new start-up entrepreneur who is exhausted from doing a hundred other things is more likely to succumb to sales burnout. And he knows that during this critical period, he must dig in burnout and succumb to one of the worst pitfalls imaginable. When your salespeople share your sense of urgency too strongly, they may also share your burnout! That is why it is critical to understand and avoid sales burnout.
Identifying the causes and indicators of burnout and taking action to combat it could save your company and your life. Dealing with it can help you keep your sanity, keep the peace at home, and become a more productive entrepreneur.
Burnout does not usually happen all at once; rather, it has a slow, snowballing effect, despite minor warning signs along the way. If left untreated, it can progress to more severe symptoms, such as nausea at the thought of going to work every day.
There are, however, some things you can do to delay or prevent burnout from infiltrating your work life and the lives of your coworkers. Here are a few simple ideas. Use them on yourself if necessary, or coach your coworkers if you are concerned that they are on the verge of burnout.
When the clock indicates that the official workday has ended (regardless of whether your projects or all of your daily to-do items have been completed), go home. You may not be able to do this every day, but doing so once or twice a week will make a significant difference.
Most of us are practically incapable of turning off our smartphones during the day, and many of us struggle to do so even after we get home for the evening. Set a timer to turn off phones, laptops, and tablets, even if only for fun. It will restore nourishing personal time spent with family, friends, a good book, or a favorite television show.
When quotas, vendors, and deadlines circle you like vultures, the last thing you need is to be stressed, out-of-shape, undernourished, or sleep-deprived. Make time for a good night’s sleep, go to the gym, exercise, and eat sensibly. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish when you’re well-rested, well-fueled, and mentally and physically strong.
You, like everyone else, deserve it, so take advantage of some well-deserved time off when signs of burnout appear. Even if it’s just an afternoon off to watch your child play a crucial game, a “day-cation,” or a long weekend doing things you enjoy, time away from the daily grind is essential for business success in the long run. After all, your entrepreneurial career is a marathon, not a sprint.
Little changes in your daily tasks, the order in which you do things, or even the route you take to work help refresh you because moderate changes are always invigorating. Make your day more interesting. Change the time you get out of bed in the morning, the time you leave work, and where you eat lunch. A change in routine gets you out of a rut and points you in a new direction.
Working from home may increase your productivity on some tasks, so take advantage of this option whenever possible. However, keep in mind your team’s desire to see and interact with you. Entrepreneurs can lose sight of how important they are to the rest of their organization.
If you try these things and still suffering from burnout, a more aggressive approach may be required. Don’t be afraid to approach professionals. Psychologists, life coaches, sales coaches, human resource professionals, relaxation experts, and religious advisors can all be helpful. And don’t be a hero.” A simple conversation with colleagues (within or outside your company) and other professionals in your industry may provide insight and support in overcoming burnout.
The effects of burnout are difficult to overstate, so keep an eye out for it in yourself and others around you. A start-up is a hotbed for stress as well as reward, so don’t underestimate the need for balance and healthy ways.