Here’s some practical advice to help you avoid burnout as an entrepreneur by being prepared mentally and strategically.
Being a successful entrepreneur is a crazy great achievement. On one hand, it is the most rewarding endeavor imaginable, allowing you to create a real impact on a massive scale. On the other hand, it can be downright excruciating and will challenge your endurance at every twist and turn
Regardless of what type of business you’re in, you already know that the road will be bumpy. You will reach the brink of breakdown several times, and so has every great entrepreneur known.
1. Realize how growth really works
Growing a business/company is never a straight line. While you can do your best to blaze a direct path by planning strategically, even seasoned entrepreneurs find themselves constantly needing to pivot.
Recognize that, especially at first, you’re going to have a lot of roadblocks and a lot of significant setbacks. It is part of the game. If you are not mentally prepared going in, you’re going to give up and quit.
The good news is that if you stick with it and keep trying new things, you are also going to have some major breakthroughs. Growth can come fast, and sometimes when you least expect it.
You’ve got to give yourself time to find the breakthroughs. Trust me, no matter how hopeless it may seem at times, if you continually refine and iterate, it will happen.
Just remember that there are usually more setbacks than breakthroughs, it’s all part of the process. When you hear smart people say to celebrate your victories, there is a lot of wisdom in that. Otherwise, it’s just not worth it.
2. Maximize your Return On Investment on your time
The reality is that for an entrepreneur, there is more work to do than can ever be done. It literally never ends. The key to success is getting really good at picking and choosing your battles.
“Shiny object syndrome” is real, and it will kill you. Most of you may know about the 80/20 rule. In a nutshell, the Pareto principle also known as the 80/20 rule states that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your efforts. If you want to get where you want to go, you’ve got to adopt an entirely new mindset.
Since you already know that time is your most valuable asset, you’ve got to get very clear on your strategy for investing it. Much like money, your time investments need to have a Return On Investments.
Get fanatical about only putting time into things that will pay dividends for your company/business for years to come, not just in the short term. For example, a one-time sales event may generate income now, but if it isn’t duplicatable and scalable, it probably shouldn’t be your top priority.
Any opportunity you get to use your money to save your time, take it. Regardless of how much capital you have, you will never get traction if you’re focused on the wrong things.
3. Know what it means to never quit
For many entrepreneurs, you included, may have made this business mistake of hanging on to an idea for too long. This just sucks you dry on multiple occasions, both financially and emotionally.
Like many of us, I was taught from a young age that you should never quit. Never quitting means you should keep going on regardless of what your common sense or intuition tells you to do. Understand that.
Here’s the deal: You should never quit having a dream, but accept that your dream will morph and adapt over time; otherwise, it will die.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t see things through or that you should go chasing the next shiny object, I just want you to continually step back and look at what you’re doing and where you’re going. If you need to change directions, change directions.
At the end of the day, entrepreneurship is a constant battle between success and failure. Between being loved and being hated. Between going broke and becoming wealthy.
While most “normal” people might consider the continual ups and downs to be stressful, a true entrepreneur learns to love this sense of uncertainty. After all, without the uncertainty of what’s to come, there can’t be hope of changing the world.
So while it is inevitable that you’ll experience ups and downs, just keep going. As cliche as it sounds, it is true that the only way to lose is to quit. Never lose track of that. When you can learn to smile through both the good times and the bad, you’re going to win no matter what the outcome.