Signs of Entrepreneurial Burnout

Oct 16 / Whitney Gaffari
I've been thinking a lot about how much pressure 2020 has put on everyone, especially for all of us QT+BIPoC business owners.

The weight of the world can really feel like a lot and therefore impact how you show up in your business. More than ever, people need your talents and gifts, and you deserve to let your voice be heard and stand out as an expert in your field.

Burnout is sly and seductive, and can happen ever so slightly by slowly taking hold, and before you know it things are slipping through the cracks and you're feeling as though you are underwater. 

As I have ebbed and flowed through my own this year, (and throughout prior years) I've noted some things in my journals. Tracking my experiences have been helpful in helping me understand how I'm feeling and what the root causes are. #JournalingSaves

I went back and forth on what I wanted my very first blog post to be about and what kind of series I wanted to do. And after taking pulse of the community, I gathered that some real TLC for all my like-minded business owners and vision holders would be the best thing I could serve up in the Courtyard, during this climate.

So I compiled a list, and added in additional tell-tell signs that burnout and overwhelm could be creeping in. 

Let's first get something straight:
Burnout is a genuine mental and emotional health reality that greatly impacts QT+BIPoC business owners.

The following are a list of symptoms that characterize this reality

Exhaustion – Do you feel tired no matter how much you sleep? It’s not just tiredness; it’s not able to get up at all, whether from bed or the couch.

Fatigue – Do you begin feeling a sense of tiredness whenever you experience stress over something?

Lack of Energy – Do you notice that you lack the energy you had previously when completing specific tasks?

Sleep Issues – Do you have trouble falling asleep, or are you sleeping more or less than usual? Adults need from 7 to 9 hours of sleep each evening for optimum performance. 

Poor Performance – When you are doing your work or doing tasks for your family/partner you aren’t doing them correctly and/or are making more mistakes than usual. 

Memory Issues – You’re late for appointments or miss meetings or just cannot remember your thoughts as you speak. 

Problems Focusing and Concentrating – If you have circular thoughts in your head, it can affect sleep but also affect your daily life keeping you from focusing on one thing at a time.

Indifference – You’re starting to feel as if you really don’t care about anything, whether business, family, friends, or fun. You've lost the taste for the life you once very much enjoyed.

Disillusionment – You no longer think anything you once thought was real, is true now, and it’s causing you problems with getting joy out of your chosen business.

Restlessness – You keep looking up something new instead of focusing on your business choice. This could look like continuously researching and consuming new business information.

Loss of Empathy – You notice that you aren’t able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes right now due to your own issues overshadowing everyone else's.

Cynicism and Bitterness – You feel straight-up bitter about the situation, and you can’t overcome it because you think nothing can change, including you.

Relationship Issues – What is happening in your business can also affect your home life and vice versa.  I saw this a lot in my relationship coaching practice. If your friendships and family relationships are being affected, it’s time to get some control over it.

Less Initiative – You just can’t be bothered to do anything because it’s just too hard, and you don’t come up with any new ideas.

Loss of Creativity – It’s hard to imagine anything, problem solve or tap into your creativity because you can’t focus, you’re tired, and your mind won’t relax enough.

Poor Health – Burnout can affect your physical health as well as your mental health and sometimes even be due to your physical health and poor nutrition. 

Heightened Anxiety – When you are experiencing burnout and overwhelm, sometimes you’ll also feel very anxious whenever the subject of work or the specific thing causing the issues comes up.

Depression – Burnout can be either caused by a severe major depressive episode or produce one. If you feel depressed or find yourself idealizing death, please seek professional medical care. 

You can also call a national suicide hotline to get help if you need it. 

In the US, call 1-800-273-8255. 

If you live elsewhere or know someone else who could be exuding these signs, please check:

 You can also text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor

There is Free 24/7 support at your fingertips in the US and Canada: text 741741 UK: text 85258 | Ireland: text 50808

And for an updated list of hotline numbers you can visit the link below.

You may also feel as if you are the only person who can do anything to solve the problems that have developed. You tend to make it your job to do everything as if you’re indispensable, and due to that feeling, you never have enough time, resources, or ability to do everything needed. 

You may feel like you cannot say no, and due to that work for free, or feel resentment about the work you are doing due to the lack of recognition you’re getting. These are all actually normal feelings if you don’t set up your life to recognize and avoid burnout and treat it if you should experience it. 

While true burnout may need professional treatment, you can do a lot to help yourself, including seeking professional intervention if everything else you’re trying is not working for you. 

I'd love to hear from you!

Join the SoulCult... community to keep the conversation going and share the ways in which you have dealt with burnout? I'm curious to know what's worked and what hasn't.

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