Dear Aunty B,
I have always been very energized but since the Christmas break I have felt burnt out and I can’t despite having a short break at Christmas and Easter. Things are irritating me that normally wouldn’t and I feel flat about our future prospects. I was around in the early 90s and I just don’t feel I have the ticker to steer the ship through all that again. While I think a lot about the business at night, I also feel I am losing enthusiasm for the business? How do I rekindle it?
Ok Terry, get a grip. Long term thinking is good in a rapidly changing economy but you also need to focus on short term thinking and short term goals. While it is good to apply your experience of the 1990s to the current downturn, it is dangerous to become too pessimistic. After all no one at this stage has the crystal ball.
Entrepreneurs are always in danger of burning out and many learn to put in place strategies to combat the stress.
What many say works best are regular short breaks. While many entrepreneurs work 50 hour plus weeks, they also take regular long weekends to break the pressure. They are often gym junkies and use exercise as a great stress breaker. They learn to have adequate staff so they are not overburdened and to get the right people on the team.
Many entrepreneurs might work from home one day a week or several times a month. Or they find other ways to avoid burning out.
Make sure everyone knows you are a bit burnt out and ask for their support. (How many times have you supported them when they have needed it?)
Most importantly stop thinking about the business at night! Learn some relaxation exercises and apply the same discipline to the night as you do to the day.
If the negativity continues think about a business coach, mentor, networking group, board of advisers or psychologist. And remember: downturns are a challenging and exciting for entrepreneurs.
Make some changes and you fill find your natural optimism is rekindled.