Dr., what’s wrong with me?

Dr., what’s wrong with me? 

When occupational burnout affects the entrepreneur’s performance 

I am physical- and mentally exhausted. I get irritated by my co-workers, clients, partners and even my family. I have irrational frequent mood swings. I feel disappointed and often disconnected. I have some physical problems without apparent reason… Am I ill? Dr., what’s wrong with me? 

To be honest, you don’t have anything that can’t be cured. You simply suffer from occupational burnout. What we’ve commonly known as “feeling burnt out”. 

We, as entrepreneurs (including freelance), are usually very optimistic, we believe in our business model, in our teams and although we eventually have confidence crisis, we believe that we are the only ones able to make our companies succeed. 

Moving forward without losing focus 

However, be careful, we usually think we will always keep the same energy and enthusiasm but it won’t be like that.  Furthermore, if we have previously worked for a company, we tend to reproduce the same schemes in our business. Therefore, we end up getting the worse of both worlds. For instance, the long working hours, the uncertainty and the anxiety produced by expecting results since we work for us. 

It seems that finally, after analysing us, we already have a diagnosis: we are demanding too much on ourselves. If we continue like this, we will end up having serious problems. 

If we add to our physical, and especially, mental fatigue the traditional entrepreneur’s loneliness, we’ll end up being unable to recognize ourselves. We will also endure unforeseeable physical and mental reactions. As a consequence, we will make bad personal and professional decisions. 

But having the diagnosis isn’t enough. We need shock therapy that quickly eradicates the effects of our disease and also a long-term treatment that help us recover our balance. 

From diagnosis to cure 

Which medicines shall we take? Well, these are simple remedies that we must implement immediately: 

  • Prepare your schedule accordingly. Face-to-face culture should not be a characteristic of an entrepreneur. 
  • Focus on goals and results, not on tasks. 
  • Get back your free time. Enjoy your hobbies again. Make them your shelter whenever you feel overwhelmed. 
  • Do exercise.  When you burn adrenaline it seems that your problems disappear and you have a pleasant feeling of tiredness. 
  • Do intellectual activities without involving your work. Read again (and not just about the last publication about entrepreneurs), attend courses, seminars, talks, etc. 
  • Spend more quality time with your family and friends.  They say one of the greatest victims in a entrepreneurs’ life is their family. Be careful!  The pursuit of professional success can have a very negative effect on your personal relationships. 

We all have our needs 

As a conclusion, we shouldn’t forget we are entrepreneurs but neither should we forget we are people with physical, intellectual and emotional needs. 

It is true that being an entrepreneur is stressful, makes you feel alone and makes you have mood swing. But, we have to learn how to distance ourselves from our work. This will allow us to analyse our life and environment with perspective, to reflect and why not … the most important thing, to enjoy the path we have chosen to follow. 

After all this, we now have the perfect excuse to take a few days off with our loved ones and take a break from our daily routine. Our physical and mental health will thank us 😉. Fellow Funders wish you a very Happy Holiday!

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