busy busy busy – Crash
busy busy busy – And crash
A friend from high school texted me after I published a piece about giving and receiving – burnout.
“I forget faces that are not related to work.”
I had not spoken to him in a year – last time was about some business.
“I fix it with long holidays. 9 months of hell. 3 months of beaches. Running from work & problems. And the occasional bottle here & there.”
Our conversation was brief, but the extreme workload that he mentioned kept coming back to me with different clients that are either self-employed or own a business.
They all mention the same thing: the day has only 24 hours and the work is never done. Especially now the landscape is changing faster.
Research by Deloitte shows that highly passionate employees – the ones who care about what they do – are more prone to burnout. Entrepreneurs are almost always passion driven. But it’s not just that. In my clients I see 4 recurring reasons why freelancers and entrepreneurs are wrestling burn-out more often than people who work for a boss.
1. The ability to let go
Mentally, emotionally, financially – how do you turn off? When the day is over, do you let go? Actually, when is the day over? Different time-zones have you logging on at weird hours. When is the work really done? Even after a successful day, you find yourself thinking about the next big milestone. Or, whatever is at stake at the moment, wakes you up at night.
You are able to research your competitors and see their successes, not their struggles. So you find yourself holding yourself up against high standards. Nothing wrong with that – unless you stop being proud of where you are. With a lot of my clients, me mirroring their achievements gives them eye-openers. They struggle to acknowledge their efforts, because it’s not perfect yet.
3. Having staff
If all goes well, you get to hire staff. Big obstacle: where do you find the time and energy to write that job description, look at those resumes, select and interview candidates – while running the ship. Not to mention the financial, emotional and mental burn of mis-hiring and gathering your courage to do it again. Having the conviction that there are a-players who want to join your efforts becomes a challenge, discouraging founders.
If you’re the boss, your team are your employees. Not your peers. If you don’ have co-founders, you don’t have colleagues. The team experience is missing. Your ass is on the line. Whenever I meet fellow entrepreneurs, we have conversations that you can’t have with employees. And if you don’t hang out with entrepreneurs, Akon starts singing.
Not burning out is a challenge, especially if you’re a pioneer and a creator.
Mix in the little physical events we had the last two years and you can’t be surprised – digital fatigue is a international multiplier for burnout.
That’s why I do what I do. And teach what I learned the hard way.