If they’re not careful, entrepreneurs are buoyed by their own success, rising higher and higher until there’s no place to go but down. However, successful entrepreneurs can learn to counteract their own hubris and prevent themselves from flaming out early.
Burnout is an issue that can be mapped to any job, entrepreneurial or no. Eventually, the stresses of the job or even just the mind-numbing repetition of a few tasks can tank any individual’s mental health, with disastrous consequences for their career. For entrepreneurs, the pressure to succeed and work hard is even more pronounced. The passion wielded by these professionals is an important tool to help them grow their businesses, but too much can ultimately lead to ruin.
As with many other things in life, it’s a game of mindsets. There’s a dichotomy to passion; the kind that one feels when they are completing work that is fulfilling to them, and a kind that occurs when passion devolves into an obsession with the status and money that entrepreneurship can bring. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be successful as an entrepreneur, but too much of the second kind of passion can foist unreasonable expectations on a person and lead to disappointment. It’s important to manage outlooks and realize that many ventures end in failure—though this is how any person learns and improves!
One way to manage your outlook is by operating on a 90-day rotation of ideas. Segmenting your own goals, whether related to your nascent business or your personal life, allows you to focus more and prevent your own ideas from getting out of hand. Ambition is a powerful motivator, but you’re better off pursuing a few great ideas than many mediocre ones. Write down your ideas, but don’t let every flight of fancy veer you off track.
But, in the midst of pursuing your ideas, you might find yourself alone. It’s one of the many pitfalls of entrepreneurship—many wind up on an island without peers to assist them in times of hardship. For some, it may even be difficult to delegate responsibility to others, but recognizing when you need a partner or other employees for help can allow you to let go of any desire for control and keep you grounded.
For sure, a variety of perspectives can be valuable when it comes to expanding a business and identifying new opportunities. Even outsourcing to another company is a great option to deal with minutiae preventing you from focusing on the important things in life—whether high-level strategy or time spent with family or friends outside of work.
The Little Details
For your life to function beyond your business, there’s no avoiding the unpleasant truth that a stable income is necessary. Financial security is a wonderful de-stressor, and building a business from scratch creates a number of challenges for day-to-day life. Work to offset these by setting up multiple payment options for clients. Consider the contracts you provide and ration the work accordingly, clearly defining a set of deliverables that bring you a certain amount of income. Planning out work for your clients lets you better plan ahead and manage your money.
Mental stability is just as important as any business. Entrepreneurs inevitably find that all of the great ideas in the world mean nothing if they’re too exhausted or burnt out to execute them. Avoid the ruin of many an entrepreneur by staying savvy, self-aware, and managing expectations when embarking on a new venture.