8. Embrace and manage burn out.
“Building a business is hard work, much harder work than most are willing to put up with. The best entrepreneurs are the ones that can consistently put in 80+ hours a week when it’s needed. Practice long enough at anything, and you’ll figure it out. Practice burning out while you’re young, so it’s already a skill when it counts. Push yourself beyond your limits. The greatest entrepreneurs know themselves well enough to manage burnout, living as if it doesn’t exist or deferring it for many years.”
9. Focus on your strengths.
“Oftentimes when you start your own venture it requires you to take on new responsibilities and work functions that may not be your favorite. While you may not be able to just delegate out the things you do not want to do, you have to find ways to ensure you are spending your time in the area of your business that you are great at. Whether you are the creative or the salesperson, make sure you are spending time executing the tasks that drew you to start your own company in the first place.”
10. Practice extreme self care.
“As a solo-entrepreneur and mama of three little ones, burnout shows up as an exhaustion so intense that getting out of bed became a huge effort. No wonder: all my waking hours (and the ones I should have been sleeping) were spent taking care of [business,] or kids, or hubby. No more! Now I practice extreme self care [with] lots of sleep (even with a 6 week old it’s possible!), nourishing foods, yoga practice, and regularly schedule breaks from my business (especially completely-unplugged 4-day weekends). The best part [is,] when I give myself permission to take amazing care of myself, my business shifts from overwhelming to effortless!”
11. Yield when you can.
“My first year as an entrepreneur was wrought with burnout. I tried everything to achieve ‘balance:’ I tried taking Friday afternoons off and I tried turning off email after 8pm, but none of it worked. It ultimately caused more stress and inevitably more burnout. What I realized is that everyone was telling me to stop, advice that falls on deaf ears for most entrepreneurs. Finally, someone said, ‘What if you don’t try to stop all together, but instead try to yield when you can.’ Now, when I have some time on a Friday, I don’t take the whole day off; instead I’ll go see a movie for a two-hour break. When I know nothing pressing is happening, I leave my phone in another room. I’m not stopping, I’m not turning it all off, but I’m yielding to allow my body and my brain to catch up and avoid burnout.”
12. Delegate tasks.
“You should spend no more than 20% of your day doing tasks that you either dislike or [which] are outside of your core competencies. If it drains you, delegate it. Find people who are good at the things that you aren’t good at. ”
13. Discover personal hobbies.
“When I first started [my company] I didn’t realize that living and breathing my business could actually strangle me. It took several burnouts six and nine months in to realize I had to find other hobbies or I was going to end up losing my mind. I got into mountain biking, skiing, running, and exercising as good stress relievers. I actually found out the less time I spent at my business the more my business grew. I think you will find that your best ideas never come while you’re at work!”
14. Work in spurts.
“When you feel inspired, work extremely hard, then take some time off and recharge. Working straight for 20 hours when you’re feeling particularly motivated and then sleeping in the next day if you need it can ensure that your ideas will stay as fresh and creative as possible. When you are no longer being innovative or efficient, it’s time to stop working and give your brain a rest.”
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