HOW TO AVOID EN­TREPRENEURIAL BURNOUT

Sunday Tribune - - ECONOMY - BEN BIERMAN Ben Bierman is a man­ag­ing di­rec­tor at Busi­ness Part­ners Lim­ited.

EN­TREPRENEUR­SHIP can be im­mensely re­ward­ing. But car­ry­ing the weight start­ing and run­ning a busi­ness of­ten re­quires a fair amount of men­tal re­silience, be­cause, in ad­di­tion to over­see­ing all of the func­tions, there is a chance of an added sense of per­sonal re­spon­si­bil­ity and le­gal li­a­bil­ity to make de­ci­sions.

Con­sid­er­ing that Oc­to­ber is Men­tal Health Aware­ness Month, busi­ness own­ers need to take a mo­ment to as­sess how they are cop­ing with the pres­sure and added stress that comes with be­ing self­em­ployed.

This is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant in light of the cur­rent eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment which has added more stress to busi­nesses.

If not man­aged prop­erly, stress and psy­cho­log­i­cal strain can cul­mi­nate in en­trepreneurial burnout.

Left unchecked, pro­fes­sional burnout can have a se­vere im­pact on an in­di­vid­ual’s over­all men­tal health, which threat­ens long-last­ing neg­a­tive ef­fects on not only the en­tre­pre­neur, but also the busi­ness.

Here are a few fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ples that ev­ery busi­ness owner should take to heart in terms of man­ag­ing their men­tal health.

SIGNS

The first in­di­ca­tions to look out for are bouts of anx­i­ety and sad­ness. Ap­a­thy, with­drawal from friends and fam­ily, ad­dic­tive be­hav­iour and dis­rup­tions in sleep­ing and eat­ing habits are all early warn­ing signs of pro­fes­sional burnout.

It is im­por­tant to do self-checks from time to time, ask­ing ques­tions like: “How much sleep have I been get­ting?”, “Am I eat­ing right?”, and “How have I been re­act­ing to crit­i­cism or un­ex­pected news lately?”

It is ad­vis­able to seek pro­fes­sional help to as­sist with iden­ti­fy­ing and man­ag­ing burnout and men­tal strain when they man­i­fest.

BAL­ANCE

Most en­trepreneurs ex­pe­ri­ence the strain of be­ing overworked, and if the whole day is con­sumed by run­ning a busi­ness, men­tal fa­tigue can set in quickly.

Even in times of cri­sis, tak­ing time off reg­u­larly to do some­thing com­pletely dif­fer­ent, such as tak­ing the fam­ily on an out­ing, or go­ing for a jog, keeps en­ergy lev­els up for longer.

You should even di­arise these ac­tiv­i­ties.

NET­WORKS

Sup­port net­works are key to main­tain­ing men­tal health. A spouse, a men­tor, a friend, a fel­low busi­ness owner, or even a hired con­sul­tant or coach can all make a huge dif­fer­ence.

Busi­ness own­ers can also keep a di­ary or use an app to help track over­all mood, iden­tify trig­gers, and plan and im­ple­ment men­tal well­ness strate­gies.

Although the tremen­dous stress that comes with be­ing an en­tre­pre­neur will be un­avoid­able at times, main­tain­ing a pos­i­tive men­tal state by im­ple­ment­ing healthy habits and a good work life bal­ance will as­sist with man­ag­ing and over­com­ing the im­mense pres­sures of run­ning a busi­ness.

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