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Avoiding and Recovering From Business Owners Burn Out

January 09, 20249 min read

Raise your hand if you've ever hit that wall of burnout. We've all been there, thinking we're super organized and "professional" until burnout sneaks up on us like a ninja. And let me tell you, small business owner burnout is spreading like wildfire.

But guess what? You're not alone! Your body has limits, my friend. You may be a boss, but you're definitely not a robot.

In the fascinating world of medical classifications, the World Health Organization considers burnout an occupational phenomenon. Fancy, right?

According to these geniuses, burnout is basically when chronic workplace stress gets the better of us and we can't manage it. It's like a three-headed monster, with one head representing energy depletion and exhaustion, the next head representing feeling distant or negative about your job, and the last head representing reduced professional effectiveness.

Now, being a small business owner is no joke. It's rewarding, sure, but it can seriously drain us emotionally. Every decision we make affects the financial fate of our business, our employees, and our investors. Talk about pressure!

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We wear so many hats - hiring manager, customer relationship handler, budget master, and even the protector of our employees' well-being.

But fear not, my stressed-out comrades! We can conquer this burnout beast together. Let's find ways to keep our sanity intact and our passion for our businesses burning bright.

Dealing with this problem from the start can save you a lot of time. Trust me, you don't want to be stuck in a sticky situation. Burnout has a major impact on how we perform, our relationships, our health, and even our career progression.

Discover the Signs of Burnout for Small Business Owners

Burnout may not be recognized as a medical disorder, but the impact on your well-being can be significant.

At first, the rush of high-activity hormones keeps you going day and night. But as exhaustion sets in, you rely on caffeine, willpower, and adrenaline to compensate. Eventually, the well runs dry and your energy levels plummet.

Despite your efforts to push through, you find yourself slowing down instead of accomplishing more. Illness, accidents, and memory loss replace your usual achievements. You rely on over-the-counter sleep aids or copious amounts of coffee to fight fatigue. Your self-esteem takes a hit, making you feel inadequate.

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Always tired, with fluctuating weight and a perpetual bad mood, you struggle to find rest as your mind races with thoughts. You become irritable, snapping at loved ones and colleagues alike. Simple tasks like remembering names or passwords become a challenge.

Accidents become more common and serious illnesses may arise. In extreme cases, desperate measures like street drugs or prescription medications are resorted to, under the guidance of a therapist who believes you are depressed.

The Mayo Clinic lists numerous symptoms of burnout, including excessive stress, insomnia, sadness, irritability, fatigue, substance abuse, high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and heightened vulnerability to illness.

It's no wonder that 65% of adults experiencing burnout constantly feel drained of emotional and physical energy.

Don't ignore the warning signs – learn to recognize and address burnout before it takes a toll on your health.

Ever caught yourself thinking: I hate my business, I need to quit it and start something new?

Before you do that, consider that you may be experiencing burnout. Yes, burnout is more prevalent in Small Business Owners and entrepreneurs because you have to wear multiple hats.

Small Business Owner Burnout

5 Ways to Avoid Business Owners Burnout

Recognizing and addressing the symptoms of burnout is crucial for maintaining good health. By taking action when you notice these signs, you can avoid many of the negative consequences associated with burnout.

Remember, your well-being is just as important for the success of your company. Stay mindful of the signs mentioned and remember that prevention is always better than trying to find a cure. It may sound cliché, but it holds true.

To help prevent or address burnout, here are 5 quick tips:

1. Define Goals

Are you feeling like you're falling short of your goals? It's time to reassess. Your goals may be too broad, unrealistic, or nonexistent.

To make progress, define your major goals and break them down into achievable smaller ones. Set milestones and metrics to track your progress and determine success. It feels good to check something off the list and that motivates you to move to bigger goals.

Celebrate the wins! A pat on the back even from yourself motivates and regenerates.

Another effective approach is to identify what's working and what's not. Start by writing down your goals, which will help you gain clarity on areas that need improvement.

If you miss a goal revaluate and rethink. Sometimes a miss or a failure is the key to making the biggest win. Don't have unachievable expectations for yourself and allow yourself the time to rethink something that didn't work. Most times that is the only way to get to the success.

2. Manage Your Time

Time is a precious resource for small business owners.

To make the most of your time, it's important to establish a schedule that aligns with your peak productivity. Determine when you are at your best and utilize that time for tackling difficult tasks that require energy and mental focus. Save the less demanding tasks for when you are feeling less motivated.

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Don't try to be a superhero! No one can live up to a schedule packed with tasks every day of the week and don't forget to put downtime on your calendar as well, it is important!

By effectively managing your time and assigning tasks based on their time requirements, you can maximize your productivity and achieve your goals efficiently.

3. Work-Life Balance

Passion is a powerful force that drives entrepreneurs to success, but did you know that it can also lead to burnout? A recent survey by Havard Business Review uncovered the connection between passion and burnout, revealing some fascinating insights.

Entrepreneurs who have high scores of obsessive passion are more likely to experience burnout. They find themselves emotionally drained and on the verge of breaking down due to their all-consuming dedication to work. The constant anxiety and stress can take a toll on their well-being.

On the other hand, entrepreneurs with high scores of harmonious passion have found the secret to balancing their work and personal lives. They exhibit deep levels of concentration, absorption, and attention at work, while also allowing themselves breaks and flexibility. They have achieved a work-life balance that enables them to engage in other activities without feeling guilty or conflicted.

So, how can you strike this crucial balance and avoid burnout? The key is to take occasional breaks to recharge. Find the hours that make sense for you, whether it's daily or weekly, and disconnect from work completely. Engage in other social activities, step away from your business, and give yourself the time and space to rejuvenate.

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To maintain both your physical and mental health, consider engaging in activities such as exercise, meditation, getting a massage, sleeping, hanging out with friends, watching sports or movies, attending a concert, or simply indulging in some quality reading time. Anything that takes your mind off work and allows you to relax and have fun is essential.

And don't forget to plan and schedule vacations! It's not about going to an exotic destination or spending a fortune. Instead, choose experiences that will truly take your mind off work and allow you to reflect and enjoy. Set clear boundaries during your vacation to ensure that you truly disconnect from work and embrace the moment.

Prioritizing your well-being and finding that work-life balance is crucial for not only your success but also your happiness. So, take a step back, recharge, and live a more fulfilling life.

4. Organization

Small business owners often experience stress due to a lack of organization. When you don't have control over your daily processes, tasks can pile up and become overwhelming, making it difficult to focus on any one thing. This disarray can result in some tasks being completed while others are left undone. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Streamlining your workflow can be overwhelming and digital agencies, like Magik Digital, can help to bring all your processes together to avoid the stress of the pieced together strategies.

To break free from this cycle, it's important to prioritize organization in your work life. Start by tidying up your desk and organizing your physical workspace. Next, clean up your computer desktop to create a clutter-free digital environment. By implementing procedures and tools that streamline these processes, you can reduce distractions and take control of your day-to-day tasks more efficiently. Embracing organizational methods will lead to a more productive and enjoyable work experience.

5. You Matter - Take Care of Yourself

Take care of yourself. Just like you stay on top of things in your business, it's important to stay on top of your physical and mental wellbeing. Don't ignore health issues and make changes to prevent burnout.

Don't let issues overwhelm you. Sometimes all you need is a change of course. Spend just one hour a day taking care of yourself or doing something that recharges you.

Not only will self-care help you feel better in the moment, but it will also give you some time away from work to focus on your physical and mental wellbeing.


As a small business owner/entrepreneur you have a million things coming at you every minute of the workday. Important decisions must be made, your time has to be managed and you never know what can happen from day to day, no matter how hard and heavy you plan, research, and deploy your business processes. For all the stress there is also an overwhelming joy in seeing your dream succeed and being able to do what you like or dreamt about on a day-to-day basis.

Just keep in mind you need to keep yourself healthy and happy along the way. People who succeed with their own business usually have an obsessive and passionate nature about what they do. That is what drives them to succeed. Just be mindful and realize planning a few moments away to catch your breath and recenter is as important as the quarterly report. You are the base cog in the wheel, so your mental and physical health are an important commodity to your business.

If you need help in automating or growing your business, please reach out to us at Magik Digital. We are here to assist you with growth and the growing pains that come along with it.

Magik Digital

small business burnoutbusiness owner stressbusiness automationdigital marketingsmall business ownersowning a business
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DeeAnn Gray

With decades of experience in design, digital marketing and development, DeeAnn leads the Magik Digital team in creating successful marketing strategies. Her time is filled with creating beautiful things both on and off the clock. She is an avid crafter, jewelry maker and artist who never seems to stop creating and is always designing or writing code, even in her sleep.

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