Episode146: Break the Business Burnout Cycle

Break the Business Burnout Cycle

Business burnout is a very real phenomenon for entrepreneurs, and it often occurs in a cycle. “If I want it done right, I’ll have to do it myself.” ← Have you ever said THIS before? If so, this episode is for you.

One moment, you’ll feel like everything is handled and things are moving forward like a well-oiled machine. Then, a team member will drop the ball, a customer will complain, or something will get missed, and you feel stressed, overwhelmed, and like you want to quit. These two phases repeat, and you have yourself stuck in a cycle.

Listen to this episode to discover why you experience business burnout repeatedly and how you can break free from the business burnout cycle.  


In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • How the burnout cycle starts, and which two of your behaviors keep it operating on repeat.
  • The common but unhelpful ways most entrepreneurs try to resolve business burnout that actually lead to further issues.
  • The REAL REASON behind business burnout and how to overcome it the right way so you can grow your business sustainably.

Hey. Hey, everybody. Welcome back to the podcast. This week, I wanna talk about -- burnout and what leads to a cycle because burnout isn't just a feeling. It truly is this vicious cycle that so many business owners find themselves in. And many business owners feel maybe that it's even inevitable or just a normal part of business, but it doesn't have to be. Now often what I see is burnout starts with a heightened workload And that can be due to a combination of 1 or more things. So here's a couple of things that play into this.

So first, Trying to achieve more by doing more, meaning you think that in order to hit bigger goals or to accomplish something that's a part of a longer term vision, you have to actually do more work. You have to spend more time working, you have to take on more priorities, more projects, more offers, more marketing, more customers, And that's just not simply true. Now you can earn more by doing more, but you can also earn more and do less. Right? And so when you try to earn more by doing more, that certainly means that you're obviously taking on more work overall. And if you don't have the capacity to do that, then that can lead to burnout. And oftentimes it's okay to take on more Early in your business whenever you have capacity and you in fact have way more time than you have money so you just spend more time doing things that works early on, but eventually you start hitting limits and you don't have capacity yet you still try to achieve more by doing what you've always done, which is just working more. and it doesn't work. The second problem or the second thing that leads to burnout is wearing multiple hats in your business.

Obviously, early in your business, you're wearing more hats. And over time, you might be able to reduce the number of roles that you're serving in your business. but it's very common even for business owners who are into multiple six figures, even up to 7 figures and beyond to wear more than one hat. So you might be the CEO, but you're also managing marketing or you're still involved in customer service or you're still creating content for social media because maybe you're the face of the company and you're representing the brand personally. And you know, earlier on, maybe there are other roles like an assistant that you are the assistant because you don't have an assistant hired, right, if The role doesn't exist in the business. If their role isn't being managed by someone else in the business, then that role essentially belongs to you. And so you end up being the business owner, the CEO, but you also have all of those other things rolled into 1. And so it's that combination of trying to do more and wearing multiple hats that can really lead to the cycle of burnout.

And yet, As the business grows, it doesn't always get better immediately without making some changes. And I wanna talk about what those changes are, but first, I just want to explain kind of what happens that perpetuates the cycle of burnout. So as the business grows, goals get bigger, And each responsibility that you have expands along with your stress level, right, if you have more to do and more goals, bigger goals, And each responsibility because the business is growing requires more than your stress is going to increase. But as a high achieving business owner, you might want to push harder, and you might tell yourself this is temporary But the more you push and the more pressure you put on yourself to just keep handling it all, doing it all, tackling it all, doing more. Achieving more, eventually, you reach a breaking point. And this is where some entrepreneurs just give up on their goals. I've definitely seen that happen. There are entrepreneurs who are like, never mind.

I'm just gonna go get a job or never mind. I'm gonna keep running my business, but I'm just gonna play it small, play it safe, and I'm gonna cut my goals. I'm not gonna expect as much. I'm not gonna go after that big vision or dream. I'm just gonna stay small, and some give up. But many people, many entrepreneurs, even if they give up temporarily, they're still visionaries at heart. and they still have these big visions and giving up doesn't last long. They take some time away, but as soon as they begin to feel that relief, they get a wave of inspiration, a new idea, or they feel like, okay.

I'm good. I feel rested now. And then they just start taking on more again, assuming it's gonna be different, assuming that they're past the burnout, but then they find themselves in that same cycle all over again because they're not actually making a change at the root cause level. Right? They're just taking a break temporarily experiencing relief But then as soon as they take on war again, they work their selves up to burnout. And then if that's their pattern, then they just give up again. And, again, that cycle perpetuate. Now some people, there's another group of entrepreneurs who, when they reach that breaking point, they don't give up they decide, okay. This is worse going after, and they decide I'm going to hire and delegate.

I'm going to ask for help, essentially. The problem is that the way many entrepreneurs handle this, many business owners handle this, is that they search for that help from a place of desperation. And then because they're desperate, they don't make the best decisions. They either rush the hiring process and hire anyone with a pulse, anyone who says that they have experience, whether that's verified or not, or maybe they already have a team and they unload responsibilities on a team member who isn't qualified doesn't have experience or without any direction training or oversight. They just unload it all and walk away, and they get that temporary relief again because they just got things off of their plate. But then here's what's gonna happen. Mistakes are gonna be made. A ball is gonna drop.

A client's gonna complain. Something is gonna happen, and the business owner is pulled right back into it. They're forced to focus on damage control and begin telling themselves, if I want this done, I should just do it myself. Can you fill me? Have you ever said that, does this sound familiar? If so, keep listening because then with that mentality, that leaves them grasping for control and taking all the responsibility back. They're like, I should just do this myself, and they pull back the responsibility. They say, never mind. I will just handle this. And either they just take on that responsibility and keep that person doing bare minimum work or they might even fire that person, and they go right back to where they started with more on their plate.

And then the cycle continues from there. Right? They might -- be in a cycle of, okay, I'll do this until I reach a breaking point. I'm desperate for help. So I rush the hiring and delegation. I don't do that well. So there are mistakes And then I just take it back over, and it keeps going. Okay? So those are the 2 different cycles that you can get in that both lead to burnout. If any of this sounds familiar, here is what I want you to understand.

When hiring and delegation go wrong, it's almost always a leadership problem. I know this might be hard to hear. I know this might be hard for some of you because I have a lot of clients who come to me blaming their team members, and they think it's the team member's fault. Some of them blow up at their team member. Some of them fire team members. They take the work back. They burn out again. They hire and delegate again out of -- like I mentioned with that cycle, but they keep facing the same challenges over and over and over again, and it takes several rounds for some people to understand and really hear me when I say, when delegation and hiring go wrong, it's a leadership problem.

And you might not see that until you go through a few rounds and realize you're the common denominator. And while it's tough to hear, It's really good to have this level of awareness because with that, it brings good news. It brings the news that you can change the way that you delegate. You can change the way you hire. You can change the way you lead. You have control. More control in what you do and over what you do And that's a really good thing because you can make changes. Right? You can shift without taking all of the work back.

You can just do a better job. In other words, when there are challenges and there always will be when you're working with other humans, there are going to be challenges. Not everyone's gonna do things the exact way that you would, not gonna get results the first time. You're not gonna meet expectations, and that's all actually very, very normal. But in those instances, rather than taking it all back, you can choose to do something different. You can choose to rather than try to control the work by doing it yourself. You can control the out come through how you lead. And so you can evaluate yourself as a leader to improve how clearly you communicate, expectations, how well you give training and feedback to your team, how well you're holding them accountable to the expectations that you set.

If you're doing all of that well, If you are doing the delegation process, if you are delegating well, then you're going to see improved results. And every time you go through it, you should see improvement now. Then you come to a point where either things slowly continue to improve and you get to a place where you're not fixing burnout. You can trust your team to handle things. You're not only getting things off of your plate. They're staying off of your plate, or You see the same problems over and over again, and you realize that you can change the person in their role after you've given them feedback after you've given them an opportunity to improve after you have truly managed them, right, after you've learned to hold them accountable, and they're just not rising to meet expectations, then we can make a change. Most entrepreneurs make that change way too early and just take back the responsibility And instead, we're gonna manage people up or out. But first, we're gonna try to manage them up.

Okay? So That all happens as part of the process of delegation. And when you master delegation, you're not only gonna get better results from your team. you're finally gonna break free from the burnout cycle. Imagine never having to go back through the burnout cycle again, because you choose to control what you can, what is in your control, and that is yourself as a leader. When you focus on you and leading better, then you can get the results that you want even when team members aren't perfect. Even if they don't follow through, You are the one who can follow through and follow-up, hold them accountable without taking it all back without working more. and without putting yourself in the position to face burnout over and over again.

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