If you’ve been in business for any amount of time, you have experienced some degree of burnout. Many business owners I talk to have accepted it as “just a part of the job”.
Sure, there are parts of your business you enjoy. Maybe it’s the relationship with your customers. Maybe you like getting your hands dirty. Underneath it all, however, there is part of you that’s just tired of it all.
The fact is, you’ve probably thought about getting out more than once.
But the idea of going to work for someone else is out of the question. Even with all the aggravations of running your business, you’re willing to endure it so you can continue being your own boss. At the core, you still have hope that there is a better way.
You know there’s a way to own your business without feeling like it owns you.
Figure Out What Is Making You Miserable
Start by listing out the things that you do enjoy about your job. You will probably realize that it’s not the business or the work that you resent.
The most likely reason you are at the point of burnout is that you are spending too much of your time and energy outside of your natural strengths. There are probably just a handful of tasks that are making you miserable.
Get Yourself Out of the Tasks That are Crippling You
Once you understand that just a few things can cause so much negative emotion, you can begin to isolate and remove those things. You have to get yourself out of the tasks that are crippling you (and your business) ASAP! It’s time for you to focus on the things you are best at, and the things that will truly move your company forward.
But first, there is one critical component that will enable you to make adjustments and relieve your burnout: Your Team.
Now hang with me here… I what you are thinking. You don’t know the team I am dealing with… There is no way I can let them go out on their own!
As things stand right now, you may be right. But, people rise to the expectations you set for them and some organizational changes can work wonders. There are no quick and easy fixes here, but you can’t sustain a successful business and live a healthy life when you are at the point of burnout. You’ve got to do something different!
Build Your Team and Delegate
It’s time for you to begin building a team that can share the burden. It’s time to delegate.
My guess is that you are the go to guy for, well, everything. No question or problem is too small to grace your desk and no hour of the day is off limits.
On top of that, you feel like you have to monitor their every move so you can head off any problems before they fester.
But… you get upset because they act like they can’t think for themselves.
As a result, you are frustrated, overworked and way over stressed. You are also killing your team’s morale by dis-empowering them. When you don’t teach them how to problem solve and how to make the right decisions for the company; when you always swoop in and save the day, you begin to rob their self-esteem and their self-confidence.
If you want to move past burnout, you’ve got to let go and empower your team. You have to train them to make their own decisions and own their responsibilities.
That is no small adjustment for a business owner, and it may mean you have to make changes to your team, but it is a critical first step.
Shift Your Mindset
You can’t focus on building your team if you are only thinking about the day-to-day. You can’t step back to figure out who should be responsible for what parts of your business if you are putting out fires all day.
Dwight Eisenhower famously used a Decision Matrix to illustrate this concept.
“What is important is seldom urgent & what is urgent is seldom important.”
Use this framework to look at how you are spending the hours in your day. Sure, there will be time devoted to the urgent and there will be fires that must be put out. But… are you also dedicating time to the Important, But Not Urgent quadrant?
If you are not, set aside an hour or two each day. The first task to work on in this block is your team. How can you build them up to support you better?
Making It Real
If you’re experiencing some stage of burnout, it’s affecting everyone in your company and in your family. Until you get out of this funk, things will just continue to get worse for everyone.
As things worsen, your resentment toward your business magnifies and will eventually take you out of business.
But I know you want to do something about it, you still have hope within.
Here is what I want you to do.
Ask yourself 3 questions:
- What do I really like about my business?
- What things/ tasks am I currently doing that suck the life out of me?
- What would need to happen for me to be able to remove those tasks from my to do list?
Focus on what would need to happen for this to become a reality. For just a few minutes, don’t think about all the reasons it won’t work or how hard it will be. If you find yourself making excuses and objections, then just STOP!
All I want you to do today is make it through the exercise of asking “What would need to happen.”
Write it down, and keep it handy. We’ll be talking about it more in the next few weeks.
Question:What do you need to delegate to your team, and what is preventing you from doing it? Let us know over in the Facebook Group.