Don’t Burn Yourself Out, Or Let Your Employees Burn Out

This topic of burnout came up during one of our Solutions Forum meetings, and we think it’s important enough to cover in Entrepreneurial News.

All of the entrepreneurs in our groups are experiencing burnout at the moment, which is why we covered it, and we’re still covering it to see if our solutions worked.

We think the signs of burnout are:

  1. Not wanting to lead your company, or in some case, have anything to do with your company. And not wanting to turn over decision making and operations to someone else.
  2. Not wanting to make the occasionally tough decisions that need to be made.
  3. Not caring about your employees.
  4. Not noticing when your employees are experiencing burnout (their symptoms might be the same as yours).
  5. Not wanting to even investigate the origins of burnout in yourself and your employees.

There are probably more signs, but the ones above should get you thinking.

There aren’t apparently a lot of ideas on how to cure burnout. Probably because most owners don’t want to admit that they’re burned out, which they think is a sign of weakness.

Here are some of the ideas on curing burnout that we’ve uncovered:

  1. Take some time off, preferably about a week or more, turn over decision making to your #2, and don’t think about the business. In the short term, go have a sandwich in your favorite spot and spend all afternoon there.
  2. While you’re taking time off, spend some time with your wife/partner/significant other, and don’t talk business. Focus on them.
  3. Take your kids to Disneyland (seriously) or some other theme park, or multiple theme parks. Don’t even think about the business. The business will call you if something serious (like a fire or flood) has happened.
  4. If you have a hobby, go do that for a week or so. At Ford, racing cars was my form of coping with burnout, but my boss, the President of Ford Credit, wasn’t too fond of the idea. Jim Farley would probably let me continue racing.
  5. Don’t get wasted just ‘to let off steam’. Yes, steam gets let off, but there might be adverse consequences, such as a DUI. Fortunately, there’s Uber and Lyft. Nothing good ever happens in a bar after 1 am.

So, there are our burnout signs and methods of coping. They’re certainly not exclusive, so we’d like to hear from you readers.