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5 Ways to Recover From Entrepreneurial Burnout Even If You Feel Like Giving Up

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entrepreneurial burnout

If you want to be successful in your life and business, you need to know how to safely set both on the balance beam. Two years ago I started an online business. I was thrilled and scared at the same time; the thought of strangers paying me to implement solutions I recommend was far from what my 5+ years of college education taught me.

But that excitement was short-lived. While I was inaugurating my online business, I started a new life as a graduate student in an accelerated nursing program. Now my life consisted of these things: writing blog posts, social media promotion, interviewing guests, studying for classes, going for clinical rotations, working my almost full-time job, and launching an online business.

For the first time in my life, I was diagnosed with critically low vitamin D levels. My memory suffered as I could not keep up with the demands of school, running a blog, and creating a course. Finally, I crashed. It has taken me 2 years to regain my mind-body balance and get back in the game.

Here’s 5 things that I’ve learned about the recovery process after burnout:

1. Check where your intention is coming from

With the number of online entrepreneurs closing down shops, pivoting to other business ideas, and just getting burned out in general, it is important to address your WHY.

Making money is cool but ask yourself why you’re really doing this. Are you in business to cash in on the next marketing fad or organically working your way towards building an audience? Are you just concerned with conversion tactics and traffic instead of selling with integrity?

This sounds very trivial, however, the only thing that would keep you from pulling the plug on your business on days you don’t feel like showing up is your WHY. Your intentions for starting your business will always find a way to become relevant when you’re stuck with indecision. When you feel like you’ve lost your voice in the sea of entrepreneurs who operate in similar niches like you, checking in with your intention will give you a boost in clarity.

“Self-awareness is your most important attribute.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

2. Don’t go gung-ho with your passion

Before you jump on the next popular challenge to create a video or audio series, know your body and mind more than anyone else. At some point during my burnout period, I was sitting in front of my laptop for 12 hours straight.

There were social media posts to schedule, lead generation systems to automate, CSS and HTML to be learned, and tons of webinars to sift through. If anything, what your passion needs right now is serenity. Delete the multiple checklists on your desktop to allow serenity to prevail.

3. Pivot to a business model that works for YOU

In July 2017, I exited the online copywriting scene with relief. Prior to that, I listened to some coaches and online mentors who want you to do things exactly the way they envision them, with their exact blueprints, in their exact language. If this makes you cringe or makes you want to claw your way to freedom, I’ve got good news for you.

It is okay to only do work that excites you. It is absolutely okay to be brave enough to hold pause on a product that seems like a cash cow but locks you in an unsustainable lifestyle. If producing monthly content for a membership site gives you anxiety every month, you need to examine why you think you need this in your life. You should never sacrifice your health or relationships for money.

4. Develop tiny sustainable habits instead of to-do lists

For the longest time, I hated to-do lists and always found procrastination more fascinating. To me, these lists were never ending and was always a sign of busyness and lack of freedom. So I did away with all lists and what every marketing expert said I should do.

This sounds like a controversial way to be productive but it soon paid off. Instead of sticking to lengthy to-do lists and schedules, I focused on little incremental changes I could manage and track.

For example, waking up an hour early than my usual time made me realize that my thoughts flow better when there is less chatter around me. Before I wasn’t aware of this but this realization now comes handy when I need to schedule time for content creation.

So, ask yourself, “Would I be able to do this thing for the next 21 days, unhindered?” Commit to little tiny steps to get in the habit of respecting your time and energy. As a result, you will know where your margin is and how you can optimize this creatively and productively.

 “Meditation is not about stopping thoughts, but recognizing that we are more than our thoughts and our feelings.” – Arianna Huffington

5. Seek a community that embraces and supports the entrepreneurial spirit

If you are currently navigating the space between being an employee, a hustler, and a full-time business owner, the realities of what it takes to be an entrepreneur can be frightening. There are days when you will question your calling and be tempted to quit because you aren’t making sales. Maybe your most recent promotion flopped despite all the careful planning and expenses on a strategy coach.

In moments like this, I have found membership in a community that embraces the fragile dynamics of the entrepreneurial life to be comforting. Sharing and marketing your work can be scary, soul-draining, and make you want to hide under the covers. Yet, as an entrepreneur, you simply can’t do it alone. Just as you would feel compelled to share your wins and successes, you need a community of like-minded people who will rally around you and encourage you to take the next adventure.

Recovering from my burnout has taken over two years but it has now equipped me with the strategies I need to thrive as a creative entrepreneur.

Have you ever experienced an entrepreneurial burnout? How have you recovered from one? Please share your thoughts below.

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Margaret Olatunbosun is a writer and creative entrepreneur who helps passionate & creative misfits uncover profitable ideas so that they can design a life and business on their own terms and build meaningful brands that leave a legacy. Most of her work is dedicated to helping you find your path to creative freedom through her insightful weekly emails and free ultimate guide on how to create profitable offers dream clients want. Her thoughts on career and entrepreneurship have been featured on MSN Money, Thrive Global, The Huffington Post, Career Contessa, UYD Media, Inspired COACH magazine, and many more.

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Are you completely new to networking?

Then this article is a great place to start. Networking isn’t hard on paper…you go along to online and in-person meetings, make new connections and build relationships, and those relationships lead to more work so you can grow your business! The challenge is that in reality, it isn’t quite so straightforward, as our emotions get involved and make things much tougher.

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Here’s a few tips to help you embrace every business networking opportunity you get, so you can grow your business and achieve your goals.

Rock up with confidence

If you want to keep those nerves at bay and ooze confidence at networking get-togethers, you’ll need to downplay it rather than seeing it as a big occasion. Try not to put pressure on yourself and see it as a casual meet-up with a bunch of people with similar goals to you. To help you relax in the run-up to the event, be sure to set achievable goals and expectations before you go.

Keep your chin up and your goals in mind – positivity is key. One easy goal for your first networking meeting is very simply to speak to one other person and see where the conversation goes. Introduce yourself and your business, but take the time to listen to their story, too. It’ll only take a few minutes and will be over before you know it, so it’s nothing to fear. You may even enjoy it and want to speak to a few more people, too!

“You can close more business in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie

Where to go networking

If you’ve never been networking before, it might not be very easy to find a group – but only because there’s so much choice and you don’t know where to start your search! Groups come in different sizes and styles, so it’s important to find one that suits you and your business. Informal, formal, big, small… the choice is yours.

For your first meeting, start small to ease yourself in – a big group could prove too daunting, and stop you from feeling comfortable enough to get involved. After all, you want to make a strong first impression!

If you’re wondering which group to opt for in the long-term, give a few a go! Get a feel for them, speak to as many people as you can, and see which one suits! You’ll know when a group feels right for you, and you can see where those all-important relationships are most likely to be built. If a group doesn’t feel like the right for you, give a different one a go.

Get more leads and referrals

This will happen for you, as long as you put the effort into building those relationships. If you take the time to get to know people, and then check in with them and support them, they’ll see you as a trustworthy and reliable contact who they can call on. And when they feel that way, those leads and referrals you’re looking for will come a-knocking.

Once you’ve made relationships with people who you trust, and they’ve had a positive experience working with you, you can even ask for referrals! But don’t rush this, as you don’t want to inadvertently push people away or try and force the relationship along too quickly.

When you do get an opportunity to work with someone you’ve met at a networking group, go above and beyond to offer more value than they’re expecting, as then, they’ll be much more likely recommend you and introduce you to more of their contacts!

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