Sure you’ve heard warnings from other entrepreneurs but it’s something that happens to other, less driven people, right? You’re a hustler. An achiever. A get.shit.done-er.
You work 7 days a week. You always have a course on the go to help you write/market/sell/network better. When you’re not working you’re reading read business books or listening to business podcasts. And you probably spend more total time in business Facebook groups than you do socializing with real friends.
How do I know?
Because that was me in the first 2 years of solopreneurship.
In the beginning, that single-minded focus and drive was a huge asset, it takes a lot to get a new business off the ground.
And it was so exciting! All I wanted to do was work on my business: get my website up, find those first clients, write blog posts and guest posts, do webinars, etc. It was so easy to fall into a pattern of working 10 hour days, rarely taking weekends off and being permanently ON with social media & email just a click away on the smartphone.
But just a few months before my 2-year biz-versay, despite a full client load and having just wrapped my best quarter ever, I found myself in tears on the phone with my business coach.
I was wrapping up my biggest launch ever but I felt terrible. The entire launch I’d felt like I was pushing a heavy boulder uphill, I had too much to do and not enough time to do it in and I failed to meet the big goal I’d set for myself.
I was feeling frustrated, spent and completely devoid of motivation.
That’s when, thanks to a few wise words from my coach, I first realized I couldn’t keep working the way I had been. I was burning out.
The way back from burnout
After taking some time to reflect and talk through how I was feeling with my business friends and a life coach, I realized it was time to slow waaaay down.
I stepped away from away from social media, blogging and active marketing, simply running my business in a kind of “maintenance mode” while I made time for ME, outside of my business.
It took 2 whole months before my motivation really came rushing back, bringing with it a bunch of new ideas I was actually excited to get to work on.
So I’m back at it — with a few new boundaries:
- I take at least one full day weekend day OFF (sometimes the entire weekend!)
- I finish work by 7pm (I do occasionally work later but I balance that by starting later that day or the next)
- I don’t schedule anything on Fridays (I usually end up working for a few hours, but it feels really nice to have that day completely open to do what I like)
- I take a proper lunch break (at least 30 minutes, and no eating next to my laptop)
These are helping a lot but I’m not perfect and I don’t have it all figured out.
I’m also 7 months pregnant right now and I know this balancing act is only going to get harder with a new baby.
So this is a work in progress but I am much more aware of what the path towards burnout looks like so I can catch myself if I start walking down that way again.
I’d love to hear from you
Do you struggle with work/life balance in your business? What kind of boundaries have you set around your business?
I'm proud to tell my personal story of burnout as part of One Woman Shop's Solopreneur Success Blog Tour because I think it's something we don't talk about enough in the online space where everyone seems to be on the race for 6 figures in 6 months.
Being a solopreneur is hard. You do need hustle. But you also need balance. And support.
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