How Hustle is Killing You + Your Business — Here’s What To Do

Image Licensed by StoryBlocks

Entrepreneurs who do not have the ability to push themselves and take things to the next level will eventually find that they do not have what it takes in order to build a sustainable business. They may have a great idea but fail to get it off the ground. They may be skilled or have a following, but their lack of dedication, focus, or hustle results in no growth.

And for those who do have the drive to hustle and grow their business for long term success, there is oftentimes a problem on the opposite end of the spectrum. This problem can not only topple the empire you have built, but can take yourself down in the process as well, leaving you feeling broken and overwhelmed.

If part of building what’s important to you requires hard work, drive, and dedication — but that hard work is the very thing that breaks you in the process — how are we as entrepreneurs supposed to both build our business and not kill ourselves in the process?

What is Burnout?

According to a recent study by Pfizer, 89% of workers in the United States experienced burnout in the past year, with 27% of those experiencing burnout all of the time. Additionally, a study by the Karolinska Institute in Sweden showed that burnout can actually change the neural circuits in the brain. These changes included increases in the size of the amygdala, which is the part of the brain targeting fear and aggression. This can impact the ability to handle stressful situations and regulate emotion.

Hans Selye, a Hungarian endocrinologist, first identified the biological processes by which humans experience stress. Selye titled the stress experience General Adaptation Syndrome, or GAS, and broke it down into three phases: alarm, resistance, and exhaustion.

The final stage, exhaustion, is now identified as being the point where temporary stress responses evolve into burnout. Aside from feeling the effects of burnout, burning yourself out can also result in negatively impacting your business by creating a negative customer or client experience.

A study by Peppers and Roger found that 70% of customers who stopped using a company, attribute that cease to a single negative interaction with a salesperson or employee, despite 80% of those defectors having previously had a satisfied or very satisfied opinion of the company prior to leaving. Additionally, studies have shown a negative correlation between those experiencing burnout, and the ability to regulate emotion and recover from setbacks.

When people are under stress, their bodies undergo changes that include making higher than normal levels of stress hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline, epinephrine and norepinephrine. These changes are helpful in the short term. They give us the energy to power through those difficult situations, but over time they start harming the body. Recent research has found that burnout increases the risk for cardiovascular disease as much as well known risk factors — such as body mass index, smoking and lipid levels. Specifically, burnout increases people’s likelihood of developing myocardial infarction, ischemic heart disease, stroke and sudden cardiac death.

So how are you as an entrepreneur supposed to set reasonable limits that take care of yourself, but also hold up to your financial responsibilities, and see to the growth of your business? Most resources will explain to you the value of taking breaks and giving yourself time to recharge. But for those who are working and building their businesses, how do you rest and recharge when you simply do not have the luxury of disposable income or time?

For those who left a fulltime job, who have families to provide for, or debt hanging over their heads, taking breaks or working less is simply not an option. So how do we build successful businesses while setting boundaries and building a healthy balance for ourselves?

Learn to Say No

Not every job, customer, or idea will be a good investment of your time or mental headspace. Unless the job or project is driving you forward to the place that you eventually want to go, it may not be a good use of your valuable time which could be better spent in another area.

Learn to say no not only to the jobs, customers, and free trade opportunities that aren’t a fit for you, but also learn to say no to yourself and your own demands of your time that are unreasonable and unwise.

Define Your Non-Negotiables

Figure out your non-negotiables in both your business life and your personal life. What are you not willing to let go of? Prioritize these as your must do priorities, and structure your plans for everything else.

Let Go of Some Control

You do not need to do everything yourself in your business. Oftentimes, outsourcing tasks or hiring an assistant seems like more work to set up than it’s worth. But for tasks that you don’t personally need to do yourself, outsourcing can be worth its weight in gold. It not only will allow you to have more time on your hands, but will pay for itself. Paying someone who can complete a task instead of you frees up your time to do the jobs which earn you more money — and can result in a greater payoff. It can also be a way to free up time and give yourself those much needed breaks.

Find Support

Build up a network of support for like minded and similarly niched entrepreneurs. Mentors, online groups of business owners, or local groups that meet in person can all be a source of support and inspiration.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of concern, finding a balance between working hard to build your business and not burning yourself out can be challenging. But if you don’t look out for your own wellbeing, the empire you worked tirelessly to build will come crashing down.

Work hard, hustle, and strive for growth — but make sure you are doing so in a way which puts your own well being first.

Want to learn more about how you can avoid burnout? Watch the video here!


50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.