How To Beat Self-Employment Burnout

Are you suffering from self-employment burnout? If you have to ask, you probably are. Click through for burnout beating tips from a seasoned entrepreneur >>
Self-employment is no joke and burnout is incredibly common. My friend Laura knows a thing or two about self-employment burnout; after starting her own accessories label in 2004, Laura saw her pieces featured in  InStyle Weddings, Brides, Redbook, “O” The Oprah Magazine, and Martha Stewart Weddings. Amazing, right?!But it came at a price. Today, Laura shares four ways to avoids self-employment burnout.
Over the years, friends and peers have offered up a tips to keep me from going off the deep end. I am happy to say that following their advice has kept me perched on the edge of the diving board.

Have start up cash

I started my business with $10, and let me tell you, always having to generate revenue to grow your business, fill orders, and pay the bills leaves little time for relaxation. When a friend asks you to go for a walk, it is very hard to turn off the voice in your head that says, “Girl’s gotta make rent.”

Make time for play

If you were wise and started your business with a decent chunk of cash in the bank, it will be easier to take time off from your business and reconnect with yourself and the things you enjoy. Make time for YOU, even if it means you don’t accomplish all of your biz goals for the day. Click To Tweet If you’re relaxed and happy, your business will only get better!

Understand that your business is a living thing

Just like you, your business is alive. Sometimes it will be wildly successful, other times it will fall flat. Remember that Rome wasn’t built in day and that it’s okay for your business to ebb and flow. You don’t have to always be growing and expanding your business.

Take advantage of the slow times

When your business has slowed, reinvest in yourself and the company. This means sleep in a little, go out to eat a bit, and analyze your businesses current state of affairs. You’ll find that your relaxed mind will discover new growth opportunities that will recharge your business.

For those of you working multiple jobs or working for yourself – how do you avoid burnout?

P.S. How to enjoy work even when you’re busy and kind of overwhelmed!

photo by roman drits // barn images // cc

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  1. jess

    I think one of the hardest things to avoid when self employed is feeling like something that use to be fun has be come WORK.

    I think setting a schedule can help with that, try to avoid letting it take over every aspect of your personal life – my boyfriend HATES my etsy shop during my busy season because it takes over all of our together time. Oh wells, it's also what's buying him Christmas and Birthday presents 😛

  2. Kim

    I can't wait to make the leap into the self-employed world. I'm working on my nest egg and getting together a portfolio of work and contacts!

    I appreciate all the great advice out there that's helping me make this transition with poise and skill.

  3. Ainslie

    Continuing to remember WHY I want to work for myself is a big one in the times I get burnt out, too tired, or it seems too hard. Remembering that I'm doing this to have freedom – creative freedom, that I HAVE chosen how I spend my time, and no one else is telling me what to do. That can give me the little push to keep going in the times when maybe I can't afford to sleep in or take a day off. But, those are just as important, too. A day off in the middle of the week just cuz – a tangible reminder of my freedom, yeah!

  4. RaquelDoesLife

    This is a really nice read for me, especially since I JUST started up my photography business (no, really, I just put up a Facebook page about it, and that is ALL I have done so far), and I work around 30 hours a week already, so I know my schedule is about to become a lot busier. Hopefully it'll all be worth it!

  5. Laura

    Thanks for sharing all of your tips too! And to those of you just starting out on your path as a small business owner I wish you tons of success and a life filled with balance.

  6. Dawn-Renee Rice

    Thankfully, what I do didn't require much in start up costs. As a freelance writer, I just needed a computer, internet, and a cellphone which I already had. I find that as long as I stay focused on my goals, take time out each day to get off the computer and away from "work", and make time for myself on a regular basis, I'm rejuvenated to keep going. Great tips, by the way!

  7. Rachel @ Musings of an Inappropriate Woman

    I find it difficult to say "no" work not just because I could use the money (even freelance journos who get lots of work and charge high rates still tend not to earn what most would consider a good salary), but because I want to build and maintain relationships.

    When people ask me to work on their awesome projects (and want to pay me respectable rates to do it), it's flattering. I want them to think of me next time they're looking for someone to take on an interesting project – and I feel like the best way to do that is to take on the work when it's offered. But for the past couple of months, that's meant working beyond capacity. And I know I'm going to need to cut back severely in the next month or so, if I'm going to complete my biggest project of 2012 on deadline.

    Obviously, it could be much worse (having *no* work for instance), but it's another reason it's difficult to say "no" to work when you're your own boss.

  8. Sian

    You said it GF!
    I've been trying to work this out too… How to not burn myself out, but how to make the most of my freedom & this freelance life.

    At the moment I'm trying out a new thing where I work on freelance for Mon, Wed & Fri, and Tues & Thurs are my personal project/whatever I want days.
    And then the weekends… Maybs a combo of work & chilling.

    I've been in the full time freelance game for a bout 3 months, so I'm still working it out.
    It's a toughie!

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