The Terrible ‘B’ Word

The Terrible ‘B’ Word


Neil Young might have said that it’s better to burn out than fade away, but let’s face it, you’ve got a business to run, and burning out is not in the game plan.

High impact entrepreneurs can work flat out and ooze motivation, but even heroes burn out, which can range from counter-productive to disastrous. Burnout also can be much more subtle than rocking in the foetal position under your desk.

Symptoms include inability to focus, exhaustion, irritability and frustration. Here’s how to keep yourself on top form.

Burnout antidotes

  • Make time for friends. Hang out with people whose faces you don’t see every day. It’s soul food.
  • Get (and stay) fit. Work isn’t more important than your health, and sitting for hours is the new smoking.
  • Pull out and dust off that hobby. Take time to enjoy something that’s not even closely related to what you do every day. It’s a brain and sanity holiday.
  • Enforce a morning ritual. Get up a little earlier than needed and start slowly. Read, eat breakfast, look after you, then carpe diem.
  • Make others laugh. Humour helps us survive. It reduces stress and it’s hard to entertain unhappy thoughts when others are excited to see you.
  • Ask for help.  Tricky for some ultra-resourceful and independent entrepreneurs, but ask for help. You’ll get the answer quicker than trying to do it yourself
Tracy Lee Nicol
Tracy-Lee Nicol is an experienced business writer and magazine editor. She was awarded a Masters degree with distinction from Rhodes university in 2010, and in the time since has honed her business acumen and writing skills profiling some of South Africa's most successful entrepreneurs, CEOs, franchisees and franchisors.Find her on Google+.