Building Your Business on the Side: 5 Tips to Avoid Burnout

by Sarah May 14, 2012


As a small business owner, I am constantly trying to keep a strong work/life balance. I work from home and the hub of my business takes place in the middle of my house in a room that was originally designed as a library or quiet space. It certainly isn’t quiet but it is where all my creativity takes place. I have built my business completely on my own terms and with my own funding. This can be a difficult process starting out but today, I have 5 tips that should help you avoid burnout during the growth process.

start with an end in mind.

If you are building your business while still working elsewhere this is the first item you should define. When do you want to be working strictly for yourself? What steps will you need to follow in order to get to that point? and finally, how much time can you devote to each day or each week to work on your business?

develop a plan.

All successful businesses have a plan. They may be a working document that changes constantly, they may be notes scribbled on a napkin or they may be a well defined business plan. No matter, you need a plan. If you start without a plan or a defined path, you will find yourself spinning your wheels in no time and can become burned out just trying to figure out where you are going.

give yourself time for reflection and life balance.

Build in fun activities for yourself and your loved ones. Try not to always work on business as your family can become resentful and may not provide the support you are looking for and needing as your business grows. Reflect on each step of the path and reward yourself for completing a goal or milestone. As women we do not always allow ourselves time for celebration and reflection but it is extremely important as a female business owner to allow yourself this time. It is also gratifying to reward yourself for a job well done. Celebrate.

don’t go it alone.

Not everyone is good at everything. Know when you need help. In my own business I utilize: a bookkeeper/accountant; an attorney; a graphic artist; a pr/media pro; and a web designer. They are not employees but rather professionals that provide their expertise to my business. As special projects arise they become part of a bigger team in order to allow my expertise to shine through and develop the best possible projects. Defining that team at the beginning of the project will help you know where the holes are and where you will really be able to shine.

find a mentor.

along the lines of don’t go it alone, find someone that you respect in your life or in your business that can be a guide and a mentor. There is nothing more satisfying than having an outside cheerleader for your business. Make sure the individual is a positive influence, provides guidance not criticism and genuinely wants to help you succeed. If you have a negative influence in your life this can also lead to stressful situations and can undermine your goals and dreams. Get rid of the negative immediately and start over if this happens.

Burnout is not good for you or anyone surrounding you. Seek help where you need it, grow a strong, powerful business as your time allows and take time to enjoy yourself every step of the way. These are simple steps but with a little planning your successful business will be up and running in no time.



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