Whether you head a PR agency, own a fashion company, or run a successful blog, the decision to become an entrepreneur is thrilling in so many ways; you can set your own schedule, every day is what you make of it, and you can pursue something you truly love doing, on your terms.
With all that autonomy comes great responsibility. As the figurehead of your business you are the ultimate decision-maker and as such, oftentimes wear all hats, from creative director to accountant. Setting your own schedule, not to mention the self-imposed pressure to grow, lead a team and make smart financial decisions can easily lead to putting in way more than your standard 8-hour days.
It becomes all to easy to feel chained to work, the complete opposite of the work-life balance so many of us enter into business ownership to create. And so, when you feel the sparks of burnout looming, it’s important to reset and recharge. The next time stress overtakes your passion for your business, try a few of these tricks to decompress so that you can come back to your business more refreshed and inspired than ever!
1. Unwind with something unrelated to your industry
Flipping through a magazine is hardly downtime when your publicist’s eye is always looking for PR opportunities. As much as I love reading fashion magazines and catching up on the latest street style stars, I need to unwind with something totally out of the fashion/beauty realm to truly decompress and take my mind off of work. Reading a good mystery (Girl On The Train was a great book) or catching up on my favorite international shows on Netflix at the end of the day gives my brain a break. Look for easy ways to move outside your normal thought patterns and activities. Even speaking with a friend or family member who has no idea what it is you do (and barely cares) and be a great way to regain perspective.
2. Move your body
So much of operating a business occurs in the mind – all that strategy, writing and service is operating from inside the mind. Exercise not only helps you to get rid of some of the nervous energy that comes from being, but the sense of accomplishment can really motivate you throughout the day (especially on those days when nothing is going according to plan). Importantly, the focus on physical activity can actually create space for creativity and solutions that simply won’t come from staring at your laptop screen. I try to workout first thing every morning. Doing so (especially if I’ve found I’ve shaved some time off my previous run!) helps improve my mindset and makes me feel like I can do anything. From that place, I’m much more likely to have an enjoyable – and effective – workday.
Try this 10 Minute Workout from our friends at Create + Cultivate.
3. Cultivate outside interests
I know – you’re probably thinking, “A hobby? With what time?” Even though running a business can feel like it’s nonstop (and some days it is!), finding a creative outlet outside of work helps with balance, and in many cases won’t take up that much extra time. I’ve always loved photography and recently invested in a DSLR camera. I have been teaching myself photography basics on weekends. Explore your interests and passions with the same attention that you give to your business and you will find your entire life enriched. These pursuits will give you a fresh perspective and may even spark some new ideas for your business.
Overall, when burnout threatens to dampen your entrepreneurial drive, it’s time to take a step back and nourish yourself. Through entertainment, movement and long-term activities that capture your attention, it’s possible to feel the return of that inner hum.