How To Beat Entrepreneurial Burnout!

How To Beat Entrepreneurial Burnout!

Quick question for you,

How many hours did you work last week?

This includes hours spent working on your business AND/OR hours spent at your day job.

Was it more than 30?

40?

50…?

As an entrepreneur, it can feel like you need to be pulling 12 hour days to keep your business afloat and see it to success. No more clocking in and clocking out. As a business owner, you may feel like you are ALWAYS on the clock.

The problem is, when you are pulling 12+ hour days, you are bound to hit exhaustion at some point. And if you keep pushing you are going to become completely burned out.

Some common signs that you are going to or have already hit “burnout” include:

Dramatic/impulsive lifestyle changes (stop working out, start eating out all the time, drinking more than usual, ending a relationship suddenly, moving)

Difficulty in relationships (not feeling social, snapping at your partner, feeling like a bad mom/wife/girlfriend/daughter/friend)

Chronic overthinking/worry (inability to focus on the present, head always somewhere else, overthinking every situation)

Health decline (unhealthy eating, frequent illness, new or worsening medical conditions, chronic fatigue)

Cynicism (chronic negativity, poor mood)

Do you recognize any of these symptoms in yourself? Don’t worry- acknowledging you are experiencing burnout is the first step to turning things around and pointing yourself in a better direction!

If you’re a “push through the pain” kind of person you may be tempted to keep going at 100 miles per hour. But even if you feel like you are getting a lot done, research has found this is NOT the case. Lack of sleep, overworking, and failing to take care of yourself will result in POOR quality of work that will hurt you AND your business in the long run.

Think of it this way…if you were sawing down a tree in a forest, it would actually take you much longer to do it if you never took the time to sharpen the saw, versus if you took regular breaks to sharpen your equipment.

Sometimes, slowing down is IN YOU FAVOR and in the favor of your business!

Here are some tips for beating entrepreneurial burnout:

**Turn down clients that aren’t right for your business. This may seem completely counter-intuitive, but some clients just aren’t right for you. Either they don’t pay you enough for the time you invest in them, they aren’t reliable with fulfilling invoices, or they simply are not the type of client you want to work with.

**Outsource, outsource, outsource! You can either spend your time or your money! There are areas you should be spending your time on, and others that you would be better off spending your money and outsourcing. I imagine a huge reason you chose an entrepreneurial lifestyle was for time, freedom and flexibility. Well, if you’re spending 5 hours a day doing things that you could pay someone to do in 1 hour…you’re not getting time and freedom! Some people hesitate to outsource because their budget is tight. There are ways around this. You might consider finding students that are willing to work for experience, or other business owners you can trade with. There are always options.

**Create processes and systems that make you more efficient. What is taking up the most of your time? What could you do more effectively? Is there anything you can automate? Are you multitasking and being less effective versus focusing on one thing at a time? Your time is a valuable resource- treat it so!

**Take a vacation that is electronic-free (as much as possible). Go on a vacation! Even a short one. And have a no-electronics rule as much as possible. Get out of your head, breath, spend focused time with those that matter to you and remember why you do what you do.

If you truly take these techniques to heart, you can dramatically reduce the number of hours you spend working while also increasing your efficiency. You will be able to take weekends and holidays, you will be able to spend valuable (and uninterrupted) time with your loved ones, and you will avoid burnout.

If you need help automating systems in your business, I would love to help! Let’s chat and see what I can take off your shoulders, so you can spend more time in your passion zone!

Sign up for a 20 minute consult with me HERE.

Have an awesome week,

Robyn Bennett

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The benefits of outsourcing to your VA

The benefits of outsourcing to your VA

Summer has hit and maybe you’re thinking I wish I could have a bit more “me-time”, taking the kids swimming, going for a walk , read a book or take that trip to see family/friends.  Whatever it is that you want to do, remember that it’s possible.  Remember you not only deserve a vacation but you need one!  What’s the secret to more “me-time” AND your business not crumbling… the secret is… outsourcing to your VA.

Probably when you originally hired your Virtual Assistant, you were just so grateful to be able to assign a lot of the mundane tasks like doing your blog posts, updating your EXCEL Sheet, research etc.  The more you work with your VA, the more you realize that you can trust them to do a lot of the tasks that you don’t have to concern yourself with and now you can start working on how to drum up more clients for your business

In fact, after working for a certain amount of time with your VA, you will come to see that you don’t have to be at your desk working all the time, constantly checking to make sure that everything is running smoothly, back-tracking on your work (or time) to make sure that a certain contract has been sent out to your client.  Now, you are able to enjoy more time in the knowledge that things are being taken care of.  Remember the plans you made with your family to take that long-awaited vacation just as soon as you could?  Well, that time has finally come!  This is what is now possible for you since you have a great VA working for you!

Having a great connection with your VA does take baby steps.  You need to start off slowly.  However, once your VA has earned your trust, the amount of tasks and projects that you can give to them are unlimited and again that means more ME-TIME!

Your virtual assistant can:

  • Pay your invoices through PayPal or whatever merchant service you use. You can even get them established with their own personal logins with permission to view only what they need to
  • Manage the payments to your affiliates
  • Do customer service duties
  • Write and send out emails to your database
  • Add new products to your shopping cart.
  • Create landing pages
  • Do your scheduling
  • Coordinate Webinars, Telesummits etc.
  • Represent you in social media, or blogs/forums
  • And the list goes on and on..

The Bottom Line

You see how simple it is to only work with a Virtual Assistant, you can proceed with whatever your plans are for your business and your vacation.  So start making a list of those tasks/duties that you prefer to hand over to your VA. You will thank yourself for it!

Robyn here! I’ve had a passion for technology for as long as I can remember. I bring a variety of skills and experience to any business, which have been gained with over 25 years of experience as an administrative and IT professional. Learn more…

 

 

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The building blocks of a great relationship with your VA

The building blocks of a great relationship with your VA

The building blocks of a great relationship with your VA

Great! You’ve hired yourself a VA – you’ve already started assigning  projects and tasks and everything is moving along just fine.

You might ask yourself, is your VA working out as planned? In order for you to build a good relationship with your VA, you need to be clear in what you need and you need to be sure that your tasks & projects are being carried out as you require.   For example, does your VA perform the daily and weekly tasks that you need done? Do you feel that you need to go more into depth explaining the jobs that need to be done – something that you didn’t expect to have to do?  Or maybe it’s going great and you think wow what took me so long to do this?

In the beginning, you could allot some time at the end of each week for a short discussion with your VA to see how everything is going?  Cover tasks/projects, what still needs to get done?

How long does it take to see if it works or doesn’t?

Start with a TRIAL RUN – When you hire a VA, the best thing to do is to set a timeline, at which time you can decide if you want to keep working together or not, a sort of test period. Ideally, this is also a good time to let your VA know all the good things he/she is doing for you and also gives you the chance to talk about the other side and discuss those things that you would like to change.

How long should the test period be? Well, that really is for you and your VA to decide.  Maybe you prefer one month, or 3 months or even 6 months if you think that is the amount of time you need to be able to make an informed decision. Just remember that sometimes it could be a while before you and your VA click, so you’ll probably need more than a month. After 3 months you will have a better picture of your working relationship and whether its working out or not, so that would be a good time-frame to follow.

One very important thing…  Do not micromanage! If you want your relationship with your VA to work out you cannot let yourself be involved with every little detail because what is the point of having a VA? You originally wanted to get a VA so you can concentrate on other aspects of your business, like acquiring more clients etc. With a professional VA and regular meetings micromanaging should not be necessary at all.

I think it’s important to remember that you hired someone with experience, a professional, someone who has done this type of work before.

How to not micromanage?

One thing that would be helpful is to give your VA a project to do, explaining what end result you need, rather than detailed steps on how you need him/her to do it.  Most VAs will ask you questions if things aren’t clear.

For example, instead of telling your VA; I need you to search for an image of a dog, a seeing-eye dog and a police dog working with their master etc. (silly example but you’ll get my point soon)

Instead you can say, I need you to search for images of ‘service’ dogs working and put it up on the blog and make it look nice. Your VA will know what to do, and if it’s not what you want, then you can use this chance to show him/her how you would like your blog to be done etc.

Another thing that helps is to create a system where your VA gives you a report on the job being worked on, whether it be every day or once a week so that you can feel comfortable knowing that things are getting done, this is where project management tools come in handy (see lasts week’s blog post) and it also helps with keeping up to date on completed tasks.

Something that is important to know – IF you and your new VA don’t click, that’s ok, just be fair and let them know what is and isn’t working. Things might change or you might have to part ways, however, by being honest with them they have a choice to make as well… Sometimes it comes down to both of you wanting different things.

If you want your business to succeed, then you need to have a VA (as well as other out-source help) that you can depend on - It is essential to have a VA that you can click with and feel comfortable with, it’s not easy, but after a few adjustments here and there, and some trial-and-error, you and your VA can end up having a great working relationship that feels right for the both of you.

Robyn here! I’ve had a passion for technology for as long as I can remember. I bring a variety of skills and experience to any business, which have been gained with over 25 years of experience as an administrative and IT professional. Learn more…
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