People suffer from burnout for different reasons. Some are common factors experienced by a lot of people, while others are not so common. Here are a few of the most common causes.
For some, more than one of these causes can affect business owners at, or near the same time. This can lead to almost total devastation for the business owner and take awhile for recovery.
Let’s try to avoid these common pitfalls from the beginning. If you’re already seeing these in yourself and your business, then it’s time to make some changes.
1) The Wrong Business
This is the most common cause of burnout, which often leads to failure. If you’re in the wrong business, doing things you hate, if you dread trying to work on your business, it’s likely you’re in the wrong business. This does not mean you’re a failure. It simply means you’ve failed to create a business or business model that resonates with you.
Life is too short. Enjoy what you do!
When you hate what you’re doing online and have to force yourself into doing it, that’s no different than having a regular J.O.B. outside the home. You came online to escape the J.O.B. rat race. Don’t build a business that’s going to feel like any other job to you!
2) The Wrong Niche
Another leading cause of burnout is being in the wrong niche. Perhaps you’ve picked the right business model, like affiliate marketing or a niche blog where you sell products, but if it’s in a niche that doesn’t resonate with you, it’s likely you will suffer burnout, get frustrated or maybe even give up on it completely!
Never choose a niche because you think it will make money, or because someone else is making money in it. If it’s not your thing, you should avoid it. Instead, think of a niche that you do love and figure out ways you can monetize it and earn money from it.
Some say passion is not a consideration for business, but I say, if what you’re doing isn’t working, then maybe you should consider your passion. Something that keeps you going day in and day out.
3) Not Knowing Enough
This can be frustrating and overwhelming. You know you have most of the pieces to this internet marketing puzzle, but for some reason you can’t get them all together. You even watch your favorite marketers to see what they do, but it still doesn’t click.
What are you doing wrong? It could be that you aren’t doing anything wrong. You simply may not be doing enough of the right things.
It can be really difficult to figure out what the right things are. One way is to scale back on doing too many activities. Target a few things until they become habit.
Once you’ve scaled back, this will help you avoid “shiny new object syndrome”. This is the problem that affects many online entrepreneurs – we always feel we need to learn more about the latest and greatest technique, instead of sticking to what we’re already doing – what is working for us now.
Sure, you will want to broaden your skills and knowledge at some point, but you can only concentrate on a limited area at first. If you haven’t figured that out yet, don’t keep buying info product after info product hoping that you will. Focus and you’ll eventually feel like things are moving into place.
Of course, if you’re really struggling you can always hire a mentor to kick-start your business (as long as you can afford it) or even a virtual assistant to help you get it all in.
This is one area that I remember from personal experience. It was SO OVERWHELMING, I thought I would never recover. That’s when I started scaling back and focus on one or two areas of my business so I could make progress. It made a world of difference in my business and confidence factor.
4) No Systems in Place
Many successful business owners would agree that
‘Systems Work and People Fail’
My mentor feels strongly about this and people following his methods would agree as it has been the first time they made money online after trying different methods.
It can be a tricky. Chances are you’re not even sure what systems you need to have in place to make running your business more efficient and streamlined. You search online for types of systems, but the results you get are just more articles telling you to get systems put in place!
A system can be as simple as having a daily routine. When you have certain things you do on a routine basis, develop a system for getting it done in a short amount of time.
Set up templates for emails
Schedule social media updates to go out through the day so you’re not having to check in every hour
Set up a blog posting schedule
Schedule a time to update your financial files
And when in doubt, use someone else’s system that is working well for many. You’ll learn a lot.
5) Trying To Do Too Much
This one can definitely lead to burnout pretty quickly. If you’re still new to running an online business, you probably can’t afford to outsource a bunch of the daily tasks yet. In this case, it’s a good time to take stock of where you’re at, what absolutely has to be done and what can be taken off the list.
For instance, if keeping up with Facebook isn’t bringing in business for you, give it a break and focus on another site that is. If you’re getting Retweets on Twitter, people are sharing your content and your business, which may be a better place to spend your time networking. If neither of those are bringing you results, maybe that time would be better spent in a forum, a membership site or with a mastermind group.
If you’re social media too overwhelming due to all the different networks out there, you can focus on your favorites, or make use of a premium service like HootSuite to make them all easier to manage from one place.
* Remember, focus on income producing activities first.
Running your own business really is about balance and juggling a lot of things. Find out what’s bringing in results, what isn’t and cut out the things that aren’t working.
Also consider the quality of the results you’re getting. For example, you may have thousands of Twitter followers and get a lot of replies, but if they don’t lead to sales of your product or service then is your time really best spent there?
Remember – when you do have a stable cash flow, then outsourcing is the best way to expand your business. You simply won’t be able to reach the level you want on your own, and you’ll feel burned out!
6) Not Using Your Strengths
You may be wondering how this can lead to burnout. The truth is if you’re focusing on doing things you’re not good at, it’ll take you much longer to accomplish whatever tasks and it will also suck your mental energy. If you’re not good at web design, don’t do it. Either save the money to have it outsourced or barter with a web designer and offer them your skills in return.
If social networking isn’t your strength, stop trying to be a social butterfly. You can still share useful information and be nice, but you do not have to comment on everyone’s posts to get attention. Just be yourself, share your content along with other great content and leave it at that.
Do figure out what your strengths are and work with those. If you’re good at graphic design or writing, then target people who are looking for those services instead of people looking for complete web design. If you’re good at motivating others, consider a coaching business to help people stay focused and inspired.
Remember – it makes a lot more sense to work to your strengths than spending all your energy working on your weaknesses! Much more fun!
7) Not Specializing
This one can go hand in hand with not using your strengths. If you’re offering a ton of services and having to jump from project to project to get things done, you should consider specializing in only a few things.
Once you’re business is established you can add more services, hire helpers and outsource some of the work. For now, though, stop trying to do so many things at once. Stick to a few things until you’re established in those areas.
8) Too Much Repetition
On the other hand, doing things that are repetitious and tedious can zap your energy and cause burnout too. (remember the J.O.B.) If there are small straightforward tasks that must be done each week, maybe it’s time to hire a VA to get those done.
Using a VA is great for things that only take 15 to 30 minutes, but it will save you a lot of frustration. Most VAs charge by the hour, but they will track how many 10 to 15 time blocks they do for you and make sure you get your full hour’s worth of work. You may only need to purchase one hour per month for some things. This makes it very cost effective for you and can keep you from putting off those mundane tasks.
9) Networking the Wrong Way
This one is definitely hard to balance. You need to network and get to know other people in your field, find possible clients and partners, but if you spend too much time in this area, it will eat into your work time. On the other hand, if you spend too much time trying to work and not enough time chatting with other business owners, mentors or people who are trying to start their own business, you can suffer burnout by feeling like you’re all alone in this venture.
One excellent way to network is to go to LIVE EVENTS. They’re fun and energizing. You’ll learn a lot and meet a lot of new people, see old friends – sometimes it’s like a family reunion of sorts. Doing this quarterly is optimal. It will help keep you motivated on your business.
Another helpful networking thing to participate in are joining a mastermind or two that are related to your niche, experience level. It will help you feel more connected and learn helpful new tips and strategies for your business.
10) Not Being Organized and Having A Plan
This is an area where many owners fail. It can lead to burnout because if you don’t spend some time making weekly and monthly plans, you will end up wasting time each day trying to figure out what you should be doing. After awhile, this leaves you frustrated and making very little progress.
Spend an hour or two at the beginning of each month deciding what you want to accomplish for the month, whether it’s gaining new clients, building your email list, making more sales or doing product creation. Define your monthly goals and then break those down into weekly tasks.
At the end of each workday, see what’s on tomorrow’s schedule so you’ll know what to expect each day. Also, spend some time on Sunday evening looking over your weekly plans so you know what’s ahead for the week and which areas you need to focus on.
There’s a common phrase that states:
People don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan
Don’t be one of those. Start working on your monthly or weekly plans – you can do this several months in advance or even make out a yearly plan. Just get started.
Your business focus can change, fortunately you have the flexibility to modify the plan if you need to.
Either way, you will want to set up a realistic plan. It’ll really help your productivity and reduce feelings of burnout!
The tips above will help you recognize what might cause burn out. Business building takes time and effort.
Don’t let yourself get discouraged or feel overwhelmed if things aren’t working as fast as you’d like. Simply take account of where you’re at, where you want to be, and which income producing tasks should take up your time and effort first. Becoming results oriented is key. Certainly better than wasting time and not seeing results.
Keep moving forward, you are on your way to making money online!