Most entrepreneurs acknowledge the overwhelming pressure to succeed in their business venture. When that success happens, it is like an endorphin high, leading the business owner to build a stronger, more profitable organization. Some of the time, maintaining that level of performance can lead the business owner to burnout.

Burnout occurs when the entrepreneur’s love for their business dwindles. For many entrepreneurs, burnout is a slow progression, chipping away at productivity until the entrepreneur has very little desire to pursue their business opportunities. It is important to recognize the most subtle indicators of burnout before you are ready to toss your project aside with no concern for the results. Let’s take a look at some symptoms of burnout.


Fatigue is usually one of the first indicators of a changing attitude. It may be going to bed an hour early a few evenings a week. Fatigue can also mean that the snooze button is your best friend. Chronic fatigue can include sleeping 12-14 hours a day or requiring mid-day naps to recharge yourself.


Friends and family may disappear, either from self-isolation or your changing attitude driving them away. Canceling plans or forgetting important family events can be a sign of the pressure you are under for your business to succeed. Your attitude may also affect those around you. If you are feeling more irritable recently, your friends may have noticed and choose not to spend time with you. Even networking events you previously enjoyed become cumbersome.


Spending all of your time thinking about your business is an indicator of burnout. When these thoughts interfere with your personal life, you may be focusing too much on your business to compensate for your lack of interest.


Physical illness can creep in with burnout. Headaches or migraines may increase. You may get colds easier than your friends and family, or a chronic illness may flare-up. Uncontrolled stress or anxiety can cause permanent damage to your body. Make sure you schedule and keep appointments for physicals as prescribed by your doctor.

Understanding the importance of balance between your business and personal life is critical. Discuss your goals with your business teammates. Keep family informed of the pressure you are experiencing. Both parties should help you work through your burnout symptoms. The earlier you recognize these signs of burnout, the sooner you can build strategies to overcome it and build a successful enterprise.