How To Overcome Startup Fatigue
When you started out on your new business journey, no one warned you on the obstacles you will soon face. In the U.S alone, over 20% of small businesses fail within the first year. As you can imagine the amount of stress and hard work goes into running a successful business, sometimes founders find themselves stuck in a rut. Most times, this can be identified as a common case of startup founder fatigue.
What is startup founder fatigue?
Startup founder's fatigue can be simply described as many feelings, some including lack of motivation and lack of creative capability. Sometimes feeling burnout can also hold true. When the entrepreneur feels so tired and the thought of facing yet another significant challenge seems unbearable; when nothing seems to be going right; and taking the next step towards achieving their goals seems impossible.
The first thing to realize is that you are not alone. Most entrepreneurs at some point of their startup journey experience founders fatigue. Everyone’s experience is personal – the fatigue comes in different shape and size as a result of many factors like worry, stress, guilt, fear of failure, fear of making mistakes, impostor syndrome, lack of self-confidence, the list goes on and on.
The first step to overcoming founders fatigue is to accept what you are experiencing. Knowing what you are experiencing will help you focus on dealing with the thoughts and feelings that come as a result of it. Here are a few things that you need to remember when you feel defeated on your way to success.
Steps to overcome startup founder fatigue
1. Take a step back and reflect
Life hasn't always been work work work. The simple act of reflecting and life prior to the stress and work allows you to see the bigger picture. After reflecting, think about all of the small and medium wins you've achieved along the way. This includes things like successful product launches, supporting your workforce, proprietary innovations etc. While work can be a grind, it's important to take a moment to reflect how far you've come.
2. Find Your Work/Life Balance
In the startup and small business world, it's often very hard to find your work/life balance. Many founders make the mistake of focusing 100% on the business while neglecting other important things like family, hobbies and making memories. Like the great Nipsey Hussle said, "It's a marathon, not a sprint". Often times, lack of work/ life balance is a symptom of rushing the process. By slowing down and finding your balance, you are allowing yourself to destress. As a direct result, your personal relationships will start to thrive. I've seen it happen first hand!
3. Remember Your "Why"
Before you started your company, you had an idea. At the very core, you had a passion for something and decided to turn it into a living, breathing entity. Sometimes, we can get so deep in the forest that we are unable to see the trees. At these pivotal moments, it;'s imperative to think about the reason you are doing what you're doing. Whether it be to provide a better life for family, or to prove something to yourself, you have to remember the reason you started this journey. Anytime things get tough, just remember this short list of reasons.
4. Seek More Information
Startup founder fatigue often comes from lack of preparedness or the lack of information to make a confident decision. Whichever scenario you find yourself in, it's important to seek out as much information is you possibly can. Not only will this arm you with the knowledge you need, but it will also train you to go out and find the resources you need. As simple as it sounds, some things are really only a Google Search away.
5. Communicate Relentlessly With Your Team
As the captain of the ship, it is your responsibility to lead and communicate effectively with your team. If something were to go wrong, your team will always be the ones to have your back. As their leader, you owe it to them to allow them to make informed decisions. After all, they are committing their time you your brand and dream. Communicating regular with your team will be sure to boost their confidence in the product, the company, and you as a leader. Earn your teams trust by communicating early and often.
6. Get Organized
Often times, many startup founders have a ton of items on their list. It's pretty normal for many things on this list to go unchecked. Although its common, it can be detrimental to your work/life balance as well as your finances. Being organized is a huge asset for companies large and small. The benefits include customer retention, less burnout and often times, more money! Being organized will be sure to take a load off of your workweek and will very often result in a better experience for your customers.
7. Move At Your Own Pace
In the world we live in, some people are fast, others are slow. Some people have a lot while others have a little. It's extremely important to leave the comparisons aside. Your peers, celebrities, and other "influencers" aren't living your life, you are. While healthy competition is good, too much comparisons can lead you down the wrong path and fill your mind with doubt. When running your startup, don't rush it. Let it grow naturally. Congratulate others, and keep grinding while waiting for your time. I promise it'll be here sooner than you think.
8. Enjoy The Journey While Focusing On The Destination
Contrary to popular belief, the destination is not the most important part of the journey. It's the ride itself. This ride teaches you about yourself, your life, the people around you and your very ideas of success. This ride forces you to think in different perspectives very often. Enjoying the journey means to take everything: the successes and the lessons as positives. Without going through what you're going through, you wouldn't be headed where you're headed.
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