Burnout is a state of mind more than a state of body. And I believe it’s when you’re working hard or someone else is making you work hard, doing something you hate, because I would argue that people who are really passionate about their passion, profession, vocation and vacation, they can work 12 hours a day for 60 years. I’m not saying you should. I’m saying they can.
What is Burnout?
I think that people get burnout wrong. I think they misunderstand what burnout means. I think they find it hard to define what they’re doing, if it’s causing the burnout that they perceive they have, and if they are in fact burned out. I think that often people think it’s working too hard. And I don’t agree with that at all. I think that some of the most inspired, some of the most energised, some of the most like influential charismatic people work really hard.
Because I’m going to put this argument to you. Do you think that Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk, or The Rock, Dwyane Johnson who’s everywhere, do you think that these guys don’t work hard? Of course, they work hard. They work really hard, really hard. They’ve been doing it for decades. And they have all sorts of commitments and engagements. If you think about massive celebrities are always getting stopped on the street and never really get time off.
Now, of course, you can get obsessed, if especially, you’re an entrepreneur though. I keep pointing at you. You can get obsessive. And yes, of course, balance with health and well-being, et cetera, is important. I’m just defining what I think and don’t think burnout is. So, I don’t necessarily think it’s a lack of balance. Balance is, of course, important.
How can Burnout affect you?
Burning out is not about working, just about working too hard. It’s about working too hard on something that you can’t see an end of, that you don’t enjoy, that you know you’re not on mission with, that someone else is forcing you to do, that is dying, that you feel no hope, and you feel no future.
So, if when you start your business, your passion, your profession, your part-time hustle, or you’re forging forward in your career, you can leverage the things you don’t enjoy doing. You can leverage the things you’re not good at. And you can spend more time, not all the time on the things that you like to do the most, that are inflow that you’re good at. And that is your responsibility to do that.
And to a certain degree, I think successful people will fix stuff they don’t necessarily enjoy, because they’re prepared to do what other people are not prepared to do. So, they’re not shirkers.
But on the other hand, when you run your own business, you can end up going, fixing everyone else’s problems, and you can get sucked into doing things that aren’t inflow. There are VAs, PAs, outsourcers, Ops Managers, people online, partners and collaborators that can help deal with all of those issues, those challenges, those tasks, those things that you’re not very good at, that you don’t enjoy so that you could do more of what you love, and be more inflow.
What to do about Burnout
Your kids don’t burnout when they play computer games all day every day, do they? Because they love doing it. They don’t eat. They don’t sleep. Bobby is always on Minecraft, always on it, all day all night. He could do like the World Record 28 years in a row, no sleep, no food on Minecraft, because he enjoys it.
Don’t get too obsessive about your mission and your vision. I think maybe you look at someone like Steve Jobs, who completely changed the world. But he died young. And I reckon that it must have been something to do with his lifestyle. I can’t help, but think that. But I reckon you can probably work 4-5 times harder. Maybe, 10 times harder and longer on something you love to do, and not burnout compared to something you don’t like to do.
But you wouldn’t feel like that, if you’re about to solve a massive algorithm that was going to create Bitcoin, or was going to build the best social media platform in the world, if that was your passion.
So, if you’re feeling trapped, if you’re feeling forced, if you’re working really hard doing something that you don’t love, if you’re working really hard doing something that you can’t see a future in, if you’re working really in something that you feel that there’s no hope in a dying industry, in a dying company, for a boss you don’t like, of course, your brain is just going to convince you that you’re burned out. You’re fatigued. You can’t take it anymore. You’re stressed. You’re overwhelmed. You’re near a breakdown.
How do I handle Burnout?
Whilst I’ve got a lot of overwhelm, a lot of challenges and deep disruptions. And at the moment, where I was the least inspired, where I felt the most maybe, down, deflated, stressed, overwhelmed. And I didn’t get to breaking point. But when I felt, and the reason I didn’t get to breaking point, is because I love my companies. I knew it was a mission. But I did have moments in the last few months, where I was like, ah, man, this is getting really hard. That was when I’ve got sucked into doing a load of shit that wasn’t inflow. I wasn’t good at. And I didn’t enjoy. I was responsible for that. And I had to make changes around that.
And I know that at some point this year, when I found it the hardest, because I’ve had a hard year this year. I’ve also had my best year ever. And I wished for that, by the way. Well, I put out a statement, and wish for it or made it happen. But I put out a statement to say, I’m going to have my biggest year ever. And we had our biggest year ever. We’re up 42 percent I think, in my companies. But I was not very specific about what I wished for.
What does Burnout feel like?
I think a lot of people don’t actually work as hard as they think. And I think, if you were to look at what you did all day, every day, it’s very likely that you’re only working for some of the time. The rest of the time, maybe you’re stressed, overwhelmed. Maybe, you’re procrastinating. Maybe, you are task jumping, et cetera.
Of course, on the other side of it, people are high flyers, starting their own business. and they are working all hours, godsends doing everything. So, I don’t want to sound like I’m disrespectful. I think that you’ve got to have some self-awareness to know when to have a rest, and when to work on your business, not just in your business, when to leverage out, and ask for help, and get the support of others, and when you know, to shut the world off and work hard, hustle as they say.
But the reason I’m saying this, is because I think burnout is often as much in your mind as it is the physical element. And I think actually, it’s not even lack of balance. It’s not even like, having all of your work, and your effort, and your focus in your business to the detriment of other areas of your life. And I know some people are going to find that quite difficult to compute or process in their mind. Because I think, a lot of people think they’re being out of balance is what burnout is. I don’t think it is. I think it’s working hard or long, or harder or longer than you like of doing something you hate.
Do millionaires and billionaires Burnout?
Mark Zuckerberg didn’t burnout, because he loves social media. Elon Musk hasn’t burned out, because he loves Tesla and SpaceX. Now, I’m not necessarily say you should model those people. And I’m not saying you should work as hard as those people. These people are at their real forefront of changing the world. Warren Buffett, for 6 hours a day, reading Annual Reports. Grant Cardone at the moment, you know, he’s everywhere, isn’t he? He’s everywhere, and he’s not burning out. So, he’s doing everything, 10X.
I don’t think that burnout is about working hard. But of course, it’s very common in entrepreneurs. Of course, it’s very common in people in careers. But of course, most people who follow me are entrepreneurs or want to be entrepreneurs. So, I’m going to go through some of the things I think it isn’t, and then some of the things I think, will help you.
What does burnout look like?
I can certainly say, many times, not all the time, but many times, some of my biggest challenges in my business, but yeah, okay, my child mind or my chimp person that sometimes people call them, you know, triggered emotions, they’re like why this has to probably have to happen now? Why? Why me? Why now? Wouldn’t it just be better and easier, if I didn’t have it? Sometimes, I feel quite strongly that I don’t want this in my life.
But I’ll have a minute, or even a day or 2, and I’ll roll up my sleeves and I go, no one is going to fix this problem for me. This is the problem I’ve got to fix. I’m even grateful for this problem, because I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. So, if I get a critic or a hater, you know, if I have a big issue in the business, maybe it might be employment, or reputation, or legal, or operational, whatever, I know that I’m bigger than the problem. I know I’m going to defeat that problem, because I know where I’m supposed to be going.
How to prevent Burnout
You should also never underestimate and good mentor’s ability to supply you with networking contacts. Having no doubt spent decades in the industry that you are seeking to conquer, a great mentor will have gathered a wide array of contacts, bringing with them the potential for countless other opportunities brought about by new introductions.
A great mentor will tell you firmly how to break away from those bad habits that you have no doubt developed, show you the shortest route to achieving success, how to avoid burnout and procrastination, how to find your way when you feel lost, and will teach you the filthy secrets that only the most successful entrepreneurs know about, which will help take you from average or failure to the level you should be aiming for.