Business Owner Burnout: Signs to Look For



According to a study by Harvard Business Review, nearly 30% of entrepreneurs (whether business owners or founders) feel burned out. Most of us are familiar with the risks of burnout by now: job dissatisfaction, poor performance, and even more health-related issues like heart disease and depression. Can burnout as a business owner be avoided? Can it be overcome? Here are a few signs to look for and some tips for navigating burnout if you find yourself facing it.


Signs of Business Owner Burnout


Low Energy

You do not have the energy or motivation to do things you previously enjoyed. The work that used to energize you now drains you. Overall, you feel exhausted and overwhelmed.


Lack of Enthusiasm

You feel uninspired. The passion and purpose you once experienced about your work has faded or is gone altogether.



You have a short fuse and struggle to treat your people well. Your negativity blinds you to positives, and nothing ever seems good enough.


Trouble Sleeping

You have trouble sleeping, which may be from chronic anxiety or depression. Regardless, it further exacerbates your low energy and irritability, among other things.


Poor Performance

Your performance at work is slipping, partly as a result of your low energy and lack of enthusiasm but you also have difficulty focusing and making decisions. Your declining performance is extra frustrating because you are likely spending even more time working than before (but that is likely because the same tasks and decisions are taking longer for you to accomplish than before).


Dealing with Business Owner Burnout



According to the Harvard Business Review study mentioned above, “harmoniously passionate” business owners were far less likely to experience burnout. These are business owners who maintain a balance between their business and non-business activities without feeling “conflict, guilt, or negative effects when not engaging in work.”



Reduce distractions, chaos, and anxiety by organizing systems and procedures. This includes overall workflow at the office as well as your desk, your files, and your calendar.



Ask for help, make room for others to step up, and keep your people accountable to the tasks for which they are responsible.


Make a Change

Maybe your burnout has revealed that you are ready to make a business ownership or industry change. Rather than succumbing to the depths of business owner burnout, consider discussing your specific situation and business with one of our professional Advisors / Brokers. Conversations are 100% confidential with no obligations. We have over two decades of experience working on exit & transition strategies with business owners just like you. Contact us today.