Running On Empty When You Are the One in Charge

Confession time:

I've been facing some major burnout lately.

The issue is that we've seriously ramped up our online presence, which has led to an increase in work = increase in workforce = increase in management = decrease in sleep. 😓

I think a short-term pedal to the metal approach is perfectly normal and should be expected when you run your own business, especially when you see the end in sight. My problem currently (and why I think I'm experiencing burn out) is that I'm not sure where the end lies, or when we'll find a new "normal" again. We're moving into territory that's totally new, and running your own business doesn't exactly come with its own guidebook.

The other bummer about a growth spurt in a small business like Hoot is that there must be a transitional time period where all increase in income goes back into the business. That's what happens when you're trying to grow, right? You have to reinvest that extra revenue into the models you're setting in place.

So while I might be working much harder/longer/consistently than I have in years past, I expect to take home the same salary as last year, despite the fact that our revenue has increased by 50%.

So in this case, more work = same take-home pay this year.

And that is depressing.

I want to feel like the time I've sacrificed with family and friends and the lack of brain space for anything other than work equates to more income, but at this point in the growth process, it doesn't. It's a drag on my motivation.

So how to recharge those batteries?

I'm working on it, peeps.

Here are my top three tips on beating burn out. I'll be spending as much time as possible acting on these tips next week! 

Cheers to you tackling it too, baller. So here it is:

Three ways to combat small business burnout:

1. Take Care Of Your Health


This is numero uno for me, because self care is the first thing to go when I'm in overload mode.

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I have to remember that taking time to meditate is SO worth it right now, even though it feels like one more item on my to-do list.

I also need to get to the gym and eat clean, healthy foods that help my body operate at its best, instead of feeling sorry for myself and indulging in wine and chocolate.

2. Change the View


This is also huge for me. Tomorrow we're taking our work outside the office to one of our fave retreat spots, a great away-from-it-all winery in  Rocheport, MO.

Les Bourgeouis, where we're heading for our one day out-of-office work retreat tomorrow!

Les Bourgeouis, where we're heading for our one day out-of-office work retreat tomorrow!

This is an inexpensive way for us to get out of the studio scene and power through some team projects.

This sort of mini retreat to get it all done when we can't afford a weekend long version right now can help give you that motivation boost to get through it all. Plus, quality time with the Hoot peeps and great views of the Missouri landscape 😉

The other "change in scenery" I'm planning on getting myself to soon is the cottage of WoolCrush owner Amy Higgins Stambaugh and her family, right outside of Columbia.

Amy's guest house looks like the perfect place to recharge this fall, without having to plan, travel or spend much to make it happen!

3. Twalk About It


This last one is a no-brainer if you are an extrovert like me. TELL SOMEONE. Or tell EVERYONE 😉 

Case in point, this blog post.

I'm sure some peeps would advise me not to put in writing (for all clients to see) that I'm experiencing burn out for the "but what about MY PROJECT?!" questions we're sure to get.

Well, this blog is all about authenticity. We want to show you what it's really like running a creative studio, the good, the bad and the fugly. Which includes the fact that making your own business happen, and growing that business, is hard work!

Hopefully you don't leave this post feeling like Debbie-Downer, but more like Take-On-The-World-Tina; because we all hit these rough patches, and being honest about them is the fastest way I know to move through them.

Love KGB.

We're working hard to show you what five years in business looks like. Comment here or on Facebook with topics or questions you'd like to see us cover. Or maybe just links to your favorite GIFS. You can also tweet us your feedback @hootdesignco or @averyenderle, follow us on Insta, come check out our Pinterest boards, and keep up with us on BlogLovin'!