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How Hustlers Can Avoid Burnout

"No sleep, TX”

“The grind don’t stop.”

“Sleep when you’re dead.”

“While you’re sleep, I’m working.”

As our country continues to shift to an entrepreneurial culture, it’s inevitable that with this growth comes a new cultural mindset. Many of us, our friends, and colleagues are finding the inspiration to finally launch our businesses or turn those everyday habits into profits. Entrepreneurship is great for many reasons including access to financial freedom, flexibility, and an outlet for creativity that may not be experienced in a traditional 9-5.

What’s missing from this narrative is that no one ever talks about the dark side of entrepreneurship or “hustling” in general (I believe you can be a hustler in corporate America too). When I say the dark side, I’m not referring to the time, money, and energy put into the hustle, instead I’m referring to burnout.

Hustling is so glorified in our culture. You see many people boasting on social media about how they only get 3 hours of sleep or how they’re working 5 jobs. Although studies suggest most millionaires have 6 sources of income, I guarantee you most of those sources of income are passive. A million dollars isn’t necessarily made from getting 2 hours of sleep every night for months or years. Granted, some millionaires have earned success this way, I am believer in a few things:

#1 Work smarter, not harder

#2 Anything we desire is possible for us without sacrificing our health and wellness

Now if you’re someone who hustles 25/7, kudos to you, you’re probably rolling your eyes or have stopped reading this article. As for the rest of us who have experienced burnout from the hustle or die lifestyle, this article is for you. I’m here to tell you, it’s okay to take a break. Many entrepreneur books won’t tell you that. I just finished Crushing It! (awesome book by the way) and Gary Vee speaks on working 20 hour days to get where we want. What good is being a millionaire or successful when our health is failing and we have no personal relationships because we spend most of our time behind our computers working?

I learned this lesson and decided to take a sabbatical from my freelance work starting in May 2018. The first of half of 2018, I faced test after test filled with trial after trial and I found myself not having the energy or desire to even do what I love to do. I dealt with career changes, relationship issues, the sudden death of my grandfather and a car accident. At the time I felt really...just...conflicted, confused and unhappy with life. Things that once made me happy like work and growing my business became a burden. At the same time, I also was learning so much from other business owners that I knew I needed to make an earnest effort to organize my business processes and branding if I wanted my 1-year and 5-year goals to manifest.

So with so much on my mind and heart, I knew it was best to take a mental break and take a sabbatical from my freelance work. It wasn’t the easiest decision to take the summer off to give my mind a rest but my business needed it and more importantly I needed it. I knew if I wanted to be successful, taking a step back was going to be the best course of action. June 1st, I decided to pause all business efforts. At first it was hard to not check social media daily, interact with potential clients or promote my business, but I was being called to be still.

In my stillness, I could hear myself think. I was able to reflect on what I wanted my journey to look like going forward. I was able to find tools to help my workflow processes become easier. I was able to decide the focus and direction of my brand and career aspirations. I know that for many of us, taking a sabbatical may not be ideal due to income obligations, but I encourage everyone who considers themselves a hustler to take a step break and check-in with yourself mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Society is pushing us into this rat race that has seeped into entrepreneurship but remember why you started and make sure you’re enjoying what you’re doing.

It’s okay to change your plan, take a break, get counsel from fellow business owners, read, take a vacation, and most importantly take care of yourself.

If you need help checking in with yourself mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually, check out this free ebook I wrote as a guide to self-care.

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