A few ways entrepreneurs can avoid burnouts

by Ashvini on October 19, 2011 · 14 comments

in Entrepreneurship

In my last post , Winners dont quite when they face the climb, I talked about how people who persists in spite of odds are most likely to be successful.


It might be a good idea to have positive thinking however it is better when idea can be adopted and put to practice. A lot of entrepreneurs quit because they

  • suffered from burnout as a result of too much work or
  • they ran out of money or
  • planned things in a way which did not compliment their goals.

Burnout is a big problem. Unmet expectation, no success in sight and overwhelming work cause entrepreneurs to quit midway when success is probably  not far away.

So how do you actually avoid such a burnout. Here is a 10 pointer.

#1: Set realistic goals

Entrepreneurs often want to finish their projects in unrealistic time frame. Setting up unrealistic goals means that harder work and faster burnout( including stress or physical ailments).
Success comes to those who work persistently for a longer period of time and do not burn out fast.

#2: Set smaller goals

Setting smaller goals is a much better keep yourself motivated. Grand goals are seldom reached.By the time you reach the grand goal, you would be on the verge to burnout. Keep grand goals in site while dividing it into much manageable goals is the key to success

#3: Understand your limitations and work around them

If you do not have a passion for certain skill set, you will never get very good in it.But getting just the practical knowledge is sometimes good enough.

For example, I was never good at drawing and painting. This obviously means that I may not have a career in graphic design.But  I learned just enough to create basic drawings which I can use. I understand my limitation and am working around it.

#4: Work lesser than your physical limit

Overworking can really harm your health. To achieve optimum health we need to take frequent breaks, exercise, get away from the work how much we like it. It is difficult to get away from something we feel passionately about but then it needs to be done.

Remember you are a human not a machine. Take it easy

#5: Create prototypes/ reach smaller milestones:

For example, while creating large software, creating smaller prototype or modules can be less of headache. You can test them and use them again at someplace else.  Starting out with prototypes helps building the  end product without getting burnt out in the process of creating the software as a whole.

Set small milestones and win them to get a sense of accomplishment. Take rest and celebrate after every  such milestone is reached.

#6: Prepare for long haul:

In most of the cases success might take longer time than you have planned it for. Even big businesses do not see immediate success in spite of spending a lot of money.

Be prepared for long fight.

#7: Find help from family, friends and network

If you are running out of money, ask your friends. If you are running out of motivation, speak to your friends. If you want to spread your idea, seek out your network. The more help you get from others, the less likely it is going to be a burden on you.

Get help if needed. No one knows everything.

#8: Do not work on too many projects

It is very tempting to start a new blog because setting up it is easy. However the grind is after that. You have to write content for every blog, promote it everywhere and get traffic. The amount of work is multiplied by the number of blogs you own. You might soon find yourself overwhelmed with work.
Cut down on the number projects that you are handling and focus on a few.

#9: Do not imitate others

Mr. X operates 20 blogs and earns $2000 per blog. In addition he sells soaps, software and everything else. He is making a load of money. Maybe you want to imitate him without even checking how he handles everything. After all the common denominator is both of you are human. ;).
There are things such good planning, availability of resources or any other factor that makes him so much money. Following Mr. X without a plan is sure going to lead to disaster. It will cause you to overwork and develop undue stress.

I would like to know your opinion? What do you think will cause lesser stress and then prevent quitting from your venture ? What strategies you would employ?


About The Author


Ira November 10, 2011 at 9:08 am

Burnouts. Its good to know we can actually avoid them. :) I guess not only entrepreneurs experience it. I think working lesser than your physical limit is the best advice that we should always stick on our minds because we often forget the fact that our bodies have its limitations too.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena November 11, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Hi Ira,
Thank you for your comments and welcome to my blog. Everyone experience burnouts , agreed. Entrepreneurs get it a lot because they have too much on their plate. That is where they need to be careful.

Best regards,

Cristian Balau November 10, 2011 at 3:05 am

From my point of view the fact of the matter is that quitters will be quitters. If someones get bored or tired it doesn’t matter how many steps it takes to prevent burnout. I think true blogger and internet entrepreneurs will know from instinct what to do and how to manage themselves not to burnout.

Adrienne November 8, 2011 at 11:19 pm

I’ll pipe in too Ashvini, great tips…

Man can I ever relate. I’ve bitten off more than I could chew numerous times. I guess I didn’t really plan it all out because I had a vision just up to a point and wasn’t exactly sure where it should go after that. Without a plan you will definitely fail. Yikes!

I think for me it’s setting realistic goals and don’t bite off more than you can chew. Be smart about where you are going and like you said, if you don’t know how to do something then that’s okay. Either do what you can or outsource that part. Just don’t stress over it because it’s not worth it.

I can’t think of a single thing I would add. You’ve definitely covered quite a bit here. So thank you for that, very thorough and to the point as well as helpful! :-)


Ashvini Kumar Saxena November 11, 2011 at 3:30 pm

hey Adrienne,

Thank you for the example from your life :). Everyone is guilty of overestimating their capability. I think it happens to all of us . But with time we learn and later wonder if only someone cautioned us before. I was a little sad about losing a couple of good bloggers and thus thought that it will make sense to discuss thing.

Sonia October 27, 2011 at 7:27 pm

I can honestly say I know this all too well. When I first started out I had a Golf Blog and as much as I love playing the game, I figured out after months of preparation, design and marketing efforts, that I ran out of things to say. My passion was clearly not for talking about each and every player or the latest and greatest things pertaining to golf.

My inspiration for creating it was for my boyfriend and needless to say, him and computers just don’t mix. He isn’t computer savvy (he claims he is) and I was hoping he would take over after I built it. My heart was in the right place, but my brain was saying, “you can’t do this and you know it”. So after a few months I packed it in and took it down. The fans I had on the page didn’t converse with me at all (they must of seen my lack there of) and I didn’t mince with “goodbyes”.

That was a big learning curve for me and I didn’t take that as a failure either. You win some, you lose some. Now pick yourself up and dig deeper to find what you really love talking about. I love helping people just getting into blogging and I can finally say I found my calling. It took me years to figure out what I would love doing and as weird as this sounds, it was right in front of me for years.

Another thing I learned was that setting realistic goals and seeing them on paper made it very clear of what I can and can’t do. Taking on too much will kill your “will” and reason why you started in the first place. We all have a high level of excitement in the beginning when starting something new, but once that “new-ness” wears off, then reality sets in. Face the reality first so you know what your expectations are from the get-go. Lying to yourself will set you up for failure before you even begin. Learn how to work smarter, not harder.

Great post Ash! I love picture of the matches…because at one point I burned out too!

Max M October 25, 2011 at 6:09 pm

The tips are great and they work as I know it from my own experience in fact. Besides everything mentioned here, you need to set up a good team who will support you in any situation. They should be professional and really smart and helpful people. You can say that it is impossible. It is possible, but it takes some time to select the people who will stay with you the long they can and give you a hand in any situations.

Aswani October 23, 2011 at 12:52 am

Hi Ashvini…great post. Burnouts are very common these days. Blame it on stressful environment or on us, seems that there isn’t any escaping from the same. Even I too have been feeling the same here. But anyways, I do not like giving it up so easily ;)

From your above points, I think it is all about knowing one’s limitation – What you can and what you cannot. Once you are able to know the same, it becomes much easier to handle one’s tasks and accomplish the same within a given time frame without any burnout as such. Start from the scratch and follow it all step by step till it gets finished. Do not pressure yourself too much.

Rana Sinha October 22, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Very good article with valuable observations and ideas. As an entrepreneur I can only agree with them and feel they are all relevant.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena October 24, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Hi Rana,

Thank you so much for your comments. I am glad that you liked these points. Really appreciate buddy.

Daniel M. Wood October 21, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Hey Ashvini,

Great article.
It is important to think about your goals and work towards them. But as you say we all have limits, plan your weeks so that you have some time to relax, set a realistic goal, give yourself fair deadlines.

You need to find balance if you are going to succeed, that balance can only be found by relaxing sometimes.

Great article buddy!

Ashvini Kumar Saxena October 24, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Thanks Daniel for your awesome comment and appreciation. I think you are the best person to talk about goal setting and productivity . I am glad that you liked it :)

Lori Gosselin October 21, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Hi Ashvini,
This is a great resource for the would-be quitter! They are practical, doable suggestions for the real world, kind of like the foundations of the castles in the air that Thoreau talks about: If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”

Ashvini Kumar Saxena October 24, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Hey Lori,

It is great to see you here. I am glad that you liked the ideas in the post. I really liked this quote that you have mentioned esp Now put the foundations under them..

Have a great day :)

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