There are many reasons that business owners in Australia are heading towards business burnout at the moment.
On the back of 3 very stressful years of running a business through a global pandemic, we are still being effected by COVID today.
Like many countries in the world, there are staff shortages.
We’re really not 100% sure why. Is it because of the Great Resignation? Or COVID or the flu or RSV? Closed borders not allowing overseas workers in? Or are people staying on government assistance or finding online jobs? Whatever the reason, it is tough to hire at the moment.
We are also finding it hard to get ingredients and supplies for the business.
A lot has been happening in Australia with supplies. Continued flooding. Staff shortages in supplier businesses and supply chain issues around Australia and globally.
Delivery time of some items that used to be weeks has blown out to months, if we get a delivery window at all. That effects our product range.
Financial pressure is mounting with inflation zooming up. Costs are increasing all the time. There are still businesses trying to recover from all the lockdowns.
It is all the little things that add up over time.
Add those financial pressures to overworked business owners, who might be sick themselves and it’s becoming a bit of a perfect storm.
It is just layer on layer on layer being added to business owner’s backs.
It only takes the slightest addition sometimes, something that wouldn’t effect you any other time, to push you over into the burnout zone.
We know, as we have been there. We have sold businesses before because they were so ‘all consuming’, that we had to get out to get back to ourselves.
We have just passed the 3 year anniversary of owning the bakery that we have now and we are beginning to feel a buildup of tiredness again.
Here are some symptoms of business burnout:
- Mental fatigue.
- Decision fatigue.
- Zero care factor.
The other side of burnout at work is what it does to your home life.
We often take frustrations from outside sources out on the people we love the most because they are there. We know that they will still love us, even if we are mean (I mean a bit short!) to them every now and then! (How awful am I?) 🙂
But longterm, we need to treat our loved ones the best. Relationships break down otherwise. We have seen marriages fail, and sadly, people commit suicide because of business pressure.
Knowing that we are feeling tired and are suffering from winter blues, we are taking some steps to deal with it to head off burnout.
Short term –
- We need something to look forward to.
Humans can endure so much and if we know it is for a certain period of time, then our ability to deal with stress/tiredness/pressure can withstand.
We have a trip to sunny QLD booked in September for our youngest kidlet’s b’day (we do trips when they are 10 instead of presents) and knowing we have that coming up is a lifesaver for us all. Sun, fun, change of scenery, no work. All amazing things to look forward to!
2. Have a laugh.
Laughter releases endorphins. It is always our go to when we take life too seriously or it gets too much. We’ve got to have some fun to try and balance out all the pressure.
Funny movies. Funny clips on Youtube. Playing a game with your kidlets and cheating and watching their outrage!
Whatever is funny to you, you need to do it. You are more than just being put on this earth to pay bills. You HAVE to remember to have some fun.
My husband is very good at this, way better than me, but I am very grateful that he is here to remind me and make me do fun stuff. x
Long term –
- Be open to new ways.
We are having problems hiring bakers. So if we insist that we have to start work at 1am like we always have done, then it’s stressful when we can’t get people to do that shift.
So we are now looking at different equipment, like retarder proofers, that mean we don’t start until 3am.
And if we change our product range, and have this new equipment, then can we start at 4am?
Everything we “know” about baking can be changed at this point, if it means that we have more success hiring people, as long as it doesn’t impact our customers.
Can you make a change in your business that can take some pressure off you?
2. Consider if this business is still a good fit long term.
Life changes and sometimes what we do in our business has to change with it.
Don’t go selling or closing your business in a knee jerk reaction, as you will regret it once you feel less under pressure. But take a minute to look at what having this business means to you and what it is doing to your life.
I know that we can endure things as humans, if we get a result at the end.
That said, if you have to wait too long to get that result (like selling your business once it is paid off in 7 years time), what is it costing you in the meantime?
If you never see your kids apart from the weekends and you are missing important family events because you are working all the time, is a paid off business in 7 years worth that?
Just this week past I have heard stories of a 41 year old man dying in an accident, leaving a wife and young son.
And a 1 year old baby dying from respiratory complications due to these sicknesses going around.
Stuff happens all the time and 9 times out of 10, there won’t be a drastic result like these. But if you do miss important things that you can’t get back, is it worth it?
Is the effort worth the reward?
Our business is worth our time at the moment, as we have enough staff in place that we aren’t working all the time. Could that change? Sure. We actively hire all the time to maintain our buffers, but if we continue to have difficulties getting staff, then we may reevaluate.
When a business no longer serves its purpose of:
- Giving financial rewards
- Time flexibility
- Growing an asset that gives your family benefit
Then it may be time to consider either revolutionizing how it is run or letting it go altogether.
Adopting this mindset can help with business owner burnout, as it means that you have options and that takes the pressure down a notch.
Are you suffering from burnout? Do you need help adjusting your business in these trying times, to allow you more time with loved ones and more fun?
We can help. We are living this, along with you, every day and we truly understand all the pressures.
Book a call with us now and chat with other business owners who get it. You’ll feel supported and heard.
Or follow us on Facebook, where you can connect with other Parent Bosses like yourself.
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