A common dilemma many entrepreneurs face is whether to fight for their business or throw in the towel. When I started my business over 9 years ago, I was young and ambitious. I was a ball full of energy with no children and a plethora of ideas. I wanted to change the world by assisting women with starting businesses. I grew a successful business with an office location downtown; I rented out several offices to business owners I had previously consulted; launched a youth entrepreneurship curriculum and co-founded a female business owner group called EntrepreneuHER. I was on fire and felt on top of the world, until I had my daughter.
I thought I would be full of love and the type of mom you saw on TV. Unfortunately, I suffered from postpartum and found myself depressed and no longer interested in my business. I loved helping women, I loved entrepreneurship; but I hated my business. I no longer wanted to check my emails or messages; I was losing more and more money as each month passed. I was too embarrassed to get rid of my office space and nearly lost everything trying to save it.
It is easy to just give up. I got rid of our staff and office space, changed the name of the business and thought I had my mojo back. But honestly, I did not deal with the core of my issue. Even with a new name and bright shiny marketing, I no longer wanted to do it. I reluctantly kept the business going for a few years and finally just stopped.
This was until I was out to dinner with friends, and ran into a young lady who swore I changed her life. She mentioned hearing me speak at a conference and the words I spoke resonated with her which became the push she needed to launch her business. It was at that moment, it hit me. My business was bigger than me and my feelings; it was about changing lives. It was a hard road to get out of the burnout blues, but here are the five things I did to climb out of my rut.
Being exhausted and unhappy with your business may not mean that it is time to throw in the towel. You could just need a break to regroup. In order for me to have a clear head to focus on my business, I needed to unplug. I decided to unplug for 6 months (it really lasted a year) and not think about the business at all. I no longer attended networking events and I did not take any new clients. Now I make it a point to schedule a weekend to unplug each quarter.
Have a serious convo with yourself
Before you throw in the towel, you need to get real with yourself. Is your decision based on emotions? Is it the fact you are not making the money you want in your business? You need to sit yourself down and write a list of the reasons why you want to throw in the towel. Take a hard look at that list and think about what your life would be like in the next few years if you quit. The decision is yours, so you need to make sure you are being honest with what is really pushing you to quit.
Look at your business model and adjust
Are you making money in your business? Are you offering products/services you no longer want to provide? Does your current business model no longer fit with your schedule? Before you walk away you need to take a look at your business model to see if you can make adjustments. In order to pull myself out of the business blues, I decided to discontinue my coaching services. It was one of the most profitable services for my business, but honestly I no longer wanted to do it. It was draining for me and my schedule did not allow me to provide the best quality service to clients. It was a hard pill to swallow, but I had to make the decision in order to move forward.
Majority of my burnout was due to overworking myself. I was not superwoman and running a business with a family and a husband was too much to handle. I needed help and I needed it fast. I hired a virtual assistant and it was the best decision I could have ever made. I reached out to a few bloggers to assist with maintaining my website which allowed me to focus on profitable services and not spend all my time on administrative tasks.
I am no expert and I do not own any burnout repellent. But today, I am happy! I am happy I did not give up. I am happy I continued to walk in my purpose. I am happy I found my mojo again. I am happy I have a business that changes lives. So before you give up and throw in the towel, take the time to give it one last try.