How to Avoid Burnout as an Entrepreneur

I used to lift weights a bit when I was in high school. I always thought that the harder I worked the more muscle I would gain. But after a certain point I noticed that it was much harder to see gains then it was when I originally started.

This only convinced me that I needed to workout harder and longer. Still no gains.

I remember one night after one of these intense arm workouts. I woke up in the middle of the night in excruciating pain. Both of my biceps we locked at about a 45 degree angle.

Luckily one was able to bend far enough for me to reach the icy hot in the cabinet. Ahhh, instant relief.

Think I over did it? Perhaps a bit.

I have a habit of doing this to myself with whatever I do.  Luckily I have discovered in the past couple of years that more is not always better, and in fact more is often worse.

Tim Ferris has a book on exercising called the 4 Hour Body that talks about doing highly targeted workouts for a short amount of time an achieving phenomenal gains with it.  I’ve even heard stories of distance runners training with sprints.

I’ve tried it myself, both with workouts and running, and I must say that I agree.  I was always able to see improved gains when my training was more focused but took up less time.

One thing that I remember about that arm workout from hell besides the pain, is that I couldn’t workout my upper body for almost 2 weeks after that – I was too sore.

That meant that any of the gains that I got in the short term were long gone before I could build on them again.

I see this same thing in my life as an Internet entrepreneur.  For so many years I was glued to my computer screen working on something really important, only to get burned out and lose momentum.  After all, my laptop is just down the hall and I DO have a mighty long list of stuff to do.

Don’t do this to yourself.

Even though running your own business is a ton of work, especially in the beginning. It is not required that you work 80 hour weeks all the time to make it happen.

In fact, I would argue that if it takes you that long then you need to take a step back and see what items are getting you the most results.  Then just do those one or two things that work. Get rid of everything causing you to spin your wheels.

That is why I have been doing inventory on all of my niche businesses and ideas. Then either bailing on them or consolidating them into niche markets.

The most important thing you can do for yourself is gain focus on one thing at a time.

Think I’m lying? I would have thought I was lying too a few years ago too.

This is why so many people like Pat Flynn, Jay and Sterling, and Patrick McKenzie are able to build businesses that require only a few hours a day to maintain.

Putting in the work upfront is very important.  But more important is staying consistant and focused with whatever you are doing – especially when it feels like you are not moving forward.

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Eliot is a software developer by trade and a entrepreneur by spirit. He has built web software for the likes of YMCA, UPS, FedEx, Ford and Harcourt, and helped launch mobile apps like Coupon Policy, TourWrist, and Pocket Legal.

Join him as he learns and shares his experiences of marketing his own products online.

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