Combat burnout physically.
Arthur Hong, co-founder of fitness class booking software ZenRez, has built a business that enables his professional and personal passions to co-exist. Growing up, Hong always had an interest in performance movement, but it wasn't until he started ZenRez that he discovered his true passion: acrobatics. He now performs in local gigs across San Francisco.
"In the beginning, I never intended to become a teacher or a performer. It kind of just naturally happened. Being able to juggle these activities has helped with time management," says Hong.
In addition to being a performer, Hong teaches a yoga class offered through his company's booking system. Doing so has enabled him to gain hands-on experience in seeking customer feedback and optimizing ways to improve ZenRez's offerings.
While not all business owners have their work and personal passions so closely aligned, Hong believes everyone can benefit from balancing the two: "It helps to know what your passions are outside of work. Force yourself to pursue those passions...Whether it's yoga, going to the gym or running, exercise is a great way to get your mind off things and recharge."
Combine parenting with business.
For entrepreneur Amber Anderson, the act of starting her family is what motivated her to start her current business, Kayson (named after her son). When Kayson was born two months early, Anderson lost the flexibility she had originally anticipated, causing her to re-evaluate what was most important in her life.
"I needed to be able to get access to information for my business and keep up to speed on industry-related events," Anderson recalls. "There were no conferences or programs that supported a working breastfeeding mother of a preemie."
In response, Anderson established the MORE retreat, a family-friendly business conference. One of the biggest lessons Anderson took away from the retreat was how she manages to stay present as a parent while also running her business.
"One of the things we have really tried to do is pull in our family to make it a 'village' mentality," Anderson says. "I noticed that was one of the biggest factors with our attendees: they're really engaged with their siblings, their parents. They're pulling everyone in to make sure their children have access to support."
"For new parents, the first thing I would ask is, 'What's the most important thing for you at this point?' and make sure that you put that into place...Understand what those boundaries are so you can build an infrastructure that works for you."
Choose time over a paycheck.
Entrepreneur Andrew Cull, CEO of Agema, started his career by burning the midnight oil. Traveling 100 days out of the year and clocking 70-hour work weeks was the norm.
One of the most important things Cull learned in the process is the value of time well spent, and that doesn't necessarily mean time spent on business.
"I think it's really easy to use the excuse that you're working hard to relax later, but you miss out on the time that you never can recapture with your kids when they're that young. My advice is that no matter what, your kid doesn't care if you make $1M or $100K, they only really care about that time."
Cull, whose company helps entrepreneurs put systems in place so they can delegate decisions, believes having a game plan is key. "The trick is to have a strategy: [not only] a mission statement for your business, but also a mission statement for your life," he says.
Know your go-to plan if you're on the cusp of burnout.
Serial entrepreneur Robby Berthume, co-founder and CEO of branding agency Bull and Beard, has a set regimen in place after more than 16 years of hustling in a startup environment:
Meditate. "Meditating can be a tremendous tool in the moments leading to burnout, but should be incorporated consistently as a preventative measure against burnout."
Swap scenery. "If I'm overwhelmed, it can feel like the world is closing in on me. So I find that breaking out of 'my world' by taking walks, day trips, vacations, etc., can be incredibly soothing for my soul and lets me recalibrate and recenter."
Phone a friend. "Coaches, mentors, partners, peers, friends, family and so on can be a huge source of support. Don't isolate yourself as an entrepreneur. Find a great coach, go to a workshop, join a mastermind group. Talk about it, don't run from it."