As an ambitious, young startup founder, it’s easy to think that your drive is infinite and ‘burnout’ is just something you’re immune to. I felt the same until one day, out of nowhere, it hit hard. It’s like catching a medicine ball that’s just a bit above your weight level. Occupational burnout is described here as, “a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.”
Growing up I moved through various, rapid complexities of mental and psychological development mixed with emotional stress which I eventually learned not all people face. As I matured, I just felt like I had developed impenetrable defenses that would protect me from ever breaking down again like an old car that desperately needs a tune up. For the record, I’m just shy of 30. So, even though the development of Therr app has been progressing rapidly lately, suddenly everything felt wrong. After a culmination of work and life stresses blew up in my face, I found myself sitting at work, staring at the computer with zero motivation to begin even the simplest tasks. I guess I was wrong.
Coming of age, when my career became the forefront of my daily life, I’ll admit, I started to pour too much of my existence into doing the best at my job, and that grew into a deterrence from instead trying to be the best version of myself that I could be. I stopped living for the people I care about and started living for the infinite potential of a dream.
So, how do you keep the dream alive and get your startup in the air without neglecting the one’s you love? How do you prevent or resolve burnout? I think the first step, is to acknowledge how much you need their support, but don’t just tell yourself. It’s also critical that you let them know how much that support means to you. They don’t need to understand your dream, but they do need to understand why it is so important to you. Remind them that working 60 hours a week to keep your day job while also building a startup is only temporary.
Harvard Business Review also recommends reflecting on why your work matters. It isn’t just about the success of your startup. It’s also about achieving what you set out to do. It’s about justifying the reason you wanted to start something new in the first place. It’s about the people you hope to inspire, the ideas you hope to instill, and the change you hope to create.