What would you have done differently?
There are a lot of reasons why businesses fail. Often times, blame is at the forefront. There are many other reasons such as faulty equipment or services, overpromising and under delivering, miscommunication and the list goes on.
What we have found is that more often than not the reason for growth or the lack thereof could very well be the person in charge.
Maybe you are familiar with the saying, “When you point one finger, there are three fingers pointing back to you.”
Another common phenomenon among entrepreneurs and their teams is ‘burnout’.
In this post, we discuss:
- What happens during a business plateau
- The reason behind burnout
- How to move forward and move up
Simply Getting By in Business
There is a time in business when you just feel stuck. You have done what you could but to no avail. You are not moving any closer to your goals.
Business becomes a chore and the excitement that once kept you going is gone.
According to business coach David Shriner-Cahn, there is a gap that needs to be addressed in order to succeed long-term.
Cahn has worked with mid-career entrepreneurs who experience plateaus in their journey. The kind of success these entrepreneurs want is seemingly elusive.
He shared that running a business is like tending crops in a farm. There is work to be done, yet it takes time before entrepreneurs can enjoy the harvest.
Those who are stuck, he said, are “overwhelmed by potential ideas for doing things. They look around at what other people have achieved and they find all the possible ideas overwhelming.”
They get caught up instead of focusing on what they need to do to advance.
Work at Your Expense
Passion has its price. Studies have revealed a correlation between burnout and engagement, and people who are highly engaged in work are the most susceptible to exhaustion and health impairments.
Many of whom hold demanding job roles but with scarce resources to fulfill them. They are restrained in their ability to perform, given the overall pressure they experience.
Consequently, they place themselves at a greater risk of giving up. We learned from Christopher Lochhead Follow Your Different™ podcast that, in extreme cases, they die from overwork — a culture which the Japanese calls “Karoshi.”
Dealing with Multiple Hats
The everyday business operations are similarly enough to keep entrepreneurs on the move.
They work hard toward their goals. However, the drive to succeed does not always guarantee clarity in how to achieve them.
Adding to their invested effort is the struggle with self-appointed tasks. Many work in their business and solve challenges as they appear. CEO Anita Campbell shared,
“Rather than an owner working on the business, they have become crisis managers. Many sit in their offices and wait for someone to come through the door with a problem that needs attention or resolution — now.”
Leadership is a skill which not all entrepreneurs have been trained for. Some build their business on their own until they are ready to hire help.
When entrepreneurs run their business in high uncertainty, their team struggles with them.
Understanding Employee Burnout
Employees experience burnout differently from employers. They work in a given position unless appointed an assignment outside of their main job role.
No matter how employers encourage them to avoid working long hours, their struggle has less to do with expectations for productivity and performance.
According to Gallup, it has more to do with the way they are managed.
Factors in employee burnout include:
- Unfair treatment at work
- Unmanageable workload
- Lack of role clarity
- Lack of communication and support
- Unreasonable time pressure
Burnout is not something that can be easily relieved. However, as the report suggested, it can be prevented with proper guidance.
Smash That Business Plateau
Growth in business is a team effort. It requires the support of everyone, including both employer and employee.
The first step in moving forward, according to Cahn, is realizing the need for change. As you move along, it is important to consider the way you communicate to your team.
He said, “In business leadership, one of the places people get stuck is in the way they communicate expectations and what they do as a result.”
What works for a veteran employee may not work for the young employee. Likewise, what you knew worked when you started in business may have already evolved over time.
People practice different ways of communication, because of the environment each one is accustomed to as individuals.
Furthermore, he said, “If you are a leader inside a company, you need to understand what it is that is going to encourage the people who are part of your team to take action.”
You may not have the best team in the universe, but making well-informed decisions at the right time as the leader can go a long way for your business.
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