The idea of becoming a business owner is undeniably inspiring – and it becomes more inspiring still as you experience your first taste of achievement. However, it’s challenging at times to sustain this level of enthusiasm, especially when your life as an entrepreneur becomes more demanding.
Why do people suffer from entrepreneur fatigue?
One of the most common reasons many entrepreneurs start to flag is also one of the most simple: they overlook the importance of conducting adequate market research. Instead, they launch a product or service which they are convinced – without having any concrete proof – that it is something the world needs, then have an uphill battle trying to sell it. And that’s because people don’t really want it.
This problem could be easily avoided by conducting due diligence to find out if there really is a market for what you’re planning to sell.
Often, however, entrepreneur burnout goes beyond this, and plays out in the war between the fantasy that an individual may hold about their life as an entrepreneur (for example, that it will be easy, and that they therefore don’t have to prepare for it) and the harsh reality of its demands.
This disparity is something I have seen among many of my clients. They have unrealistic expectations of how easy it is to make money, or how much work they will need to invest. They don’t realise that overnight achievement, what some have called success, is sometimes a 5 to 25-year project.
Getting out of a rut
Fortunately, it’s possible for entrepreneurs who feel stuck in a rut to move past their lacklustre moment. I recommend the following exercise for anyone experiencing this kind of fatigue: start by setting up six columns on a piece of paper.
Now, write down in the first left column every activity you do – personal or professional – during a typical day. The next column should detail how much money each of these activities generates for you. Next, write down – on a sliding scale of one to 10 – how much meaning each activity holds for you.
This done, in column three, estimate how much it would cost you to delegate each task to someone who will execute it to your standard. This estimate must take into account every cost; from the training required to ensure the person in question does the work up to your standard, to their salary. In column five then write down the actual time spent on the task.
Finally, use this analysis to re-prioritise your tasks. Consider factors such as which activity produces the most hourly income, as well as which has the most meaning and which offers the greatest spread between income produced and cost.
Your new-look list will now place greatest emphasis on the activities that mean the most to you, make the most money, and which you find most spontaneous to perform. These tasks are where you should invest your energies so that you are not majoring in minors, and vice versa. Your list will also highlight which tasks you are wise to delegate so that you can concentrate on what keeps you inspired and generates the most profit.
Staying on track
One of the reasons this exercise is so useful and liberating is because it helps you identify your highest values – and, if you would love to lead a fulfilled and meaningful life, you are wise to live according to these, rather than being distracted and drained by acting according to your lowest values or priorities. This is when you become stuck.
Ultimately, your ability to achieve as an entrepreneur rests on your ability to provide a service that people truly need – but remember, too, that if providing this service doesn’t fulfil you or give your life meaning, you will remain stuck in the lower order parts of the brain which brings forth reactive responses and keeps you locked in a fight for immediate gratifying pleasure over long-term achievement and vision.
For more of Dr Demartini’s teachings, visit www.drdemartini.com