Signs You’re Experiencing Business Burnout as a Business Owner

by | May 7, 2024 | Productivity & Mindset | 0 comments

Being burnt out is often seen as a badge of honor in the online business space. It isn’t normal to be overwhelmed & exhausted by your business. If this sounds like you, book a free call to learn how we can turn your chaotic business into streamlined success.

This topic is something I am so passionate about as I cannot tell you how many times I’ve burnt out. I’ve had so many businesses crash & burn because I would pour everything I had into others rather than myself.

I don’t want you to fall into the same traps as me because you’re meant to do big things (& being overwhelmed won’t get you there). This blog will help you understand what business burnout is, how to spot it, and effective strategies to combat it so you can grow your business sustainably.

What is business burnout & does everyone experience it?

The way I define business burnout is prolonged stress that causes physical, emotional, and mental fatigue. Essentially, what happens is you’re burning both ends of the candle until you have nothing else to give.

The reason burnout happens to entrepreneurs is due to a lack of systems, processes, and boundaries. There is no structure in place which makes running a business difficult. When I think back to starting any of my businesses, the goal wasn’t to make my life harder… It was to make it easier.

The reason I kept burning out was because I worked in my business like an employee. I became a slave to my business, where I had no social life or hobbies to think about. To me, I felt like this was normal. When I was younger, I always got praised for working so hard. My teachers would always say “with your work ethic you’ll achieve big things” which I interpreted as “I have to work hard 24/7 in order to be successful.”

Yes, you do work more than the average 9-5er, however, you aren’t meant to burn yourself out. I am grateful that more people are talking about being burned out because it isn’t normal. If you look at the most successful people, they don’t get completely fried by their business. Which means you can do the same too.

Recognizing the Signs of Business Burnout

Just like with anything, the symptoms of burnout can look different for everyone. The reason is the way you live yourself & run your business influences how well you react to stressors, workloads, etc. By understanding what burnout could look like, you are able to take steps to overcoming it. The goal is to be aware because when you’re aware you can make changes.

Physical, Emotional, and Energetic Symptoms of Burnout

When there is prolonged stress it will eventually show up physically, emotionally, and energetically.

Physical Symptoms:

  • Chronic issues like IBS or indigestion
  • Always fatigued
  • Inability to get a goodnight’s sleep (this is a huge one for Katie)
  • Always getting sick
  • Frequent tension headaches & migraines
  • Change in appetite & weight
  • Hormonal imbalances (especially in women)
  • Adrenal fatigue

The way I can tell I am doing too much is that my gut issues will rear its ugly head. I will start experiencing indigestion, constipation, and an inability to properly digest my food. If I am being truly stubborn & not listening to these physical symptoms, I will get knocked on my ass completely when I have to take time off. The last time this happened to me was back in 2022 when I had an Ovarian Cyst burst (worst pain of my life let me tell you).

Emotional Symptoms:

  • Easily irritated/frustrated
  • Feeling lost on what to do
  • Existential dread
  • Resentment towards your business
  • Very reactive when things don’t go right
  • Wanting to give up/doubting yourself abilities
  • Wanting to distance yourself from everything 

The emotional toll is no joke & is often what is overlooked more. Growing up, I was in a loving home but not an emotionally regulated home, if that makes sense. I was taught to bottle up my emotions & push through no matter what. Emotions were a weakness to me. When these emotional signs showed up, I would ignore them because I had shit to do. The more I did this the more physical I would experience.

Energetic Symptoms:

I want you to stick with me as we are about to get a little woo-woo here. Before I built Indigo Elephant Co with Katie, I had an energy healing business as a Reiki Master. Let me tell you when the chakra symptoms are out of whack everything becomes out of whack.

When it comes to burn out specially the main chakras to get blocked is:

  • 3rd Eye – This chakra is in the middle of your forehead & responsible for your intuition, imagination, and wisdom. When this is blocked, you can get trapped in your head causing things like procrastination & overthinking.
  • Solar Plexus – This chakra is located above the navel & below the sternum. This chakra is responsible for your self-worth, self-confidence, and self-esteem. When this is blocked, it can lead to self-doubt, judgment, and a lack of purpose.
  • Sacral – This chakra is located below your navel & is responsible for your feminine energy, the ability to go with the flow, & creativity. When this is blocked, it can lead to wanting to always be in control and lack of creativity & abundance.
  • Root – This chakra is located at the bottom of your tailbone & is responsible for keeping you grounded. When this is blocked, it can lead to this sense of being out of control & not feeling safe.

The ones that impacted me the most were my sacral & root chakra. Anytime I didn’t feel safe in my business, I would try to control everything. I was hunting for safety rather than creating it in my own body through regulating my nervous system. This directly impacted my ability to be creative which in turn prevented me from effectively marketing & selling in my business.

Behavioral Changes Indicating Burnout in Business Owners

Now that we have looked at the physical, emotional, and energetic signs of burnout, I want to dive into how it appears in your business. All the symptoms you read greatly impact how you show up and move through your day. 

I always thought I was the business, but that isn’t true. Indigo Elephant Co isn’t Katie or me, it is it’s own entity. However the way we show up physically, emotionally, and energetically heavily influences how we show up for our business.

The behavioral changes I have noticed for myself is:

  • Avoiding my to-do list
  • Procrastinating on tasks that move the needle in our business
  • Overthinking my marketing & doubting if my audience will even like it
  • Posting & ghosting my audience
  • Dreading Mondays knowing had to get back to work
  • Never being able to turn off once work is done for the day
  • Multi-tasking
  • More like to make mistakes or decisions that are impulsive. 

As you can see, burnout directly impacts your ability to be productive in your business. 

The reason I call out all my own BS in this section is to shed light on how you are operating in your business. Are you avoiding your to-do list? Are you overthinking your content to the point where you never market yourself? By not being able to show up for your people, it directly impacts your bottom line. When you have this level of awareness, you can then make changes.

Strategies for Overcoming & Preventing Burnout

Now let’s talk about solutions to overcoming & preventing burnout in the future. Throughout this blog, you have gotten clarity on how burnout is impacting your life and business. What has helped me to recovery from burnout is:

  • Setting boundaries around my time, for example only taking meetings Tuesday-Thursday.
  • Taking one day off a week to recharge (this is usually Saturdays for me).
  • Beginning to map out the tasks I love doing vs what I dislike doing so I can outsource those tasks to my team. For me this is Katie, my business partner, and Johnathan, our web & tech officer.*
  • Learning how to regulate my nervous system through tools like meditation, breathwork, & Pilates.
  • Getting a hobby which is reading dark romance or fantasy books!
  • Taking multiple breaks during the day for a walk around the block.
  • Incorporating a project management to make it very clear on who owns what & when things need to get done.

I plan on writing a whole blog on creating a recovery plan for business overwhelm & exhaust. This is something that goes away overnight. It is about finding tools & strategies you can use whenever life gets stressful.

*You might like this, too: 

Final Thoughts

Being overwhelmed, exhausted, & chronically stressed isn’t a part of being a business owner. By recognizing the signs, understanding its impact, and applying effective strategies, you can optimize your business to work for you and the lifestyle you want to live. I hope you walk away from this blog feeling like a weight has been taken off your shoulders knowing you have the ability to have everything you want & more.

P.S. If this blog was too long to read, here is the gist:

  • It isn’t normal to experience burnout when running your business.
  • The reason entrepreneurs wear out is due to prolonged stress.
  • Burnout can appear as physically, emotionally, and energetically which directly impacts how productive you are in your business.
  • The way to prevent excessive stress is to be aware of how it shows up for you & incorporate solutions  like setting boundaries, prioritizing tasks, and outsourcing what you can.

Don’t forget to book a free consultation if you’d like support in building your burnout recovery plan.


You May Also Like…


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Heey, it's Katie & Sara!

We are the founders of Indigo Elephant Co, where we specialize in helping overwhelmed business owners move from chaos to clarity with our proven systems and dedicated support.