A recent article I came across on Lifehacker (What Causes Burnout and How to Avoid It) inspired some thoughts about burnout.
Burnout happens to everyone in our business, to varying degrees, at one time or another.
Some of it is the natural ebb and flow of things, and it’s good to be cognizant of that.
It’s also not necessarily a permanent state. There are some underlying causes for burnout that you have some measure of control over.
For example, burnout can happen if we don’t feel appreciated in our work, if we aren’t getting enough positive (or any) feedback from clients, if we’re being treated like a peon rather than a respected administrative partner:
- Provided you’re doing a great job, what can you do to change that relationship?
- Could it be that you’re working with un-ideal clients?
- What steps can you take to choose better clients?
- Can you have a open and honest conversation with current clients, and let them know what you need from them in terms of feedback (or perhaps even just please and thank you)?
- Have you instituted a system in your business for surveying clients and getting their input and feedback on a regular basis?
- Can you adjust how you are educating clients and bringing them into the relationship.
Burnout can also happen when we over-complicate our business. What are some of the things you can examine there?
- Can your systems and processes be simplified?
- Are you making exceptions to your normal processes for certain clients? (Maybe it’s time to stop doing that.)
- Are you billing by the hour and tracking time for clients and submitting time reports to them? Maybe it’s time to stop doing that as well. (That was a rhetorical question. Yes, it’s HIGH time everyone stops doing that!).
- Are you charging different rates for different clients? How about deciding what and how you charge and applying it to ALL of your clients?
Every exception you make, every standard you step over, every policy you bend, is making your business (and life) more difficult. More ease goes a long way in curing burnout.
Maybe you aren’t charging enough and constantly being broke is bringing you down. Well, things are never going to change until you do something different.
What could you differently there? RAISE YOUR FEES, SISTAH!
The alternative is to stay broke and unhappy in your business, which I’m going to guess is not what you went to the trouble of starting it for, now is it?
- If you’ve never done any kind of proper business planning around fees, be sure to download our free ACA Income & Pricing Calculator. This is going to help you get clear and conscious about the economics of business and what you really need to be charging for a profitable, sustainable business that will earn what you need to thrive.
- Get off the hourly-billing merry-go-round — because it’s killing your business. Watch this video to learn why.
- Learn how to implement value-based pricing instead in your administrative support business. This will teach you a whole other simpler, yet more profitable, way to run your business and offer your support.
Have you experienced a bit of burnout at any time in your business? What did you feel was the root cause of the burnout? Were you able to overcome it and get inspired again? What helped you?