Entrepreneur burnout: why breaks are essential
We’re back from a month of rest this summer to avoid entrepreneur burnout, and it’s been wonderful to take a break. If I’m being honest, I took “stay steady and consistent” a bit too far and tried to make a podcast (and a website) that published every Monday without fail.
The problem with that?
We’re a small team, we’re human, and rest is a critical and important part of any plan.
After making two babies, launching a podcast, and building a business, I finally took a break from publishing—and it was better than I expected.
In today’s episode, I share how we set up our family sabbatical (we took the entire month of August off), the social media break, and why actually *stopping* was so important for me as a creator. So many people talk about product-market fit, but product-founder fit is also important. Does the business work for you as a human and a creator? Does it align with the lifestyle you’re hoping to create?
IN THIS EPISODE WE TALK ABOUT
- Why we take a family sabbatical, and how we set it up.
- Why it was harder for me (as an entrepreneur) to take time away than if I had a “regular” job I could leave.
- The complete social media sabbatical I took, deleting everything from my phone and computer, and the results of my social media break.
- Why having time away is so important for deeper reflection and analysis (and avoiding entrepreneur burnout).
- The power of the question “What’s next?” and why I’m not afraid of asking big questions when it comes to starting (and stopping) the Startup Pregnant podcast.
- Why so much of this journey is about experimentation, and what I’ve learned along the way.
The Startup Pregnant Podcast Episode #125
SOME QUOTES FROM THE EPISODE
- “It’s easier (in the short term) to say yes to two things than it is to decide between them.”
- “Saying no—deciding—feels painfully hard. But it’s essential if you want to do less and have more free time.”
- “Having to choose is painful but liberating.”
- “There comes a point when having more systems, or tools, isn’t the answer. The answer that really needs to happen is that we have to say no. We have to say no to a LOT of stuff that comes up. Choosing is painful, but liberating. That’s where the freedom is.”
- “You can be consistent AND consistently take breaks.”
- “Constantly creating content without ever taking a break might lead you to entrepreneur burnout.”
- “Consistency is important, but so is listening to your body and following your internal rhythms and needs.”
- “You don’t need to work twice as hard to deserve or take a rest.”
- “Plans are great. We should make them. But also, we need to dance with reality, which rarely goes according to plan.”
- “In my experience, life is a great unfolding. It’s not about knowing the perfect plan in advance, but about dancing with things as they unfold.”
- “I’ve got very limited time, and I’m staring down the barrel of getting pregnant again, which means my time will become even more limited. I can’t take on more unpaid projects—this has got to be financially viable. Suddenly I’m fierce about getting paid.”
- “I was scared of giving birth.”
- “If you don’t agree with me, that is okay. We can differ.”
- “If working endless hours and making more money is making you miserable, or you don’t want to do it, you don’t have to max out your dollar value or productivity just to get the perfect graph. You can let anxiety and overwhelm culture go and create a business that works for you, with the type of life you want to live.”
- “Looking back, I wish I’d given myself more breaks.”
- “I am going to take my time and sit on this question. It’s not easy to live into the questions, and it doesn’t feel comfortable to not have an answer. I can be uncomfortable. I’m going to take my time.”
RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
- I Ran 4 Experiments To Break My Social Media Addiction (Harvard Business Review)
IF YOU ENJOYED THIS EPISODE, CHECK OUT
- The Future of Work (and Feminism) Is Flexible — Episode #002 With Annie Dean
- Overthrowing the Patriarchy — Episode #023 With Sarah Lacy of Chairman Mom
- Race, Social Justice and Political Branding — Episode #036 With Tepsii
- Planning Ahead for Maternity Leave as an Entrepreneur — Episode #065 With Arianna Taboada
- Transitioning Back to Work After a Career Break — Episode #075 With Rita Kakati Shah
EPISODE SPONSOR & SPECIAL OFFER
We are launching the first course in our Startup Pregnant School, The Art of Asking. It’s all about asking for what you want and getting more of it. You can find it at www.startuppregnant.com/ask or go to www.startuppregnant.com/courses to see what we are building. If you struggle with asking or you want to become a better negotiator, either in your business life or in your personal life or both, go check it out.
This episode is sponsored by Splendid Spoon, a meal delivery service that creates whole, healthy, plant-based soups and smoothies that can be a great fit for busy parents and new moms. Get $50 off your first order with the link splendid.to/startuppregnant.
NEW OFFERING FOR OUR PATREON SUPPORTERS
If you’re a fan of this podcast, you’ll love the private, ask-me-anything fireside chat with Sarah. For Patreon supporters only, get access to a new podcast episode every month AND the chance to ask Sarah any question you want about life, business, and parenting. She will honor everything honestly. Patreon supporters who become sponsors at $7 a month get exclusive access to these episodes that aren’t published anywhere else. Head to www.patreon.com/startuppregnant to become a back and get immediate access to the episodes.
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