BURNOUT: When You Think You Gave It Your All
This blog post is for all salon, spa, and medspa owners/leaders that may be experiencing burnout and are feeling like you’re pushing against the tide.
Owning and leading a successful salon/spa has always been about giving it all you've got.
So much so that working a forty-hour week would feel like a vacation.
You invest your money, take on debt, and use your personal assets as collateral. Most of all, you give your passion and energy to pursue your vision.
In so many profound ways, what you give … and sacrifice … is a commitment to function at or beyond the limits of your comfort zone.
Given all the sacrifice, what is the upside of owning and leading a business? For me, it is to control my own destiny, to build something truly unique, and create a better life for myself, my family, my employees, and those my company serves.
Of course, it's about making money — but money has never been the number one driver. The purpose of my work has always been my number one driver. Do it right, do it to the best of my ability … and the money will come. Profit and money are\an outcome.
FACT: All owners experience some degree of burnout along the way.
Here are five proven strategies to not only break free of burnout — but to prevent it from ever happening again:
- Change your business model: By business model, I'm referring to your leadership approach, culture, brand, operational systems, employee growth paths, financial controls, standards of performance, accountability, and customer service practices. If you’re experiencing burnout, then your current business model is very likely the cause. Why? Because it can’t get you the results you want. This is the toughest concept for many owners to grasp. Too many owners think that by “working harder” things will get better. In reality, working harder to drive a poorly designed business model will produce more stress than positive results. KEY: The moment you realize that you’re working harder for less … your business model must change. My only warning here is that the longer you've been stuck, the more embedded the thinking and behavior — and the more challenging installing a new business model will be. If you want to end burnout, put your effort and energy into a business model that will get you where you want to be.
- Change your focus: If you're experiencing burnout, you’re focused on plugging leaks, fighting cash-flow problems, employee indifference, and just trying to make it through another day, week, or month. It's like watching your feet while you walk and hoping you'll get to a better place. By watching your feet, you can't see obstacles ahead of you … or that cliff up ahead. KEY: “Change your focus" means stepping back to honestly assess where you are (current reality) and where you want to go (vision). Hoping things get better doesn’t work. Focusing on achieving specific goals that include milestones, tasks, accountabilities, measurable critical numbers, and other performance factors do work. Changing your focus requires a high level of personal discipline to avoid backsliding. This is where a business coach can really help.
- Change how you work: If you're experiencing burnout, you're stuck in your daily work routine. You’re doing a superhero impersonation trying to carry your business on your back. That’s a recipe for burnout. The next step is to change how you work. KEY: That means blowing up your daily schedule and rebuilding it with work and projects that move you and the company forward. Simply put, if you're tired of working harder for less … then work smarter for more. Remember, old work habits die hard. Working smarter for more always requires new business and leadership skills — and the discipline to master those new skills.
- Change your choice: Yes, burnout and working harder for less is not a good place to be. It wears you down, saps your energy, feeds negativity, finger-pointing, and feelings of self-doubt. KEY: The hard truth about burnout is that it’s a choice. Working harder for less is nothing more than a toxic collection of one's own thinking and behavior patterns. By changing your choice to a new and positive set of thinking and behavior patterns, you simultaneously change your perspective on life, business, and the possibilities of a better future.
- Responsibility and accountability: It’s your company, your creation, and your dream. Even with all its warts and blemishes (every company has them), you created something extraordinary that you should be proud of. Your company provides the livelihoods for many families — especially your own. And if you had to sacrifice your paycheck so your employees can get theirs, you simply did what entrepreneurs must do when cash flow isn’t flowing well. KEY: When all is said and done, you are the one responsible and accountable for your company. You are its leader. For now, no one can lead it like you can — but only if you take action to escape your self-imposed burnout.
Here’s my challenge to you: I'm not trying to "sell" anyone on the benefits of business coaching. I just know what it's like to have a case of burnout and what it takes to lift yourself and your business out of it.
Progress and growth move at the speed of the individual's ability to change, learn and master the disciplines of business and leadership.
Being held accountable for the change process is perhaps the greatest gift of coaching.
So, if you're tired of working harder for less … it's time to change your approach and learn how to work smarter for more.
Want some help? Click here to learn how working with a Certified Strategies Coach can help take the weight off your shoulders, and help you move your company faster.
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