On any given day, I’m known to wear many different hats. But there came a point where it became overwhelming. At one point I had a t-shirt line and I was certain that I was going to make thousands. I was wrong. There was also a point when I thought I was going to be a social media guru. Wrong again. But there was always one constant. I love wardrobe styling. Period.
Recently I was going through a work-binge (yes, that’s a real thing) and I was overworking myself to the point that I became sick with exhaustion. That is a huge problem. When you are working for yourself, you put your hands in so many pots, you work nonstop. The end result is burnout and second guessing yourself about your choices. It’s happened to not only me but to many now successful entrepreneurs.
So once you’ve hit burnout, and you will, here’s a few things to think about:
What are your big picture goals? This question can sometimes be met with mystique and wonder, but it is really a time to be honest with yourself. My big picture goals are to be location independent and change the way women view dress. I want women to be confident with how they look and feel. I believe in the transformative power of dress.
So why not develop a plan to do what I love, full time without running ragged? I’ve developed programs/projects that focus on accomplishing those goals and take off some of the stress and burnout.
Sacrifices need to be made. When you’re a startup you will not make money in the beginning. You may need to downsize and really cut your spending. I stayed with my mom (so no, the stigma, for me moving home doesn’t exist) and I picked up a job. actually two. Moreover, I began assisting various stylists on a rotation. I know I needed income to support my goals and I have no issue putting on my stylish combat boots…BURNOUT! I say all of this to say, of course you’ll need to sacrifice not hanging out with friends as often, but you may also need to sacrifice things just to maintain peace of mind. I’m at a crossroads where I truly need to decide what’s more important money or peace of mind and freedom.
Be a sponge. When you’re a startup, you are essentially pressing the re-start button on your life. So why not use that to your advantage? Look for free online classes. Read a few books. Follow a few people on social media platforms that you admire for inspiration. If you’re bold enough, reach out to them. Chances are someone has been where you are and can give you advice or be a sound board.
Think ahead of the curve. The world we live in is rapidly changing. And that means the way we do business is also changing. People will buy what they have a connection to and if that means learning new ways to do business, get on it. With social media becoming a bigger source of marketing, the opportunities to reach a wider audience are expanding. Learn how to tap into using social media to your advantage.
But don’t focus on what others are doing. Easier said than done! But worrying about what others are doing will get you back into burnout mode. Remember your 1 year will look different than someone’s 5 year success. Revel in the good moments and progress you’ve made and continue to make. Then you will truly see yourself reaping the rewards of your labor.