Ask any entrepreneur why they started a business, and you’ll hear a multitude of reasons: an insatiable appetite for freedom, a brilliant idea that can’t be ignored, or the prospect of growth without a “salary cap.” There are many reasons to start a business in the events industry, but one thing is sure: nobody chooses entrepreneurship to lose their autonomy.
So when “The Business” starts to take precedence over your personal time, health, and self-care, it can feel like you’ve been sold a false bill of goods. And when your entrepreneurial peers seem to have it all figured out, it’s natural to start looking for an exit plan.
But before calling it quits, take a step back and consider that the so-called “work-life balance” is a myth. After all, you’re still an entrepreneur when you put your computer to sleep. And you’re definitely still a human being when you skip lunch to take back-to-back client meetings. So rather than chasing after a “balance” that doesn’t exist, make it your mission to achieve integration. In other words, permit yourself to embrace all parts of your life without feeling, allowing them to coexist instead of hiding them.
If your business is running you into the ground, it’s time to get back into the driver’s seat, reclaim control, and steer it toward your goals. Here are four ways to keep burnout at bay and achieve long-lasting stability in your business.
Accept that Less is More (no, really)
From recording TikToks to trying every new CRM on for size, it’s easy to succumb to shiny object syndrome when a world of opportunities is at your fingertips. But doing all these things will only lead to decision fatigue and overwhelm. Find freedom in your business by letting go of the maximalist approach and adopting a “less is more” approach.
Do you need to plan and prepare for a new launch every month? Can you scale back your offerings from whatever-the-client-wants to a few defined packages? Of course, distractions will always exist to pull you away from your true purpose. But dedicated entrepreneurs in the events industry have the discipline to stay on course in pursuit of their goals, even when it means cutting out unnecessary elements from their business.
Design the Life You Want
The beauty of entrepreneurship is the ability to do what you want, whether rolling into your home office to start work at noon or taking your business on the go while traveling the world. But many business owners work themselves to the point that they forget they are free at all. Instead, they feel restrained by sales calls, work deadlines, and overbearing clients, as if they must cater to the business’s needs before their own.
But remember: You are in charge! You have the power to define your own schedule, working the hours that fit your life. You are entitled to set boundaries that keep clients at arm’s length. You can fill your workspace with comforts like your go-to snacks or favorite photos. So if showing up to work for your business fills you with dread, consider why and adjust your life — and your work — to keep those troubles to a minimum.
Leverage your Secret Weapon: Tech
Once upon a time, business owners had to do everything by hand: track sales, take payments, create proposals, organize client information, and all the big and small tasks it takes to keep a company running. But today, entrepreneurs in the events industry have the most powerful resource in their back pockets: technology.
We live in an age when you can solve virtually any problem with tech. Need to give a site tour to a destination client who lives in another time zone? Now you can use 3D visualization software to share a virtual tour. Want to manage a remote team of ten? You can take your pick from countless communication and project management tools.
Identify the speed bumps that slow down your team (and your business), then look for the tech solutions that will put those obstacles behind you once and for all.
Turn Inwards to Reflect
Some seasons are more challenging than others, and even the most optimized businesses can sometimes create an environment for burnout. Maintaining control over the situation requires awareness of your body’s natural cues, so you can address the growing stress before it spills over into your personal life. Otherwise, you can end up blindsided by the physical, mental, and emotional symptoms of burnout.
To get ahead of burnout, look for the warning signs that you’re reaching a breaking point. Migraines, anxiety, social withdrawal, irritability, and difficulty sleeping are all clues that you need a break ASAP, but impending burnout can look different for everyone. Sit with yourself and familiarize yourself with the signals your body sends when it’s in distress. Then, create a decompression plan you can use anytime you reach that point.
For example, if you tend to get cranky with loved ones in the evening, it may help to schedule daily walks to wind down from the work day before thinking about dinner. Or, if you dread getting out of bed in the morning, try a power-up routine that prioritizes stillness and self-care before diving into your busy day.
Entrepreneurship doesn’t have to—and shouldn’t—feel like a 24/7 job. You can only pour into your business when you’ve poured into yourself first, so give yourself the time and space you need to recharge. “Busy” doesn’t always mean productive, and it definitely doesn’t mean you’re making progress when you can’t even take a minute to breathe. So commit to saying no to the never-ending grind and, instead, cultivate a holistic mindset that keeps you and your business in tip-top shape.