As an entrepreneur, I know what it means to hit that mental fatigue point. When it happened to me, I didn’t want to ask for help. I didn’t think that’s what successful entrepreneurs do, and I didn’t want to appear weak. Unfortunately, it landed me in the hospital. You can say it won’t happen to you, but you need to know what to look out for and keep yourself in check because if it does happen, it can be incredibly hard to recover.
If you want to avoid falling victim to hustle culture, here are a few things worth remembering.
1. Be Intentional About the Content You Post
As humans, when we are exhausted, we look for external stimulation. The use of social media has made it incredibly easy to find validation, but—unfortunately—It’s dangerous. We get this hit of dopamine when people are liking and commenting on our posts, and that leads to us wanting more. As a result, it creates this noise effect online where everybody is basically shouting to get space because they need to feel validated. If you do that for long enough, you just tend to burn yourself out because it’s not humanly possible to create high-quality content every single day.
You don’t have to be posting every day on social media to be relevant, impactful, and helpful. Instead, focus on being intentional about the content you create—not just contributing to the noise in order to generate leads and customers. Ultimately, it’s about the quality of your followers, not the quantity. Just because you have a million followers doesn’t mean you have a million buyers, and there are tons of broke influencers out there to prove it.
2. Don’t Compete With Influencers Who Have a Huge Team Behind Them
There’s a good chance that if you come across someone who is constantly posting content, they’re not flying solo. In fact, they probably have a huge team of 30+ people behind them. There is absolutely no way for a solopreneur or even someone with a small team to ever start to compete with that much creative energy.
Remember the influencers I mentioned before? You know the ones that have the followers, but nothing else to show for it? The real reason they’re constantly creating content and building their audience is that they really aren’t sure how to monetize it, or they are promoting products that really aren’t very good. Just focus on creating profitable content that has purpose and intention and you’ll end up on top.
3. Be Mindful of the Law of Diminishing Returns
We are not built to work all the time, and we’re not built to push all the time. It’s not healthy for us. When you hit a certain point where you want to just power through a task because in your mind, being busy means you’re worthy, you need to take a break.
You see, the law of diminishing returns is that if you’re constantly pushing, you’ll build momentum and see results at first. But when you peak? The quality of what you are putting out decreases. Eventually, you get to a certain point where your brain just shuts off and you start to actually do yourself a disservice and do yourself harm. When you’re tired—and when you hit that point of diminishing returns—you’re very vulnerable to making bad decisions. You’re likely to do things reactively and make short-term decisions for something that you’re trying to build into a long-term business.
A metaphor I like to use is that you can’t go to the gym and lift weights for 24 hours straight. You are going to injure yourself—but this is how people are approaching business and entrepreneurship. They’re trying to keep going no matter how irrational it is to stay at the highest level of energy and capacity. It’s just not normal. And it’s not humanly possible. Instead, think about the long game. Try to be less reactive, and focus on understanding why you’re doing what you’re doing.
4. Figure Out How to Make Your Business Model Easier
The moment when I figured out how to simplify my business and do less was when my business started to grow. When I was hustling my face off, didn’t have a team, and ultimately landed in the hospital with burnout, my business wasn’t even benefitting from my hard work. I was trying to do everything myself, and I didn’t even stop long enough to even wonder, why am I doing this? Did I want my version of success to be in a hospital bed, tired all the time, feeling like I’m sacrificing my sanity, my relationships, and my health?
After my burnout, I became obsessed with the most successful entrepreneurs, and I realized that the ones I admire most didn’t work all the time. They are laser-focused with their priorities and time. They stay in their genius zone, they stay in their lane, and they focus on the basics. Make a great product, innovate, constantly test it, and become customer-obsessed. They embrace failure and they embrace joy. They define their worth by their contribution to the world, their quality of life, and the relationships that they build. Because—if you want to be successful—you need to build your business to work for you, not against you.
About the author: Sunny Lenarduzzi is a social media consultant and business growth coach who has earned eight figures in the past four years teaching people how to elevate their brands using video marketing, Sunny’s YouTube channel has amassed over 27 million views and her expertise has been featured in outlets including Entrepreneur, Forbes, Fast Company and Inc—and she’s incredibly passionate about sharing her message around entrepreneurship, generosity, and success with the world. She has enrolled over 8,000 clients from around the world into her online programs, YouTube for Bosses and The Authority Accelerator. Connect with her on Instagram @sunnylenarduzzi.