~by Sophie Taylor~
Is overwhelm an expected part of being an entrepreneur?
Or is it really just burnout in disguise?
I wasn’t going to make it.
My fingers trembled – coffee jitters – as I speed-typed my (already late) blog post as fast as possible. Every two seconds, my screen flashed as I switched manically from window to window, from writing, to email, to the online webinar I was half-listening to.
I had four back-to-back coaching calls starting in a couple of minutes, and I knew that afterwards my brain would be so fried that I wouldn’t be able to write any more. A wave of failure and dismay swept over me. Needless to say, I didn’t bring my ‘A-game’ to my coaching calls that day.
I’m not the only entrepreneur who feels this way.
“You think that you’re going to have less stress, because you’re building your dream and not someone else’s, and you’ll be the one calling the shots,” said Jame Geathers, founder of Jame Geathers Consulting.
“But really, it is a tremendous amount of stress because you’re no longer an employee. You’re running everything,” she added.
All over the world, female entrepreneurs are a force to be reckoned with. We’re driven, dynamic and making an impact in everything from business coaching to health to productivity.
“Deep down inside, everyone just wants to contribute to the growth of something greater and feel like they are adding value,” said Charlene Rhinehart, Founder of Career Goddess Academy. “I want women to realize that nobody has to live a mediocre life, no one has to settle.”
Then why is it that, so often, we end up like I did – frazzled, exhausted and unable to just… Get. Things. Done?
For some, the sheer pressures of ‘doing it all’ as a solopreneur can lead to so much stress and overwhelm that our productivity nosedives. We try so hard to do everything that we end up achieving nothing.
“I do a little bit and get overwhelmed and get a headache – I feel all tangled up in my brain and can’t focus on anything,” said ChaChanna Simpson, founder of Career Women Academy.
As our businesses take off and the clients come rolling in, it can feel like a giant snowball. It’s a paradox: the bigger our success, the more we feel caught up. Add to that children, a 9-5 job and a social life, and overwhelm is just around the corner.
“It can just seem like this huge to do list that never ends,” said Kirsty Carden, founder of Live Love Grow.
So what’s a gal boss to do? Opinions on overwhelm vary quite a bit – which group do you resonate with most?
 Overwhelm is just part of being an entrepreneur
For some, overwhelm is just something that you take in stride – until you can afford a bigger team. For these lady bosses, the concept of self-care or “balance” feels pretty low on the radar screen.
“The number of things I need to accomplish can be overwhelming. [I’m not an entrepreneur] to have better work-life balance,” said Georgene Huang, co-founder of Fairy God Boss. “I am doing this to be my own boss and make an impact.”
 Build in self-care to avoid burnout
For others wanting to avoid burnout, overwhelm is a beast which must be addressed on a regular basis through built-in self-care. For Geathers, whose wake-up call came when she started getting stress migraines 1-2 times a week, sports has been literally a life-saver. And Char Rhinehart says that being a fitness instructor has helped her avoid exhaustion.
 Productivity and time management techniques are key
For others, productivity techniques such as time batching are key. Elizabeth Lauzon of Enhance Business Consulting says, “I do struggle with time management and with getting sucked into one task, and all of a sudden I’ve worked on that for four hours.”
Where do I stand?
Well, after studying and teaching several productivity techniques, I’d have to say I’m a mix of all three. But as a productivity coach, I’m usually pretty good at knowing when I need to take a step back, or when I need to forge ahead. The main thing is that I love what I do – helping my fellow female entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level.
Meet the Author: Sophie Taylor
Visit her website here: Sanity Haven