Launch burnout is incredibly real, but so few people are discussing it, at least not in-depth. Time and time again I see business owners have incredibly energetic posts full of excitement during their launch only to follow up with a post after the cart closes about how they are so tired, can’t get off the couch, or coming down with an illness or flare-up of a chronic condition.
Whether you’re running a business with chronic illness or not, didn’t we start businesses to be able to take better care of ourselves? Sure, having the time flexibility and autonomy to schedule doctor appointments when needed is great, but what if promoting our business is making us feel depleted or sick? That can create a lot of resistance to promote or launch again, consciously and intuitively.
We’re not doing ourselves or our business a favor by depleting the number one asset, ourselves. We’re not doing our future clients a favor by starting the relationship in burnout, either.
After a launch your clients, and your loved ones who supported you during your launch, need you to show up with energy and enthusiasm to spend time with them.
And you? You need energy to celebrate your awesome achievement of accomplishing a launch and be able to enjoy the outcomes of it – a larger email list and social media audience, business revenue, and new clients that are ready to start a transformative journey with you.
Even if you have a team, complete with a launch manager, the following tips still apply to avoid small business burnout. Plus, you’ll be setting a great example for your company’s culture!
If you’re running your business as a side-hustler or a solopreneur, then these tips are even more relevant. (I know from experience.)
9 tips to prevent entrepreneurial launch burnout
1. Avoid perfectionism and self-judgment
I know, easier said than done, but please do not use this list as a weapon against yourself. Look at this like a menu of self-care options to choose from.
2. Determine your Non-Negotiables
As a launch strategist for your health and burnout health coach, I have to remind you of the basics. You already know these things, but it is so easy for them to be disrupted during the stress of a launch. I’ve seen the Facebook confessions!
We want to make sure your physical, mental, and emotional health are supported. We also want you to be choosing self-care activities of recovery, movement, and nourishment self-care activities. You’ll see that the list below, no matter how straightforward, will check all those boxes. Multi-tasking self-care for the win!
3. Protect your sleep hygiene. You need to sleep.
Set a bedtime. Even if you want to throw a tantrum about it and tell me how much you need to fix your launch graphics, I’m still going to tell you to go to bed. (OK I won’t actually be telling you to go to bed. I’ll already be asleep.) Listen, you will be better at tech, and less likely to make a mistake, if you’re well-rested. Plus, your clients and team are going to notice the middle of the night timestamps if you’re sending them messages.
Know your minimum amount of sleep you need to function, then add an hour. This is your non-negotiable bedtime. You get points for every extra hour of sleep on that imaginary launch leaderboard in the sky.
When your mind is racing with ideas and to-dos that keep you awake, reach for a journal to get those thoughts out or stretch and try to go back to sleep.
4. Establish tech boundaries
A watched pot never boils. A refreshed inbox doesn’t create payment notifications. Help yourself get enough sleep. Have a time set where you will walk away from your laptop and phone. Avoid spending too much time numbing out on Netflix. Resting, reading a physical (non-business) book, or sleeping would be better.
5. Eat (preferably something with nutritional value because Sour Patch Kids don’t count)
Entrepreneurs in launch mode can’t run on coffee alone. This is not the time to be starting a new meal plan or diet. There is always an adjustment period when we change our food choices and that usually comes in the form of having low energy, brain fog, and moodiness. Your body doesn’t need to be distracted with food changes. Plus, how are you and your body going to react if you revert back to your former eating habits? Keep things consistent, or slightly better, than usual near and during a launch.
Don’t overeat, but don’t get hangry either. You may need to set reminders in your phone for this. With all the excitement and adrenaline, your appetite might be suppressed but your body’s needs will not. Be sure to get some protein, vegetables, and fruit.
6. Move your fabulous body
The options are limitless here. Going for a walk outside, weather permitting, is a great way to take a reset break. Dance breaks are wonderful between pomodoro sets to get you into or out of a mood, depending on the music you choose. Do a set of squats and wall push-ups after your emails and social media posts go out into the world. Stretch and release the tension from your body.
Just like our food choices, near or during a launch is not the time to be starting a new exercise program or increasing our intensity. Launching is intense enough already. In this launch, be intentional about adding movement to your day. We can create a post-lauch exercise plan in the Launch Recharge VIP Experience, so you can get the mental and emotional boost that comes from moderate to high- intensity exercise next time.
Am I showing my bias by calling movement a non-negotiable? Yes. I am a fitness coach for entrepreneurs, after all. Make that investment in yourself now. Your body will thank you later.
7. Hydrate (not JUST with coffee 😉)
This is always a good idea. Increase your intake slowly if you tend to be under-hydrated. Plus, if you hydrate enough, you’ll have natural breaks to get you away from your computer. Don’t bring your phone with you!
8. Create self-care reminders (so you don’t just work 24/7)
Set reminders in your phone or calendar to help you remember your non-negotiable bedtime, tech boundaries, meal times, movement and hydration goals. It can be really easy to avoid these reminders, so you may need to ask a team member or loved one to help.
While you’re at it, set reminders for your medications and vitamins too.
A good ol’ fashioned checklist just for self-care will work too.
9. Don’t forget to shower. (Dry shampoo only goes so far)
Yeah. I know. Don’t throw a tantrum about that either. Remember, I’ve seen the Facebook Posts. Put down the dry shampoo and go shower. It’s a great opportunity to reset, be away from technology, and imagine your worries and self-doubt go down the drain.
Do these entrepreneur self-care tips apply to everyone? Yes, absolutely. They’ll also help you avoid the dreaded entrepreneur burnout when you prioritize these practices regularly.
Got those self-care basics down? Consider adding these Nice to Haves
After the launch is over, treat yourself to these extra self-care options.
When you have a solid foundation of self-care, we can add some specialized and advanced self-care options into your launch plans.
Again, you’ll see that a lot of these work double-duty by supporting your physical, mental, and emotional health. Plus they provide recovery, movement, and nourishment for you.
- Creating intentional morning and evening routines
- Maintaining boundaries in your day
- Practicing thoughtful transitions throughout the day from one task to the next
- Enjoying free time in your day, guilt-free
- Adding spiritual practices to your launch
- Dedicating time to reminding yourself of the heart-driven reasons you’re building this business for you, your loved ones, and your clients.
- Journal, brainstorm, braindump, do Morning Pages etc to get thoughts out of your head and onto the page
- Spend time outdoors and in nature
- Emotional Freedom Technique (aka EFT and Tapping)
- Visualize yourself celebrating your launch accomplishments
- Planning your post-launch break
- Planning your next launch around your hormone cycles or the moon
- Adjusting your plans to your energy levels and needs (in the moment or in advance with Human Design)
- Prioritizing pleasure throughout your day
- Having Fun!
- A bubble bath (I had to.)
With these things in mind, you’ll get better and better at avoiding launch burnout. By keeping your health a priority, you’ll prevent entrepreneur burnout so you can keep making your dream a reality for years to come.
If you are ready to make self-care part of your launch plan, check out the Launch Recharge VIP Experience and submit an interest form. In this short-term and virtual experience I help you create a high-performance self-care plan that supports you leading up to, during, or after your launch.
Once again, all of the self-care activities listed above are options. You have plenty to do already, the pressure of perfectionism has no place in an exquisite or high-performance self-care plan.