Trick or Treat? My brushes with burnout

I started my business to create more flexibility in my own life

I wanted to be more available to my children, to put an end to the heart wrenching panic that is finding last-minute childcare when the kids were sick, to blur the edges around an otherwise black or white employment system.

And that’s what we’ve built. 

A brilliant business that not only affords a flexible career to me but also to our 18 employees.  An innovative employment structure that means the team can pick the kids up from school, can let the boiler man in, can begin to broach The Motherhood Penalty. 

But (and there’s always a but…) it’s come at a price… 

I'm not alone as a founder when I speak of burnout.

I’m not alone as a working parent when I wonder if it’s all actually worth itThe constant feeling of only being half present in everything we doHalf mother, half founder (half boss, half colleague, half consultant, half confidant… hmmm something wrong with my maths here). 

A survey released in May 2023 by Freeagent, states 47% of small business owners feel that running a business has negatively impacted their physical and/or mental health.   

Burnout is that ghost you think you’ve banished.

It creeps back when you least expect itHovering over you until the cold chill of exhaustion makes it impossible to ignore.  

Ironic from a founder of a business focused on alleviating burnout for our clients and team. 

But fear not, ghosts are only there for those who believe.

And I do believeI believe that burnout isn’t a badge of honour I want to wearI believe that the first step is acknowledging that feeling of exhaustionSeeing the clear signs that it’s time to reconsider where best to spend my time, what to delegate, when to take a break 

Part of that acknowledgement is to embrace the vulnerabilities of being neurodiverse, albeit wildly positive, do also have a downside – the ability to take on more than most, the desire to action things immediately, the creativity to seek change, all come with a warning tag of ‘may lead to burnout’. 

Part is also to take moment to recognise quite how much we have achieved with SpareMyTime in only 4 yearsTo acknowledge that taking time off can only be a good thing, a GREAT thing(If you’d like to see what I did with time, check it out here). 

So, this Halloween half term, I hope you’ve had the chance to banish some of your burnout ghouls...

and have taken a moment to switch off and congratulated yourself in all that you have achievedFor in that moment, you will realise that amongst the tricks of entrepreneurship, the treats truly do make it all worthwhile.  

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