Founder Burnout Is All Too Common

  • By salestable
  • November 01, 2022
    4 Ways to Equip Your Sales Team for Success

    Find out why burnout happens to entrepreneurs, how to deal with it, and ways to prevent it.

    Key Takeaways: 

    • Burnout has been on the rise with employees, but it’s always been a problem for company founders.
    • Founder burnout is typically caused by taking on too much responsibility, a loss of passion, and a lack of a good work-life balance.
    • There are things founders can do to deal with burnout, including relying on others, taking time off, and seeking help from professionals.
    • Founders can also prevent burnout by focusing on why they started their company, partnering with the right people, and doing things outside of work.

    If there is one word we’ve heard time and time again over the last year or so related to work, it’s “burnout.” If you Google “worker burnout” right now, thousands of results will pop up, many of them from very recent articles. And while, for the most part, the focus is on employees, we can’t forget that company founders are also feeling the strain.

    Long before the pandemic hit, founder burnout was common. It will still be prevalent long after it’s gone, too. To help mitigate it – or to avoid it altogether – there are things company leaders can do, and it starts by identifying the root causes.

    Why do founders get burned out?

    The emotional journey every founder goes through is unique, but certain unhealthy patterns repeat across start-ups and small businesses. Here are three common mistakes founders make that lead to burnout:

    They try to do everything themselves

    When you first started your business, how much did you do? The better question may actually be how much didn’t you do? Even if you have now brought on more people and don’t have to do everything yourself, you may still have trouble delegating or trusting others to get things done. Leaders also get worn down when they think they have to put out every fire.

    “I had built this culture where people brought up problems, and I felt very alone trying to figure out the solutions,” says Matt Munson, CEO of SanityLabs. “It’s very destructive as a leader, but it’s also just very destructive as a human to be that tied in with something.”

    They’ve lost their passion

    When you’re excited about something, it’s easy to want to jump in and dedicate yourself to it. But, over time, that passion can fade, especially if you work tirelessly to see it come to fruition. Says Joel Gascoigne, CEO and co-founder of Buffer: “I lost motivation. I just didn’t care. I knew I cared deeply, but I had nothing left. I couldn’t get up in the morning.”

    If turns out you were more passionate about being a founder and didn’t feel as strongly about the product or service you were working on, you can get burned out pretty quickly.

    Work-life balance? What’s that?

    Work-life balance is another thing we’ve heard mentioned quite a bit recently. With the increase in remote work, the line between the two has gotten really blurry. For founders, however, it often doesn’t exist. To many founders, their work is their life. They frequently forget about the actual important stuff, like taking care of their physical and mental health. And when you neglect one or both of those things, burnout is almost inevitable.

    What can founders do about burnout?

    If you’ve already found yourself burning out, it’s OK, there are ways to get your passion back and your feet back under you.

    Rely on the people around you

    Now that your one-person show has evolved into a series with a variety of well-developed characters, it’s important to realize that you no longer have to do everything yourself. If you’ve hired smartly – and perhaps also have co-founders or partners – let them start doing some (or maybe all) of the heavy lifting. If you need extra help, don’t be afraid to outsource certain tasks.

    Get away

    Yes, actually leaving your business for a while can be tough. If you have real trouble just going home at the end of the day, this is a clear sign that you need an actual break. Get out of the state. Get out of the country. Heck, get off the planet if you swing it. Just get away so you can recharge. And do this regularly.

    “I knew I needed to do something because, in my burnt-out state, I couldn’t lead the company,” said Gascoigne. “I wrote a memo to the team sharing my plans and delegating responsibilities, then I signed out of Slack and almost immediately started taking leave.”

    It took Gascoigne about a month of rest, exercise, and kitesurfing, but when he returned to work, he had rediscovered his motivation.

    Seek help

    If delegation and time off don’t help, you may want to find someone who can provide assistance. An executive coach, for example, could help you better identify the reasons why you’re burned out and how best to deal with them. You might also consider speaking to a therapist. Munson and Gascoigne both underwent therapy and said it helped significantly.

    How can founders prevent burnout?

    If you’re not at the burnout point yet, that doesn’t mean you’re safe from it. Over the long term, most founders run into some burnout. Here are a few ways to get ahead of it.

    Focus on the problem you want to solve

    Remember that passion we mentioned earlier? It has to be directed at something tangible, not just being a company leader. Your business was started to solve a problem, and this should be your focus. When you go to work every day eager to solve this problem, you lessen the risk of burnout.

    Partner with the right people

    To avoid having to do everything yourself – or to think you have to do it all – you need the right people next to you. With co-founders, all of that stress and strain can be shared. Plus, you can support each other through the tough times and celebrate with each other when things are good.

    Don’t make work everything

    When you eat, sleep, and breathe work, you’re setting yourself up for burnout. This is why you have to be able to disconnect periodically. Go to the movies, hit the gym, start painting again; whatever you enjoy doing that doesn’t involve work, make sure to schedule time to do it.

    How Salestable Can Help is a sales CRM platform that helps sales teams automate their sales process and close more deals. This can free up founders to focus on other aspects of their business, such as product development, marketing, and customer service.

    In addition, provides a number of features that can help founders avoid burnout. For example, the platform’s reporting and analytics features can help founders track their progress and identify areas where they need to improve.

    Here are some specific ways can help founders avoid burnout:

    • can automate a variety of tasks that are typically done manually by sales reps, such as lead generation, qualifying leads, and scheduling appointments. This can free up sales reps to focus on more strategic activities, such as building relationships with prospects and closing deals.
    • provides a wealth of data and insights that can help founders track their progress and identify areas where they need to improve.
    • Help you stay organized:’s built-in CRM helps founders stay organized and on top of their sales pipeline. This can help founders avoid feeling overwhelmed and stressed, which can lead to burnout.

    Learn more about us to see what we can offer you and your team.

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