Part of the entrepreneurial identity has become very all-or-nothing. Give it 110%, be successful or die trying.
Yes, you have to work hard to be successful, but the hustle and grind can lead to burnout.
What is burnout?
According to Oxford Dictionary, burnout is the “physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress.”
If you are an entrepreneur, solopreneur, mompreneur or any other type of -preneur, do you have time for some sort of collapse? I know I don’t.
The symptoms of burnout vary from person to person, but some of the most common, as described by Sherrie Bourg Carter Psy.D., in a Psychology Today article are:
Signs of physical exhaustion, such as chronic fatigue, insomnia, constantly falling ill, and weight gain or loss of appetite.
Signs of emotional exhaustion and a tendency to toward pessimism, cynicism, and detachment. These may appear as anxiety, depression, or anger issues.
Signs of ineffectiveness or lack of accomplishment. You may experience increased feelings of hopelessness, apathy, or irritability. In spite of working hard, an overall lack of productivity and poor performance.
When I spend time with other entrepreneurs, I often hear complaints about one or more of the symptoms in the list above.
How coworking helps combat burnout
Coworking spaces create community and foster sub-communities.
A sense of community can go a long way to combat the emotional exhaustion associated with burnout.
The great thing about coworking spaces is that no two are identical. There is a space out there that is uniquely suited to your personality, the way you work, and your tribe. We always recommend that people try a few options to find the one that feels right. Most spaces offer a tour or free day, which is a great way to try it on for size.
Being part of a coworking community gives entrepreneurs a safe place to feel supported and understood. It’s important to realize that you’re not the only one with struggles and frustration around your business.
We have witnessed first hand how empowering it is for entrepreneurs to voice their fears and frustrations with a supportive group of individuals. It happens organically while refueling with coffee or chatting across the shared workspace.
Christine Lalonde, one of our founding members, recently described coworking as, “A flexible workspace that has an awesome supportive community that will grow with you as your business develops.”
There is something powerful about realizing that although you may work alone, you aren’t alone.
In a traditional office, everyone would work for the same company and you were generally surrounded by people doing a similar job to yours. Coworking spaces provide an environment that encourages organic collaboration.
A fresh perspective and outside input is something that many entrepreneurs miss about working with a team. Shared office space also provides the benefit of other human beings around to bounce ideas off of.
Another way members collaborate is to partner and work together on projects. Differing skill sets and focus, mean that clients get a better result when members work together to create the best solution.
3. Work-Life Balance
According to research by NodeSource, the majority of entrepreneurs say work-life balance is the biggest challenge they face.
Trying to find balance can be a struggle at the best of times, but can be harder if you’re on the verge of burnout.
One of the benefits of being your own boss can be the freedom to work from home, but you should be aware that the lines between work and home life often become blurred. This can lead to a sense of feeling overworked and can have a negative impact on your personal relationships.
Unlike having a home office, where you’re always tethered to your work, coworking allows for a separation of work and home.
The ability to “close the door” on your work, and be present at home, does wonders for the mind, body, and soul.
4. Positive Vibes
There is something almost infectious about the vibe in coworking spaces.
Before we had the spark of an idea to open our own coworking space, Dylan and I spent a lot of time traveling and visited many coworking locations abroad. One thing that stuck with us time and time again was the positive feeling we would get after visiting them.
There’s an air of productiveness, support, and positivity in coworking spaces.
Is everyone all sunshine and rainbows every day? No, but there seems to always be something happening or somebody celebrating a small win.
Even when people complain or vent frustrations, they’re more likely to be met with support than a pity party where everyone wallows in a cesspool of negativity.
You’re less likely to fall prey to burnout when you’re not left to contend with negative outcomes and thoughts on your own.
Most coworking spaces have events on a regular basis. Some have weekly or monthly learning sessions where they bring in experts or showcase the expertise of one of their members.
At URBN Cowork, we have our events, plus host some for a number of community organizations and groups. We recently had a wonderful market with local vendors in our space.
These events provide our members with a social distraction from the grind, and the chance to meet other business owners outside of our coworking family.
Isolation is a factor that entrepreneurs often speak to that leads to burnout. These events provide a chance for business owners to take a break from their businesses, do some networking or learn something new.
Ask For Help
Coworking is not a magic cure for burnout, and what works is as individual as each entrepreneur.
It is important to be mindful of the symptoms mentioned above and ask for help from your friends, family or fellow coworking members when you need it.
If you haven’t tried coworking yet, we’d love to show you what it’s all about.