Every online seller reaches Burnout. Most get burned out very quickly. This usually occurs after the “new business honeymoon phase” has ended; once the excitement of launching your own company ends, nothing is selling and you realize you may have bit off way more than you can chew, Burnout starts to set in.
Another reason online sellers can get overwhelmed quickly is because, when you are working for yourself and have no staff, 100% of all tasks are dropped in your lap. You’re feeling overwhelmed because it IS overwhelming! Very few people understand how many tasks you have to do to operate your company, then combine that with no money and boom; burnout.
Unfortunately the internet advice about “overcoming burnout” doesn’t apply to owning your own business, let alone being an online seller. So I am going to tell you how to cope:
First, you need SUPPORT. Not financial support. You need emotional support from fellow sellers. Sure, it’s nice to chat with your sister but if she knows nothing about being an online seller she doesn’t understand what you are going through and having your sis tell you how amazing you are is utterly worthless when it comes to getting through Burnout. If you're an eBay seller, utilize the eBay seller forums. Amazon also has forums. You can post or reply-to Reddit threads. Facebook offers “Communities”. There's tons of fellow sellers on Instagram.
Second, change your atmosphere. This can be as simple as cleaning / reorganizing your desk to revamping your work area with new decor, a new mouse pad, even a rug from Amazon. Sometimes a change of ambience is all you need to feel re-energized. If you’re super broke, instead of buying wall art, print some motivational sayings and throw them in some Dollar Tree photo frames. If you can’t afford to buy an artificial plant, go dig one up from outside. Or, double dip; pickup a 50-cent bunch of green onions. Throw them in a cup of water and they’ll grow super fast! Not only do you have nice greenery but you also can eat it! If you have a couple bucks, check out our article How to Make Your eCommerce Office Awesome.
Third, figure out how you can streamline your tasks to become more productive. Read our blog post How to List the Most in One Day and How to Ship the Most in One Day. If you simplify your tasks you can save hours a day. If you have no process you are guaranteed to reach burnout very quickly because you will be running in circles, like a mad man, which will ultimately turn you into a mad man!
Fourth I can almost guarantee that every psychologist in the world will highly disagree with me but…. JUST PUSH THROUGH IT. I know, I know… it sounds like bad advice however this is what separates success and failure. If you really need a break, give yourself an hour to go for a walk or get a bubble bath or whatever… then get right back to work. Fight through it. There has been many, many times that I genuinely felt like I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. When this happens, I have a glass of wine or a shot of vodka and get back to work. YES, IT IS HARD!!! Nobody said it would be easy. When your body and mind are telling you "just take today off", "just sleep in", "you don't truly *have* to get up early" it is the most difficult thing to push all those thoughts away and get out of bed at 6am, 7 days a week.
And finally; if you are so burned out that you are a nervous wreck, going broke, fighting with loved ones or even losing relationships, so depressed that you don’t want to get out of bed or are experiencing medical conditions caused by stress; you have to have a deep conversation with yourself regarding your future; is this REALLY something you want to do? Or are you failing because you didn’t read The 80 Worst Reasons to Start a Business. If you got into business for the wrong reason, unfortunately, odds are that you are going to fail. I know, it totally sucks to hear that BUT the good news is that you can cut your losses now and get your life back on track. If you're already so overwhelmed that you feel physically ill or exhausted, I can assure you that it is NOT GOING TO GET BETTER in a month or two. It may get better in a year or two. Are you ok with fighting on for that long? Or is it time to Close Your Business?
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