Running a business is not an occupation for the faint of heart. That said, it’s also not an undertaking for those so stoical they’ll keep quiet and keep going until the strain is too much. Surviving as a CEO means facing the stresses of the role and finding ways to mitigate them, not simply remaining quiet until it gets too much. Founder burnout is a real phenomenon and trying to do too much alone is the main contributing factor.
Today we’re putting together a short, sweet, CEO survival guide to make sure that as Christmas draws closer you’re set up to enter 2019 happy, healthy, and equipped for the long haul, not a crash and burn only months into the new year.
One of the main strains of being in charge of a company is just that: being in charge. If you’re a conscientious CEO or founder you are all too aware of the many responsibilities on your shoulders. Shareholders expecting positive results, investors expecting a return, customers expecting great products and excellent service and employees expecting a fair wage, paid regularly ad not having to worry about their job from day to day.
All that expectation can wear you down. It makes every decision momentous, which can cause paralysis, or cause you to rush ahead without considering the evidence as it’s just too intimidating.
The answer is to get expert help. If you’re facing a decision about your marketing or your customers, call on a market research firm like Attest. If you’re working through a difficult contract problem, start to build a relationship with a business lawyer. Getting expert input means lessening the burden of decision-making that rests on your shoulders, and relieves some of that stress that can undermine you.
Another major burden to the CEO is the isolation of command. It’s hard to have the people working for you as peers when you might at any moment have to pass one over for a promotion, ask them to work late into the night or explain away a cancelled pay rise. Being friends makes it harder to make the difficult decisions you need to make as a CEO.
That also cuts you off from the simple human need for peers, for people who understand the stresses you’re under. It can be hard for family and friends to understand if they’re not deep in the business world too so where do you look?
The answer could be surprising: your competitors. They’re the ones who understand all too well the strains of running a business in your niche, so if you can put aside your healthy professional competition then you might just find their the perfect people to talk to about your difficulties.
Put these two solutions to together and you can earth some of that stress that’s stopping you sleeping, find some innovative answers and ensure you have a long, long life as a business leader.