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The Stress of Running a Business and Business Owner Burnout

Today, I want to introduce you to a graduated client named, Janice (name changed to protect privacy.)  This is a great story to show you how you can go from stressed-out to the point of business owner burnout and through to the other side to achieving Peak Performance.

Business owner, Janice,  runs a multi 6 figure business, employing 8 full-time employees and 2 part-time.

Janice loves what she does, but by the time we started working together, Janice reported she had been feeling stressed-out for the past 2 years.  She acknowledged that she allowed the stress of running a business get the best of her. She felt foggy brained, always tired and wired, and her performance was suffering. She found herself making mistakes and forgetting things and to her dismay, she gained 20 pounds unsure of exactly how that happened (chronic stress leads to weight gain).   

She worked really long hours, often on weekends and was never able to fully disengage and relax. And, although she didn’t feel depressed, she found she lacked enjoyment in her life. She simply didn’t feel enthusiastic about what used to light her up. She lost her zest for her work. She lost her love of what used to make her happy. She slipped into a state of melancholy, like a slow IV drip of sadness that was almost undetectable accept for her awareness of having to “drag herself around.”  

When Janice shared how she was feeling with me it was clear what was happening: she had reached the point of business owner burnout.

Burning out is nothing to be ashamed of.

It’s the high performing business owners with big aspirations who deeply care about their work yet who continually raise the bar of their expectations of success, who are at the greatest risk of burnout.

Imagine if you felt you were continuously running from lions and tigers and bears for two years without a break. You’d be pretty darn tired and not very happy to boot.

Janice’s burnout was caused from running from the lions and tigers and bears she felt were in her business. She was in constant “fight or flight” for two years! Her body came to a point where she could no longer sustain it.  

After teaching Janice techniques to reset her over-stimulated nervous system, the next step to healing Janice’s burnout was to understand the day-to-day experiences, that were stressing her out, and to understand her physical, emotional, and cognitive responses to the stress. This not only helped Janice to see the big picture of what was happening for her, it also enabled me to custom design a Peak Performance plan to get Janice back to feeling unstoppable and alive again.



What’s your takeaway from this blog post? Tell me below…


© 2015, Susan Liddy International
Reprinting and distribution allowed only with full credit to Susan Liddy as the author, including a link to Thank you.


  • Michele PW says:

    YES — I too suffered from chronic burnout for years. This is a great exercise and I can’t wait to try it and see what shifts for me.
    Michele PW recently posted…Why I Haven’t Done Any Planning for 2016 YetMy Profile


  • I’ve so been there! Stress shows up as a bliss-killer for me, and when I have no bliss I have no bli$$ and bills don’t get paid the easy way…I’m down to try a stress journal too! What about a stress-to-bliss journal where we journal both sides of the journey? Maybe that’d be a little less intimidating and a wee bit more fun for bliss-seekers like me! Love this idea and thank you Susan for the in-spa-ration!!!


    Susan Liddy Reply:

    In-spa-ration! LOVE IT! Great idea to do a stress and bliss log. I’ve found that at the beginning of healing burnout or shifting away from chronic stress, logging stress is enough of a task. And, once we get the beginnings of a better pattern in place, logging BLISS is a wonderful way to move toward peak performance. Totally adore you, Amanda. <3


  • Kelly O'Neil says:

    Susan, you have hit the nail on the head! I’ve been guilty of this very thing – “The Ever Raising Bar of Perfection” and it ended up with my hormones being out of control and me gaining 45 lbs. Though many of our profound conversations,my eyes were opened and now I run my life and my business very differently.

    I love the idea of a stress journal!

    Kelly O’Neil


    Susan Liddy Reply:

    I went through it myself! Burnt out THREE times in the past decade, resulting in gaining 20 pounds at a time. It took my THIRD burnout to catch on… So glad you love the stress journal. Awareness is key and its SUPER easy for us “burnouts” to fall back into our old ways.


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