Knowledge and optimism are two vital fluids in the machinery of innovation and entrepreneurship. Knowledge gives us the vision to see gaps in the market where our innovation could fit and optimism gives us the drive to see those ideas through. Those heady moments when both come together to crystallize into a business idea can change the course of lives.

Starting a new business venture or embarking on a new phase within an existing business brings with it much excitement. What usually follows are many long hours in the office converting that enthusiasm and optimism into product and eventually profit.

But what effects does that hard grind have on the man or woman searching out success and profit? It’s not long before energy levels, once roused by the thought of launching your product or service, are being propped up by coffee and sodas as the sun drips under the office window leaving our hard working entrepreneur to fall asleep at their desk.

At least, that’s one version society has come to know. Perhaps some of us have experienced this personally. What can we do to ensure we aren’t inviting burn out along for the ride?

How We Burn Out

It’s easy to get lost in the process of taking a product or service to market. The idea that the race is on and not necessarily against a competitor, sometimes it’s just ourselves. We grab opportunities and connections wherever they appear. The schedule overflows leading to a pre-deadline crush and unrealistic expectations. Evenings and weekends are abandoned to get things done. Exhaustion sets in, followed by poor decision-making and we’re at the start of a negative downward slope. Symptoms start appearing, within the business or the body. It’s no longer fun and soon you’re wondering why you got into this in the first place.

It’s a sure thing that a society like ours, built on innovation and the hungry pursuit of success, won’t ever curb the appetite for hard work. So, how do we preserve the person embarking on that journey?

It’s really very simple:


  • Eat healthy nutrition-dense foods at regular intervals.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Exercise.
  • Get 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
  • Drink Caffeine in moderation.

And do these things consciously.

If you forget to eat, or drink because you’re engrossed in your work, or your body doesn’t register hunger or thirst loudly, set an alarm on your cell phone every 3-5 hours. Keep a jug of water on your desk and refill it on your way to the rest room. Go to the gym/pool/track/yoga studio before you go to the office, that way your physical exercise is done before you start your working day. Switch your smartphone or tablet off in the evening and relax. Wind down before bed.

After a few weeks of doing these activities consciously, habits will start to form and you’ll find your mind more occupied with how to apply the knowledge that brought you into business in the first place in a meaningful way.

It’s likely there will be less fires to put out on a daily basis and being in business will become more enjoyable. The goal will be clearer and you’ll be in better shape to reap the rewards when you finally reach it.

There’s a famous toast in the English-speaking world “To health, wealth and happiness.” Getting into business can bring us life changing wealth, but what good is it if we don’t have our health and our happiness.