How business leaders and entrepreneurs of today avoid burnout.

At the minute my work life balance has gone a bit nutty. I’m trying desperately to finish off a major project at work, and coupled with a part time course, and a mountain of paper work – it’s more difficult than ever to find the time to get posting. No matter, where there is a will there is a way, and I’ve managed to get up early this morning to treat you all to this *cough* wonderful post.

So how do you manage to avoid burning yourself out? Successful business people know that nothing like hard graft brings in the bread, but you need to keep yourself healthy to do so, the following are a few health / tips from successful business people that keeps them going.

1). Delegate.
In a recent interview in the Financial Times, Richard Branson was asked what keeps him ticking, considering he owns over 350 firms, this is a man that knows how to manage his time.

Branson on time management..

“As much as you need a strong personality to build a business from scratch, you also must understand the art of delegation,” says Branson. “I have to be good at helping people run the individual businesses, and I have to be willing to step back. The company must be set up so it can continue without me.”

2) Keep things simple.

There is no better example of simple than Google. CNN interviewed Sergey Brin to find how he manages to make things simple at the plex, in order to maintain a Global business.

Brin on keeping things simple..

“This complexity is an issue that has to be solved for online technologies, for devices, for computers, and it’s very difficult. Success will come from simplicity.”

3). Prosper from People.

Chris DeWolfe knows about building a people business. This is the man who put teenagers lives online, shot the Arctic Monkey to fame and hooked the big fish Rupert Murdock in the form of MySpace. But none of this would have been achieved without passion for the subject, and thats what keeps him motivated.

“Our users socialize to figure out what they’re going to do on the weekend. They use MySpace to discover new music and post events. Users told us what they wanted to see, and we just built it. That’s how we do a lot of our updates. We catalog what people tell us that they want. It’s not super-complicated.”

4) Relax

We all know that taking a holiday can be one of the best ways to avoid burnout, but how do today’s leaders go about it? So it might be a *little* out of our budget’s but well we can dream…

Founder and CEO of Dell, Inc. Michael Dell owns a chalet close to Silicon Valley in the Rocky Mountains. Rupert Murdock enjoys yachting around St Tropez, and when he isn’t there, he’s pretending to be a cowboy in his native Australia. Other business leaders who know how to relax include Mr Gates – his port call? The Mnemba Island Lodge off the coast of Zanzibar, a 20 minute boat ride off to the complete exotic paradise.

5). Think positive.

Some people swear by it, and I’m one of them. If you think yourself happy you’ll feel happy, your unconscious mind overruling your conscious mind. Donald Trump is one business man who firmly believes in the power of positive thinking.

Trumpy on feeling positive..

“You have to be positive every single day. You have to put effort into it daily, because no one else is going to do it for you.”

If you think you are going to have energy and motivation it will come. You just have to get stuck in.

6). Eat Healthy

It’s all too easy to skip meals and scrimp on what we eat when we are busy, but its when we are at our busiest that we need to eat healthy. No-one knows better on the importance of healthy food than Charlie Bigham founder and managing director of Bighams. This health food entreupreneur has seen massive expansion in the past 8 years going from his kitchen to running a small 2000 square foot operation to now a 35,000 square foot operation employing 300 people.

Bigham on healthy food..

“Most days I’m usually back in the kitchen by midday, because that is when the food is leaving. All our food is made fresh each day.”

7) Stay Creative

Maintaining levels of creativity can inspire you to keep going, and keep fighting. No one knows the importance of creativity more than Steve Jobs. Is there anyone in American business today whose style, creativity, and genius are more celebrated? Apple products such as the IPOD have become everyday products. In fact you know you are making waves when your brand becomes a verb.

Steve Jobs on creativity..

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask a creative person how they did something, they may feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after awhile. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. ”

8 ) Keeping Active

Keeping active is a one of the easiest ways to relieve anxiety, stress, frustration, and the daily office pressures. Many successful entrepreneurs exercise to stay ahead of the game, and you should too. One well known entrepreneur in the arena is Duncan Bannatyne of Dragon’s Den fame. The idea was born following a skiing accident after which Duncan needed regular exercise to recover from. Not finding facilities locally he decided to use some of the proceeds from the sale of his previous business, Quality Care Homes plc, to establish the fitness chain.

Bannatyne on laziness..

“Everyone should pull their finger out and start a business and to believe in themselves. There is nothing else to it. Anyone can make a £100m. But most people don’t go out and try. They just stand in the pub and complain.”

What steps do you guys take to avoid burning out and remaining succcessful?

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  1. Paul – I enjoyed reading this post. It is well written and inspiring. You provide great illustrations of how top performing entrepreneurs achieve, even though you did not include high achieving women in your list. Now the task is for each of us to have the drive and endurance to apply these insights.

    Findings from behavioral science show that social relationships, connectedness, and a sense of belonging are the foundation for sustained success. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have recently lead the charge for social entrepreneurship and activated the increase in philanthropic ventures. Giving does have a restorative affect on the giver. I would include philanthropy and nurturing relationships with family, friends, and collaborators as important contributors to remaining successful and avoiding burnout.

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