How do you communicate with your partner when one or both of you run a business together? How do you avoid reaching the point of burnout? What are the signs of burnout? These are just a few of the burning questions Amber Hawley answers in this episode of Wingnut Social!
Amber Hawley is a licensed therapist specializing in couples therapy. She owns a group practice in Silicon Valley. Amber also runs two online businesses—The Couples Fix podcast and The Distracted Entrepreneur podcast.What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social
When Amber works with a couple who are in business together, she starts by helping them nail down boundaries between work and home. She emphasizes that you have to make sure there’s space for both in your relationship. Then you create routines where you can separate the two. You also need to make time to intentionally connect as a couple.
You have to create a dedicated time to talk about your relationship. If you’re in conflict all the time you know it needs to be addressed. The flipside is also true—if there’s no open communication, you need to connect. If you’re having a good day, you don’t want to ruin it by bringing up something you’ve been struggling with. And when you’re already enmeshed in conflict, that isn’t a good time either. That’s why creating a ritual where you come together and talk about your relationship is key.
What’s going well? Where are you struggling? If everything is going great, you’ve simply carved out time to have a conversation. But if you’re not talking at all, that dedicated time once a week or monthly is imperative.Mitigating burnout as a business owner
As a business owner, you have a lot of demands on your time and energy. The hustle culture makes it hard to set boundaries (but you need to). What are the signs of burnout?
The first time Amber experienced burnout, she didn’t recognize it because she loves seeing her clients. But everything else in her business overwhelmed her. Simple administrative tasks stole her energy. She thought she was just struggling with her ADHD. But when you put off important things in your business—like billing clients—it becomes a problem.Strategies to avoid reaching the point of burnout
Amber’s favorite strategy is to hire and delegate (sound familiar?). Some things need to be done in your business and you may not be the best person to do them. That fact can be hard to swallow but it’s true. Amber also believes that you need to assess what’s important and see what you can delete off of your list immediately. If you struggle to let go, you can put a pin in it and return to it another time.
Setting boundaries around how much you—and team members—work is key. You can experiment to see what works. Business owners are chronically over-scheduled and need to create more space in your day than you think you need. You must be diligent about not adding more to your plate.
What else does Ambera recommend to avoid burnout? How can entrepreneurial couples strengthen their marriages? Listen to the whole episode to learn more!Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social
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