The Leadership Insider network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in business contribute answers to timely questions about careers and leadership. Today’s answer to the question: How do you avoid burnout? is written by Anthony Soohoo, founder and CEO of Dot & Bo.
No matter where you’re at in your career and regardless of the industry, the prospect of a burnout is more common than ever before. Becoming an entrepreneur takes immense discipline, requires a dedicated team, and an incredible leap of faith. Long hours and stress are the norm, but the reality is that you also need to step back and put your world into perspective — which often means taking a breather — whether you like it or not.
When we founded Dot & Bo in 2013, my team worked arduous hours, but we always kept our sights set on fundamentally shifting the home furnishings industry — one chair, chaise, and chandelier at a time. We set out to build something that didn’t exist, a story-centric furniture shopping experience that encouraged product discovery and engagement, and we inevitably encountered several bouts of exhaustion and discouragement along with the wins. But along the way I learned a few tricks to help recharge and find balance:
Business is an endurance sport
When building your brand, maintain the perspective that business is a long-term game. Pace yourself appropriately. However, this doesn’t mean iterating on new features slowly and losing your competitive advantage. Instead, be mindful of your spirit and body in order to best set yourself, and your company, up for success in the future. Build the long-term vision of your business by delivering steady progress that maps back to weekly goals. This will prevent you from becoming overwhelmed while remaining focused on your progress.
Reward yourself with something small daily
Take each day in strides, putting one foot in front of the other. Leading a company is challenging in that it’s about directing and supporting others, but make it a daily habit to reward yourself. Identify time — no matter how fleeting it may be — to put yourself first for a moment through activities like yoga or hiking. You’ll truly appreciate the mental downtime and rest you give your body and mind.
Make time for family and hobbies
On a personal level, I make sure that I go on at least two dates with my wife on a weekly basis to reset my perspective, and remind myself that there is more to life than work. It’s important to find hobbies that have nothing to do with work, as they are great outlets to relieve stress. I personally find solace in cycling, watching movies, hosting dinner parties, etc.