How Startup Founders Burnout Before Launch

Body Of Water

The opportunity to start a business has never been greater.

With very few resources, you can start a number of businesses. Especially a service business where you can work in a freelancer situation or build a regular business right away with little money.

You could even focus on getting your first client, having them pay you upfront or 50% upfront, use that money to hire the team you need and then begin…

The business starting trend seems to accelerate in down economies, as more people are “forced” into these situations. It also occurs a lot in midlife, as many entrepreneurs are in their 40s, 50s or even older.

But there are some key things to watch for. One big one is burnout. Not even in the early days, but even before you reach launch.

Not Your Regular 9-5

It seems that more 9-5 jobs have become more than that. With smartphones, business managers have sometimes let it slip to the point of “expecting” their teams to be available at all times. And the employees often do the same by responding at all times.

But when you’re in charge of yourself, it can be even worse. You feel the responsibility. You’re on all the time even if you try to stop it from happening. Especially when you’re starting something brand new.

Lots Of Tasks

Many jobs have many tasks. You’re pulled in all kinds of directions. But it’s even more the case when you’re starting a business. You may hire people for a few of the key positions, but usually you’re doing lots of things. Big things. Small things. Just lots and lots of things to make sure the business gets off the ground.


As a business owner, you’re always a firefighter. You’re always going to be addressing issues and figuring out how to solve them. Many managers and business owners say that a big part of their job, one often not expected, is dealing with people issues. Two people not getting along. One person not doing what they’re supposed to do. Someone that’s sick.

It all falls on you even in the pre-launch days.


You might make decisions at your job. You might make decisions at home. With your own business, you’re going to be making all kinds of decisions. Big. Small. Medium. Just lots and lots of them.

There is a reason successful people like Steve Jobs wear the same clothes and do the same things everyday…they know the value in limiting their decisions. Not having to think for even a second about what to wear allows their brain to make other decisions. Work-related decisions.

When you’re making too many, you’re going to burnout. And when you’re launching, there are a lot of decisions. It’s like building a house. You have tons right away. Then it dies down.


One of the new causes of burnout in everyday society seems to be comparisons. Comparing yourself to others or your perception of others. It’s often discussed in terms of social media.

It occurs often in the business world. When you’re launching, it can seem like it’s taking forever. It can seem like you’re way behind. The more you fall into the trap of comparisons in terms of the business the more likely you are for burnout.


One of the things that can delay launch is perfectionism. Obviously there is a good balance between not being ready to launch and postponing because you feel you haven’t reached a certain level of quality.

Many entrepreneurs are perfectionists. It can be a good thing. But when it goes too far it becomes procrastination. You can trick yourself into thinking you’re doing a good thing by wanting to be perfect. But really you’re putting it off. That includes your ability to learn from action.

Support System

People get weird when people they know start businesses. They may say, “I would never do something like that…” Entrepreneurs are different. People don’t like different. It makes them uncomfortable.

Your traditional support system may question your moves. This can make you feel lonely. That can lead to burnout.

It’s good to identify one or two cheerleaders that you can talk to during the early days of your new business.

Loss Of Big Focus

A lot of things above are “little”. They are important, but when you’re launching you’re working on a lot of little things that will come and go. That can lead to a loss of focus on the big things. The reason why you’re starting a business. You’re vision for the future.

You have to keep the balance. Remind yourself of the big picture. This seems to help with burnout avoidance.

Final Thought

Launching a business is a great thing. If you’re doing it, good for you. I’ll be your cheerleader. But one thing that isn’t often discussed is burnout before launch. Make sure to watch for these things as you go down this path. Burnout isn’t good, especially when you’re just starting.

Dayne Shuda
Dayne Shuda
Dad, husband, golfer, and bow hunter. Owner of Ghost Blog Writers.