woman feeling stressed at work

Passion: A Double Edged Sword that can Lead to Burnout

People experience burnout when they are physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted from stress. The adverse effects of burnout have been widely observed in major businesses and large organizations. These effects include high turnover rates, depression, and health concerns associated with stress.
Often, many people focus on employees when it comes to stress. But how does burnout affect entrepreneurs and business owners?

Passion and Burnout

Evidence suggests that entrepreneurs have a higher chance of experiencing burnout because of passion. Often these owners are so stressed they want to sell their business but have no energy to do so. A person operating a start-up, for example, may feel the need to consult a business broker near his Utah office.

Another reason for burnout among entrepreneurs is the characteristics they possess. Passion, isolation, and uncertainty are characteristics entrepreneurs have that put them at risk for burnout.

In a recent study, 326 members of Business Networking International were asked questions about burnout and passion. The researchers measured two groups: people who were harmoniously passionate or obsessively passionate. Someone having harmonious passion from their job is motivated and satisfied by it. Conversely, obsessively passionate people view their job is important because of status, money or other benefits it may have.

The harmoniously passionate entrepreneurs reported balancing their work with other activities. Their passion also allowed them to be more focused on the job and absorbed in their work. Entrepreneurs from this group have reported little chance of feeling burnout and were more flexible.

The obsessively passionate entrepreneurs were more focused on other aspects of work, such as money and social acceptance. Instead of being satisfied with their work, they focused mostly on roles they set aside. The obsessive nature of this group meant they had strong urges to work longer hours, neglecting other roles and responsibilities.

The different aspects of passion have varying effects on burnout. Those who were passionate about the job felt rewarded, while people passionate for other reasons more often would experience burnout.
man going crazy over responsibilities

Preventing Burnout

If you’re feeling burned out, you may want to make a few changes and follow these steps.

Run the Business, and Don’t Let it Run You

Be strategic and list down objectives you want the business to accomplish. Hire people who share the same vision and monitor the progress of your activities. If you’re taking reactive measures on what’s happening around you, take time to see what’s happening around the business.

Managing Energy Levels

The nature of managing business demands a lot of energy. Be sure to prioritize projects and keep your stamina in check. Find out what needs to be done first and what can wait.

Idea Generator

Being an entrepreneur requires passion on top of energy. New ideas could come and go, and you may be passionate to try all of them. Some may succeed, and some might fail. Learn from your ideas and manage your tasks more efficiently.


The workaholic nature of entrepreneurs means they do most of the work themselves. Financial capacity may also be the reason for doing things on your own. To remedy this, outsource and find help by being cost-effective.

Taking a Break

Managing can be stressful and requires time off. Engage in activities such as meditation to remain calm. Doing activities you enjoy can also inspire you to improve the business as well.

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