On the Street: How do you avoid burnout?

By Amy Mitchell 

With the challenges the economy has presented, many small business owners find themselves working longer hours, Burn-outtrying to do more with fewer resources. This can lead to burnout. Advantage Magazine asked five small business owners how they personally avoid burnout and establish a good balance between work and the rest of their lives.

Cultivate support


Natalie Edmonton

Natalie Edmonton

I have learned to surround myself with other business owners I can lean on and trust; then I have a built-in support network that understands my challenges. Do not be afraid to ask for help. If you need help meeting your next client, ask for it. If you need help cleaning the shop because you can’t afford the cleaning company anymore, ask your friends or family to help. Engage your support system and utilize their talents and resources. For me, work becomes less of a burden and it helps to free up my time to enjoy the little things like dinner with the family or a mini-vacation.

— Natalie C. Edmondson,
president/managing partner,
Sign Depot LLC,

Mind, body, and spirit

Michael Hodges

Michael Hodges

I start my day with prayer and exercise in the morning. As I go through the day I stop to meditate and pray periodically, during breaks or when I get in the car. Affirmation cards with Bible verses or words from positive authors are helpful. I relax my body as much as possible, especially my shoulders, where I hold a lot of stress. Finally, I try to eat a healthy and balanced diet.

— Michael Hodges, president,
First Place Management, Inc.,

 Schedule the balance

Lori Wishard

Lori Wishard

The current economy has increased business for our marketing and Web development company, since more people are turning to the cost efficiency of promoting their business online. We are keeping up the demand, but have struggled with the balance of work and general life. I try to schedule time each week to regroup and catch my breath, helping me to maintain creativity for my clients and sanity for my family. Having a commitment to this time is hard, but critical in keeping all balanced.

— Lori Wishard, vice president of sales,
Media Rapids,



A purpose-driven life

Steve Goranson

Steve Goranson

What is the real cause of burnout? It’s the feeling you get when you put in the effort but don’t feel you are progressing; you’re just spinning your wheels. To avoid burnout you must have clarity, focus, and purpose.

By working with burnt-out business owners to clarify their vision and purpose, and at the same time create worthwhile, meaningful goals, I help them become motivated and re-energized doing the same activities that made them feel burnt out in the first place. If you stay focused on your goals, you will maintain your motivation and avoid burnout.

— Steve Goranson, president,


Revitalization three ways

Lewis Hunter

Lewis Hunter

People ask me how my business is doing and I just say, “I am working harder for less.” Here is how I avoid burnout:

1. Intellectually I know that “this too shall pass.” Knowing this makes short-term sacrifices less burdensome.

2. Exercise, five or six times per week, keeps the endorphins flowing. Even if it is for just a half-hour, never skip two days.

3. Hanging out with a 2-year-old and an 80-year-old. I have a granddaughter, age 2, and parents and in-laws in their 80s. Just being with either requires that I downshift and slow way down.

Lewis Hunter, CPA,
Hunter & Associates, PA,

Amy Mitchell is a contributing editor. She can be reached at


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