As part of its Inc. 5000 list, Inc.com is running a series of articles where they ask CEOs from the list how they would deal with a common business problem. In this installment, compiled by freelance writer Kate Rockwood, the topic is a common one that can affect business people at all levels, even those running a one-person sign shop: How do you handle burnout?
Founder and CEO, BabbleBoxx (advertising and marketing)
No. 449 2018 Rank | 1,136% Growth | $2.3M 2017 Revenue
“I’m super passionate about my business, so when I start to feel apathetic, I know something’s wrong. I seek out success stories that can inspire me: entrepreneurial podcasts, magazine profiles, even Shark Tank episodes. Anything motivational just turns it around for me. To beat burnout, I don’t want to look sideways; I want to look forward.”
Michael Acton Smith
Co-founder and co-CEO, Calm (consumer products and services)
No. 19 2018 Rank | 10,549% Growth | $22.3M 2017 Revenue
“I used to do emails in bed before going to sleep and wake up in the middle of the night with the phone glued to my face. Now, I keep my phone in airplane mode at night, and I don’t check it before I leave the house in the mornings.”
Founder and CEO, Eff Creative Group (advertising and marketing)
No. 408 2018 Rank | 1,230% Growth | $2.4M 2017 Revenue
“Entrepreneurs have only so many hours in a day, but if you spend every hour on the business, you won’t be productive and you’ll burn out. You have to take up some kind of hobby. I played basketball for years, and now I coach—which also lets me spend quality time with my kids."
Founder and CEO, Tenfold (advertising and marketing)
No. 368 2018 Rank | 1,347% Growth | $2.2M 2017 Revenue
"When I need to recharge, I take a three- or four-mile walk on the weekends. If I’m with my husband, we’ll chat and reconnect. If I’m by myself, I’ll enjoy the quiet. It sounds monotonous, but it refills my well in this amazing way, and the ideas start flooding back in.”
Co-founder and CEO, Braze (software)
No. 225 2018 Rank | 2,103% Growth | $32.1M 2017 Revenue
“When I leave on Friday afternoon and I’m not excited for some adventure on the weekend, I know my life is running too hot. I don’t just push through it—I step back and reevaluate how I’m spending my time. Burnout is likely a sign you haven’t been building in a way that’s scalable—you’re trying to run faster instead of smarter. When you realize that, you have to get off the treadmill for a minute and think through what has to change. You can’t outrun burnout.
Rankings and data are taken from the 2018 Inc. 5000. Growth is calculated from 2014 to 2017; revenue is from 2017.”
—Source: Inc.com. Compiled by Kate Rockwood, an Inc. contributing editor and freelance magazine writer living in Chicago. Her work has appeared in Fast Company, New York, Real Simple, Health, and O, the Oprah Magazine.