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how to deal with small business burnout

how to deal with small business burnout


We've gathered a few mental health and wellbeing tips and resources for small business owners.

SB x Xero DinkusWe’ve heard it over and over again: small business owners have been doing it tough. Folks are struggling to stay afloat, or they’re exhausted by the emotional ups and downs of a global pandemic and a topsy-turvy economy (you’re not alone!). Maybe you’re tired of being told to 'pivot', you’re overwhelmed by applications for government funding, or you’ve found that it’s super-hard to manage kids and a fledgling business. Luckily, there are some amazing resources available for small business owners feeling burnt out – or close to it. 

To help you on your way, we reached out to a couple of amazing women for advice on preventing and managing burnout. They are:

Patrice O’Brien: chief community officer for Beyond Blue (Xero’s workplace mental health partner and all-round awesome well-being resource)

Sharon Pakir: business coach, speaker, small business owner and Xero customer, who totally knows what it feels like to burnout! 

In the IGTV video below, we chinwag with Patrice and Sharon about recognising the signs of burnout, asking for help and daily strategies we can all use to help us feel better. 

In fact, these gals had soooo much awesome information, we thought we’d gather a few interview highlights here for you, too. Then, scroll a bit further down for links to super-useful resources you can reach out to right now. And remember, it’s never too early to seek support.

Here’s what Patrice and Sharon had to say about: 

- why you don’t need to ‘hustle’ all the freakin’ time: “I do think it’s important to hustle, but people think we have to do that 24/7 as business owners. There should be periods of rest as well.” - Sharon

- why taking care of your mental health is good for your business:  “A few years ago Beyond Blue commissioned some research with PricewaterhouseCoopers, which found that for every dollar spent on a mentally healthy workplace, there’s a $2.30 on average return on investment… what that research found is that [figure] can be much higher for small businesses.” - Patrice

- seeking help before you ‘need’ it: “People shouldn’t worry too much about labeling it. If you’re not feeling good, and if that persists for a period of time, then that’s enough to know that you need to do something a little bit differently.”  - Patrice

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Small business resources: 

Head’s Up: A fab site for small business owners, employees and employers who need help creating a mentally healthy workplace, brought to you by Beyond Blue and the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance

Well-being plan template: Pop over here to learn about creating a well-being plan, and here to access Head’s Up’s action plan template to help you get started. 

Everymind’s Ahead for Business: A digital hub and app that provide peer support, check-ups, action plans, COVID-19 advice and multimedia resources for small business owners. 

My Business Health: Tools to help you get your business and your mental health back on track, by The Australian Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman. 

Xero’s Stronger and smarter: a small business handbook: A free guide made up of practical, achievable and action-oriented tips and advice to help you move your small business forward. They’ve got a trends forecast, recovery checklist, apps and more, all designed to help you stay resilient in times of change. 

The Sister Scout Hood: Need to outsource something? Here’s a rad directory of folks who can help you in your business, such as bookkeepers/accountants, brand strategists, counselors, meditation experts, organisation pros and more. 

General mental health and well-being resources: 

Beyond Blue’s Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service: It’s free, folks, and it’s always there if you need it. Speak to trained counsellors online or on the phone; they’re available 24/7.

myCompass: Created by the Black Dog Institute, the free myCompass platform is a personalised self-help tool for mental health. It includes screeners for anxiety and depression, toolkits for recovery and interactive activities to help you cope. 

Xero Now’s podcast on resilience: Dr Grant Blashki, lead clinical adviser for Beyond Blue, talks about creating good mental health habits in a virtual environment. 

As always, if you or someone you know needs help, contact the following

Lifeline: Call 13 11 14 for 24/7 crisis support or visit

Beyond Blue: Call 1300 22 4636 or visit

This little vid is the third in a three-part IGTV video series for Strictly Business, an e-newsletter for all you rad business types, brought to you by our mates at Xero. Pop over here to sign up. 

Xero is online accounting software that's committed to supporting small businesses with a range of free resources via their business continuity hub. Designed to let you do business beautifully and simply, nab a free 30-day trial over at
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