Business Burnout: It's Real, but Avoidable
There’s no doubt about it, the travel industry is FUN! Creating a successful business and being your own boss is one of the most rewarding paths you can take. You’re able to make travel dreams come true daily while also feeding your own passion for adventure.
With Covid-19 restrictions easing up and travel statistics growing higher by the day, the numbers don’t lie: this industry is booming! While the travel surge generates a wealth of new and old business for your independent agency, it may feel like the floodgates have opened. We’re here to help you avoid the elephant in the room - a term that many business owners may feel: burnout.
Although the two may be used interchangeably, burnout is not the same as stress. Stress can sometimes be inevitable, but burnout is avoidable by consciously combatting it during your day-to-day activities. Read on to learn 7 simple, yet effective, ways you can avoid burnout with advice from Avoya and experienced Independent Agency owners in the Avoya Network™.
Create an organized and functional workspace
One of the biggest factors in burnout is being surrounded by a chaotic and unorganized workspace. Take steps to tidy your desk, find a home for every item, keep an organized planner and create systems that work best for you. Tammie Richie, Vice President of Network Enrichment at Avoya Travel, says it best, “All successful business in the world operates on a system. Imagine what a donut would look like if you applied the glaze first! Or a car if you put the door where the trunk goes.” Make life easier on yourself by creating a consistent schedule and system for your workday.
Create boundaries and learn to say no
Travelers, both new and experienced, are looking to make up for lost time from the past few years, and rightfully so! While working in the ‘people business’ may sometimes make it difficult to say no, there are ways to set boundaries without sacrificing your business.
Suggested best practice? Consider setting up an automatic reply. Carri Kersten, Owner of Carri Kersten Travel Design, LLC, an Independent Agency in the Avoya Network, suggests setting an out-of-office reply stating that response times may be longer than usual. By doing this, she says, “I can provide every single client with the attention and focus they deserve before taking on new projects. When clients know what to expect, the pressure is off me.” During a busy season, it’s important to stay transparent with your clients, so that expectations are clear and communication stress is limited.
Scrap the hefty to-do list and learn the habit of time blocking
With a lot on your plate, it’s easy to brain dump everything you must get done, ending the day feeling unorganized or even more overwhelmed. Instead of jotting down every task and proceeding from there, try time blocking! This technique is a great way to assign a certain amount of time to any given task. Start by listing out your daily tasks, determine which four to five tasks are your priority must-do items and dedicate specific time blocks to each. A to-do list simply tells you what you need to do, while time blocking tells you when you’re going to get it done.
Before you leave your desk for the night (and you should!) Kersten suggests making a list of tomorrow’s priorities, even the most basic task. She says, “If I find myself doing something that’s not on my list, I still add it and cross it off. It’s a great sense of accomplishment.”
While owning your own business may be time-consuming, it should not be life-consuming. Kimberly Mossner, Owner of Castaway Cruises and Travel, LLC, an Independent Agency in the Avoya Network, says, “I have committed myself to take one day per week to get out of the house and spend the day doing something I like - something to get my mind off work. I have joined a walking club in my area and try to join them at least once a week. It helps to meet people in other aspects of life that are not affiliated with the travel industry.”
We understand the sense of accomplishment that comes from being a business owner, but it’s easy to quickly forget to take care of yourself while operating a successful agency. Getting 8 hours of sleep, eating a well-balanced diet, moving your body and trying new hobbies are all part of self-care. Contrary to popular belief, taking breaks is productive! By taking a few minutes to step away from your computer and walk outside or meet a friend during your lunch, you’ll keep a level mind and avoid burnout.
Ask for help
Burnout can happen to anyone in any situation or stage of life. If you feel like you’re beginning to burn out, reach out to family, friends and colleagues to help alleviate stressors and take a break. Not only are your peers a great source to bounce ideas off of and learn new things, but also to talk through challenges and get advice from.
While your business is your business, it’s important to remember that you can ask for help! “You can’t be all things to all people all the time.” says Richie, “It is vitally important to take care of yourself and have a colleague to back you up for those times you are out or unavailable.” Having a great travel partner can be key to overcoming everyday stressors.
Learn the BALANCE tactic
Combating burnout means finding a balance between your work and your life. MaryAnn Adams, Owner of Memory Making Vacations, LLC, an Independent Agency in the Avoya Network, shares her tactic of BALANCE during her workday:
“B: Be aware of your schedule, limits & emotions
A: Accept that not everything is a priority
L: Lean on others to assist and delegate where you can
A: Align your days with what gives you the most peace
N: Never assume anything
C: Communicate clear expectations and boundaries with your peers, partners & clients
E: Exhale and let go of stressors”
Remember that a healthy work-life balance stems from the conscious decisions you make every day. You got this!
Partner with a Network to alleviate business stress
You may own your own business, but you don’t have to do it alone. At Avoya, we're with you every step of your journey and do the heavy lifting, so you don’t have to. We’ll send new clients directly to you at no additional cost via Avoya’s Live Leads™ program, so you can focus on scaling your business and have more time for what matters most in life.
With ongoing professional development and education, you’re never left in the dark. At Avoya, we take strides daily to prevent Independent Agencies from burning out with dedicated agency support here for you 7 days a week. We’re proud to offer the highest support staff to independent affiliate ratio in the industry.
It’s time to partner with a travel network that will have your back from day one to day 365 and beyond. For more information, contact us at 1-855-875-5861 or visit AvoyaNetwork.com.