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HomeBUSINESSThe Mental Cost of Entrepreneurship: Burnout w/ Shanna A. Jefferson

The Mental Cost of Entrepreneurship: Burnout w/ Shanna A. Jefferson

What’s the mental cost of entrepreneurship?

In this exclusive interview, Fancy sits down with psychotherapist Shanna A. Jefferson to unravel the intricacies of burnout, its distinguishing features from depression, and Shanna’s groundbreaking Burnout to Breakthrough Curriculum. With her extensive expertise in mental health and a passion for empowering individuals, Shanna A. Jefferson offers profound insights into the often misunderstood realm of burnout, particularly within entrepreneurs. As Fancy delves deep into the conversation with thought-provoking questions, listeners are in for an enlightening exploration of how burnout impacts lives and how Shanna’s innovative curriculum paves the way for transformative healing and growth.

Fancy: What inspired your Burnout to Breakthrough Program? Have you ever experienced burnout before? 

Shanna: Yes, I have experienced burnout as an entrepreneur. 

Several months after establishing my third office, I was tired. I was drained. I felt burned out. I felt lost. I felt stuck. I felt alone. Financially, the business revenue was at the highest level to date at that time. However, I was also fighting insurance companies for reimbursement, leading to inconsistent cash flow, which is imperative for any business’s sustainability.

Essentially, I was experiencing what I’ve since coined The Mental Cost of Entrepreneurship.

Fancy: How did you overcome it?

Shanna: In overcoming the struggles during my early years in business, I had to become a recluse, meditate more, and pray for discernment. And being who I am, I knew that the Most High, the Alpha, and the Omega would provide.

Eliminating distractions, letting go of people toxic to my life and business, expanding my network of like-minded individuals, and going back to the drawing board to streamline business operations processes were all critical steps I took to ensure a solid foundation for the next level of greatness. I also incorporated many tools for success, which later became the content for my second book, The Greatness Toolbox: 33 Tools For Success

Some of the tools I utilized included self-care, positive affirmations, faith, and detox your life. During my self-discovery, I learned to focus more on harmony than balance, as balance often forces us to ensure things add up to equal 100%. Whereas harmony is the notion, just as in music, where you create the life you want, that has that pleasing effect for you. In harmony, everything works together regardless of what the balance may look like. 

Fancy: What are the five signs of entrepreneurial burnout?

Shanna: As entrepreneurs, we are driven by passion and ambition, constantly striving to achieve our goals and make our mark in the world. However, amidst the excitement and challenges of entrepreneurship, it’s easy to overlook the toll it can take on our mental health. 

Burnout, a state of physical and emotional exhaustion, is a common issue affecting many entrepreneurs.

The five signs of burnout are:

1. Physical Exhaustion: One of the most evident signs of burnout is experiencing constant fatigue and physical exhaustion.
2. Decreased Productivity: Entrepreneurial burnout often leads to a noticeable decline in productivity.
3. Emotional Distress: Entrepreneurs may experience frequent mood swings, increased irritability, or a sense of being emotionally overwhelmed
4. Loss of Passion: Burnout can lead to a decline in enthusiasm for work and a loss of interest in activities that once brought joy.
5. Isolation: Entrepreneurial burnout can also lead to a sense of isolation.

Recognizing the signs of burnout and taking proactive steps to address it is essential for maintaining a healthy and sustainable entrepreneurial journey.

Shanna Jefferson after having recovered from burnout.

Fancy: How does burnout differ from depression?

Shanna: Burnout and depression share common symptoms, such as fatigue, lack of interest, and changes in sleep and appetite. However, they originate from different sources and have distinct features.

Burnout is often linked to chronic workplace stress or overexertion. It can result from feeling overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and experiencing a reduced sense of accomplishment. Burnout is usually tied to specific situations, like work-related demands, and tends to impact your ability to function effectively in those areas.

Depression, on the other hand, is a mental health disorder that affects various aspects of your life. It involves persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a loss of interest or pleasure in activities that once brought joy. Depression affects not only your work but also your relationships, hobbies, and overall quality of life. It often involves changes in sleep patterns, appetite, and concentration, and it can sometimes occur without a clear external cause.

Burnout is typically related to chronic stress and exhaustion in specific areas of life, while depression is a broader mental health condition that affects your overall well-being. If you’re experiencing symptoms of either burnout or depression, seek immediate support.

Fancy: How does burnout limit one’s success?

Shanna: Burnout can significantly hinder one’s success in various ways. When someone experiences burnout, their physical and mental energy depletes, decreasing productivity and efficiency. This can make it difficult to focus on tasks, meet deadlines, and maintain the level of performance needed to excel.

Burnout can also lead to a decrease in creativity and problem-solving abilities. The constant feeling of exhaustion and overwhelm can limit the brain’s capacity to generate innovative ideas and solutions.

Emotionally, burnout can lead to feelings of cynicism, detachment, and even a reduced sense of accomplishment. These emotions can erode motivation and enthusiasm, making it challenging to pursue goals and make progress.

It can also strain relationships, both at work and in personal life. The irritability and emotional exhaustion that come with burnout can lead to communication breakdowns and conflicts, negatively impacting teamwork, networking, and collaboration – all of which are vital for success in most fields.

In essence, burnout creates a cycle that diminishes one’s ability to perform at their best, stifles their potential for innovation and growth, and ultimately limits their overall success in both professional and personal realms.

Fancy: What do you say to entrepreneurs experiencing burnout right now but think they don’t have time to take your program?

Shanna: I completely understand how overwhelming it can be for entrepreneurs who are currently grappling with burnout. The constant demands of running a business can make it feel like there’s never a good time to step away and invest in a program. However, that’s precisely the mindset that the Burnout to Breakthrough curriculum is designed to challenge.

Think about it this way. You’re not just adding another task to your to-do list by engaging with the program. You’re making a strategic decision to address the root causes of burnout, which can profoundly impact your overall productivity, creativity, and long-term success.

While it might seem counterintuitive to pause and learn during a busy period, the insights and strategies you’ll gain from the program can actually lead to more efficient work, better decision-making, and improved work-life balance. It’s an investment in your well-being and your business’s sustainability.

Remember, burnout doesn’t just go away on its own; pushing through it often leads to even more exhaustion and decreased effectiveness. So, even though it might feel like you don’t have the time right now, consider the program as a way to regain control, recharge your energy, and ultimately achieve breakthroughs that can transform your business and your personal life.

We also offer three flexible options in the Burnout To Breakthrough program. 

  • VIP Intensive 
  • 8-Week Bootcamp
  • Self-Paced Course 

Just a few of the modules in the #BurnoutToBreakthrough Self-Paced Course!

Understanding Burnout

Self-Care and Entrepreneurial Well-being

Stress Management Techniques

Building Resilience

Creating Harmony in Life & Business

Fancy: Where can entrepreneurs sign up for this program, and when does it start?

Shanna: Entrepreneurs interested in the Burnout to Breakthrough program can learn more via the following link:  www.burnouttobreakthrough.info

Remember:  it’s not just about the hustle but also about taking care of yourself. 

Fancy: Where can readers connect with you online?

Shanna: Thanks again for this amazing opportunity to share my platform with your audience. To schedule a consultation or strategy session beyond the Burnout To Breakthrough curriculum, please visit my website at www.shannajefferson.com.

Readers can connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Linkedin at “Shanna A. Jefferson.”


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Francheska Felder
Francheska Felderhttp://swagheronline.com
Francheska "Fancy" Felder is the founder/publisher/EIC of SwagHer Magazine. She is a -Single mother of 3 -Libra - Trapping scribe -Lover -Mental health advocate - Country girl -Proud, liberated Black goddess ________________________________________ Long Bio: Francheska “Fancy” Felder is the owner of Fancy’s Thoughts and the award-winning publisher and editor-in-chief of SwagHer Magazine, a lifestyle and empowerment publication for the Black woman who likes to keep it real in life and business. The magazine doubles as a PR boutique offering public relations services and visibility coaching, and Fancy strategically executes brand campaigns for Black women CEOs, coaches, and authors. The former teen mom started the company in 2010 while working as an exotic dancer, but soon after, her love for empowering Black women led her to abandon that lifestyle. She has received awards for her work as a positive news publisher and journalist telling the stories of Black women and other informative news that the Black community finds relevant, including the severe topics of Black mental health and domestic violence. The podcast she co-hosts with Arnya T.M. Davis, Theories & Thoughts, also continues these conversations. Fancy publicly speaks about her battle with bipolar disorder with hopes of helping others begin their wellness paths. She also shares her mental health story in contribution to the I Am a Black Woman- Next Level anthology, an Amazon Best-Seller. In the summer of 2022, RallyUp Magazine, a mental health magazine, featured Fancy as their cover story, where she opened up about receiving her diagnosis. The McComb, Mississippi native is part of Facebook’s independent journalism project, Bulletin, where she publishes The Higher South, and she was a member of the NABJ Entrepreneur Academy powered by CafeMedia in 2021. The Glambitous Guide to Self-Love, Peace, and Confidence contributor is an avid learner and creative. Currently, she is attending Southern University A&M College, completing her bachelor's degree and rearing her three young adults. Fancy enjoys learning more about spirituality, Black history, and feminism in her free time, along with yoga and walking.

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