Words By Tara Wagner

The Hidden Cause of Entrepreneur Burnout (Good Advice Gone Bad)

Female boss experiencing entrepreneur burnout

It’s easy to blame our burnout on all the things we’re doing, but what if it’s deeper than that? Small biz owners and entrepreneurs I’m talking specifically to you.

With my 20 plus years of experience I have witnessed entrepreneur burnout and have even felt it myself. There are key questions to ask yourself to know if you are currently burning yourself out or on the way there.

The Hidden Cause of Entrepreneur Burnout (Good Advice Gone Bad)


There might be one tweak that you and your biz are missing to help you refrain from burnout. In the video, I’ll share the primary hidden cause behind entrepreneurs experiencing burnout in their biz, including:

  • What is entrepreneur burnout
  • What is your purpose for being in business anyway
  • How to set a goal based on a target
  • How to set financial goals versus time goals
  • Where can you find more support to refrain from burnout in your biz

Click below to read through the transcript or use to follow along with the video.

As entrepreneurs, it is easy to blame our burnout on allll the things that we are doing. But what if it’s deeper than that? What if it was one tweak that we made when we set our goals at the beginning, that set us up for burnout and failure in the long run. And if so, would that mean that there’s one simple tweak that we could make that would turn the whole thing around? Let me explain…

I’m Tara Wagner, Breakthrough coach and lifelong entrepreneur. I help other entrepreneurs use a holistic approach to business so they can create profits they can depend on without burning themselves out. If that sounds like your jam, be sure to check out my free training on how you can do the same.

I have been in business for a long time – 20+ years. I’ve faced burnout multiple times over those years, I have seen it in my clients again and again, but I only just realized probably in the last, maybe six to nine months, that there’s one underlying thing that is at the root of every single person’s burnout. Despite what’s burning them out, despite how it’s burning them out underneath it all, I can identify one common denominator.

As entrepreneurs or small business owners. We got into business for two things, right? Fulfillment and freedom. That freedom is emotional freedom, time freedom, and yes, financial freedom so that we can have the resources to do what we want with our time and because we’re feeling good emotionally. And so what do we do? We get to work on creating those things. We set our goals. We start working on our goals. We start doing all the things, and then pretty soon we burnt out and we have neither fulfillment nor freedom.

What if the reason for that entrepreneur burnout is not what we’re doing, but how we got started, how we set our goals and chose our aim, chose our target in the beginning. There’s a popular analogy that says if a plane leaves LAX but it’s just the three degrees off from where it’s supposed to be heading instead of landing in JFK, it’s going to land in Washington, DC. That’s a pretty big difference with a very slight tweak, a very slight change to how you’re aiming.

I’ve learned this from myself just recently, my husband and I took up archery this year of all things. Super fun, but super hard. And the first thing you have to learn is not all of the fancy stuff. The first thing you have to learn is just how to aim. Think about that for a second. It sounds obvious when you say it, but when you actually go and you start playing with a bow for the first time, you’re not really thinking about that. You’re just setting it up and you’re shooting, right? You’re aiming and you’re shooting. But if you don’t learn how to aim, if you don’t learn how to make adjustments, you think that you are off-center when in fact it might just be the bow.

It might be the approach that you’re taking. And the same is true in our business. That common denominator that I’ve seen in entrepreneurs is that when we start to set our goals, we have that target, right? We know what we want. We want fulfillment and freedom. But when we go to set our goals, we don’t aim for fulfillment and freedom. What do we usually aim for? We usually aim for money and money’s not a bad thing, right?

Financial freedom is part of freedom. But if it’s the primary thing we aim for, we will end up missing the whole picture. Financial goals are something that you can never truly ever hit or feel complete with because there’s always more money to be had. The goal is always moving on you, but when you do it differently, when you set time goals first, when you say this is the physical freedom that I wanna have, the time freedom that I want to have, the way that I want to feel in my business, here’s how much money I need to make to help me to get there but this is actually the thing that I’m aiming for.

Now instead of having a financial goal, which constantly moves the time target, and constantly adds more to your plate. You have a time goal that says, how can I make this much money in this amount of time? If we set a financial goal, what happens? We start thinking, what are all the ways that I can hit this goal? And because it’s unconstrained, we go in unconstrained and we end up doing all the freaking things and we end up burning out. But every single person that I’ve coached, including myself, when I’ve asked them, what’s your time goal, they don’t know, or they know, but it’s not built into their business plan. They’ve aimed based on money, based on something that will always add more things to their to-do list. Not based on something that actually constrains them, that makes them say, I have to do it in these limitations. I have to do it in this amount of time. How much money can I make? Or what can I do that will make the amount of money that I need, but in this amount of time.

If you’re burning out right now, I want you to ask this question, have you been aiming for what more can I do? Or have you been aiming for what is the smartest thing I can do to get the biggest impact in the least amount of time? I learned a while back that if you ask better questions, you get better answers. And so asking that question of yourself could just be the pivotal thing that makes all the difference. It definitely least will set you on the path to figuring out a different way of working because here’s the facts. You may be a small business owner. You may be wearing or juggling a lot of hats that you’re supposed to be wearing, and that can be normal, but burnout is not normal. Doing all of the things is not a long-term strategy. And you will not be able to sustain it forever.

You’ve got to start figuring out, making your target your aim. What can I get off of my plate? Not what else can I do to solve this problem, but what is the biggest, most impactful thing that’s going to get the best results to solve this problem, but I can only do it in this amount of time.

Hey, I want to interject here with a quick word from our sponsor ClickUp. Another part of having a business that doesn’t burn you out is having systems in place that can take things off or your brain, clean up the chaos in your operations, and can scale with you so you can skip the nightmare of replacing them down the road and my favorite tool for that is ClickUp.

ClickUp allows you to organize your entire business, replace half the tools you currently use but costs less than any one of them. If you’re not yet a ClickUp fanatic, click the link below to learn why they’ve been my favorite tool since 2019 and a sponsor I am proud to have. Now back to the video.

As a business owner, there will always be more that you can do because there will always be more opportunities and more money to be made, but you cannot get back your time. So if you are not setting time as the goal and aligning every action with that, even the actions that make you money, then you will continue to burn out.

You will continue to have too much on your plate and not enough time to get it done in. Now, like I said, I’ve been in business for a long time. I know that what I’m telling you probably sounds great and feels freaking impossible. I get that. And I want you to know that that is normal, but that’s no excuse to stay here. Yes, it’s going to feel impossible, but this is why we’ve got to get support. I didn’t get out of this situation alone. My clients don’t get out of it alone either. We need to tap into the wisdom or the experience of people who’ve gone before us that can lay out the roadmap and help us to figure out how to fill in the pieces for ourselves. Because this won’t be a cookie-cutter approach. You don’t need a cookie-cutter approach.

You need to learn the things that apply to everybody and then get the support to figure out how to make them apply to you or how to the rest of it apply to you. The solutions you’re seeking are going to be unique to you. You just gotta find the guidance that understands that and can help you fill in the gaps. And if that’s something you want support with, I recommend you check out my Healthy Hustle Approach.


If you want to learn more about how I help small business owners successfully manage their business while achieving goals so that you’re not burning yourself out be sure to check out my Healthy Hustle Roadmap.

This free class, How To Use a Holistic Approach to Create a Profitable Business Without Burning Yourself Out will teach you the three mistakes small business owners are making and introduce you to the tools and strategies that will help you create reliable profits working less than 40 hours a week.

You can grab a free seat for that class by clicking below.


Are you an entrepreneur currently experiencing burnout? 

Share your current business struggles that effect your feeling of burnout below.


Love it? Share it?

*This post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a small commission when you click on the links at no additional cost to you. You can read my full disclaimer here.
start here
How to Upgrade Your Business So It Doesn't Burn You Out (3 Mistakes to Correct Right Now)

You need a better approach.

Let me show you mine...

The Breakthrough Roadmap

How to upgrade your business so it doesn't burn you out

Attend this free training to learn the 3 mistakes small business owners are encouraged to make, and my Roadmap to create full-time profits without burning out.

P.S. This class has important takeaways for ALL entrepreneurs, from pre-launch to 6+ figures. It’s where I recommend everyone start to get to know me and ensure I’m the right mentor for you. Grab a seat now!

Wanna hear when fresh posts land?

Leave a Comment

Picture of Tara Wagner

Tara Wagner

I’m Tara Wagner, creator of the Breakthrough Boss®. I help small biz owners overcome burnout and create part-time schedules with full-time profits. Not with some new marketing strategy, but with a holistic approach to how you operate. Click here to learn more.
Let's Connect On

Wanna hear when fresh posts land?

*Make sure your email is real + correct to receive your updates via your inbox!

By submitting your info, you’re agreeing to my Privacy Policy. I will never share your info in any way (I hate that too), and you may opt-out at any time.


How To Upgrade
Your Business So It
Doesn't Burn You Out

(3 Mistakes to Correct Right Now)

How to Upgrade Your Business So It Doesn't Burn You Out (3 Mistakes to Correct Right Now)

🚫 Spending hours per week creating content?

👆 Click to learn how! 👆