What is Visibility Burnout?

what is visibility burnout - ashes as a metaphor

What is Visibility Burnout?

What is Visibility Burnout?


To be honest, visibility burnout is a term that I have made up. It describes the business owners and entrepreneurs that I am seeing who are overwhelmed and exhausted with trying to stay on top of promoting their profile and building their visibility. This can also include employees and managers who know that being more visible is the clue to getting on in their organisation or industry.

Burnout is a significant concern to anyone, but for those running a business it can impact your ability to earn a living. It  brings feelings of exhaustion and hopelessness, not to mention possible mental health issues.

Burnout in business

Burnout is a state of chronic physical and emotional exhaustion, often accompanied by feelings of cynicism and detachment from work, and a sense of reduced personal accomplishment. People often think that all it takes is a rest and you’ll be good to go, but burnout needs more than just rest.

Visibility burnout in particular brings its own issues. Building reputation and profile is part of establishing and growing a business, and all the marketing and PR will be waiting for you when you get back. If you can afford a marketing agency or person, then this may help. However, there will still need to be a fair bit of imput from you so that won’t take the whole problem away.

Signs of burnout as an entrepreneur

woman falling off edgeIf you are feeling burnout, you’ll end up losing interest in what you do, perhaps even making errors and missing deadlines. You may find yourself experiencing symptoms like brain fog, or just turning to food, booze or other forms of comfort. It’s likely that you’ll feel on the edge of chronic fatigue, with decreased motivation, irritability, and withdrawal from colleagues.

Of course, visibility burnout can bring various health problems, just like any other form of stress. These include skin issues, including increased risk of heart disease, depression, anxiety, headaches, and sleep disorders.

From a visibility point of view, you may find that all you want to do is withdraw. You’ll get ready to post and then find you’ve got nothing to say, or lack the confidence to say it. You’ll either spend hours procrastinating, losing yourself in internet rabbit holes, or just want to avoid promotion altogether.

The ongoing stress of having to be more visible is key here, as it is relentless. However, those who suffer from burnout sometimes have even more stressful triggers that propel them into this state. This can include the trauma of a social media backlash, or an unpleasant experience.

How to deal with visibility burnout?

I’ll be tackling this over the coming weeks, as it takes time. It involves looking at everything from your expectations of yourself to work life balance. If there’s trauma involved then more work might have to be done. As a therapist I have the tools to help you with that. In the meantime, I’m finishing off preparing my up and coming group programme Rekindle – coping with visibility burnout. Do book a chat if you’d like to find out more.

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