Digital Distinction Strategies by Website Silk: Archetypes, Unique Selling Points and Shoulder Niches can help you succeed on the Internet.


Blog Post written by Ronel Pieterse

Ronel has 24 years corporate experience at senior levels (finance, mining, IT, manufacturing & agriculture), a B.Com degree (Business Management & IT) and postgrad Business Management (Henley). She has also started 5 small businesses over the past 20 years, 4 of which are still operational today due to her expertise in Digital Marketing. Ronel helps entrepreneurs to grow their businesses via a sustainable competitive advantage in the Digital Arena.

POST DATE: 2016-12-06

POST UPDATED: 2020-04-26


I'm yet to come across a really successful entrepreneur without a burnout story simmering in the background. It's nothing to be ashamed of; just to be avoided if you can.

Burnout changes and refines us. It teaches us compassion. It's the price of an essentially driven achiever-type personality and at the very least we all suffer OVERWHELM. It's very prevalent towards the end of each year; almost all our clients feel engulfed.

Small business ownership is excruciatingly stressful: the different hats we have to wear (some in areas in which we're ill-equipped); the complexity; cash-flow and staff issues; difficult clients or even legal issues; the opposing demands on our time. So, at worst, without a "break state" or sound consulting advice, this is not sustainable and will lead to BURNOUT in the best of us!

First we'll look at the 7 ways to prevent burn-out and then we'll look at 5 strategies to keep the momentum going while you are away on holiday, so that your stress doesn't INCREASE while you're meant to be defusing!


1. Prevention

The most often-touted advice remains true: healthy diet, exercise, prayer or meditation, and taking regular breaks, i.e. AWAY from your workplace and preferably completely disconnected for at least 2 days every 3 months. It's really best to go away - new places and faces and NATURE, especially, tend to refresh and inspire.

2. Mindset

We are human. Yes, even the tough, hard-working, tireless warriors we are. Nothing gets us down... Well, until it does. No-one is immune. Some of the biggest names in the South African small business arena have a burnout story to tell. We need to be ever so gentle on ourselves, listen to our bodies and hearts and not judge ourselves so harshly. Love what you do? Love your clients? Even more reason to offer them your gift for longer!

3. Habits

Creating daily habits can help us manage our prevention strategy almost mindlessly. E.g. to create breathing (or just peeing!) spaces in our day; create admin slots to avoid it cluttering our desks and minds; ask for a time-out or more time on a deadline if you are exhausted.

4. Tools

One of the biggest issues entrepreneurs face, is that you need time- and energy-saving tools; but you are running yourself ragged so you don't have time to research or integrate any. If 2 hours of research and implementation today, will save you 7 hours just in the next week - would that convince you? If you still feel you simply cannot make the time - you are already teetering on the brink of burnout anyway... beware.

5. Boundaries

Much of what trips us up is saying YES to more than we can actually handle. Whether from enthusiasm, guilt, or fear of losing out - no-one benefits. At the top of what I recommend for Entrepreneurs is to read books on Boundaries and boundary-setting.

6. Digital Partner

If you've been working with a reliable Digital Marketing partner, you can rest assured that your custom-developed website, your Google Ad Campaigns and your Digital Marketing Strategy continues to run in your favour, even when you need some down-time yourself.

7. Firefighting

If you're already in a state of burnout (and brave enough to admit it), it can be salvaged if you'd make immediate changes. BURNOUT DOES NOT EQUAL FAILURE. It is simple exhaustion. Immediately cancel anything non-critical, get a business sitter or close your doors for a few days. Do whatever it takes for a healing space to allow you to breathe, seek help, change to healthier routines and get the resources to lighten your load.

Our business life should only be a small portion of our life's joy - even though it matters, it is transitory. Our long-term health, relationships and legacy are much more important. Perspective is a great master - make it another habit.

If you don't take breaks, life may force you to...

Well, now that we've inspired you to book a breakaway, here are some tips on how to keep the momentum going while you are resting.


Like us, you probably survive challenging times to see a holiday or breakaway (however short they may be for you) winking out the corner of your weary eye. How can you take a break and still keep momentum in your digital marketing efforts?

1 ~ Sharpen your Axe!

Even viable small businesses fail simply because the owners burn out. Reconnect with loved ones, rest, read, walk in Nature. Exhale, re-group, take a break.

2 ~ Ride the Creative Wave

Your brain is more creative when rested and in nature - scientific fact. While you walk on the beach or in a cool green forest - brainstorm wild new ways in which you can connect with and help your clients. Jot it down to make work of after your holiday.

3 ~ Pre-schedule Your Digital Presence

Stay top of mind by scheduling Social Media posts in advance or even pre-scheduling a mailshot - your engine can continue ticking over while you nap in a hammock.

You can learn how to pre-schedule posts with our A-Z of Facebook Marketing a Facebook Business Page article, right now.

4 ~ Keep your Radar On

You are likely to cross paths with people this holiday who will benefit from your product or service. Don't do business, just sincerely connect and gather business cards.

5 ~ Invite Support

If you have to work throughout (e.g. hospitality), consider getting support or an experienced business-sitter for a couple of days before your crazy season. I know from experience how hard it is to let go for even a few days, yet it is critically important for your survival.

You HAVE to recharge your batteries and with a little forethought you don't need to miss out on business opportunities.

Since you and your Competitor may have the same target market, even if not the exact same ideal client, it is important to work together wherever possible.

We wish you flawless holiday planning, much rest & and a super-charged return to your digital marketing efforts!

To avoid burn-outs and take breaks when you feel you simply can't, ask WebsiteSilk for help!


2018-01-21 Ruby Davison: My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find great value for ourselves in nearly all of your posts. Do you ever use guest writers or do you write all the content yourself? We'd love to offer a guest blog post?

Ronel: We welcome appropriate guest posts, Ruby! They need to be tightly aligned with our Digital Marketing vision and ethos. Please send us what you have in mind and if appropriate, we'd gladly post it, crediting you of course!


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