I’m not always able to work at full capacity. It’s important for me to be honest with myself about that. I am a social entrepreneur because I consistently show up. Not because I’m good at it, not because I can raise millions of dollars over night or that I have some outrageous following. I’m a social entrepreneur because I consistently care, show up, and adapt.
I’m no business guru but I know that burn out is a huge issue in the non profit sector. According to Tiloma Jayasinghe who wrote an article Avoiding Burnout and Preserving Movement Leadership in the Nonprofit Quarterly
Nonprofit executives in particular face a high risk of burning out, and this is even more true for leaders of color
Further in the article she gives advice on how to manage yourself while you’re burned out. She says “do the things that feel selfish and indulgent.” I believe self care in nonprofit work is a necessity for sustainability. Burn out can cause all sorts of negative feelings, emotional and physical both of which if unchecked can lead to suicidal thoughts and ideations or ultimately suicide.
Consequently, about 30 percent of nonprofit workers are burned out, with an additional 20 percent in danger of burning out. That’s 50 percent of the nonprofit workforce at the end, or near the end of their tether. That’s half of the humans who drive this nation’s third-largest employment sector not being able to sustain a long-term career without compromising their health, resilience, and security.
I need reminders sometimes about why it’s ok to work daily in small steps. I hope that someone else will use this reminder and be gentle on themselves. We don’t need to consistently work at full capacity. We just need to work consistently. When you understand that building a business takes time, you save space for the finished product.