Interior design burnout is a real thing. And in case you’ve been fortunate enough to escape it so far, here are the five primary big ass business challenges that cause burnout. My goal is to help you identify these inside your design practice so you can take action before burnout claims you.
In the posts that follow, I’ll include proven methods to avoid burnout and to heal from it. I’ve been there myself and remember it all too well.
#1 Doing It All Yourself Causes Interior Design Burnout
This may sound obvious but it’s often the number one biggest cause of interior design burnout. You’re a creative and a designer and that means you enjoy the design aspects of your work. But operational and promotional aspects including bookkeeping, marketing, social media, purchase orders, tracking, receiving, and the like are a lot less exciting. In fact, they actually drain you of energy, joy, and your creative mojo.
Comment below and let me know the parts of your design business you LOVE and the parts you want to eliminate (or delegate.)
#2 Bad Clients Cause Interior Design Burnout
I know you didn’t want to say “no” to that difficult client, but the reality is that until you become selective and realize that you have a choice in who you work with, burnout is going to be at your back door.
There is nothing that will rob you of your creative joy faster than clients who whine, complain, nickel and dime you, find fault, and otherwise prove impossible. And these clients can happen at budget levels just as easily as they can at luxury levels.
Comment below and tell me if you’ve had a run of bad clients who are driving you to burnout. I’ve got solutions coming.
#3 Making Design All You Do Causes Interior Design Burnout
Hey, I get it, design isn’t just what we do, it’s who we are and that can be all consuming, when we let it. But, eating, sleeping, breathing, and dreaming design 24/7 is going to imbalance you to the point of burnout. It’s also going to make you boring to be around (believe it or not, not everything is about design.) And you’ll find yourself having increasing difficulty being inspired for your projects because you’ve got design tunnel vision.
Comment below if you know what I mean. Do you feel creatively starved, suffering a drought of design ideas, and wondering if your well has dried up?
#4 Allowing Your Clients to Take Control of Their Project Causes Interior Design Burnout
Are you allowing your client to control their project instead of you taking charge? Don’t feel badly, this afflicts at least 50% of design professionals today, it’s also a leading contributor to interior design burnout.
When you’re chasing the project and trying to please your client by bending over backwards for every request, you’re building up a lot of resentment. You’re having to jump at their beck and call instead of taking control of the project, the communications, and the outcome. That’s a freakin’ monster.
Comment below and let me know if you’ve allowed a client (likely a pushy one) to take control and you’re exhausted by the outcome.
#5 Sacrificing Your Life to Design Causes Interior Design Burnout
This sounds obvious, but it happens without you even realizing. Your year slides by and you realize you haven’t had a vacation. You look more closely and notice that you worked six days most weeks, sometimes seven. If you’ve got kids, you’ve been missing school events and your spouse or partner has nearly had time to build a social life without you. You put blinders on to focus on your business and it’s swallowed you whole.
YIKES! Been there and did that just without the kids and had no time for a partner or even dating. Vacations weren’t in my vocabulary for over five years and I like to say the weekends were quiet so it helped me get more done. The truth was my design business owned me, I didn’t own it.
Comment below, if this sounds like you!
The fantastic news this is all preventable and when too far gone, reversible. You can find your design mojo again and rekindle your creative spirit, I know, I’ve done it. Stay tuned for solutions that you’ll love, guaranteed. And if you’d like expert help in course correcting you’re invited to apply for a Design Business Diagnostic, my gift to you here.