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How to avoid burnout as a female small-business owner in 2023

The cost of living is going up in Australia, and with it, the feeling of burnout among many Australian small business owners. According to an Australian Mums in Business Report by Mums & Co, mothers represent one-sixth of small business owners in this country. The pressure felt by these mothers on several levels including that of the cost-of-living crisis heightens the risk of parental burnout, which according to Ohio State University affects 48.5 per cent of mothers.

So, with limited resources, budget and minimal ‘womanpower’, how can female business owners avoid burnout? By following their intuition and connecting back to themselves.

What is intuition?

Intuition is a “gut feeling”. Our intuition is activated when we feel called to do something, or not do something. For example, small-business owner, Susan, had an intuitive nudge (a gut feeling) to start a small social media marketing business so she could free up time from the nine-five to spend with her family. However, with the rise in the cost of living and the work needed to create a business, Susan is now working 12-hour days and feeling as though she is burning out. What can she do?

Connect to the L.I.G.H.T framework

The L.I.G.H.T framework has been developed to help women in business (like Susan) not only avoid burnout, but to connect back to their intuition and thrive in business. This framework is made up of these five elements: Lean in, Illuminate, Gather, Honour, Transform.

How to avoid burnout as a female small-business owner in 2023

Lean in

When Susan started her business, she connected with her intuition. “I want to start a business to spend more quality time with my family,” but she lost her way. Connection to this feeling is the key.

Action: It is time for Susan to Lean In to the reason she started her business. She can make a commitment and voice it.


Taking actionable steps towards that intuitive nudge. Doing the work to create a family-friendly business and lifestyle free from burnout.

Action: Susan should focus only on the essential business activities. Suan would Illuminate what she must do and what she could delete or delegate.


Gathering what she already knows. Trusting herself and her knowledge (gather within) while also asking for help (gather with). It takes a village to build a business.

Action: Susan can take stock of what she already knows and who is around to help her step towards that intuitive nudge she had of spending more quality time with family. Is it outsourcing tasks to someone or trusting new ideas that will open up more space and time?

Honour the journey

Giving time for her intuitive nudge to come to life. Connect with herself and know that what she intuitively wants in life and business is accessible to her. This is the hardest part of avoiding burnout because it requires just being – not doing.

Action: Susan can engage in morning rituals, such as meditation, journaling, or gratitude practice, that help her tune in to her inner voice and align with her vision.


Embracing the change that comes from following intuition. Celebrating the wins and learning from the challenges. Sharing the journey with others who can benefit from it.

Action: Susan can acknowledge how far she has come and how much she has grown as a person and a business owner. She can also share her story with other women who might be feeling burnedout or stuck in their businesses.

Burnout is not inevitable

Burnout is now considered a serious work issue, as the pace and complexity of our work environments have rapidly changed. In May of 2019, the World Health Organization updated the definition of burnout as: “resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”

However, burnout is not inevitable for female small-business owners. By following their intuition and applying the L.I.G.H.T framework, they can create a sustainable and fulfilling business that supports their personal and professional goals.

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