Being an entrepreneur can be exceedingly challenging, but the difficult of the lifestyle is matched only the supreme sense of accomplishment it can provide. The freedoms afforded by being your own boss include creating your own schedule, setting your own rules, and mastering your own destiny. These benefits, however, do come at a price – namely, sacrifice and dedication.

Over time, the very heavy burden of running a business can grind down even the most optimistic and well-supported entrepreneur. Consequently, the burnout rate for entrepreneurs is startlingly high. It is only natural to become exhausted after giving so much of yourself to your company for so long. However, to mitigate the risk of running out of gas, there are several long-term strategies you can employ:

Be Realistic

Burning out, or giving up, happen when you are overcome by exhaustion and disappointment. An entrepreneur becomes fatigued by putting in too much work for too little reward. It can be extremely disappointing when, regardless of how much effort you pour into a task, the results just are not appearing.

Be smart about setting smaller, tangible goals that can align to your “big picture” aspirations. It’s absolutely critical to dream big, but do not get into the habit of setting yourself up for failure.

Don’t Feel Guilty

The old saying goes, “heavy lies the crown.” By setting forth to make your business successful, and leading the charge, there can be a substantial amount of responsibility on your shoulders. All that pressure you may be feeling can lead entrepreneurs to pass over opportunities to reboot, recharge, or relax.

Of course, you should be entirely committed to the creation, nourishment, and growth of your company. However, time away from work is equally non-negotiable. Even something as simple as a non-work morning routine of exercise or meditation can help sharpen your mental state and improve your ability to deliver in the office.

Do What You Do Best

In the beginning, everyone in leadership is going to need to do everything they can to get the company off of the ground. However, as time goes one and the ship stabilizes, you need to be able to smoothly and consistently increase the amount of time you spend working in the space where you have the most to offer.

Specialization in a new company works much the same way as in the free market. Everyone benefits the faster you are able to focus more on where your talents lie. It increases efficiency all around to have a staff who is doing exactly the work at which they excel and which they love. Resist the urge to hoard tasks nobody else wants or which might seem too daunting to delegate. Deliberately plan for the job you want.