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5 Keys to Avoiding Burnout as an Enrolled Agent

A black male with his left hand on a coffee mug handle, laying his head on his right hand on a desk.

An occupational phenomenon that results from chronic workplace stress. That's what the World Health Organization, also known as WHO, labeled burnout in 2019. If you have survived a tax busy season you know that can be a very stressful time. So does that mean that you have to be a victim of burnout just because you work in the tax industry? The answer is no, but ultimately the choice is yours.

The majority, but not all, tax professionals that I know who have become Enrolled Agents did so for freedom. They desired to not only help taxpayers but to control their schedule, and start their own business. But what I see is that when push comes to shove, they fall into the trap of doing things as the industry has always done them.

70 -80 hour work weeks

Working on Saturdays

Not seeing sunlight from January - April

But the pay is great...

Does this sound familiar? It does for me because that's what my first looked like. I would crash on the weekends. But that's what I thought a career in accounting looked like. So when I started my practice years later, that's not what I wanted to do. Slowly but surely it crept up on me and I was in the hustle cycle.

Except without all of the staff and resources, my weekend crash wasn't enough recovery time. I found myself at a point where I felt guilty because I wasn't working hard enough but too drained to do anything but work. Then it happened. I just could not go any further. I was officially burnt out, and this was before catching COVID in 2021. That just added a cherry on top of everything.

It has been almost 3 years and I still can't push myself with the same intensity. I still experience brain fog and extreme exhaustion, where I can't go anymore.

I didn't start my business to feel this way. I know you didn't either. That's why I want you to take a lesson from my book and not end up here. No, this article does not speak directly to helping clients or reaching income goals. But it indirectly does, because if you're burnt out you can't serve anyone or enjoy the income you're making.

These keys are directly related to each other. If you don't have key #1 it's difficult to get 2-5.. If you lose one, you'll soon lose all 5. So, let's have an honest conversation at the end about where you're at.

Here are 5 keys to avoiding burnout as an Enrolled Agent.

Setting Boundaries as an Enrolled Agent

Yes, I've talked about this before. But it's critical to your monetary and emotional success. Your family will thank me!

Going above for your clients is noble. But not when it results in you burning yourself out. No amount of money is worth that. If you're not sure what type of boundaries you need to establish check out this list of boundaries I had to establish.

Communication - it has to be my way or the highway. When I first started my business I used Facebook a lot. Clients would not only follow my business page but they would send my friend requests, no big deal right? I turned out to be wrong. Clients began reaching out to me on social media via my DMs and prospects did too. Then I would have people upset with me if I didn't see their message.

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