The five business lessons girl boss Sip de Silva learned in her early twenties

Burnout: it's a very real problem, and it's sneaking up on a lot of us. 

Fitting in a gym class in the morning, meetings all day, seeing friends for drinks, bagging a date to catch a movie with...oh, and drinking enough water. There simply aren't enough hours in the day. 

When trying to achieve that elusive work/life balance, it can often feel like your early business years are one big blur of tasks and deadlines. 

Kiwi businesswoman and certified girl boss Sip de Silva knows all about this. Since her early twenties, she's overcome the challenges that popped up with owning several award-winning companies, and now runs a bunch of corporate wellness and performance enterprises. 

She's put together the top five lessons she figured out in her early entrepreneurial years, so you don't have to learn the hard way. 

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with

The company you keep is important. So, choose wisely! The biggest lesson I learned was to pay attention to the people I was hanging out with. Do they build you up and inspire you to be the best you can be? Are they motivated and do they have strong values? My closest group of friends inspire me and push me to be better. But they also make me laugh and force me to take time out – this helps to stop me from burning out. They give me new perspectives on life and work. Your circle of friends defines who you are. 

Have a good work ethic

Nothing good comes easy, so it’s important to work hard towards your goals. Know the value of things. Do what you truly care about and make sure you have a sense of purpose – that you know your 'why'. 

For me, my 'why' is helping NZ's community of business owners - through upskilling, learning and connecting with like-minded people. I also find purpose in working with business owners on wellness and beating burnout. 

Know how to play

I'm adamant about having spare time to do the things that make you happy and refreshed. I love to spend time with my kids and friends, doing PT sessions and yoga.

It's so important to be well-rounded and live a balanced lifestyle in work and play. When planning our business retreats, [my husband] Zac and I like to ensure this balance is put into action – it’s part of the reason why we host our retreat Nurture Change at relaxing locations like Fiji. When your body and mind are refreshed, you get your best ideas and become an interesting person - which can be an important part of leading a successful life.

Show some self-compassion and embrace failure

As you grow, there are going to be times when you experience some level of failure. It’s important to show yourself some compassion in these moments, and instead of beating yourself up on your errors – view them as lessons. Welcome failure as a stepping stone to success. 

You can change careers - more than once!

You don't have to get trapped in the career you chose when you were 18 - as you evolve, you can change course. I've done fashion, property management and owned hospitality ventures - now I help business owners be better in business and in personal performance. Everything you do will make you better at your next vocation - don't be afraid to change lanes.