Entrepreneurs are usually portrayed as perpetual optimists, constantly moving forward in spite of every obstacle and often ignoring the concerns of others regarding how they will grow their business. However, the truth could exist that people who are entrepreneurs may be more prone to depression and loss of motivation, suicidal ideas, and other mental health problems than people generally.
The fact that life for an entrepreneur can be challenging should not come as a surprise. From managing suppliers, customers, and employees, to the financial worries of keeping the business in the black, completing payrolls, and maintaining the lights on, entrepreneurs must deal with more issues than they do employees. Even though losing their job may cause problems for employees, however, losing the business of an entrepreneur often causes the loss of an entrepreneur’s car, home credit score, and, most importantly, a feeling of self-worth.
In a fascinating article published in the September Issue of Inc. Magazine, author Jessica Bruder refers to building companies as “psychologically painful” and examines “the cost that many founders are willing to pay.” Referring to a myriad of research studies and real-world instances, Bruder shows that the powerful emotional states that drive people to become an entrepreneur are inextricably linked to negative emotions, which can lead to problems with mental health for entrepreneurs.
If you take a look at the most popular methods to deal with depression, it’s not hard to spot some of the possible causalities. The advice is that eating a balanced diet as well as maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly avoid stressful situations, or spending more time with your friends and family members – your own community of support – is all aspect of healthy ways to improve your mental health.
Contrary to this, entrepreneurs are entirely focused on their new venture and have little time or focus on other matters. Food is typically a last-minute consideration that is quickly consumed at work or in their car on the way to the meeting. Couple that with a lack of time spent in good shape, and it’s clear why people add 10, 20, or even 50 pounds of body fat when they grow their businesses. Add stress on top of the massive amount of stress during the course of running a business, and not just do nerves get shot; however, all the stress causes the body to release excess cortisol.
Because cortisol triggers the body to store fat and causes it to cannibalize muscle mass, the situation is even direr. As self-confidence and self-image diminish and entrepreneurs become more self-conscious, many of them respond by putting themselves ever more heavily into their work, leaving lesser and less time with friends and family leaving them without the same support network which could be the most helpful.
This is before we consider the two biggest truisms you can learn from managing an enterprise of your own. Everything will take longer than you expected and costs more than you anticipated. Cashflow and capital shortages are the primary causes behind the majority of business failures. The added stress can be enough to destroy the mental well-being of the most resilient entrepreneurs.
The problem is compounded by the belief that one cannot show weakness or reveal any flaws in the success façade’. The fear is that customers might be reluctant to buy from you and that the sharks are going to circle around and ruin your business in the event of any weak spot. The entrepreneur’s personality is so interspersed in the business that they lose track of where their business end and begins. Their survival is seen as being tied with their own existence. The entrepreneur is so involved in their work that they stay up all night, twirling and bouncing in fear of the potential for a fall. In the absence of realizing, they’ve turned into emotional wrecks, which is why they fight for their cause and try to present a confident public appearance, but they’re becoming less productive and more isolated.
In the past, Samurai warriors balanced their brutal pursuits by painting or writing poems, as well as flower arrangements. The business warrior class of today’s business owners has lost this balance. As the war gets heated, they cut out any extraneous pursuits to concentrate on their issues, frequently losing any sense of perspective as well as of self.
The Warning Signs
Every situation is unique; however, there are some typical warning signs to look out for in the case of a business owner…
Did you experience any accidental but significant weight loss or gain? Are you 20 or 15 pounds heavier than you were at this time last year, or even 10 and 15 pounds more light? It could be a sign of depression, the consequence of not eating a balanced diet, or perhaps the signal of a more significant health disease.
Are you finding yourself working harder and harder but not achieving as much? Do you have a lot of ongoing tasks that never get completed? Do you find yourself putting off work every day and even postponing calls that you ought to have finished? There doesn’t seem to be any link between the amount of time you’re spending and the tangible, quantifiable outcomes?
What are your relationships with friends? Are you losing contact with your loved ones? Do your social circle beyond business acquaintances shrinking? Does your home not a peaceful place? Do you notice your spouse is more often making you feel resentful or disapproved? Are most of your discussions about business or over money, instead of the other person, friends, or family issues?
A majority, if certainly not all, of these scenarios take time to get to the point where they appear with their ugly heads in the blink of an eye. The seeds are first planted, and the stress and pressures of entrepreneurship fertilize them and allow them to increase to enormous proportions. Don’t solely rely on your own self-audits to determine if the problems are affecting your life. Seek the advice of your loved ones and friends and, if needed get professional guidance and assistance also.
Some Possible Solutions
Whatever you choose to focus on, you must not ignore these issues in the event that you’re a business owner. Beware of the common belief that ‘It’s okay, times aren’t easy today; however, it’ll improve as it always does.’ In the above article, Bruder discusses the suicides of Ilya Zhitomirskiy, co-founder of Diaspora, as well as Jody Sherman, the founder of Ecomom. While your personal situation will likely never get to this point, it could make your life an unending nightmare or, at the very least, fall from the life you deserve.
First of all first, you must protect your primary asset, Your physical, mental and emotional well-being. It doesn’t matter if your company rises in the sky, is successful, or fails; you’ll keep going. Your contribution is less to your business If your capability is impaired in any way, and you’ll be able to achieve less if you lack the required health, energy, and motivation.
What is the amount of time you’re spending on your company? While the majority of entrepreneurs must spend more than a typical 40-hour workweek of an employee, If you’re doing more significant than 60 hours in a week, you’re in need of an adjustment or two. Determine which of your tasks gives you the most negligible value for your time and make a deal with a partner or hire an employee, or outsource the task to someone who is a true expert in the specific area. If you’re currently too busy that you’re not able to think, you don’t have the time to invest or expand. Using part of your current business earnings to free up time could result in more profits and higher revenues when it is done correctly. If your company isn’t efficiently run and growing within the 60-hour workweek, you’ll either have to change your approach or search for a new company to take it over.
What shape do you have currently? Are you carrying an additional fifteen or twenty pounds in your middle or on your butt and hips? It’s hard to see the impact on the business you run; however, the excess body fat makes your body perform harder at every activity you engage in, depriving you of the energy you appreciate in your business endeavors. Just 3percent dehydrated can impact your mental performance. How long has it been since you’ve had one glass of water? Also, don’t think that being unfit will affect your self-image and self-confidence too… You’re aware you’re at your best when filled with energy and confidence in yourself, and the bulk of that is due to good fitness and physical health. No matter if you do weights or exercise, take yoga classes, or play squash, make sure you’re getting at least three-hour fitness sessions per week, and aim for having five sessions each week.
This is the ideal moment to make a new connection at home as well as with your family and friends. Make sure to surprise your partner, boyfriend, or girlfriend by having an incredible date evening. Go with your kids to a football match or tennis match, or even live theater or ballet. Contact your parents or an old friend to say, “Hi, how do you feel doing?’. You might be amazed by how much lift it gives you emotionally and mentally. Being spiritual is a part of us and connecting with others, particularly the ones we cherish, will almost always bring joy.
Then, take at least the time you have to explore other pursuits. Switch off the television and read a book or take an event. It’s not something that is connected to your work – pick something that has always been an interest to you but has been put off for a while. It could be a hobby or simply an intellectual pursuit. However, it must be interesting enough to get you out of the “entrepreneurial headspace” for a few minutes for a period of time.
In other words, get to you and your personal life outside of your work as an entrepreneur. Your business is not you, and neither is your business yours. You won’t be better off if your business grows, nor will you be a better person if your business does not succeed. If your current company goes downhill, it’s the company that has failed, not you!
Take back your soul and life outside of business and fight that sadness and worries about failure in your own life. The next time you walk into your work on a Monday, with an energy boost and smiling, you’ll recall why you chose to become an entrepreneur and be prepared to fight with the very top of the best!