According to research, 72% of entrepreneurs suffer from mental health issues, which is incredibly high. Forbes calls depression an epidemic among entrepreneurs and creatives. Aside from the flexibility and glamorous nature of entrepreneurship which often entices people, the emotional side is often overlooked. Statistics show that entrepreneurs report significantly higher mental health issues than everyday working professionals.
The most challenging part of entrepreneurship is usually at the beginning. The startup journey can be emotionally tasking. Starting a business can bring about financial instability, feeling of isolation, and strain on relationships. While researching on this topic, I stumbled on a piece that states that “creativity leads to big emotions, passion can lead to obsession, competitiveness and risk-taking can lead to deep feelings of failure”. Due to the high competition of businesses, entrepreneurs are constantly brainstorming on ways to employ strict and strategic measures to remain in business, and also stay ahead of their competitors.
By doing these things, they often neglect their well-being, in a bid to grow their ventures. Most of them also suffer from insomnia because they are always strategizing, which makes it difficult for them to sleep. One common trait that is common among entrepreneurs which often leads to their breakdown, is the ability to act like everything is okay, even at the edge of failure. They put up with this facade that all is well and refuse to seek help so that they do not have to appear weak. According to Carl Rodgers, a renowned psychologist, he states that human beings are disturbed when their expectations are not met, and most entrepreneurs always have expectations about their business.
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Even when in the workplace, entrepreneurs always like to give the impression to their employees that they are made of steel and can overcome whatever challenges that may pose to the business. A lot of entrepreneurs are usually egocentric and uncomfortable with relying on others or acknowledging that they have limitations. Particularly in the early stages, most entrepreneurs get to work alone which can incredibly be socially isolating, which is a precursor to depression.
The Way Forward
Surround With The Right People: One of the best things an entrepreneur can do is to surround himself or herself with the right kind of people. Surrounding with the right kind of people is a vital key to career growth. Entrepreneurs should surround themselves with people who have the same burning desire as they do. I.e People who can go to any length to ensure the success of the business. They need people who can constantly encourage them to keep them on track and keep their hope alive.
Address Mental Health Concerns Immediately: When entrepreneurs don’t manage mental health concerns quickly, they can turn into adverse outcomes. If mental health symptoms are left unattended after a prolonged period, it can lead to more severe mental health concerns. Mental health awareness begins by gaining an understanding of the factors that could exacerbate your stress level.
Leverage Of Team: It’s okay for entrepreneurs to admit their limitations. An entrepreneur should know that he or she cannot go on the journey alone. An entrepreneur should always ensure to leverage the knowledge and experience of their team members, by sending them to do jobs that require a larger amount of their skill or expertise. They should also be involved in decision-making, as well as have them mentor younger less experienced employees. Entrepreneurs should be willing to rely on their team where necessary to move their business forward. Always doing things alone, in a bid to show superiority can lead to breakdown and frustration.
Learn To Accept Failure: Entrepreneurs must learn to accept failure. They should understand that in the journey, they will encounter many obstacles. When failure comes they shouldn’t be too hard on themselves and see themselves as failures, rather they should strategize on ways to move on from failure and put things right.
Delegation: Another quick way to overheat and face an even higher level of stress is when entrepreneurs try to do everything by themselves. Even if the startup isn’t in a place to take on full-time employees quite yet, there are endless resources available to help a business outsource certain tasks. This is important because burnout can happen very quickly when a business is forming, and that process tends to speed itself up if the founder is trying to do everything on their own. Another option to avoid wearing down is going into business with a partner. Typically, each person would be an expert in a certain area of the company which would not only take things off one’s plate but also is beneficial in driving the business forward.
Entrepreneurs must understand that the entrepreneurship journey is a very sensitive one, and if not properly handled, it can lead to depression and frustration. They need to put in place measures that will make the journey less difficult for them. Of course, there will be obstacles, but with the right measures taken, they will overcome and achieve their organizational set goals.